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Author Topic: Understanding Battery’s ?  (Read 237203 times)

Offline CYBORG

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Understanding Battery’s ?
« on: May 04, 2012, 04:09:31 PM »
 Can one of you experts explain Battery’s in simple terms as confusion reigns supreme.
Although I know the answers to some of the questions I ask I thought all the answers in one place could help a lot of people.
 
Protected - High Drane - ICR or IMR
If ProtectedBatteries are the safest why do all the top end mods recommend AW IMR Batteries
 
The blurb for AW says - AW IMR Batteries have a safer chemistry construction meaning no risk of venting with flame or explosion but not that they are protected.
All my 18650’s are IMR but I have 18350’s & 14500’s that are ICR
 
It appears that the more think I have learned the less I actually know.
 
My Questions are
1 What is IMR ?
2 What is ICR ?
3 What sort are High Drane ?
4 What is best for a tube mod ?
5 What is best for a VV mod ?
6 an explanation of the size numbers ?
 
I think that covers everything so thanks in advance 
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Offline CraigHB

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2012, 04:33:55 PM »
Okay, you asked....

IMR is a product code.  "I" stands for Lithium-Ion, "M" stands for the Manganese based chemistry, and "R" stands for rechargeable.

ICR is again a product code.  Same as before except "C" stands for the Cobalt based chemistry.

Only the round cells commonly use these designators.  There are flat cells or prismatic cells that use a Li-Ion chemsitry, but it's usually polymer based (plastic).  I've never even seen the code designator for that.  Everybody just calls them LiPo cells.

High drain means that the cell can handle high output currents.  ICR cells are usually limited to 2 times the charge capacity in output drain.  So, for example, a 750mAh 14500 ICR cell would be limited to two times 750mA or 1.5A.  This is why this type of cell must be protected.  It has the lowest drain capability and the highest volatility or flammability in composition.

IMR cells typically have an 8C drain limit which is 8 times the charge capacity.  A IMR 14500 with 600mAh can handle 4.8A.  This chemistry is less volatile than the Cobalt chemistry and has much higher drain limits so they are typically not protected internally.  Though, they should have some kind of external protection because they can burn too, just not as easily.

LiPo and prsimatic cells can range in drain limit anywhere form 1/2C to 60C.  They are slightly less volatile than ICR and a little more than IMR.  They are typically not protected internally and should have external protection electronics.  These are the type of cells you find in digital cameras and cell phones.

Generally speaking, you only use an IMR cell when the device specifically calls for one.  IMR cells are required for boosters (single cell VV or VW) because boosters require higher drain.  With a booster, you're going from lower voltage to higher voltage.  That means you're going from higher current to lower current.

IMR cells may also be required for unregulated mods if the cell is small.  For example, you are limited to 1.5A with an ICR 14500.  If you want to use an LR atty with a cell that size, you need an IMR cell.

In the end, the size of your cell boils down to what you want in run time versus size.  That's always the big trade-off.  If you want a smaller device with a smaller cell, you'll have less run time.  If you want more run time, you'll have to tolerate a larger device with a larger cell.

Size numbers are based on a metric scale.  An 18650 is 18mm x 65.0mm.  A 14500 is 14mm x 50.0 mm.  A 14500 happens to be the same size as an AA battery.

Okay, hope that covers it.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 04:43:09 PM by CraigHB »

Offline VP

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 04:58:05 PM »
Interesting and good to know, thanks for the info craig.

Offline CYBORG

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 04:59:45 PM »
 Yey thanks Craig  ;D
One small point to clarify things in my thick head.
 you say.
“Generally speaking, you only use an IMR cell when the device specifically calls for one.”
My Megalodon, basically a simple tube mod was supplied with IMR Battery’s whereas The SD a similar device is supplied with ICR.
Can you see where the last confusion is ?   :-[ 
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Offline Darth Vaper

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 05:11:38 PM »
Excellent post Craig thanks for sharing  ;)

Offline CraigHB

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 05:51:16 PM »
One small point to clarify things in my thick head.  you say.  “Generally speaking, you only use an IMR cell when the device specifically calls for one.” My Megalodon, basically a simple tube mod was supplied with IMR Battery’s whereas The SD a similar device is supplied with ICR.  Can you see where the last confusion is ?

As an unregulated 18650 device, your Megladon does not call for an IMR battery.   That was an error on the supplier's part to provide one. 

Some people are under the mistaken impression that IMR batteries are better.  They are not.  The only time an IMR battery is better is when an ICR battery can not do the job.

There's a couple reasons this is the case.  For one, charge capacity (run time) is about 50% better with an ICR cell compared to an IMR cell the same size.  For example the AW IMR 18650 has 2000mAh in charge capacity where the AW ICR 18650 has 3100mAh of capacity. 

Also, ICR cells are always protected.  IMR cells typically are not.  Some people are under the mistaken impression that's it's perfectly safe to use an unprotected IMR cell with no external protection.  IT IS NOT!!!!  The internal protection that is mandatory with an ICR cell means you will always have the required protection regardless of the application. 

For the case of a LavaTube or other VV/VW mod, there is protection built into the electronics.  With those devices, there's no additional risk in using an unprotected IMR cell.  However, using an IMR cell in an all-mechanical mod with no external protection carries a risk.  For a device like that, you at least want a fuseable battery spring if using an unprotected IMR cell.  They usually don't burst into flames when shorted, but they can.  Atomizer shorts are not uncommon.  I've experienced a few myself.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 05:57:45 PM by CraigHB »

Offline CYBORG

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2012, 06:10:16 PM »
 Thanks again Craig. ;D
The next battery order is now some AW ICR 18650’s and I will use my IMR 18650’s only in my VV devices.
I also intend to get a Pila charger, I believe they are good ones.
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Offline SMonkey

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2012, 06:42:08 PM »
Forgive my stupidity Craig but I'm ordering a box mod that takes
2x 18650's side by side, which battery's should I be using?

