Recently I refreshed a laptop battery with new 18650's. This is working however it still doesn't last very long because of the chip inside this battery.
The chip must recalibrated (data is incorrect and based upon previous batteries) but cannot do this. There are smart chargers that can charge 18650 without any problem and can determine the condition of the cell as well. So why is the charge circuit inside the battery and not inside the device? The circuitry/chip inside the battery makes the whole battery pack unusable.
The batteries I have replaced seems to be working fine after a full recharge later in an external charger. Test for several days and operate just fine with different loads. So the chip inside the battery pack decides the battery is dead at some circumstances but in fact it's not.
18650 is a standard, so why do manufacturers decide to design custom packages of a standard? In the early days, you replaced batteries by purchasing "dumb" /unprotected (single use or rechargeable) cells. Easy as 1,2,3, widely available, old out - new in, easy. Nowadays you need to buy an expensive customized battery pack for some reason, even when using an industry standard inside.
As an example, the batteries I replaced inside this battery, is actually very straightforward. The batteries are aligned/arranged in three columns (series) of two batteries (parallel) each, like this:
This could be easily a battery compartment with six 18650 'slots' without more space requirement and when the charger is available in device, also without charge circuitry. Reusable (avoid electronic waste), overall a much cheaper solution or not?
So why do manufacturers still design custom battery packages instead of an industry standard? What's the real reason?
Is it because of (some ideas):
- Safety, because of possible shorts by wrong polarity of unprotected cells;
- Avoid unpredictable results of the product by using low quality batteries*;
- Dependency, you need to buy original (overpriced) customized battery pack;
- Sales, control failure and replacement (like ink cartridges, black gold);
- Product life cycle, product become obsolete when no battery available
*= Counterfeit batteries and low quality batteries, in my opinion, caused by the exclusivity and high prices of the brands themselves. Bad batteries are around us for decades so this could not be a real excuse. A warning in the manual to use good quality batteries is enough to avoid claims.