Harvesting Laptop Batteries

I had a couple of old laptop batteries knocking about for a few years, the laptops long gone (except a couple of bits that I’ve already managed to keep – a screen : the subject of a future mod in particular).

I’d been intending stripping the batteries down for a while to harvest the individual cells out, and finally got around to doing it at the weekend, so figured I’d share the process.

WARNING : You are messing about with batteries, and whilst they’re very robust you don’t need the strength of titan to complete this mod.   If you’re unsure, step away.

This will mostly be a pictoral  mod with a few notes én route to batteries.

Tools Required

  • Needle Nose pliers
  • Blade of some description

 

Step 1 – Remove the casing

Laptop batteries in general consist of a bank of batteries encased in a two part plastic housing.  The battery banks themselves will be attached to a small circuit board that will have some sensors on to prevent over heating, protect against short circuit and regulate charging.

To start, pick a corner and insert some kind of thin blade to pry enough apart to be able to get a screw driver in.  You don’t need to cut deep, just enough to be able to start stripping away the plastic casings.

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Use the screw driver to cintinue splitting the casing.  Mine got so far then cracked so I used a pair of large needle nose pliers to strip off the rest of the casing.

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Step 2 – Making Safe

As soon as you are able, you should be able to cut the connection between the batteries and the circuit board.

You will probably notice I used a Swiss Army knife for most of this mod, out comes the can opener to rip the metal contacts apart.

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At this point you can rip out the circuit board.  It’s no longer required, so you can dispose of it.

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Step 3 – Getting the Battery Pack Out

So, we need to continue on with ripping the plastic casing off.  Just be careful as you go, don’t go lacerating yourself, it’s really not worth a scar… and just getting some batteries isn’t really impressive as a war story! 😀

I continued on with the needle nosed pliers here, they make it easy to hold the plastic and roll it off.  So clamp, and roll to the side…. it kind of peels the plastic off.

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Eventually you’ll be left with a bank of batteries and a heap of plastic.

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The batteries will be connected together with thin strips of metal.

Step 4 – Stripping the Batteries

The thin metal strips are really easy to pull off with the needle nosed pliers.  You might get some bits left over, but they’re easy enough to pull off.  If you want to have perfectly smooth batteries, you could use a soldering iron to GENTLY heat the points at which they’re attached.  Personally, I just smoothed the nubbins down with the side of the pliers.

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Finishing off

So, you have a shed load of batteries ready for use in your Vape mod, torch or whatever…. All that’s needed now is to charge them.

You could use a battery checker to figure out any duds, that’s not something I’m going to cover here, there are plenty of guides on the web to cover this.

Enjoy 😀

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