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Posts Tagged ‘lithium’

This may be an old article…

Child miners aged four living a hell on Earth so YOU can drive an electric car

The fact is, though it takes 33lbs or more to produce an electric vehicle battery. Lithium ion batteries already require larger amounts of cobalt which accounts to over 60%. Only 40% is being used for other things and less than 10%  being used by gasoline refining. 10 grams may not seem like a lot for cellphone batteries but it adds up. This was already a concern when lithium ion batteries took shape besides the volatile nature of lithium ion batteries. Yet we’re still using it in everyday devices and now the UK wants to ban combustion engine vehicles for lithium ion powered vehicles. That 60% will jump to 70+%. As the battery density starts to rise so does the need for cobalt which the primary use for it in lithium ion batteries is to keep the batteries cool. Since more technology advances so does the battery cooling methods. And lithium ion batteries in EVs consume a ton. 33lbs for one car. Imagine how much cobalt is needed to run the upcoming Hummer EV. Rivian has an electric truck that uses over 7k batteries which is twice the amount of a Tesla battery so you’re looking at 66lbs or more for a light duty truck. I dont even want to think about how much cobalt is required to run that Tesla semi.

The child laboring has been an issue since the dawn of time but I can think of nothing worse than children dying just to spend weeks on end just to mine one EV battery.

The fact is however nothing is being done. I’ve written this as a Christian to implore everyone to pray for the Congo children because they dont deserve this. We dont deserve lithium ion battery technology.

We get it you need a cellphone to stay in contact with family and friends. It’s a great way to keep updated on news. It’s also a tool to bring this despicable tragedy due to the greed of “clean air zero emissions electric cars”. We also get why you want an electric vehicle. But battery electric is not the answer. And its clear that we need a lot more cobalt to manufacture more EV batteries, something that really is not a sustainable future, especially when majority of lithium ion battery cobalt is being mined by innocent children. I had almost forgotten about these poor children until I watched another video on the horrid conditions from mining cobalt for lithium ion batteries. The main reason I had always been against battery electric in the first place.. it’s not just the terrible range, long recharge times or the cold and hot weather zapps the batteries lifespan. The government wants everyone to switch to electric but how can we when the cost of human life is far worse than what we are potentially doing to the planet.

I got into an argument over a fool who thinks that it’s ok to let children mine 33lbs of cobalt for just 1 vehicle vs ounces needed to manufacture gasoline that has the potential to last decades. I dont have exact measurements on this subject or how much cobalt children are mining for gasoline refinement but EVs are the main contribution to cobalt mining. The laptop computers are secondary to all other lithium ion batteries.

Its downright evil and if climate change were to end us all I dont want the blood of children on my hands just so i don’t have any tailpipe emissions. Regardless where that cobalt comes from a large chunk will go to electric vehicles. The enormous psychological and physical damage these kids will have to endure in the future because “battery electric is the future” is downright evil and no one should be standing for it. We need to reduce our use of cobalt starting with BEVs. No one can force you to buy a battery electric vehicle, not even the government. Dont let them do it. Keep buying gasoline until hydrogen can make it’s way to the market and be a real ethical solution to our tailpipe emissions.

Again, pray for the children in Congo and support them by refusing to buy battery electric vehicles. You can also extend your cellphone or tablet batteries (any lithium ion batteries) by keeping a charge of 40-80%. Get a Goal Zero Guide 10 that uses nickel metal hydride batteries (and Eneloops) if you dont have anywhere to charge. Avoid buying anything that uses lithium ion technology and instead use Eneloops. Besides my cellphone I haven’t bought anything that uses lithium ion batteries since 2005. And I dont plan to. Anything that reduces the necessity of cobalt. You could even buy a more economical vehicle like a gas Honda or Toyota. Dont buy the hybrids that may use the lithium ion batteries. Again, pray for the children in Congo. Maybe if there is a massive strike or ban against lithium ion and cobalt in general maybe things could change but for now avoid the lithium ion technology due to the excessive use of cobalt used in these batteries.

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Oh no not another electric vehicle post. Sorry, not sorry but with this extreme push for battery electric vehicles or BEVs I have to show the negative sides of them and why its best to wait around for hydrogen fuel cells.

 

1. Limited range

Batteries can only store so much energy and even with the advances the more range you’re looking for the more expensive they’ll be. A Tesla model 3 costs around $40k when you factor taxes, charging equipment and hire an electrician to get the most out of recharging. But let’s face it, for $20k I can get more range out of a muscle car.


