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Posted · Original PosterOP

I know that its been said before in an episode that LTT doesn't review power banks, because realistically a battery is a battery one way or another, and I certainly agree! From one to another battery banks are largely the same sorta thing with a little change in how much juice they actually have and how much they cost. However I also know that LTT loves to go overboard! I thought to myself just on a whim after I had visited the power tools section of my friendly neighbourhood hardware store picking up a cordless jigsaw and the enormous battery it comes with that 'this battery is bigger than the one in my old gaming laptop'. I'm sure wherever you are in the world you've seen these newfangled 'universal cordless tool systems' of which dozens of different tools in a range are designed to fit the same battery shape.

The range which I bought from is the Ryobi One+ system http://www.ryobi.com.au/power-tools/products/list/family/one-plus which is an Australian exclusive brand but DeWALT RX18V series is basically the same thing. Batteries in the 18V One+ range begin at a meagre 1.3Ah and scale all the way up to a massive 5.0Ah capacity! Like many similar cordless power tool systems they also have a large number of modules that have more 'utility' purposes like radios, torches, pumps. shop lights and fans. What really prompted me to think about this is a USB charge adapter module for the One+ system which allows you to charge USB devices from the enormous power tool battery pack, effectively turning those huge power tool batteries into power banks for your phone or tablet!
http://www.ryobi.com.au/products/details/18v-one-usb-power-adapter

I try to make my idea a little more interesting with a bit of story time because there isn't really any underlying point to my thoughts here. I'm not even sure anyone here would care about the prospect of giant power banks but everyone I've spoken to about it thinks its an epic idea! Who would need such a massive power bank? The idea in my head just seemed 'LTT silly'. Has this idea crossed someone elces mind? Maybe someone out there actually might need a huge power bank. The website says 6 full phone charges with a 5Ah cell. I'm not even sure that's true, that seems like a whole lot of zap! You could power plenty of stuff with just a couple of these. 

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These battery packs use plain 18650 (or similar size) batteries in various combinations to achieve the advertised voltage and current rating. It's just that they're batteries "optimized" for constant high discharge, instead of lower current / longer discharge time/ slower voltage drop like you would have on laptops...

 

For example, they take 2 batteries rated for 2600-2800mAh and connect them in parallel, and you have a 3.7v...4.2v battery rated for 5000-5200mAh (5Ah)

Then they take 4 or 5 of these pairs of batteries  and connect these pairs in series, and you have  3.7v...4.2v  x 5 = 18.5v ... 21v 

 

So in total you have 10 such batteries.

 

You can charge such packs with a simple charger that has cell balancing ... for example a charger like this one would charge packs with up to 6 batteries (or groups of batteries) in series: https://hobbyking.com/en_us/imax-b6-50w-5a-charger-discharger-1-6-cells-genuine.html

 

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you'd need to step the voltage down for it to be usable with devices that accept 12V or 5V

 

also assuming things work this simply (pretty sure I'm 70% wrong) going by the 18V 5Ah battery that translates to 90Wh, a 5V device would give an 18Ah capacity. there are 20Ah USB batteries out there, so...

 

as a bodging project, a lot of precautions are required, because lithium batteries are dangerous (e.g. chemical fire) when mishandled (e.g. accidental puncturing or shorting, discharging too fast, charging too fast, charging too much). house fires do happen in my area because their pleb e-scooters were left to charge overnight and it basically started a fire because nothing was stopping the battery from charging after it's full.

 

(dammit i've typed this far. might as well post this)

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2 hours ago, VegetableStu said:

house fires do happen in my area because their pleb e-scooters were left to charge overnight and it basically started a fire because nothing was stopping the battery from charging after it's full.

 

Unless one has a multimeter to check on a (very) regular basis, using unprotected lithium cells (RC batteries tend to be unprotected) with a charger that apparently lacks any form of voltage cutoff (nor any other forms of safety features or balance charging for that matter) is a very horrible idea.


