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MacRumors
Aug 23, 2006, 02:31 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

In the wake of Dell's recall of 4.1 million Lithium Ion batteries and multiple embarassing incidents of both Dell and Apple laptops catching fire, AppleInsider is reporting that Apple, Dell, and Lenovo will be holding a summit next month (http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=1986) to develop lithium ion (Li-Ion) standards. All 3 companies are members of the IPC OEM Critical Components Committee which create standards for various electronic devices.

"Without a doubt, standardization can and will address the issue of operation and safety called into question by the use of lithium ion batteries.," said John Grosso, chairman of the IPC OEM Critical Components Committee and director of supplier engineering and quality at Dell. "While the Committee had identified lithium ion batteries as the next product for standardization, we are going to accelerate our activities now."

Grosso said the IPC Committee will identify any current standards related to lithium ion batteries with the goal of standardizing design, performance and safety requirements for these batteries.

Apple has historically used Li-Ion batteries in its iBook and PowerBook laptops, but has opted for Lithium Polymer batteries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_polymer) (Li-Poly) in its MacBook and MacBook Pro computers. One of the apparent advantages of Li-Poly batteries is reduced combustability. Apple still uses Li-Ion batteries in its current model iPods however.

Digg This (http://digg.com/hardware/Apple_Dell_Lenovo_To_Develop_Battery_Standards)

AlBDamned
Aug 23, 2006, 02:34 PM
I hope Sony is also in attendance. They should really pick up the bill for all of this battery b/s. As much as I dislike Dell products, their reputation (and bank balance) has taken a pounding in the consumer eye all because Sony messed up.

benthewraith
Aug 23, 2006, 02:34 PM
I figured Dell would decide to do this, and Apple and Lenovo perhaps should as well.

hadleydb
Aug 23, 2006, 02:35 PM
It's about time!

jmsait19
Aug 23, 2006, 02:45 PM
I hope Sony is also in attendance. They should really pick up the bill for all of this battery b/s. As much as I dislike Dell products, their reputation (and bank balance) has taken a pounding in the consumer eye all because Sony messed up.

label me ignorant but what did sony do exactly?

Oryan
Aug 23, 2006, 02:46 PM
So by "standardizing design" do they mean "interchangeable"? Or is it just a common internal design?

qevlhma
Aug 23, 2006, 02:50 PM
It will be internal only stuff.

GodBless
Aug 23, 2006, 02:51 PM
The MacBook Pro had its MagSafe (MagUnsafe that is ;) ) fire problem.


http://cache.gizmodo.com/gadgets/images/apple_firebook.jpg

I'm pretty sure that this problem was corrected prior to the MacBook's release but I'm not so sure if you can be guaranteed that a fire cannot be caused by MagSafe again.

Porchland
Aug 23, 2006, 02:54 PM
Standard: Batteries should not explode.

"OK, what else do we need to discuss while everyone's here?"

BornAgainMac
Aug 23, 2006, 02:56 PM
That image [MagSafe] was the Cat Pee issue. I remember that thread a long time ago.

aly
Aug 23, 2006, 02:56 PM
I'm surprised these standards were not already in place to be honest! The chemicals used in Li-ion batteries are indeed very combustible. Anyone ever seen lithium when placed in water? Its explosive and quite exciting to watch. I'm not entirely surprised weve seen such problems with companies trying to get as much power out of batteries as possible yet keeping sizes down. To answer someones question above, the batteries were produced by sony, and to answer another, standards generally means internal workings such as acceptable heat output, ability to cope with short circuits etc, to avoid these problems happening again.

I'm just glad i haven't had any problems and my lap is still intact!!

Aly

slackersonly
Aug 23, 2006, 02:59 PM
This is very good news.

1. The big boys are not acting like boys and going it alone again.
2. This should drive up quality and down prices.
3. It should free up resources for true development like lifespan, weight, etc
4. It reminds me that Apple is committed to top notch hardware as well as software.

Willis
Aug 23, 2006, 03:02 PM
That image [MagSafe] was the Cat Pee issue. I remember that thread a long time ago.

