Neato lithium ion battery revisited

News and information about the Neato XV-11 Robotic Vacuum. All discussion and troubleshooting questions go here.

Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby glnc222 » October 4th, 2016, 12:43 pm

Applying 22v to lithium packs without protection supposedly would damage them, if not causing a fire. Some cells are robust and won't catch fire. The internal reading might be checked with an external meter tap on the battery itself.
There could also be just a transient momentary high voltage when the charger terminates.
Using lithium cells without protection boards is unknown territory. No telling what could happen. No gaurantee of results.
Look at the system current as well as voltage.
Test the lithium battery type setting on NiMh batteries before using lithium cells.
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby svrl » October 5th, 2016, 3:43 am

@glnc222

Sorry, I may didn't describe correctly. System is not applying 22v to batteries. Charging voltage is 16v untill batteries are reached to 100%. Than adapter voltage become 22v in sensors tab and not applying this voltage to batteries (tested via multimeter).

Otherwise, I reassembled packs with new protection boards yesterday and tested long term performance. Results are awesome.

4x HE4 batteries near to original battery packs. XV-25 finished job with one charge (120 square meters floor that has hard carpets).

I'll share pictures of my packs ASAP.

Thanks for all of your recommends and infos.
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby glnc222 » October 5th, 2016, 12:47 pm

LG HE4 high drain cellss 2500mah data sheet https://www.imrbatteries.com/content/lg_ICR18650HE4.pdf
Not sure if safest LiNMC chemistry like Panasonic but good. 4 amp max charging rate well above Neato charger 2 amps. 2 parallel more capacity than needed (Neato will only use 2ah cleaning). But using only 4 cells would be too small. Around $6 each. Original German packs used only four cells similar size.
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby glnc222 » October 6th, 2016, 4:18 pm

While the properly working Neato system board can use the lithium battery without a separate protection board, the fire hazard in lithium warrants protection against failures in the Neato system -- especially given its dependence on software. Protection on over-discharge when running and over-voltage from improper charging. With safer forms of lithium only the batteries would be damaged, but the highest energy density types LIthium Ion can burst and catch fire -- especially with any defects in battery manufacture. Samsung in the news just the latest incident. After all, it is running unattended in a house.
The original German DIY lithium batteries did not have separate protection, and relied on the highly robust qualities of the Samsung cells. They may have also been run more attended than can be the case. Some German users switched to safer LiNMn cells lower capacity etc.
Pictures of the lithium battery in the new Xiaomi MI robot with 5200mah lithium pack shows protection boards in the packs.
NASA crush tests posted shows minimum hazard with the newer LiNMc chemistry lithium cells such as Panasonic. Used in power tool packs as well.
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby glnc222 » October 25th, 2016, 3:44 pm

After Market Lithium for Botvac (not Connected)

LithiumPowerInc in the U.s. (AnewPow in Europe) now offers a lithium replacement for the NiMh battery in Botvac, Botvac-D (not Connected supplied with Lithium). An adapter for the NiMh charger is included as in their previous XV Neato batteries. Their battery has taken about a year longer than expected.
http://www.lithiumpowerinc.com/neato-botvac.html
One member reviewing here http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=19582

[edit] Not yet listed at European AnewPow distributor.
LIthium battery distribution is now limited by air freight safety restrictions and could take more time.
Last edited by glnc222 on October 25th, 2016, 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby djos » October 25th, 2016, 4:57 pm

I've got one in my BotVac 80 now, seems to be pretty danged impressive so far.
Current Robot's:
Neato BotVac 80 w/ Li-NMC Battery , 2x XV11 w/ Li-NMC Battery
iRobot Roomba 561 w/ NiMh Battery & Aerovac Bin, Scooba 380 w/ Li-NMC Battery

Previous Robots:
iRobot Roomba 562PE w/ Aerovac Bin & Sealed-bearing CHM
Evolution Mint 4200
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby protechtrader » October 26th, 2016, 11:45 am

Hello All,

I recently got into a debate with a distribute overseas that claimed their LI-Ion pack worked in Neato XV series with no errors and without any modification to the neato. They also said they had the charge circuit built into each pack to allow them to properly charge without errors. I was skeptical, but I wanted to try his product and see for myself. Long story short his battery pack gives repeated 00002 errors and does not charge. After pulling his pack apart I found it to have a very basic Li-Ion protection circuitry.

