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What do we need to know about vacuum cleaner batteries?.

Author:

Antonia Velinova

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Cordless vacuum cleaners make the process of cleaning the home easier. Their biggest advantage is undoubtedly the battery. Over time, however, batteries "wear out", lose capacity and become inefficient. There are two solutions to the problem - either replace the battery or replace the vacuum cleaner altogether.

Surely, if you're happy with the performance of your vacuum cleaner so far, it's better to consider a new battery.

Sometimes navigating the process of choosing a new vacuum cleaner battery can be difficult and confusing. That's why here we'll explain the basics you need to know when choosing a battery for your vacuum cleaner.

Battery types

There are several types of batteries. They differ in the type of chemical they contain. Each type has different operating characteristics. It is for this reason that it is important to know which battery your vacuum cleaner also works with.

In cordless vacuum cleaners, the most common models are:

Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are lightweight batteries that can store large amounts of energy to release when needed. There are several types of lithium batteries. Depending on their chemical composition they are:

  • Lithium-Manganese Oxide (IMR) - in most cases these are lower capacity batteries and the voltage (per cell) they operate at is between 3V and 4V. 
  • Lithium-Manganese-Nickel (INR) batteries - similar to the above, can provide higher voltage at the expense of lower capacity
  • Lithium Iron Phosphate (IFR) - the normal voltage of these batteries is 3.2V per cell and the maximum is between 3.5V - 3.6V. 
  • Lithium cobalt oxide (ICR) - these are the higher capacity batteries. Their normal voltage is usually 3.6V - 3.7V, and the maximum can reach up to 4.2V. 


There are batteries with other chemistries, but they are less common.

For example, to be able to provide very high suction power, Dyson uses lithium nickel cobalt aluminium oxide (LiNiCoAlO2) for the V11 Outsize series models.

Lithium-ion batteries, in general, have a built-in Battery Management System (BMS) that protects it from overcharging, high voltage, overheating and any other negative influences.

Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries

Nickel metal hydride batteries are also widespread in cordless vacuum cleaners, but their energy density is lower than that of lithium ion. In other words, they can store smaller amounts of energy within themselves. The maximum voltage of these in a cell is 1.2 V.

Older batteries of this type had what is called a "memory effect", which means that the battery must be completely discharged before it can be charged again. With the new ones, however, this effect has been removed. For this reason, they have a low self-discharge rate and can therefore last for longer cycles.

Nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries

Nickel-cadmium batteries can be found in older vacuum cleaner models. They contain cadmium - a very toxic, heavy metal. This type of battery is being phased out in favor of nickel-metal hydride batteries.

Nickel-cadmium batteries are characterized by a voltage of 1.2 V per cell. They have a "memory" effect. That is, they must be fully discharged before you can charge them again.

Charge each type of battery with a dedicated charger for that type

It is very important to be careful when changing the battery and/or charger:

  • What type of battery your vacuum cleaner has been working with and whether you are replacing it with the same type. 
  • What charger do you charge a battery with

The safest way to find the right battery is to search for it by product number. This is most often written on the label of the battery itself. On robot vacuums, you may need to remove the cover from underneath to access the battery.

In addition to the product number, you can find the battery by brand and model of the vacuum cleaner.

What can happen if you don't charge the battery with the right charger?

IRobot's Roomba vacuums run on lithium-ion or nickel-metal hydride batteries. For example, the 500 series and some models in the 600, 700 and 800 series work with nickel-metal hydride batteries. Other models in the 600, 800, and 900 series run on lithium-ion batteries.

Both batteries are the same size, voltage and will fit all vacuums in the series, whether the original battery is Li-Ion or NiMH. In most cases the vacuum will work and charge. The problem is that if not charged with the correct charger (as mentioned several times already), there is a danger that the battery will overheat, catch fire and even explode. So it's best that when you buy a new battery for your vacuum cleaner, it has the same chemistry as the original.