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4 hours ago, Xander Fletcher said:

I know that its been said before in an episode that LTT doesn't review power banks, because realistically a battery is a battery one way or another, and I certainly agree! From one to another battery banks are largely the same sorta thing with a little change in how much juice they actually have and how much they cost. However I also know that LTT loves to go overboard! I thought to myself just on a whim after I had visited the power tools section of my friendly neighbourhood hardware store picking up a cordless jigsaw and the enormous battery it comes with that 'this battery is bigger than the one in my old gaming laptop'. I'm sure wherever you are in the world you've seen these newfangled 'universal cordless tool systems' of which dozens of different tools in a range are designed to fit the same battery shape.

The range which I bought from is the Ryobi One+ system http://www.ryobi.com.au/power-tools/products/list/family/one-plus which is an Australian exclusive brand but DeWALT RX18V series is basically the same thing. Batteries in the 18V One+ range begin at a meagre 1.3Ah and scale all the way up to a massive 5.0Ah capacity! Like many similar cordless power tool systems they also have a large number of modules that have more 'utility' purposes like radios, torches, pumps. shop lights and fans. What really prompted me to think about this is a USB charge adapter module for the One+ system which allows you to charge USB devices from the enormous power tool battery pack, effectively turning those huge power tool batteries into power banks for your phone or tablet!
http://www.ryobi.com.au/products/details/18v-one-usb-power-adapter

I try to make my idea a little more interesting with a bit of story time because there isn't really any underlying point to my thoughts here. I'm not even sure anyone here would care about the prospect of giant power banks but everyone I've spoken to about it thinks its an epic idea! Who would need such a massive power bank? The idea in my head just seemed 'LTT silly'. Has this idea crossed someone elces mind? Maybe someone out there actually might need a huge power bank. The website says 6 full phone charges with a 5Ah cell. I'm not even sure that's true, that seems like a whole lot of zap! You could power plenty of stuff with just a couple of these. 

I actually cannibalized a large electric leaf blower battery and put the cells in one of these (not the exact one, I got mine for less than 4 dollars), and now whenever I need to charge my phone I either install a bunch of the old 18650s or any lithium-ion I have laying around and it works fine. 

 


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7 hours ago, Xander Fletcher said:

The range which I bought from is the Ryobi One+ system http://www.ryobi.com.au/power-tools/products/list/family/one-plus which is an Australian exclusive brand

It's not an Australian exclusive brand. I own a shit ton of various Ryobi One+ tools and I live literally on the other side of the planet. :P 

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Lithium batteries need special care when charging and discharging so that they don't explode — your circuitry must take care of that. Also, assuming you want to power USB devices from your power bank... You need 5V, so you need to have circuitry to take care of that, too. And you want to make sure your power bank isn't accidentally supplying more than 5V to your devices, as it would likely damage whatever you want to plug into it. You also want to make sure there is short circuit protection, as drawing too much current will cause overheating and... you guessed it, an explosion. There are other safety features that modern power banks have, such as adapting their power draw when charging to the USB port's current limit. It's nice to be able to draw 2A when charging as it's quicker, but you also don't want to fry your laptop if it can only supply 500mA. So there has to be a secret handshake between devices that happens over the USB protocol — probably not that simple to implement either.

 

I'd rather just buy a branded power bank than experiment with this. Unless you actually want to have fun with it and learn about how this works, and you have time and money to play around with it. But if you just want a power bank to use, it's probably wiser to just buy one.

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a portable AC battery is more interesting actually, when you have to deal with DC/AC inverters for high voltages and high current devices for a good few hours

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I think the idea would be more novel if there's a big battery with a standard accessory interface that I can just plug it into whatever accessories I want. Just like those power tool batteries where the same battery pack can power a grinder, drill, light etc.