I remember the magsafe catching fire, but I dont remember anything about cat pee! Could you fill me in??

Thanks.

On topic... I think it's pretty good news, and Dell and Apple working together... gosh :rolleyes:

AlBDamned
Aug 23, 2006, 03:03 PM
label me ignorant but what did sony do exactly?


It's Sony batteries that are blowing up, not Dell batteries.

What's worse is that both companies knew of the problem in 2005, before anything actually spontaneously combusted.

As this engadget article says (http://www.engadget.com/2006/08/21/dell-and-sony-knew-about-laptop-battery-defects-back-in-october/), it's lucky for both companies that nobody was seriously injured or killed.

longofest
Aug 23, 2006, 03:10 PM
It's Sony batteries that are blowing up, not Dell batteries.

What's worse is that both companies knew of the problem in 2005, before anything actually spontaneously combusted.

As this engadget article says (http://www.engadget.com/2006/08/21/dell-and-sony-knew-about-laptop-battery-defects-back-in-october/), it's lucky for both companies that nobody was seriously injured or killed.

Yes, Sony has issues too, but Dell has had more than one Inspiron blow up on them, so it is innaccurate to say that Dell batteries are not blowing up.

mark!
Aug 23, 2006, 03:10 PM
Way off topic: I wonder how many people have commited suicide because of the frustration of Microsoft! You'd think of the what....3 billion people that use computers one would have had to!

On Topic: Why would Apple need to attend? I thought that was the point of switching to the new batteries that the MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

AlBDamned
Aug 23, 2006, 03:16 PM
Yes, Sony has issues too, but Dell has had more than one Inspiron blow up on them, so it is innaccurate to say that Dell batteries are not blowing up.

But aren't all the batteries in all the laptops in question (Dell, Apple etc) ultimately made by Sony?

heisetax
Aug 23, 2006, 03:17 PM
So by "standardizing design" do they mean "interchangeable"? Or is it just a common internal design?


Because the shape of the battery in laptops, camcorders, mp3 players & other battery powered items it would be hard to make them easily replaceable. Could you imagine Apple making their PoerBook or IntelMacBook Pro thicker because the larger group in the laptop area says or got it passed that laptop batteries would be 7/8' or maybe even 1" thick. Or would the thicker laptops in the Windows areana accept the thin batteris that Apple uses. Even Apple, which designs, but does not build, their laptops have a different battery for each size of screen. Someimes they change the battery within that category. Like the PowerBook to the Intel PowerBook Pro. Same case, but they use a diferent battery.

This wuld lead us to believe that they are just talking about just a common internal design. This I'm sure would help reliability, to help our laptops perform better & more safely. Interchangable would make things easier for the end user, like using you battery from your 17" PowerBook in your 17" Core 2 Duo, or maybe even something like a Core 4 Duo. Even greater wuld be if you could bring your extra batteries from you Windows laptop to your new Intel MacBook Pro when you decide to upgrade platforms as well as computer.

Bill the TaxMan

bigandy
Aug 23, 2006, 03:21 PM
But aren't all the batteries in all the laptops in question (Dell, Apple etc) ultimately made by Sony?
yeah, the cells are, but the charging system, which was blamed in Dell's case, was not a Sony thing: it was Dell.

but i think there was a big element of pointing fingers.

i rekon independant enquiry, and find out what's to blame. if it's the cells, then charge sony. if not, charge dell. simple.

edcrosay
Aug 23, 2006, 03:21 PM
Way off topic: I wonder how many people have commited suicide because of the frustration of Microsoft! You'd think of the what....3 billion people that use computers one would have had to!

On Topic: Why would Apple need to attend? I thought that was the point of switching to the new batteries that the MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

Because they still use Li-ion batteries in iPods.

kozmic stu
Aug 23, 2006, 03:24 PM
Yes, Sony has issues too, but Dell has had more than one Inspiron blow up on them, so it is innaccurate to say that Dell batteries are not blowing up.

