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T520 battery help

T400/T410/T420 and T500/T510/T520 series specific matters only
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steveadorjan
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Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:57 am
Location: Budapest, Hungary

Is this battery counterfeit?

#1 Post by steveadorjan » Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:37 am

I have just bought a 6-cell, 70+ battery for my T520 (the battery is a Sanyo 45N1001) and am wondering if it's guaranteed genuine or not.

It came in a sealed (red Lenovo tape) original box, but the date on the box (2017-03) is not the same as on the battery itself (2016-11-29). Everything on the battery looks fine, no misspellings. I have checked with Lenovo Power Manager, and it displays exactly the same bar code nr. and manufacturing date as the bar code sticker on the battery itself. Lenovo Power Manager also shows 0 cycles, 0% wear, and full capacity (in fact, slightly higher than the designed 56Wh: 59Wh, as is often the case with brand new batteries).

BUT: it was completely empty (discharged) out of the box, as I guess it sat on a shelf in a warehouse for 3+ years. I charged it fully, but then it dropped to 20% from 100% in less than 2.5 hours on my T520 (with light use, mainly web browsing, but the Power Plan set to Maximum Performance, so max screen brightness). The battery got also a bit warm (nothing too bad, around 36 degrees C).

What is would really like to know is whether re-celled counterfeits have become so perfect these days that this could be one. Or do the matching bar code and date guarantee that it is a genuine battery? I'm aware that a 3+ year-old battery may not hold charge so well (especially a Sanyo one), but I was a bit surprised by it lasting only about 2 hours

dr_st
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Re: Is this battery counterfeit?

#2 Post by dr_st » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:37 am

It's most likely just a genuine battery that was kept on a shelf for 3 years. Sometimes these are dead before you plugged them in. Be thankful it works at all.

Using up 80% battery of a 6-cell on max performance in 2.5 hours is not necessarily even abnormal. You have to do a few full rundown cycles to let the gauge calibrate itself, and understand how much capacity it lost.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

steveadorjan
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:57 am
Location: Budapest, Hungary

Re: Is this battery counterfeit?

#3 Post by steveadorjan » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:45 am

dr_st wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:37 am
It's most likely just a genuine battery that was kept on a shelf for 3 years. Sometimes these are dead before you plugged them in. Be thankful it works at all.

Using up 80% battery of a 6-cell on max performance in 2.5 hours is not necessarily even abnormal. You have to do a few full rundown cycles to let the gauge calibrate itself, and understand how much capacity it lost.
Thanks, that's very helpful. It was a bargain, so I can't complain. Do you think I should try a battery gauge reset too in Power Manager? (it was suggested by a mod in the Lenovo forum)

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Re: T520 battery help

#4 Post by dr_st » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:40 am

The battery gauge reset is essentially running the battery down then up again. It's a convenient way to do it, if you have the program installed.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

steveadorjan
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Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:57 am
Location: Budapest, Hungary

Re: T520 battery help

#5 Post by steveadorjan » Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:32 pm

Yes, I do have the Power Manager, since I still use the OEM Windows 7 :D
I just want to make absolutely sure the battery gauge reset will not lead to any battery deterioration. I remember some forum discussions where people complained that after running it, their battery capacity took a hit.

vgiozo
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:32 am
Location: Thessaloniki, Greece

Re: Is this battery counterfeit?

#6 Post by vgiozo » Wed Apr 22, 2020 6:28 pm

steveadorjan wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:37 am
I have just bought a 6-cell, 70+ battery for my T520 (the battery is a Sanyo 45N1001) and am wondering if it's guaranteed genuine or not.

It came in a sealed (red Lenovo tape) original box, but the date on the box (2017-03) is not the same as on the battery itself (2016-11-29). Everything on the battery looks fine, no misspellings. I have checked with Lenovo Power Manager, and it displays exactly the same bar code nr. and manufacturing date as the bar code sticker on the battery itself. Lenovo Power Manager also shows 0 cycles, 0% wear, and full capacity (in fact, slightly higher than the designed 56Wh: 59Wh, as is often the case with brand new batteries).

BUT: it was completely empty (discharged) out of the box, as I guess it sat on a shelf in a warehouse for 3+ years. I charged it fully, but then it dropped to 20% from 100% in less than 2.5 hours on my T520 (with light use, mainly web browsing, but the Power Plan set to Maximum Performance, so max screen brightness). The battery got also a bit warm (nothing too bad, around 36 degrees C).

What is would really like to know is whether re-celled counterfeits have become so perfect these days that this could be one. Or do the matching bar code and date guarantee that it is a genuine battery? I'm aware that a 3+ year-old battery may not hold charge so well (especially a Sanyo one), but I was a bit surprised by it lasting only about 2 hours
I bought a counterfeit battery once from Ebay. It was fully functional, in fact it gave me the best battery time I ever had and consistently so...until I returned home and started using my desktop more...while the battery worked excellent when frequently used, it degraded fast when not in use and then could not be charged anymore.

It had a more yellowish color than the "orange" found in original Lenovo batteries; I published the picture to lenovo forums and staff there verified it wasn't original (still never had issue with power manager).

But I wouldn't worry too much...got a compatible battery next time, not trying to fake it was original, and it works great. I just make sure to run a few full cycles each month, even if I have it permanently attached to power (I usually set to charge below 30% and not above 40% and keep it in that range when plugged in...the counterfeit got degraded while not plugged in at all and not used for a couple of months; it just happened)
T520 4243-AF5 (R9-KKBG3), HD+ 1600*900, i5 2520m, 2*8GB DDR3L 1333, Plextor mSATA, 2*500GB HDD (caddy), no eSATA, 4*USB 2,0, no modem

dr_st
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Re: T520 battery help

#7 Post by dr_st » Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:19 am

steveadorjan wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:32 pm
I remember some forum discussions where people complained that after running it, their battery capacity took a hit.
It means it was shot to begin with, and the gauge reset simply recalibrated it. The gauge reset does nothing that you won't do by running the battery down yourself. Of course, if you never use the battery to anything under 50%, you may not know that it lost 40% of the original capacity and will jump from 40% straight to 0% if you actually tried running it below that.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

steveadorjan
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:57 am
Location: Budapest, Hungary

Re: T520 battery help

#8 Post by steveadorjan » Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:49 am

dr_st wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:19 am
steveadorjan wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:32 pm
I remember some forum discussions where people complained that after running it, their battery capacity took a hit.
It means it was shot to begin with, and the gauge reset simply recalibrated it. The gauge reset does nothing that you won't do by running the battery down yourself. Of course, if you never use the battery to anything under 50%, you may not know that it lost 40% of the original capacity and will jump from 40% straight to 0% if you actually tried running it below that.
Ah, I see, this makes sense. I wonder if there's any point in running it then? The battery in question shows up in Power Manager (also in AIDA64) as high level, good condition, 0% wear level, with a capacity even slightly higher than the designed 56Wh (i.e. 59 Wh). And while it discharged relatively fast (2+ hours from 100% to 20%) during the first cycle (my initial test, now I have completed 2 cycles) in Max. Performance mode, there was no sudden jump from, let's say, 40% to 10% (i.e. the discharge rate was even). I guess I could have let it discharge from 20% to 0% at the same rate, but instead I just charged it back to 100% again and began a second cycle/test (now in Power Source Optimized Mode: with light use, now it loses about 22-25% per hour, which is I guess is ok).
So I wonder if running the battery gauge reset in this particular case would have any added benefit or not.

Btw, I've had it confirmed that it is a genuine battery. But it sat on a warehouse shelf for 3+ years (as I mentioned, it was completely discharged out of the box)

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