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Laptop based carpc: low temperature+lithium ion battery..bad?

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  • Laptop based carpc: low temperature+lithium ion battery..bad?


    I already have a carpc, but it is rather bulky and is taking up much room in my trunk. I found a laptop for free which is actually faster than my current carpc and sucks up way less power. I have seen a laptop shutdown controller and it works by initiating shutdown when running off battery (AC is cut). So that means you need a laptop with a battery. However, my concern is the useage of a lithium-ion battery in the cold (-40C). The battery in the laptop is already really old and probably cant keep the laptop powered for more than 30 mins(room temperature). But thats fine, since it only needs to be on long enough to power down. I am mostly worried about the physical effects of the cold on the battery. Should I worry?

    The other option is that I use my existing shutdown controller (shorts pins 4 and 8, makes the software shutdown), and ditch the battery entirely. But that is alot of extra work. I would have to buy a usb > serial port, rewire my relays to work on +5v from the usb instead of +12 v from the atx psu.

    Does anyone have any experience with using lithium ion in the extreme cold? Also, in 5 years from now, do you think the battery will die to the point it wont even hold out long enough to shutdown? Assume wear from cold weather (if any).

  • #2
    I would be surprised if the battery lasted (another) 5 years in optimal conditions. (take a look at the wikipedia entry ). If I were you I would look to see how much it would cost to get a replacement or rebuilt battery (from a quality vendor). I blew a bunch of money on a cheapo battery for my old car pc and it lost 10% of its charge overnight. I thought it was a drain somewhere in my setup, but it turned out that it would drain even if i took it out of the laptop overnight. This was too much of a drain and after a week or so, the laptop would fail to start because the battery didn't have enough charge to survive a crank.

    Also, you will have to set up some way to start the laptop, do you know how you are going to do that?

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