Actually it's entirely accurate to say that Dell batteries are not blowing up - every one of the batteries that have been recalled were made by Sony, not Dell. The fact that they were in Dell laptops at the time does not make them DEll batteries

Makosuke
Aug 23, 2006, 03:29 PM
About time some companies sat down and worked out some quality control standards for batteries. 'Specially Li-Ion, with their potential to go boom.

I do find it moderately amusing that there were complaints all over the place about Apple's poor quality control or whatever after some of their new batteries didn't perform well (not explode, mind you, just not performing well), and I specifically read several things pointing to Dell as an example of a company that didn't have battery problems. Then Dell issues a recall of 4 million batteries because they're specifically a hazard.

Point not being that Apple is without flaw, but that everybody has trouble with batteries from time to time, and "my MacBook won't accept a full charge" isn't quite the same as "my Inspiron blew up". Plus the numbers are an order of magnitude larger--Apple's recall consisted of 100K or 200K batteries, right?

Shadow
Aug 23, 2006, 03:34 PM
Anyone ever seen lithium when placed in water? Its explosive and quite exciting to watch.
Try caesium or francium ;) .

Disclaimer: don't.

mdntcallr
Aug 23, 2006, 03:46 PM
well. i just hope they manage to work it out so no one out here, like us. every have to worry about our batteries, aside from battery life.

though if they could get rid of batteries limited recharge life, that would be awesome.

JAT
Aug 23, 2006, 03:48 PM
I hope Sony is also in attendance. They should really pick up the bill for all of this battery b/s. As much as I dislike Dell products, their reputation (and bank balance) has taken a pounding in the consumer eye all because Sony messed up.
I hope not. Their record in collaborations like this is dismal. Better that the others come up with something and just send the specs to Sony to make the batteries.

motulist
Aug 23, 2006, 03:48 PM
Batteries are holding back so many new technologies. It's too bad battery capacities haven't progressed along with hard disk data density, transistors per cpu, bus speeds, etc. I suppose if just getting them to not explode is still a problem then any real advance is still way off in the future.

AlBDamned
Aug 23, 2006, 03:57 PM
yeah, the cells are, but the charging system, which was blamed in Dell's case, was not a Sony thing: it was Dell.

but i think there was a big element of pointing fingers.

i rekon independant enquiry, and find out what's to blame. if it's the cells, then charge sony. if not, charge dell. simple.

but if Sony were the ones to update the batteries (as the article says) wouldn't that make the cells the faulty part?

baleensavage
Aug 23, 2006, 03:58 PM
Batteries are holding back so many new technologies. It's too bad battery capacities haven't progressed along with hard disk data density, transistors per cpu, bus speeds, etc. I suppose if just getting them to not explode is still a problem then any real advance is still way off in the future.
Very true. It seems like everything runs on batteries now and all the batteries are always dying :(
I'd like to see them put some serious brainpower into improving battery technology.

sparky672
Aug 23, 2006, 04:14 PM
Batteries are holding back so many new technologies. It's too bad battery capacities haven't progressed along with hard disk data density, transistors per cpu, bus speeds, etc. I suppose if just getting them to not explode is still a problem then any real advance is still way off in the future.

Not too long ago, around 1993, I had a Motorola cell phone. The "talk" time was less than an hour and "standby" time was only a few hours more than that. The battery was so large, they put it in a separate case or bag with a shoulder strap. That thing was larger than an old lady's purse.

Given the physical limitations of this technology, batteries have come a long way in recent years and the trend will continue.

I think in addition to cramming more power into smaller packages, they'll continue to find creative ways to use less power, thus increasing battery life.

MattyMac
Aug 23, 2006, 04:15 PM
Imagine if you were the one that had their laptop catch fire...granted I hope they didn't get hurt, but imagine the special treatment you would get from apple.

sparky672
Aug 23, 2006, 04:17 PM
Imagine if you were the one that had their laptop catch fire...granted I hope they didn't get hurt, but imagine the special treatment you would get from apple.


yeah, you probably get a voucher for 10 free iTunes downloads or something.