2. Recharging time

Even though you may charge at home and ‘wake up every morning with a full tank’ it still takes time to charge and our electric grid is unreliable at best. You will be waking up one day without power and your 220 mile Tesla is now a 50 mile range vehicle with no place to charge because well.. no power. Most gas stations will have a backup generator allowing motorists to continue driving around. But you are stuck with a 50 mile driving range. Doesnt work if you daily drive more than 20 miles, even if you do manage to make it into work you will still need a recharge. Imagine having to wait hours and hours in a public charging station because everyone else who owns a Tesla or other EV will be waiting in line because they lost power. Either that or they traveled too far and need a recharge. A minimum  of 30 minutes for an EV or a 5 minute refueling time for gasoline those who drive gas will not generally be affected by power loss, unless the gas station you went to doesnt have a backup generator… it’s best to ask.

 

3. Range is limited in the cold

My friend had a Tesla with a 300 mile range. When it was 20F he woke up to a half charge with a range of 100 miles. He thought well, I only work 20 miles away it’ll be fine. It was fine driving into work but upon driving home from work he got about 5 miles before the Tesla quit on him. He got rid of it and bought a Honda. 🤣😂

The cold is bad on lithium ion batteries. They don’t like the heat and they certainly dont like the cold. Adverse temperatures is bad for any battery, this is why you need to have your gas vehicle battery checked out every year, especially at winter time they can be an issue, in very cold weather. Stop and go driving is generally harder on them but using a battery electric car on the highway, that range doesnt come back because the car is doing everything it can to generate heat, however driving 60+ mph it takes longer for it to heat up so that heat is often wasted by that cold wind.

Gas cars are not impervious to cold weather either but well maintained gas vehicles will operate better in cold climates. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are the best in cold weather. Another reason why we need more of these vehicles.

 

4. The electric grid won’t handle a BEV takeover

You know I read in the Chicago Tribune that best charging times will be after 2:00A.M. I leave for work by 3:30A.M. there is no way it’ll finish charging by the time I have to leave for work. Even then this is another inconvenience, you gotta charge on their rules, not when it’s convenient for you. Not everyone has the same routines and here again, the recharge time and power reliability. You can gas up your vehicle any time you need to but charging is different. Sure you can charge anytime you want, but you won’t get the best rates. And when this happens rates for electricity will still go up when too many are plugging in. We bought energy efficient appliances because we wanted to save money on electricity but not only that its because the grid is taxed by energy draining devices.

 

5. Lithium ion materials are not easy to get

Even with all these BEVs coming out, there is a lithium ion supply shortage. We dont have a reliable supply, like gas it’s a finite resource. And when resources become scarce the prices go up. If you need a replacement battery and you sold your gas clunker for a shiny EV but the battery died, well who’s to say they’ll have a replacement on standby for you. If all their loaner vehicles are in use, you may be stuck paying for a $35 daily rental for however long. Could be a week or it could be months. In reality, you’re better off sticking to a gas vehicle. You may need a replacement engine or transmission which isnt that common, at least they have the parts needed to get you back on the road as quickly as possible. May take a few days to a week but that’s nothing compared to how long people had to wait for a replacement Tesla part.

 

6. How long will that battery last? The cost of owning a BEV

I don’t know. Often times they’ll say it’ll get 300k easy but when gas vehicles get that much and more you want to think more in terms of, how many years will the batteries last. Currently you can get 30+ years out of a Honda or Toyota.. basically any well built vehicle will last you if you keep up on the preventative maintenance. Regular oil and other fluid changes are needed for your vehicle’s survival. Fresh fluids equals a happy vehicle that will take care of your transportation needs but also regular checkups and taking it easy on the gas when you dont really need all that horsepower going. Leave it for the highway ramps.

Anyways the only real ways to treat a battery right on these EVs is charge it only to 80% and leave 30% left. Not exactly leaving you with much range there, along with the cold you’re just not going anywhere fast. Ideally you want a garage but if you park on the street or in an apartment complex that just isnt possible. The same with being at work, you have to leave the vehicle outside. Adverse weather will degrade the batteries. I can’t even keep all my cars in a garage. Let alone they are parked outside at work for 10 hours. BEVs just wouldn’t work.

But at the most I’ve seen a battery last is 10 years. But most of them last 3-7 years depending on various reasons I wont get into but somehow EVs could top all those batteries? The cost alone wouldn’t be worth it seeing as it would take in my case, 10 years before seeing savings from driving a BEV.