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What do we need to know about vacuum cleaner batteries?.

Author:

Antonia Velinova

Steps:

0

90

Share


Introduction.

Cordless vacuum cleaners make the process of cleaning the home easier. Their biggest advantage is undoubtedly the battery. Over time, however, batteries "wear out", lose capacity and become inefficient. There are two solutions to the problem - either replace the battery or replace the vacuum cleaner altogether.

Surely, if you're happy with the performance of your vacuum cleaner so far, it's better to consider a new battery.

Sometimes navigating the process of choosing a new vacuum cleaner battery can be difficult and confusing. That's why here we'll explain the basics you need to know when choosing a battery for your vacuum cleaner.

Battery types

There are several types of batteries. They differ in the type of chemical they contain. Each type has different operating characteristics. It is for this reason that it is important to know which battery your vacuum cleaner also works with.

In cordless vacuum cleaners, the most common models are:

Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are lightweight batteries that can store large amounts of energy to release when needed. There are several types of lithium batteries. Depending on their chemical composition they are:

  • Lithium-Manganese Oxide (IMR) - in most cases these are lower capacity batteries and the voltage (per cell) they operate at is between 3V and 4V. 
  • Lithium-Manganese-Nickel (INR) batteries - similar to the above, can provide higher voltage at the expense of lower capacity
  • Lithium Iron Phosphate (IFR) - the normal voltage of these batteries is 3.2V per cell and the maximum is between 3.5V - 3.6V. 
  • Lithium cobalt oxide (ICR) - these are the higher capacity batteries. Their normal voltage is usually 3.6V - 3.7V, and the maximum can reach up to 4.2V. 


There are batteries with other chemistries, but they are less common.

For example, to be able to provide very high suction power, Dyson uses lithium nickel cobalt aluminium oxide (LiNiCoAlO2) for the V11 Outsize series models.

Lithium-ion batteries, in general, have a built-in Battery Management System (BMS) that protects it from overcharging, high voltage, overheating and any other negative influences.

Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries

Nickel metal hydride batteries are also widespread in cordless vacuum cleaners, but their energy density is lower than that of lithium ion. In other words, they can store smaller amounts of energy within themselves. The maximum voltage of these in a cell is 1.2 V.

Older batteries of this type had what is called a "memory effect", which means that the battery must be completely discharged before it can be charged again. With the new ones, however, this effect has been removed. For this reason, they have a low self-discharge rate and can therefore last for longer cycles.

Nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries

Nickel-cadmium batteries can be found in older vacuum cleaner models. They contain cadmium - a very toxic, heavy metal. This type of battery is being phased out in favor of nickel-metal hydride batteries.

Nickel-cadmium batteries are characterized by a voltage of 1.2 V per cell. They have a "memory" effect. That is, they must be fully discharged before you can charge them again.

Charge each type of battery with a dedicated charger for that type

It is very important to be careful when changing the battery and/or charger:

  • What type of battery your vacuum cleaner has been working with and whether you are replacing it with the same type. 
  • What charger do you charge a battery with

The safest way to find the right battery is to search for it by product number. This is most often written on the label of the battery itself. On robot vacuums, you may need to remove the cover from underneath to access the battery.

In addition to the product number, you can find the battery by brand and model of the vacuum cleaner.

What can happen if you don't charge the battery with the right charger?

IRobot's Roomba vacuums run on lithium-ion or nickel-metal hydride batteries. For example, the 500 series and some models in the 600, 700 and 800 series work with nickel-metal hydride batteries. Other models in the 600, 800, and 900 series run on lithium-ion batteries.

Both batteries are the same size, voltage and will fit all vacuums in the series, whether the original battery is Li-Ion or NiMH. In most cases the vacuum will work and charge. The problem is that if not charged with the correct charger (as mentioned several times already), there is a danger that the battery will overheat, catch fire and even explode. So it's best that when you buy a new battery for your vacuum cleaner, it has the same chemistry as the original.

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