USB Charging Accessory Idea

  • 10
  • Idea
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Under Consideration
  • (Edited)
Merged

This conversation has been merged. Please reference the main conversation: Use battery to recharge phone?

I see in older threads it is "under consideration". I live along the Gulf Coast and have been weeks without power after hurricanes. It makes me sick to my stomach to think I have EGO batteries and no way to use them for emergency USB charging.  I've seen some DIY solutions, and will try that route if I have to. Otherwise, I'm loving the EGO equipment.  Thanks.
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Dave

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Posted 3 years ago

  • 10
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SCDC, Champion

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Amen brother. We are all hoping.
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Dominic49

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I step the battery voltage down to 12v, a bit more useful than just an USB port as any sort of car accessory works with it.
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Adrian Ramirez

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Yeah, this is what I used for my 12V conversion. Works very well, just make sure not to discharge the battery below 42V as that's about as much as you'd want to discharge these cells. I used a spare charger and tapped into the power wires for this buck converter.


https://www.amazon.com/DROK-Waterproo...
(Edited)
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SCDC, Champion

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Honestly, the three year battery warranty goes by fast, so it's a good project for when the battery falls outside of the warranty.  Hopefully larger capacity batteries will drop in price over time.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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I believe the risk stays the same, either during or after the warranty period. If the battery is over discharged the charger may refuse to charge it, at which point you have a brick on your hands.

I guess the pain of bricking a brand new battery would be more than if the battery was 3-4 years old, but still, a dead battery is bad news. :-(
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Adrian Ramirez

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Dave, there are 4 things that can damage a li-ion battery: voltage, temperature, current and mechanical (physical) damage.

You want to be sure not to over-voltaged the cells, but since the buck converter doesn't supply current in the reverse direction (by boosting voltage in the opposite direction), you're fine there as long as you wire it correctly. For under-voltage, you will need to make sure not to discharge too far, about 42V or so. You can probably buy an under-voltage switch that can cutout automatically when you reach a certain voltage level so you don't have to monitor it with a volt meter. I just bought a meter that has an audible alarm and that's worked fine for me, I just make sure not to leave my battery unmonitored during discharge.

You want to be sure not to over-current the cells, both positive and negative current. Since the buck converter is limited to 10A, you're good there. The battery pack can handle way more than that. Also, the buck converter can't feed current in reverse, so you're good there too.

You want to be sure not to over-temperature the pack. My guess is that 10A is low enough that the temperature wouldn't get too hot, but you generally want to keep li-ion packs below 60C during discharge and 45C during charge.

Don't physically destroy the packs and you're good.
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Dave

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Ok. Thanks for the detailed explanation.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Adrian, try to be thorough next time, jeez! :-P
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Dave, we hear ya brother!  There's a formidable amount of power in these batteries that could literally be a lifesaver in a state of emergency.

As the brand matures I'm absolutely certain we'll see most if not all of these "niche" areas filled up with excellent products.  With time, maybe these large capacity battery platforms will rival the usefulness of the 18V tool market.  USB/12V power sources, radios and lighting products would DRAMATICALLY increase the usefulness and appeal of this battery system.

Even during a power outage in the winter time, many homes are heated with natural gas but can't run the furnace without power even when the gas is right there!  The 7.5Ah battery could run a small furnace like the one in our townhouse (~400W) for almost a full hour.  Over a 24 hour period that could keep the pipes from freezing.

Moonshot request: A 300W solar panel with an integrated 56V DC charger/AC converter so you can charge your Ego batteries by day and use them by night.  Certainly not something you'd see on the shelf at your local HD, but certainly something that could be ordered on line and picked up in store.
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Jennifer VandeWater, Community Manager

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Dave, this is definitely still something we are considering doing in the future.  Thanks for bringing this up again and keeping it at the forefront of our thoughts.  We promise to keep everyone posted if this is something we can bring to the market.  (A solar panel would be awesome too, Blue!)
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matt.mackinnon

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If you wanted something that would sell.  Put on some LED lights with a switch, a comfortable handle and then you have a product that is perfect for people to take camping.  try and tell a teen that they can't take their cell phone with them.  It would also fit the above idea as a great accessory for areas that get hit with extreme weather and need a portable battery device.