Even if the batteries were to die in 12 years or so, it’s still not worth it. Batteries are another environmental concern and the fact that eventually we will have to dispose of them. Regardless if there was a 2nd application for them. What happens when they are no longer usable?

I dont know either but the oldest BEV battery I know of is at least 8 years old. It’s only a matter of time before we find out the cutoff point and I’m not willing to risk a battery dying 8 years down the road and your warranty has expired. Non Tesla batteries are more prone to failure but eventually even Tesla batteries will drop like an anchor. Right now its the tipping point for these batteries. Will they last longer than 10 years or will they all start to die out after the warranty has ended. This will definitely create major problems for anyone who owns a BEV.

By the time these batteries start to fizzle out, hydrogen should be around the corner. There are hybrids as well but the batteries don’t really last in those vehicles and it’s a gamble whether the vehicle will function adequately when the battery no longer holds a charge. In my opinion buy a Honda or Toyota if you want to spend the least amount of money. Those vehicles last forever and get pretty good gas mileage. Wait for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and ignore the BEV evangelists. They really are not helping and neither is the government that is trying very hard to get people to buy an expensive piece of battery powered machinery with no telling how long they’ll last. They very well could end up being a financial nightmare for the owners if that battery one day will just quit. And that will happen eventually.

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C9000 Eneloop

What’s this a new topic? Yes i’ve been talking about the same topic on this site for quite awhile and i kinda pushed all my other hobby topics out of the way but i had to talk about batteries and chargers. Not only that there has been an outbreak of lithium ion (Li-Ion) batteries exploding, alkaline batteries leaking and so forth so this topic of the day i’m talking about my preferred type and brand of batteries and chargers! This post will be updated to include more information.

The picture above here is a Maha/PowerEx C9000 charger which you won’t find at Walmart! In fact recently i walked into a Walmart store and basically there was hardly any rechargeables at all. Most of them were alkalines or lithiums! Anyway, hopefully that will change to the point where you can find these at any store. First there’s some videos to watch to get familiar with the chargers.


Confused or overwhelmed with information? Well if using a smart analyzer charger such as the C9000 is too many buttons there are other options but for now i’m going to talk about the more advanced stuff. You might think why i would spend so much time on this, well in reality i don’t. Usually i just pop the cells in the charger or when the batteries start acting up i refresh them, which keeps the battery active as storing the cells will weaken them. This kind of goes with the topic what do you need a flashlight for since i have around 10 of them! What else, to see in the dark. I also like camping so there’s no lights or light switches just whatever you have on you. I’m going to get a little bit why it’s about time to get rid of alkalines for rechargeables and how nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries really should replace the alkaline battery.

I have had numerous occasions of alkaline batteries leaking in devices such as remotes, flashlights, even a Gameboy or two. Maglites are horrendous, especially the D cell format where those batteries can swell up and get stuck in the flashlight where you need to drill out the battery or find a way to hammer them out in which in the modern LED lights, the LED and switch housing only goes one way which is the same way as the batteries get removed. There’s some tricks other than the drill method but that’s the only method i am aware of and if you are keeping a Maglite as an emergency whether in the house or a car, i wouldn’t store alkalines in there, even if they don’t swell up or leak that moment when you need to use it and the cells just killed your flashlight. More annoyingly the leakage is a pain to clean up and at that point you might as well spend more money to save a bit of time and effort. I have actually used NiMh cells since they were out when only the cheap timer or voltage chargers which only charges in pairs were offered and even then i didn’t buy a whole bunch because it didn’t take long for my Ni-Cad AA cells to die out and that was mostly due to the fact the charger itself died!

But several years later and a different kind of battery came out so i tried those. Again, the charger died. Bought another and then the charger was apparently working but some kind of malfunction occurred where something was wrong with the cells or the cells didn’t last very long. At that point i gave up and went back to alkalines, that was at least until Duracell and Energizer came out with NiMH cells and chargers which i got in 2005. Both chargers still work! The Energizer cells stop working but the Duracells are still moving along even in this LED string light. Some of the cells have gotten too weak though and won’t survive the night which again is nice and brighter than a nightlight. 11 year old cells that has actually been a bit overcharged a bit overdischarged (a couple of cells actually reverse charged which can damage the battery) but it’s proven to me that these cells can work for many years provided i use them in the lower drain devices.