 

Let's say the same battery pack can be plugged into:

1. USB charger for phones or laptop charging

2. AC inverter to plug in AC devices

3. Car jump start thingy for emergency jump starting cars with dead batteries

4. Electric bikes

5. Torches

6. Laptop

 

Because I see that we are carrying alot of batteries around which are "selfish" and do not share power. Say if your phone battery died and you happen to have a laptop around, you can't "transfer" your laptop batteries to charge your phone (well you can, but you have to turn on your laptop which waste power). Or say if your car died but you have your typical power bank which technically has enough charge to jump start your car (it is doable) but you just can't access that power.

 

Just my 2c. Standardized accessories for "power banks".

 


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I have an usb adapter for my milwaukee m18 fuel red lithium batteries that I have for my cordless power tools. I have 3 9ah 18v nominal batteries that I can use for a battery bank. At nominal voltage I have 162wh of power per battery. (So it's much higher than that as that is at nominal voltage not at full charge). Compared to my anker battery bank at 5v 20ah which comes out to 100wh at full charge.

 

I also have more m18 fuel batteries that came with some of the tools so I could a very massive battery bank. Probably enough to run my desktop at full load for an hour or two.


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On 17/06/2018 at 12:59 AM, Xander Fletcher said:

I know that its been said before in an episode that LTT doesn't review power banks, because realistically a battery is a battery one way or another, and I certainly agree! From one to another battery banks are largely the same sorta thing with a little change in how much juice they actually have and how much they cost. However I also know that LTT loves to go overboard! I thought to myself just on a whim after I had visited the power tools section of my friendly neighbourhood hardware store picking up a cordless jigsaw and the enormous battery it comes with that 'this battery is bigger than the one in my old gaming laptop'. I'm sure wherever you are in the world you've seen these newfangled 'universal cordless tool systems' of which dozens of different tools in a range are designed to fit the same battery shape.

The range which I bought from is the Ryobi One+ system http://www.ryobi.com.au/power-tools/products/list/family/one-plus which is an Australian exclusive brand but DeWALT RX18V series is basically the same thing. Batteries in the 18V One+ range begin at a meagre 1.3Ah and scale all the way up to a massive 5.0Ah capacity! Like many similar cordless power tool systems they also have a large number of modules that have more 'utility' purposes like radios, torches, pumps. shop lights and fans. What really prompted me to think about this is a USB charge adapter module for the One+ system which allows you to charge USB devices from the enormous power tool battery pack, effectively turning those huge power tool batteries into power banks for your phone or tablet!
http://www.ryobi.com.au/products/details/18v-one-usb-power-adapter

I try to make my idea a little more interesting with a bit of story time because there isn't really any underlying point to my thoughts here. I'm not even sure anyone here would care about the prospect of giant power banks but everyone I've spoken to about it thinks its an epic idea! Who would need such a massive power bank? The idea in my head just seemed 'LTT silly'. Has this idea crossed someone elces mind? Maybe someone out there actually might need a huge power bank. The website says 6 full phone charges with a 5Ah cell. I'm not even sure that's true, that seems like a whole lot of zap! You could power plenty of stuff with just a couple of these. 

Lol, Ryobi is a Japanese brand dude, they just have done a deal to be only sold through Bunnings in Australia.

 

On 17/06/2018 at 8:19 AM, Cheezdoodlez said:

It's not an Australian exclusive brand. I own a shit ton of various Ryobi One+ tools and I live literally on the other side of the planet. :P 

I think OP is a bit confused since they are exclusive to our hardware chain Bunnings here in Australia, no one else here sells them.


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Theres already a lot of cool USB Battery Banks with Either a Regular Wall Outlets to charge anything to more specific like high wattage USB C for things like Laptops and Switch to even the non universal type laptop chargers.  and come in Crazy big sizes that would all work better. 

 

120,000 Mah Battery that can power a shit ton of stuff. 

https://www.amazon.com/Anker-PowerHouse-120000mAh-Alternative-Rechargeable/dp/B0196GQAKM

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