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Darn those pesky exploding batteries

This week the IEEE consortium announced that it has started work on a new standard that would regulate how lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries are designed and manufactured. The standard, called IEEE P1825, will set forth a number of criteria for battery design, construction and packaging in order to avoid some of the recent incidents involving lithium batteries.

For the longest time now, lithium-based batteries have been known to give reliable service as well as being safe. Unfortunately, being produced in greater quantities today, lithium batteries have fallen by the way side in terms of quality control. Sony, one of the world's largest manufacturers of lithium batteries is currently under heavy investigation because its batteries have been involved in a number of recent fires and explosions.

Over the last several weeks, a number of manufacturers have recalled batteries that were manufactured by Sony. Just last week, Toshiba recalled 340,000 batteries which were manufactured by Sony but used in its products. A day before that, Virgin Atlantic banned any products that used either Dell or Apple batteries -- all manufactured by Sony. Interestingly, in late August Sony announced that there would be no more battery recalls for units it produced. Despite the optimism, many batteries continue to be returned to their respective manufacturers.

The IEEE is hoping to have completed standards that cover both notebook batteries as well as batteries used in mobile phones by the end of 2006.

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RE: It's about time.
By mgambrell on 9/27/2006 4:33:41 PM , Rating: 2
I hate proprietary stuff the same as the next guy, but when it comes to the shapes of things that have to be super ultra portable, you have to be willing to give up a little bit of standardization in the interest of helping the things do design tradeoffs with weight and size easire

RE: It's about time.
By aiken666 on 9/27/2006 7:59:24 PM , Rating: 2
I dunno. Hard drives use pretty standrdized form factors and connectors, and seem to work just fine in portable devices. Why not batteries? Sure, standard batteries may not work for phones, where the battery represents a signifcaint portion of the case, but for laptops and dvd players and whatnot, why not a standard size?

RE: It's about time.
By mgambrell on 9/27/2006 11:44:07 PM , Rating: 2
Why arent the screens and keyboards standard in laptops? Some things have been commoditized and some things havent. Theyre not standardized for your convenience, but because the market works out that way. In some cases the engineering is tight and picky enough that it outweights the benefits to price of standardization. If you need a little more space in your notebook, you can get a smaller battery made much easier than you can eliminate motherboard components or shrink the optical drives. The price and performance costs from shrinking the hard drive would be substantial. But for shrinking the batteries? Also batteries are based sonewhat on smaller divisible units, so it is easier to customize the shapes of those without incurring too much cost...

I dont know anything special about the engineering of such things, but I can speculate as well as the next man. For some reason my mental could-this-be-standardized gears just reject batteries.

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