So why are we not using this? Well i have noticed from my first hand experience that rechargeables don’t always work the way we intended and i have learned a few things along the way. First experience may not be the best especially when there are defects either in the charger or the battery. The set of Energizers i had bought in 2005 were discharging faster then the Duracells and the AAA Energizers i bought later in 2006-2007. Even though the chargers still work and i infact use them still on the older batteries they are not the best. They only charge in pairs, only go by voltage or by timer. A realistic charger can charge anywhere from 1-4 batteries for those odd, 1 or 3 cell devices, but even then you want to charge each cell individually since not every cell comes out exactly the same at the factory and may need to charge longer or less. Not only that smart chargers can detect when the cell is full and uses temps as a guide too to stop the charging process.

A couple of interesting features that the C9000 charger has is that you can refresh the cell, cycle the cell, discharge/recharge and break in. Break-in is a bit of an odd feature it purposely overcharges the cell at a low enough rate it won’t actually harm the battery. Sometimes, smart chargers will detect that the battery is full even though the battery was dead 5 minutes ago and you are using a 5 hour charge! So the battery is still dead. Sometimes the battery is really bad but other times the cell has been sitting dormant for too long and that’s where the dumb timer chargers generally come in which can also overcharge the cell. But using the break-in mode on cells that don’t quite get a full charge because the charger terminated the charge before the end of charge. The C9000 has another nice little feature but it greatly depends on how you use them. The charger will terminate or reduce charging current (that’s the amount of charge going into the battery at once) whenever the cell reaches 1.47v. So if you are charging a battery at 2 amps (not recommended unless a C or D cell) it will terminate the cell earlier. Don’t know the exact capacity the cell is at but if you charge a cell at 1 amp it will terminate around 80-90% and top off the cell at 100mA for 2 hours then trickle charges at 10mA. Traditional high self discharge cells benefit from this but also low self discharge batteries such as Eneloops can benefit as well since at 500mA charging rate Eneloops can charge up to 1.52v which is full capacity. The higher the current rate the higher the voltage will be.

 

Eneloops, Fujitsu, Amazon Basics, Ikea Ladda, Duracell and Energizers are the best. Make sure to get the Japan made cells. China made cells are generally lower quality and even though i have Japan cells that don’t work as good as China, Japan Eneloops work the best. Also the video is outdated, Eneloops now carry a 70% charge after 10 years. It’s hard to say how long a healthy, proper use Eneloop would last, they say 2100 cycles but a few tests say that the cycle usage may be shorter or that standard 2100 cycle Eneloops are used in moderate to low drain devices and only discharged to about 40% and charged up to 80%. Not many chargers will terminate charge at 80% if much of any other than the Skyrc MC3000

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01D1GHZNO

Which is more advanced than the C9000. Haven’t tried this charger but it’s on my to buy list. The other brand cell battery types such as the Energizer and Duracell may be Eneloop knock offs but they do really well. Take note that generally the higher the capacity of the cell, the less recharges you have. But have greater capacity. NiMH technology has improved so the low self discharge cells are pretty good compared to alkalines but the interesting factor is that you actually can get more run time in higher drain devices with high capacity cells such as Energizer, Duracell and Eneloop Pro. Eneloop Pro has up to 2550mAh capacity. It’s lower than an alkaline capacity but alkalines has such high internal resistance that the voltage sags. Most of the time in higher drain devices such as a flashlight, alkalines still have 30% capacity in reserve but can only be used in low drain devices. Modern flashlights like Maglite or LEDLenser can probably use 80 or 90% of alkalines but the brightness is pretty dim but not unusable. So when you get to 40-50% left in an alkaline, an Eneloop Pro will keep the flashlight shining bright.

Eneloop claims to have their cells precharged but some people are confused to as why they are not getting much of any activity from their device or they have low battery. While Eneloops are pre charged and you can use them right out of the package and it can depend on dates, whether you bought counterfeit cells, they are defective or maybe your device doesn’t work well with NiMh cells in which case the device requires the higher voltage of alkalines and won’t work well with NiMh cells. I have found this to be rare and all of my stuff works just fine with NiMH batteries. Possibly because most newer devices will run on NiMH cells. So which capacity should you get? In most cases the standard 2100 cycle white Eneloops (or another brand) is just fine even with high drain devices because 1900mAh is suitable enough for most. In some cases the Eneloop Pro (or other brand) is ideal but only for those devices that will eat up batteries. Digital cameras, high powered flashlights are best with the Eneloop Pro, you can still use the regular Eneloops with those devices if you wish. While it wouldn’t be practical and i wouldn’t recommend it is if you were to use Eneloop Pro in wall clocks, PC mice/keyboards, transmitters/remotes.. things like that. You would think though that the batteries would last longer in those devices but could you really spend the extra money on cells that you are not really going to notice recharging from 1-2 years to 3 years. It’s actually hard to say how long the Eneloop Pro lasts on a single charge because they only advertise that they hold 80% after a year. Nothing about 2-5 years so really i’d only buy them if you plan on using them. 500 cycles is pretty much standard on higher capacity cells and that’s pretty much the same as lithium ion cells. I have noticed another thing with the Eneloop Pro, if you drain the cell you will be eating up more cycles and there’s not much for recovery.