In the end I am trying to research the proper circuit that has been proven to work using 4v Li-Ion 2s2p for each pack on the Neato XV but I am having trouble finding it. I had thought I saw working circuits here before, but after reading 40 or so pages I can not find it. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby vic7767 » October 26th, 2016, 2:31 pm

The one vendor that offers LI-NMC packs for the Neato is "Lithium Pwr.Inc" The packs are UL listed and work in all my XV model Neatos that I run in my shop. Each of the dual packs has its own power control board that monitors and controls charging, discharging and cell balancing. I use this same vendor to also power all of my iRobot Roomba and Scooba models as well.
Roomba and Neato Mods, come visit: http://www.vic7767.com/

http://www.Robot-Doc.com/
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby djos » October 26th, 2016, 3:08 pm

vic7767 wrote:The one vendor that offers LI-NMC packs for the Neato is "Lithium Pwr.Inc" The packs are UL listed and work in all my XV model Neatos that I run in my shop. Each of the dual packs has its own power control board that monitors and controls charging, discharging and cell balancing. I use this same vendor to also power all of my iRobot Roomba and Scooba models as well.


Same here, I have their lithium-nmc batteries in multiple xv11's, a BotVac and a scooba and they work perfectly.
Current Robot's:
Neato BotVac 80 w/ Li-NMC Battery , 2x XV11 w/ Li-NMC Battery
iRobot Roomba 561 w/ NiMh Battery & Aerovac Bin, Scooba 380 w/ Li-NMC Battery

Previous Robots:
iRobot Roomba 562PE w/ Aerovac Bin & Sealed-bearing CHM
Evolution Mint 4200
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby protechtrader » November 2nd, 2016, 9:57 am

Other then a few SMD resistors and capacitors the circuit on the packs I mentioned only contains 3 SMD ICs. 2 of which I can identify are 8205a Battery Protections ICs and the 3rd I can not identify as it has no markings and is a 6-pin SOP/SOIC that possibly somehow acts as a thermistor. I was hoping that I would find the circuit here that I thought I saw before to show how their is way more to it then that to properly allow charging without errors in a XV series designed for a NIMH battery. I will have to keep digging, but obviously this design could have never worked as it appears to be basic battery protection only, correct?
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby glnc222 » November 2nd, 2016, 3:08 pm

I am trying to research the proper circuit that has been proven to work using 4v Li-Ion 2s2p for each pack on the Neato XV but I am having trouble finding it.


There are many such circuits made by hobbyists, such as my posts on LiFePo4 adapters in this thread, as well as German hobbyists. Circuits without logic simulation of NiMh thermistor signals (which control NiMh charging compared to voltage only with lithium) work using a balancing circuit for multiple cells, which heat up to operate the normal thermistors. A large balancing current is needed, not always supported. This became less practical when balancing products became more efficient and cooler, but see the other thread on LiFePo4 in the Botvac where one was used.

The commercial LithiumPowerInc / AnewPow XV batteries have a proprietary adapter with fairly sophisticated logic, maybe a microcontroller (8 pin ones are very cheap now). It takes only a simple voltage comparator of the type used in power supplies to translate charging voltage into a thermistor signal at the maximum lithium point, sufficient to control the charger but refinements can be added, along with protection.

A battery supplied with only protection circuits would have to be used with the unpublished USB command SetConfig BatteryType 3 to convert the Neato charger to Vorwerk lithium, voltage regulated mode. The NiMh charger stops when temperature rises faster than 1C/min, and at higher voltage dangerous for lithium (protection circuits cutting out produce error msgs.) Only good on the newer, Rev64 Cruz system boards used several years now -- dropping the original extra side jack for charging. These have been made by hobbyists and are best done with the newest, safer chemistry LiNMC cells. Higher energy density than other safe forms LiNMN etc. some Germans used, or the longer lasting LiFePo4 density too low to fit enough cells.