:rolleyes:

motulist
Aug 23, 2006, 04:24 PM
Very true. It seems like everything runs on batteries now and all the batteries are always dying :(
I'd like to see them put some serious brainpower into improving battery technology.

Yeah, and the problem is not just that todays devices run out to soon, it's that brand new technologies can only be dreamed of yet because of the power limitation. For instance, if batteries caught up to the progress that other technologies have reached, then solar power would suddenly become cheaper than even coal energy, electric cars would be cheap and have range per refill distances equal to or greater than gas cars. On the computing side, imagine what you could do with a digital device that could run for weeks without needing to be plugged in and weighed almost nothing. You could literally take it everywhere and depend on it to always be ready.

Funnily enough, because of their spartan power requirements, some very old ultra portable computing devices actually fulfill this role where newer devices can't even come close to competing. They used to make these tiny command line os devices that were no bigger than a small paperback book, which run for weeks on a pair of double A's.

Willis
Aug 23, 2006, 04:29 PM
though if they could get rid of batteries limited recharge life, that would be awesome.

ah yes, but if they did that... how would they make money from accessories?

Its the same with cars. Car manufactures dont make much profit off teh actual car itself. it makes more off the accessories and optional extras, hense why they cost so much AND your car didnt get them to start with.

vanzskater272
Aug 23, 2006, 04:29 PM
label me ignorant but what did sony do exactly?
They were the ones who made those batterys.

AlBDamned
Aug 23, 2006, 04:35 PM
ah yes, but if they did that... how would they make money from accessories?

Its the same with cars. Car manufactures dont make much profit off teh actual car itself. it makes more off the accessories and optional extras, hense why they cost so much AND your car didnt get them to start with.

I'm not sure that's true. Have you ever stepped inside a Toyota Yaris....?

MattyMac
Aug 23, 2006, 04:52 PM
yeah, you probably get a voucher for 10 free iTunes downloads or something.

:rolleyes:
haha....I think they would take care of you a tad better than that.

StuPidQPid
Aug 23, 2006, 04:52 PM
For those of you wishing for new battery technology, then the following article offers some hope.

http://www.sciencentral.com/articles/view.php3?type=article&article_id=218392803

Looks pretty neat, and should be on the market within five years!

MrCrowbar
Aug 23, 2006, 05:28 PM
For those of you wishing for new battery technology, then the following article offers some hope.

http://www.sciencentral.com/articles/view.php3?type=article&article_id=218392803

Looks pretty neat, and should be on the market within five years!

Nice indeed. It's pretty primitive, but hard to make. Kinda like hard drives... those things are barbaric when you think of it.

EagerDragon
Aug 23, 2006, 06:00 PM
Anyone ever seen lithium when placed in water? Its explosive and quite exciting to watch.
Aly

Love to see that, any links?

StuPidQPid
Aug 23, 2006, 06:22 PM
Love to see that, any links?

Try searching GoogleVideo for "lithium"

I found the following.
Not very exciting, it just fizzes a bit

Lithium and Water (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5532937263117671691&q=lithium)

However, I also found this video.
WOW! :eek: :eek: :eek:

Lipo Battery Fire (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3690260570423705609&q=lithium)

Enjoy :)

shawnce
Aug 23, 2006, 06:29 PM
Try searching GoogleVideo for "lithium"

I found the following.
Not very exciting, it just fizzes a bit
Try it in powered form.

BornAgainMac
Aug 23, 2006, 06:31 PM
I remember the magsafe catching fire, but I dont remember anything about cat pee! Could you fill me in??

Thanks.


Here you go.

Cat Pee link (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=186987)

aly
Aug 23, 2006, 06:44 PM
Love to see that, any links?

Hmm, okies well maybe its not explosive, but it does go fizzy and flies around on water surface. And thats just water. I believe powder is more impressive though I have never witnesses? It ignites in chlorine as shown at our friends you tube. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDv0cypX1B0) Anyway my point was, its stupidly reactive, hence why it great to make high capacity batteries but kinda dodgy at the same time. And for the ***** and giggles, look up potassium and sodium, they're more reactive again.

