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Old May 09, 2003, 04:24 PM
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Advanced Lithium Battery (ALB) by Toshiba

A link from another thread led to a flight report from Czechoslovakia that included the following statement:

Our recent discovery is the ALB (advanced lithium battery) from Toshiba - using in a battery of 2 paralelly wired units of 2 cells (LAB 423456, 720 mAh each). So the battery is 1440 mAh, 7,2 V, made by 4 cells. Too bad I couldn't get the 1000 mAh ALB batteries. The ALB, compared to ordinary Li-Poly, are supposed to provide higher currents and to be swell-proof. After more testing, we will see. They look quite good so far, though.

http://www.rcmania.cz/2003/visik.htm

So I did a search and found a Toshiba press release from way back in 2001 announcing ALB, complete with cell specs and the following interesting comments about the robustness of these cells:

Toshiba's ALB technology decreases battery swelling to less than 0.1mm under even the most extreme conditions and provides safety advantages over standard Li-ion as well as PLBs including safe charging and discharging. The reduction in swelling enables designers to design-in a slimmer, more compact battery. Toshiba's ALBs meet over-charge safety testing up to 12V under 3CmA rate, and oven testing up to 170 degrees Celsius at 4.4 volt (V) charge. Toshiba's ALBs have a high volumetric energy density of greater than 366 watt hour per liter (Wh/L) and a gravimetric energy greater than 172 watt hour per kilogram Wh/Kg. The operating temperature of the ALB ranges from -20 degrees to 60 degrees Celsius, with temperature storage up to 90 degrees Celsius. ALB cells also maintain up to 40 percent of their initial capacity at -20 degrees Celsius.

http://www.toshiba.com/taec/press/to-129.shtml

Does anyone know anything more about Toshiba ALB cells?
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Old May 09, 2003, 05:48 PM
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I did a lycos search and these batteries are used in e740 Toshiba PDAs. They are the high capacity batterys and cost about $110.


From an internet site...

To meet the growing demand for smaller, lighter and high capacity rechargeable battery solutions, Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. has added Advanced Lithium Batteries (ALB) to its line-up of rechargeable batteries. Traditionally conventional battery structure has mandated that batteries maintain a thickness of no less than 5 to 6 mm. Combining the flexibility of Lithium polymer technology (PLB) with the high energy density of traditional Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, Toshiba's ALBs reduces the cell thickness to as low as 1 mm. In addition, Toshiba's ALB technology decreases battery swelling to less than 0.1 mm under even the most extreme conditions and provides safety advantages over standard Li-ion as well as PLBs including safe charging and discharging. The reduction in swelling enables designers to design-in a slimmer, more compact battery.

The ruggedness and flexibility of the ALB's aluminum laminated film casing make it one of the most advanced battery solutions currently available. With the laminated film enclosures, sophisticated wound electrode structures and specially designed electrolytes, the ALB increases safety while meeting the market demand for smaller, lighter solutions. In addition, ALBs do not use metallic lithium, allowing for extremely safe charging and discharging even under the most extreme conditions.

The operating temperature of the ALB ranges from -20C to 60C, with temperature storage up to 90C. ALB cells also maintain up to 40 percent of their initial capacity at -20C.

The thin profile and high discharge rate capability of Toshiba's ALBs make them well suited for cellular phones, global positioning systems (GPS), personal digital assistants (PDA), subppt_notebooks, scanners, two-way pagers, wearable computers and all small portable applications. The ALB technology provides excellent cycle life performance, maintaining 80 percent of initial capacity after 500 cycles, enabling OEMs to provide their customers with a longer-lasting battery solution. In addition, Toshiba's ALBs do not accumulate memory, providing a full charge every time.
Toshiba's family of 3.7 V ALBs complements its existing line of Li-ion batteries, which are also currently in high-volume production, providing designers with more flexibility in developing their unique portable applications.
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Old May 09, 2003, 05:52 PM
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Oh yea, from the same website...

Pricing ranges from $5 to $7 in volume quantities
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Old May 14, 2003, 08:26 AM
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Ok, I am the author of the flight report. I have bought some E-Techs recently (1200 and 700) and stopped using the ALB pack (E-tech 1200 2s is marginally lighter than ALB 720 2s2p). The battery is Lipoly, looking very much like say the 700 E-tech cells, even the weight and dimensions are roughly the same). In the plane, the pack felt good - for hovering, it must have delivered over 6A for prolonged periods of time. Unfortunately I do not have the equipment nor patience to do more scientific measurements. It would be nice, though, if somebody could do it - it might be well worth testing - the cells might be very good, only maybe the RC community is not interesting/large enough to bother Toshiba.


