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Products => Crowd Funded Projects => Topic started by: gregallenwarner on August 05, 2019, 05:46:38 pm

Title: Kickstarter: Pale Blue LiPo USB AA Batteries - Just curious what everyone thinks
Post by: gregallenwarner on August 05, 2019, 05:46:38 pm
Today, an ad for this Kickstarter popped up in my Facebook feed:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1888483751/pale-blue-lithium-polymer-usb-rechargeable-smart-batteries (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1888483751/pale-blue-lithium-polymer-usb-rechargeable-smart-batteries)

Now, I'm not posting this as an effort to spur Dave into doing a "Batteriser style" debunking video. The technology is certainly feasible and they aren't making any wildly unattainable claims about the product itself. I'm just wondering what people think about the practicality of this product, considering the current availability of rechargeable NiMH AA cells.

I'm certainly for reducing the amount of waste, and I myself zealously use NiMH cells whenever possible. But I don't know how LiPo stacks up against NiMH in terms of charge/discharge cycles. These Pale Blue LiPo AA's will only be useful for approx. 1000 charge/discharge cycles on average before they end up in the landfills as well. I was wondering if anybody had any knowledge of NiMH technology's charge/discharge ratings to compare.

Again, I'll reiterate, I'm not strictly against the Pale Blue Kickstarter in the manner I would be with Batteriser. I'm just wondering, what's the benefit of this technology over currently available (and cheaper) NiMH technology? I take very good care of my NiMH cells, so they last for years with continuous use. Where does the added cost of LiPo AA cells make sense? What added benefit am I getting over NiMH, and is the cost worth it?
Title: Re: Kickstarter: Pale Blue LiPo USB AA Batteries - Just curious what everyone thinks
Post by: ataradov on August 05, 2019, 05:55:38 pm
As usual, this is an already existing product - https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32965806721.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.690737aaAhORZF (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32965806721.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.690737aaAhORZF)

There are many variations on the theme, including a full USB A plug - https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32972715166.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.690737aaAhORZF (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32972715166.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.690737aaAhORZF)
Title: Re: Kickstarter: Pale Blue LiPo USB AA Batteries - Just curious what everyone thinks
Post by: NiHaoMike on August 06, 2019, 12:58:04 am
Good quality NiMH will last a few thousand cycles.
http://www.ultrasmartcharger.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=91 (http://www.ultrasmartcharger.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=91)
Title: Re: Kickstarter: Pale Blue LiPo USB AA Batteries - Just curious what everyone thinks
Post by: Mr. Scram on August 06, 2019, 01:04:51 am
The problem is that most people already use rechargeable batteries where they're most useful which is obviously in high discharge devices. We use batteries in our phones and laptops. In low discharge scenarios these rechargeable batteries don't perform wonderfully well.
Title: Re: Kickstarter: Pale Blue LiPo USB AA Batteries - Just curious what everyone thinks
Post by: SiliconWizard on August 07, 2019, 12:17:40 am
Good quality NiMH will last a few thousand cycles.
http://www.ultrasmartcharger.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=91 (http://www.ultrasmartcharger.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=91)

Not to mention their LiPo-based solution is inferior: they state a 1560mAh capacity @1.5V for their AA battery. A good and modern NiMh AA battery will have close to 3000mAh @1.3V-1.4V.
(Also note that to get 1.5V output from a LiPo cell they are using a step-down converter with obviously not 100% efficiency, efficiency will inevitably depend on power draw as well, and it's probably noisy, which a NiMh battery won't be...)

Besides:
- The required added electronics makes it inherently less reliable than a simple NiMh battery (connector, charging circuit, protection circuit - hoping they included one - and step-down converter...)
- They state 1000+ cycles: I seriously doubt it.
- They state that a NiMh battery takes 9 hours to charge: not with fast chargers that are widely available. A NiMh battery doesn't take much more time to charge than a LiPo battery with these and even when fast charged, they will still survive more charge cycles.
- I wouldn't trust the thing safety-wise. I didn't see any mention of compliance to any UL standard or anything in that vein. And I don't know where they get their LiPo cells from. (Edit: I saw they show a test report for IEC 62133. That's something. The posted header doesn't show any clear reference for the tested product though, so I don't know.)
- And as already said, the product has already existed for years.