Now I would consider rather than putting a USB port onto the unit that it would be far more useful to have a car cigaret lighter port.  Not that you would use it to light cigarettes but the port is so common with so many devices that take they style plug it would be very utilitarian.  
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David Phillips

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It would be kind of nice to have a USB device charger that lasts a month.
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Dave

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Thanks for all the replies! I agree that 12 volts could work just as well, and LED lights would be nice touch. Solar panel charging was also in the back of my mind. With the right marketing, I think this could really be a winner for EGO. Just the thought of it helped me justify the cost of the equipment.
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RDave

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Yeah, this would be great. I'm currently working on one myself and originally stole the idea from Adrian above I think.
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RDave

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Adrian Ramirez

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They have some pretty good power FETs nowadays. If the resistance (Rds-on) of the FET is low enough then the heat will be low. I've pumped 10A continuous through a small 5mm x 5mm FET mounted onto a PCB that was only about an inch squared. With surface mount FETs, the PCB typically acts like a heat sink (assuming the layout guy put enough copper for sinking the heat).

High rate battery cells usually have an internal impedance around 20 mOhms or so while high power FETs can have resistance of 7 mOhms or so, so the cells would probably be the limiting factor assuming the layout guy does a good job of pulling the heat away from the FET. Fairchild makes some pretty good power trench FETs with really low Rds-on.
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Adrian Ramirez

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Oh and the nice thing about a 60v output is that the current is substantially reduced with high voltage.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Very true. My initial comment was regarding how the control board is completely sealed up in some sort of silicone looking goo... not good for heat shedding I wouldn't think.

Having said that, the plastics they are using for many battery cases these days are relatively good heat conductors, we have the LED lighting industry to thank for that. Plastic heat sinks are a reality these days, though not nearly as efficient as metals. If those FETs are getting that good then maybe sinking through the battery case is enough?
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Adrian Ramirez

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Yeah maybe. I've worked with conformal coating in the past that was a surprisingly good conductor of heat. It actually kept the electronics cooler than they were in open air, kinda like a heat sink. I have no idea if the stuff dewalt uses is a good thermal conductor though. And I don't even know if it's common to be that way or not. We were using some pretty specialized high temperature stuff.
(Edited)
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Blue Angel, Champion

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The same guy does a tear down of the Milwaukee 9.0 HD battery and the control board has a different type of coating applied, a hard glossy material. I can see how that could maybe spread the heat from the hotter components over a larger area. All speculation... :-)
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Sean Bodkin

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled USB charging idea.

Devise a battery adapter that will allow the battery to be used as a USB charger. It would allow people to charge their phones in an outage, such as NYC with Sandy
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DJDDay

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled New product recommendation - USB port charger!!!!.

Hello,

I own the EGO mower, as well as the blower and 13" weed wacker.  I also have a couple of 2 AH batteries, the 4 AH battery, and a soon to be owned 7.5 AH battery which I just ordered online.  A few days ago, we lost our power due to thunderstorms in the area and it dawned on me that I am sitting on massive 56 volt lithium ion batteries that are charged but useless for typical household uses - such as charging cellphones, tablets, or running small LED lights/lamps.


I'd like to recommend that Chevron/EGO explores making an accessory for the batteries that offers 2.5 to 10 watt USB ports at 1.5 - 5 amps of current on it so users can use their batteries to power small electronics - especially in the event of an emergency.  Offering customers such an accessory is sure to be a hit and will find many uses around the house or outdoors (camping, etc).  Virtually all small electronics are charged via USB these days, and there are a lot of USB LED lights and lamps that are also available.  We need to be able to tap into our EGO batteries!


Please consider this!

Thanks

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