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"IEEE Standard for Rechargeable Batteries for Portable Computing" gets update due to laptop fires

The IEEE will revise its laptop battery standard, coded IEEE 1625, which was approved back in 2004 as part of the "Livium" family of battery standards. The revised standard seeks to improve overall performance, make systems more reliable and address concerns over the recent laptop battery fiasco.

IEEE 1625 adopts a systems approach by addressing the battery envelope from cells to the mobile computers they power, both alone and in concert. It encompasses such areas as battery pack electrical and mechanical construction, cell chemistries, packaging, pack and cell controls, and overall system considerations. 

In revising IEEE 1625 to further safeguard the reliability of these batteries, we will leverage the streamlined corporate standards process and incorporate lessons learned in developing the IEEE 1725 standard for cellular telephone batteries, says Edward Rashba, Manager, New Technical Programs at the IEEE-SA. We have an opportunity to further strengthen the Livium portfolio, which already incorporates hundreds of man-hours of technical work and represents consensus views on best practices from leading industry experts.

The update looks to guide the industry in planning and implementing controls for battery design and manufacture. It also defines approaches for evaluating and qualifying such batteries, verifying their quality and reliability, and educating and communicating with end users.

The 1625 update will be a global effort, says Rashba. The leading laptop OEMs and battery manufacturers such as Apple, Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Lenovo, Panasonic, Sanyo, Intel and Sony have indicated strong interest to participate.

The group will meet bi-monthly in the U.S. and Asia, with project completion expected within 18 months. The first working group meeting is scheduled for November 15-16 at the Intel in Santa Clara, California. A follow-on meeting is planned in Japan for January 16-18 of next year.



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RE: Lithium
By Eugene99 on 11/10/2006 10:33:55 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, batteries are dangerous because they can deliver tremendous amounts of current very quickly. If they are shorted out, without any protective circuitry (fuse), they can start a fire.

The laptop batteries that are causing fires had bits of metal left inside of them during manufacturing. If enough of that metal happens to short out the battery there is nothing to limit to how hot the battery will get. Thus the fire. What's worse, the battery is a sealed system and there is no way to build a protective circuit to prevent it!

Fortunatly, the flakes of metal are very small and internal shorts will most likely result in the vaporization of the tiny bit of metal. In fact -- that is how fuses work. It takes a lot of metal to carry the current and heat up instead of melting or vaporizing.


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