David
RC Mania website
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Old May 14, 2003, 10:21 AM
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Thanks for the update, David. The fact that you are now using E-Tec cells in place of the ARB cells suggests that the ALBs are not so great that you could notice much difference in performance from the E-Tecs. Still, it would be nice if someone who had some ALBs could run some comparison tests on them.
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Old May 14, 2003, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
battery is Lipoly, looking very much like say the 700 E-tech cells, even the weight and dimensions are roughly the same
Interesting. No doubt the "Etec" cells are also used in some industrial application(s) to justify their existance. Anyone know where? And I recall some past Li-Poly discussion implying that the Etecs were of "different" construction to regular / Kokam Li-Poly's...

David K - do you reckon they are the same cells?
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Old May 15, 2003, 03:01 AM
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isvana: the same as what? They look very much like any other lipoly: silver plastic bag etc...

Dave: I believe that I did not push the ALB pack to the limit (pre-Etech lipoly packs I have always left to rest after max. 5 minutes of flight and I did not discharge them lower than some 3,3 V per cell - I noticed that the cells got really warm only at the end of the discharge - all "normal" lipolys worked well for me except for one 1400 pack that mildly swelled after being used in the Hornet heli - the pack still works but does not deliver the current to keep the Hornet flying for long). Maybe I will do some more flight tests, I have a heavier plane with the PJS 550, 11x4,7 GWS, 320 grammes - the setup is quite tough on the batteries. The E-techs are doing very well in this application, after a prolonged flight they are lukewarm or warm (did not measure the temp, but still comfortable to touch), depending on the style of flying and the outside temp. I guess I will give the ALBs a second chance... to test what they can withstand.
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Old May 15, 2003, 04:25 AM
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Reading the Toshiba press release it says the 'ALB' cells are wound electrode construction.

From what I've picked up the ETechs are wound construction also.

Kokam cells use stacked construction, which doesn't seem to perform as well with high discharge rates.

Jimmy
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Old May 15, 2003, 07:16 AM
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David, your further testing of the ALB cells will be greatly appreciated.

I think what isvana may be suggesting is that E-Tec cells could possibly be Toshiba-made ALB cells branded with the E-Tec name. Since there are only a few companies that actually produce cells, identical cells often appear under different brand names. There have been many discussions here about who actually produces different brands of NiCd and NiMH cells, but very little discussion about which companies actually produce the different brands of LiPo cells.

Since the E-Tec cells have proven themselves in e-flight use to be great performers, knowing which company actually produces the cells would be useful in determining if there are other sources for the same cells. So if the E-Tec cells should happen to be identical to Toshiba ALB cells, then ALB cells will be popular for e-flight no matter how they are branded. Comparing exact dimensions and weight, checking for visible clues and measuring performance will help to determine that.
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Old May 15, 2003, 07:34 AM
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I see. I will take a close look at them, measure the dimensions, weigh them if possible - when I have the time to do it.
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Old May 15, 2003, 10:50 AM
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Dave H - thanks for making my question clearer! I'll try and be less obtuse in future!

David K - we look forward to your observations - thanks in advance.

I did a quick search and found Toshiba PDA batteries here but at $49 per cell they are not a good alternative to ETec's (from here anyway)!!!

It seems there are a few other manufacturers packaging Li-Poly cells these days - I saw some Sony cells flying last weekend. Interesting stuff!
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Old May 17, 2003, 02:48 AM
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Here is an EET article about a Toshiba high discharge (6C) cylindrical lithium battery: http://www.eetimes.com/story/OEG20020912S0065
Not sure if this is what is being referenced on their web site: http://www.toshiba.com/taec/cgi-bin/...ategoryID=248. I don't know where you can buy them or if they are even that big an advancement. What do you think?
Howard
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Old May 17, 2003, 09:24 AM
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Hmm, an 18650-type Li-ion (not LiPo) cell capable of 6C current draws. The cells pictured in the Sanyo website datasheet are clearly labeled ABT, and branded as LIB cells. The given weights are more in line with the older, surplus Li-ion cell phone cells many of us have been using, and heavier than the latest LiPos.

I'm not sure why development is still going on with Li-ion cells when LiPos appear to be superior in performance-to-weight, which is what is important to those of us who use them for e-flight.

http://www.toshiba.com/taec/componen...BT31930297.pdf
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Old May 17, 2003, 03:43 PM
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hey where can I get these E-tech li-polies? I havent come across these. thanks
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Old May 17, 2003, 03:53 PM
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http://www.aircraft-world.com
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