Multimedia
Aug 23, 2006, 07:07 PM
You Would Think This Was Something That Had Already Been Done By Now None Too Soon. :rolleyes:

twoodcc
Aug 23, 2006, 07:28 PM
well at least they are doing something about it

digitalbiker
Aug 23, 2006, 07:35 PM
They were the ones who made those batterys.

The problem must be a little more complicated than to just blame Sony for bad batteries, otherwise the first call to order by Dell & Apple would have been to sue the piss out of Sony.

I would bet that it has to do with a combination of the battery, discharge circuitry, and charging circuitry. That is why Apple & Dell want standards established. With strong standards in place, they would be more readily able to engineer the proper support circuitry.

Also with standards in place if Sony was at fault then Apple & Dell would have stronger law suit cases.

GodBless
Aug 23, 2006, 07:39 PM
For those of you wishing for new battery technology, then the following article offers some hope.

http://www.sciencentral.com/articles/view.php3?type=article&article_id=218392803

Looks pretty neat, and should be on the market within five years!
Thanks for the link. I've heard about a similar technology (I'm not sure if it is the same one as this or not) but it sounds like it is being moved forward. The latest I heard (which was about a year ago or so -- I think) was that you can achieve 80% charge in the first minute of charging. This is definitely a breakthrough and should be very useful in the future. :)

bousozoku
Aug 23, 2006, 08:32 PM
Anything to produce safer batteries is a step in the right direction. It's a shame that it takes a videotaped explosion to get something started.

sushi
Aug 23, 2006, 10:18 PM
For those of you wishing for new battery technology, then the following article offers some hope.

http://www.sciencentral.com/articles/view.php3?type=article&article_id=218392803

Looks pretty neat, and should be on the market within five years!
Neat idea.

Many years ago we used capacitors (big ones) instead of batteries for some small projects.

This new idea to store more electrons is pretty cool and seems more environmentally friendly. And if there is standardization, it would be easy to have recharging stations all over the place so anybody could easily recharge their device.

-Jeff
Aug 24, 2006, 01:03 AM
I don't think Li-Poly batteries are any safer. In fact, they require extremely precise systems that monitor and control charging and discharge rates to prevent them from exploding. Videos of LiPo batteries exploding are all over google video and you tube.

GodBless
Aug 24, 2006, 01:51 AM
Anything to produce safer batteries is a step in the right direction. It's a shame that it takes a videotaped explosion to get something started.I totally agree. These batteries should have never become a standard -- there should have been research and vision for safer batteries before li-ion and li-poly batteries were released to the masses. At least the trouble will be over in about 5 years.

This new idea to store more electrons is pretty cool and seems more environmentally friendly. And if there is standardization, it would be easy to have recharging stations all over the place so anybody could easily recharge their device.Since the surface area will be extended for electrons (because of the use of nanotubes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_nanotube) -- watch the video that the website (http://www.sciencentral.com/articles/view.php3?type=article&article_id=218392803) provides -- you have to register to watch it but the video provides some interesting facts) I think that the new capacitor batteries will last just as long as our current li-ion and li-poly batteries (perhaps longer) and will probably be the same size and weight (perhaps smaller and lighter) than our current batteries.

It will be good that no chemical reactions will need to be used anymore. It reminds me of the transition from the hard disk to flash memory that has been happening for a while. All in all the "no moving parts/chemicals" transition is the current trend and I hope it continues. (It also reminds me about the OLED (http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=1485&pq-locale=en_US) advancement in displays.) These 3 new technologies will make things a lot better -- a whole lot better.

I don't think Li-Poly batteries are any safer. In fact, they require extremely precise systems that monitor and control charging and discharge rates to prevent them from exploding. Videos of LiPo batteries exploding are all over google video and you tube.My thoughts exactly after watching the videos. Before viewing them I assumed that MacRumors statement, "Apple has historically used Li-Ion batteries in its iBook and PowerBook laptops, but has opted for Lithium Polymer batteries (Li-Poly) in its MacBook and MacBook Pro computers. One of the apparent advantages of Li-Poly batteries is reduced combustability.", was reliable but I guess not.

