Sunday, September 11, 2016

Why are Note 7 batteries exploding?

Samsung Galaxy Note 7’s are exploding when they are charged.  The tech media is, rightly, trying to get to the bottom of this. 

Much has been said about how this can happen and the focus appears to be on overcharging Li-ion batteries and the resulting heat generation.  The only party that actually knows something about this is Samsung and they have said that there was a “minor flaw in the battery manufacturing process”. 

This does NOT sound like an overcharging problem.  This could be either misalignment of electrodes leading to lithium plating and shorting.  Or something like copper dissolution and subsequent deposition leading to shorts. 

Or something else. 

But more importantly, except for Samsung, we are all guessing.  As long as Samsung does not tell us (and I’ll go on a limb and say that they will not), we can make up anything we want.  But guess what: we are making stuff up!  We should probably stop. 

But where is the fun in that.  So let the speculation continue. 

Interestingly, the Chinese made batteries by ATL are not exploding.  Only the Samsung made ones are. So much for "low quality Chinese manufacturing"…