A standard Eneloop can be drained to 0.4v and hold that voltage no matter what you throw at it and can recover to 1.2v like that while the Eneloop Pro will hang around 1-1.1v. Then again i used these Eneloops in a more powerful flashlight and they are the AAA version. So i don’t really have much to compare it with. Just keep in mind though 1.23v (25%) is more ideal for a resting voltage when to recharge for extended life. I prefer 1.26v (50%) but at the risk of saying this is the reason why it’s almost completely unnecessary to buy the Eneloop Pro if you are not going to use the extended run time you still get more use in between recharges. Not to mention if you are in the need to use that extra run time you got it. So really having a set of Eneloop Pro may be the best thing but keep a minimum stock that you actually use. I tend to cycle through some of my cells especially the higher capacity and the few high self discharge (standard) cells that i have. Since my LEDLenser  T7 takes quite a bit of power, Eneloop Pro does really well. So i have 2 sets of cells for it (8 pack) and a 3rd set of Radioshack 850mAh cells. I use one set of Eneloop Pro more than the other but at least once every 3 months i use the other one. I need a secondary LEDLenser which will be a P7.2.

So with that there are some types of batteries that get iffy, Such as Sunlabz, Rayovac, EBL, Tenergy. The Sunlabz and Tenergy i have had good luck with in the D and 9V format. D cells can be expensive, the proper NiMH D cells, not the ones with the AA cells inside which some manufactures have been doing because as i said, actual D cells can be expensive. Just a 2 pack of Sunlabz can be $16. When you compare that to the massive capacity of a D cell, 10,000mAh it’s almost worth it. Provided you got a charger that works and whether the cell is in good condition. Some reviews are not good that claim the batteries do not work as intended and so far i only have seen a few chargers that use D cells. A really good one is the Maha C808M,

http://www.amazon.com/Maha-MH-C808M-Ultimate-Professional-Batteries/dp/B000E65DG6

Which again can get pretty expensive. It’s hard to say whether the cells are really any good and besides that Sunlabz D cells are not true LSD but doesn’t mean they are really bad either. Regular high self discharge NiMH batteries require regular use and an occasional full discharge or break-in with the C9000. Tenergy has some LSD D cells but they are slightly lower capacity than the Sunlabz cells. This is when D alkalines are more likely to survive and be needed, but again when they leak they leak bad and they can swell up so if you can’t justify paying upwards of $130 for a good charger and a set of cells you will be in trouble if you leave the alkalines in the device. So that would be the tradeoff. There are also AA > D adapters but you get reduced runtime, even with 3AA Eneloop Pro that would be at 7650mAh which isn’t too bad compared to 10,000mAh so it may not be noticeable but you would need 9AA batteries if you got a Maglite 3D.  You would need a 10+ battery charger and i don’t know any i could recommend. Even then i am using adapters on my C9000 that allows me to charge D cells but it’s sort of clunky to use all the time. Great if i need to check out the status of the cells but other than that i’d need the C808M charger.
I will soon add links and more to this later on, no time frame as of yet but i wanted to put this out there and hopefully will encourage people to get more into rechargeables. There’s quite a bit of alkalines on the shelves and while it’s not just the environment/resources the price point of buying NiMh cells provided that they are well taken care of and work to begin with, could save plenty of money as well as having to clean up alkaline messes. Some people do still prefer alkalines over NiMh and i have found you could recharge alkalines but there is a risk of them leaking. I have been experimenting only putting them on my La Crosse BC1000 charger at 200mAh for 5 minutes. That seems to work fine provided they were used in a low drain device. I don’t have enough AAA’s so in a pinch i recharged some alkalines i had handy but they didn’t have any charge left in them. It works but got to be careful and i don’t store them in the device so there’s no harm in if they leak. it’s not recommended to recharge them though there are youtube videos of people recharging them like regular rechargeables. If they were charging them for 3-6 hours, the risk of them leaking increases. They say it’s cheaper than buying rechargeables but i’d say they just don’t want to spend the money to getting a proper recharging setup.

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