DeVizardofOZ
Aug 24, 2006, 05:57 AM
Batteries are holding back so many new technologies. It's too bad battery capacities haven't progressed along with hard disk data density, transistors per cpu, bus speeds, etc. I suppose if just getting them to not explode is still a problem then any real advance is still way off in the future.

A few years back I saw a report on TV about a german company developing a power-cell for laptops. I remember, that the initial cell was quite bulky, too heavy to carry around. I wonder what happened to this development...??? Maybe some big battery maker bought the patent for a few Million and dumped it into their big safe to sell the junk batteries we see in Laptops.

It is definitel y true, that battery development lags way behind all other technologies. Look at the car batt's.:o Still heavy and big.

bousozoku
Aug 24, 2006, 06:43 AM
...
It is definitel y true, that battery development lags way behind all other technologies. Look at the car batt's.:o Still heavy and big.


Car batteries haven't changed much because they require high current and low voltage in an inexpensive package. The typical laptop computer Lithium Ion battery is much more expensive than the more expensive car batteries.

Lithium Ion batteries for cars would most likely cost as much as the car and probably weigh more and be larger than the current models to get the cold cranking power.

Moonlight
Aug 24, 2006, 10:52 AM
Did you know that the original iPod used a Li-Poly not a Li-ion, but they switched to Li-ion with the 2nd gen. I still have my 1st gen iPod and the battery still holds almost a full charge. Why did they switch ?:confused:

imikem
Aug 24, 2006, 10:56 AM
I'm surprised these standards were not already in place to be honest! The chemicals used in Li-ion batteries are indeed very combustible. Anyone ever seen lithium when placed in water? Its explosive and quite exciting to watch.

Aly

FYI, metallic lithium is not really explosive on contact with water. Fizz, and some heat, rather. There's a video showing the activity of the alkali metals with water. They get nastier as one moves down the periodic table. Lithium is the lightest of these metals. Sorry, the clip is in the format used by the dark side...

http://www.wm-rsc.co.uk/students/interactive/gcse/alkali/AlkaliMetals2.wmv

I spent too long in chemistry to let this go.

luminosity
Aug 24, 2006, 12:25 PM
anyone see this?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14500443/

Hattig
Aug 24, 2006, 12:44 PM
Affects 12" iBook G4 and 15" Powerbook G4:

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06245.html

(Also an additional 700,000 replacement battery packs)

ibilly
Aug 24, 2006, 03:28 PM
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2134266654801392897&q=lithium+water

Kinda cheezy presentation, but the do use everything but francium... Several bath tubs explode... and entertaining 3 minutes

aly
Aug 25, 2006, 10:24 AM
FYI, metallic lithium is not really explosive on contact with water. Fizz, and some heat, rather. There's a video showing the activity of the alkali metals with water. They get nastier as one moves down the periodic table. Lithium is the lightest of these metals. Sorry, the clip is in the format used by the dark side...

http://www.wm-rsc.co.uk/students/interactive/gcse/alkali/AlkaliMetals2.wmv

I spent too long in chemistry to let this go.

My apologies imikem. I did correct myself, and admitted to the use of exaggeration, I just got carried away, but yes as you say moving down the table is more fun! Sorry to have annoyed you, I understand how annoying it is to let someting go you know is wrong :) I believe thats what makes us mac users and our continual arguments that macs are better than pcs, lol :p

sparky672
Aug 25, 2006, 10:49 AM
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2134266654801392897&q=lithium+water

Kinda cheezy presentation, but the do use everything but francium... Several bath tubs explode... and entertaining 3 minutes

That video was very entertaining. Thank-you.

However, please note the use of cheap thin PVC plastic bath tubs. Not to diminish the hazards of alkaline metals in water, but it really doesn't take much force to blow a hole in a crappy plastic bath tub. I thought that part kinda gimmicky.

If they had used much more durable containers like a drum or even a regular cast iron tub, you would have seen more energy directed upwards which, in my opinion, would have made for a more dramatic demonstration.