Due to the critical role of quality control for safety with lithium ion cells (potential for runaway positive feedback self discharge with contaminants), brandless unknown Asian batteries are for flashlights, not electronics so much.
LithiumPower Inc has a reputation as suppliers of adapters in medical equipment and years as suppliers for Roomba products. (Even the major suppliers have problems now given Samsung's debacle, due to an over complex supply chain insufficiently managed, as well as rushed designs not fully tested and developed. IBM is pioneering more sophisticated supply network support, capable of tracing all parts back to origins, presently not available -- except in the space program.)

I don't think Samsung's problem affects the large cells needed for vacuums, as it involved trying to squeeze the size of cells for compactness in a data tablet.
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby glnc222 » February 13th, 2017, 1:31 am

LiNMC safer chemistry is shortened to NMC and is fully LiNMCO. It is called INR in battery sales. See explanation https://batterybro.com/blogs/18650-wholesale-battery-reviews/18880255-battery-chemistry-finally-explained
Also BatteryUniversity.com.

Currently found at Samsung INR18650-25R 2500mah at various dealers Ebay, Aliexpress, European, Amazon. Use eight in 4 series of 2 parallel.
Cheap protection boards direct from China http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-cell-2S-5A-Li ... 1957870994

LG also makes INR batteries.

Samsung is highly rated and used by the original German hobbyists with older, regular Lithium Ion not as good.

-- 2- series boards, one in each compartment with two pairs of two parallel cells on one board, or two boards each compartment putting two boards in parallel, each with 2-series of single cells.
Note the 5A or greater current capacity needed. Many 2S boards support only 3A boarderline for Neato loads. Higher capacity more often on 4S boards. It is possible to use 4S boards connecting only two cells, but bulky and wasteful. There are many boards made by nameless companies in China, appearing on ebay or elsewhere. Best would be at specialized battery dealer, but they all come from Asia somewhere.
(with two parallel cells the 2S boards with 3A loads should be sufficient, dividing the load across two batteries with two boards in each compartment).

The original French project at kelrobot.fr/forum used Panasonic cells I thought were LiNMC, but cannot find them now.
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby glnc222 » February 13th, 2017, 1:59 am

Samsung also has INR18650-30Q 3000mah capacity. As the original Neato XV NiMh battery was 3200mah this Samsung might work with only four cells, two cells in each compartment, and a single 2S 5A protection board in each compartment.
[edit] Neato XV uses only about 2ah running, maintaining a buffer against deep discharge, so 3000mah may support full run time.
[edit] I do not see a U.S. vendor for this cell with welded solder tab service. Since only two cells must fit in each compartment, it might be possible to use plastic cell holders with clips, installing at an angle for extra length, or other machinations. Not as good as soldering but might be worth experimenting. A German dealer akutiele has it but international air freight could be expensive or not available with lithium batteries.
Soldering lithium batteries must be done quickly with a high power iron not to over heat and cause a fire. Safer with NiMh batteries. Hausmann did it Germany with older Samsung cells but is professional. Do not use cold solder alternative materials as they have high resistance in my experience.
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby glnc222 » February 14th, 2017, 11:27 pm

Samsung Data Sheet INR18650-30Q
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0674/3651/files/samsung-18650-30Q-spec-sheet.pdf?13304021761413850609
Note typical "standard" charging rate 1/2C 1.5amps vs Neato 2 amps, but max charging rate 4 amps. Lower charging rate than discharge is one reason two parallel cells are needed with other batteries, eight in all, four each compartment.
There has been a lot of tinkering with varied chemistry details in new cells.
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby glnc222 » February 15th, 2017, 12:51 am

In the U.S. some store-brand, battery dealer 26650 (26x65mm) size 4000mah LiNiMnCo cells might serve in four series, two each compartment. Check fit beforehand. Available with tabs. High charging rate. Typical higher capacity of larger size. 2S 5A protection boards each compartment (check dealer offerings besides ebay, aliexpress).
http://www.batteryspace.com/limnni-26650-rechargeable-cell-3-7v-4000-mah-4a-rated-14-8wh---ul-listed-un38-3-passed-ndgr.aspx
Ships by ground within U.S. (since post office might use air, prohibited)
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby calypso » February 15th, 2017, 5:24 am

