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Parkside Performance Smart accu 20V - 8Ah - Small review

Tags Grind My Gears  lidl 

Since a few weeks lidl sells Parkside Smart Batteries. The batteries have an impressive feature list:

The battery uses a 5s1p and 5s2p setup with larger 26650 (I think) cells. A quick test reveals the battery happily (without significant heat up) charges with 200W. All in all it seems like a pretty amazing battery.

If it was true….

While everything say is technically true, it is not implemented where you expected.

The Terrible

My biggest gripe is that the batteries are directly connected to the pins on the header. There is only a one-time fuse (‘smaller metal strip’). This means that the battery cannot protect against over-voltage, under-voltage, over temperature or over-current.

The device connected to it is expected to implement this functionality. I have no idea if all old devices do this, but a quick test of a few devices show this is not the case.

The Bad

The above limitation results in some more downsides:

While you can set minimum cell voltage, it cannot enforce this or read this. I have not even seen the battery voltage in the app. I find this odd.

The app needs an account and a lot of permissions on the device, unless you have the modern devices its pretty useless.

This battery does the same thing a lot of other do about its capacity. Its rated at 20V - 8Ah - 160Wh. However because the voltage is not constant over its range the actual capacity will be lower.

I did some tests at 3 different loads:

3A

At 3A load, we see a total capacity of 7.8Ah.

3ah

The discharge curve is pretty decent, I would have liked to see it a bit more flat. If we take the area under the curve to calculate the actual capacity in Wh we get to ~ 140Wh. So that is 87.5% of the rated capacity. 3Ah for the targeted use is very low. The ‘old’ batteries for me always had more then the rated capacity at 3A.

5A

At 5A load, we see a total capacity of 7.77Ah.

5ah

If we take the area under the curve to calculate the actual capacity in Wh we get to ~ 137Wh.

10A

At 10A load, we see a total capacity of 7.46Ah.

10ah

If we take the area under the curve to calculate the actual capacity in Wh we get to ~ 128Wh.

The Decent

The casing on the other hand is pretty good. It well constructed, the strips that connect the batteries are well supported and even the spot-welded libs have small rubber tabs pushing them down. I am no expert on this, but compared to other batteries packs this one seems very solid. I would trust this more to survive a beating then any of the other battery packs I’ve taken apart.

The only thing that would be nice is a conformal coating on the PCB.

The cells seem to be able to take a large charge current (10A) without them heating up significant. This makes it easy to charge them in less then a hour. There is a ‘smart’ charger that claims to charge up to 12A. I did not trust the rig I used with more then 10A, I might test this later.

Conclusion

I bought this battery to be used for my portable PSU. The extra capacity is very useful, but I really hoped it had the (advertised) low-voltage cut out. I might need to reverse engineer this and add it.

PSU

There is some information here. I need to test putting 5V on 2nd pin works. Does it get pulled down?

I must conclude that I do feel cheated by this battery. It indirectly claims a lot of features that are not in the battery.

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