Slightly off topic, but is there an upgraded battery available for the D3? The included battery is tiny, but not sure if its worth buying the D5 for a bigger battery.
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby glnc222 » February 16th, 2017, 5:51 pm

Higher capacity batteries may not make it run longer. The software has to be tuned to the designed battery and code the capacity. These devices are not equipped to measure any battery installed and expect a certain type with known characteristics. The Botvac's have the latest battery management IC's which measure the charge used, Fuel Gauge processors. Replacement batteries are not likely to be supplied on new models until enough time has passed for them to be needed.
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby glnc222 » February 16th, 2017, 8:37 pm

Spot Welder for Solder Tabs Cheaper
[correction] Apparently this is only for the probe, pen, and they are still very expensive tools. There are some as low as $125 somewhere, this one is much more complete.

$65 mini battery tab spot welder (no idea how good) http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Battery-Spot-welder-Pen-719A-SUNKKO-Li-on-battery-universal-welding-pen-/272523555905?hash=item3f73ab7441:g:Tx8AAOSwARZXiKEJ
These welders are made of a large capacitor and high voltage transformer, similar to auto ignition spark plug drives, making one big spark. A number of DIY projects are on YouTube using transformers salvaged from discarded microwave ovens. Now the price of commercial ones is getting closer to the parts for DIY.

[edit] The cheapest one is about $125 delivered, and does need expensive cable probe. There are many dealers ebay and aliexpress. Outside U.S. get direct from China.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Updated-Hand-held-Spot-Welder-Welding-Machine-Laptop-Mobilephone-Battery-s/171989464010?_trksid=p2141725.c100338.m3726&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20150313114020%26meid%3D385e92ef9fd84ef0b3d24e5c46e92a6d%26pid%3D100338%26rk%3D7%26rkt%3D30%26sd%3D272396010125
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby calypso » February 25th, 2017, 11:23 am

glnc222 wrote:Higher capacity batteries may not make it run longer. The software has to be tuned to the designed battery and code the capacity. These devices are not equipped to measure any battery installed and expect a certain type with known characteristics. The Botvac's have the latest battery management IC's which measure the charge used, Fuel Gauge processors. Replacement batteries are not likely to be supplied on new models until enough time has passed for them to be needed.


According to this battery review it appears that the D3 does monitor the capacity of the installed battery and does not work off of hard coded capacity values. Guess it makes sense as it needs to cater for battery degradation.
https://www.amazon.com/Neato-Robotics-9 ... ccessories
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Re: Neato lithium ion battery revisited

Postby glnc222 » February 25th, 2017, 1:54 pm

The XV models were observed to monitor reductions in capacity as the battery ages, with reduced run time to maintain a reserve to return to base. Battery voltage falls slighty along a known discharge curve as used up giving some information, but the measurements differ with temperature and loads, complicating usage. Hence the "New Battery" option to reset the battery monitoring. Measuring the initial capacity of the battery is a different matter harder to accomplish. Using higher capacity NiMh batteries did not increase the run time unless abnormally low to start with. It would still fully charge the higher capacity battery because it recognizes a fully charged battery from temperature or voltage without actually measuring the capacity. Lithium replacements could increase run time some because of a different voltage discharge curve than the expected NiMh properties.

The Botvac has been found to have a fancy battery management IC devoted to measuring charge on the battery, a MAXIM Fuel Gauge computer (continuously measuring current in and out of the battery). Whether the Botvac measures the initial battery capacity would have to be tested with different batteries. Normally capacity has to be measured by a test instrument, resembling a charger, which cycles the battery for that purpose. When a new battery is installed, information on its initial charge state can be unknown, and the Neato would have to cycle the battery by running to measure the capacity. This normally requires fully discharging the battery and Neato maintains an unused portion as a buffer against damaging deep discharge. So it is expected the software just includes an expected design of the battery. Perhaps something is done in software to do more sophisticated monitoring, but it needs to be shown in testing, as it is not known what innovative methods might be used.

[edit] One could imagine a user setting possible, maybe over USB, to input the capacity measure for the battery, but the labeled capacity on a lot of batteries is over stated and not always reliable. Already used batteries would also vary. The user would have to first measure the capacity with instruments. Unless the software had provisions for a specific set of alternative batteries supplied by the robot maker.
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