Offline CraigHB

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2012, 07:25:48 PM »
Forgive my stupidity Craig but I'm ordering a box mod that takes 2x 18650's side by side, which battery's should I be using?

Short answer, ICR.

Long answer, dual series cell VV mods do the opposite of single cell booster mods.  They take higher input voltage, lower input current and covert it to lower output voltage, higher output current.  As a result, the drain requirements on a dual series cell mod are even lower than that of an all mechanical mod.  You can even use ICR 14500s with just about any atomizer.  That's one of the big advantages of a dual series cell VV mod.  They can take the smaller ICR batteries if you want a smaller mod that takes smaller cells.

One caveat is this is only true for the dual series cell mods that use the more expensive "switching" regulator.  Always make sure you are getting the more expensive regulator when you buy a mod of this type.  It's more than worth the extra ten or twenty bucks.

Offline FredSpencer

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2012, 08:23:35 PM »
Craig, I have a question about vendor supplied batteries. I know you say the AW batteries are the best but what's the difference between them and those from a known and trusted vendor? Is it their performance and durability or is it also their safety? As an example TW sell 18650 batteries with their logo on for the Torpedo for about half the price the AW batteries cost. Now, they aren't the cheapest vendors so presumably their batteries aren't as good as AW ones, but are they likely to be any less safe rather than they just don't perform as well for as long?
Regards,

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Offline Killjoy

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2012, 08:58:05 PM »
It can vary.  Vendor-branded batteries aren't necessarily bad in some cases (some of them are selling re-branded MNKE or BDL or other major manufacturer's batteries), but AW is still considered the cream of the crop.  I can't speak for those particular batteries, I know nothing about them

for the record, AW doesn't actually make batteries.  AW-branded batteries are generally ones that have been chosen for their quality, such as the high quality Panasonic and Sanyo cells, so you really can't go wrong with AW ;)
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 08:59:41 PM by Killjoy »

Offline CraigHB

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2012, 09:23:28 PM »
There's two classes of cells differentiated by manufacturer.

The most trusted are the Panasonic cells (3100mAh for their ICR 18650) and the Sanyo cells (2600mAh for their ICR 18650).  The Panasonic cells are manufactured in Japan and I think Sanyo manufactures theirs in Korea.   There's a couple other less common Japanese brands that are also considered the highest quality. Samsung is one.

AW is one of the few Chinese distributors that re-brands the Panasonic cells.  The Sanyo cells can be found under the Sanyo brand.  Other Chinese distributors repackage Japanese cells, but it's not always easy to obtain that information.  Usually they will specify if they are using the high quality ones.  It's a selling point.

The other class is the Chinese made cells which are considered lower quality.  Those are like the Ultrafires, Trustfires, and other Chinese brands.

I don't think there is anything particularly wrong with a Chinese made cell.  I use Chinese made LiPo cells and find the quality sufficient.  However, if you want the absolute best quality (consistency and longevity) and absolute best safety, the name brand Japanese cells are the ones to go with.  Personally, I think it's worth the expense.  I do use the Panasonic round cells myself.

Unfortunately, I can't say anything about the IMR 18650 TW has re-branded.  My guess is that it is a re-branded Chinese made cell with an exaggerated capacity rating.  That's just a guess based on what I would expect from TW, but I could be wrong.

The absolute highest capacity in an IMR 18650 is the Panasonic CGR18650CH with 2150mAh peak.  Nominal is closer to 2000mAh so AW sells that cell as their IMR 18650 2000mAh.  Panasonic owns the state of the art in Li-Ion round cells so it's highly unlikely some Chinese hodad maker could surpass them in capacity.  The same is true for the Panasonic ICR 3100mAh.  You have to be leary of Chinese makers claiming capacity higher than the Panasonic cells.

Offline SMonkey

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2012, 02:48:53 AM »
Thanks Craig
Your a star mate and I appreciate your advice


Offline CraigHB

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2012, 04:37:00 AM »
Welcome, hope it helps.

Offline FredSpencer

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2012, 07:36:52 AM »
The TW ones say they are 2200 mAh but presumably will actually be something less than that. That's not an issue for me as they last long enough for while I am out at work and I always have more than one device with me anyway. I understand batteries have a life expectancy in terms of the number of times they can be charged but is there also a limit in terms of time? Should they be discarded after a number of years regardless of how much they have been used? And if you aren't intending using batteries for a period of time should they be kept in a charged state or discharged?
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Offline CraigHB

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2012, 08:30:16 AM »
It's pretty common for Chinese makers to exaggerate their capacity ratings.  There's a way to fudge bench testing to make the cells appear to have more capacity than they actually do.  A proper test is performed within a range of discharge rates from 1/5 to 2C and then an average taken.  What some of these Chinese makers do is perform the test once at a very low rate like 1/10C.  It makes the cells look better than they are.  With a more realistic test, the cells can measure out quite a bit lower than what's printed on the shrink wrap.

I imagine TW is being told the capacity for their cell is 2200mAh by the maker when in fact, a legitimate bench test would show it's actually much lower.

Regular ICR cells lose 60% of their charge capacity after 300 charge/discharge cycles.  IMR cells are typically 500, but it also depends on quality.  Cheaply made cells can wear out faster.

Cells have shelf life.  A regular ICR cell will lose 60% of it's charge capacity after 3 years when stored at room temperature with a full charge.  Shelf life wear can be greatly reduced by storing a cell partially charged in a cooler environment.  At 0 degrees C with a 40% charge, shelf life wear can be reduced to about 5% per year.  Makers usually ship cells with a 40% charge because that's how they store them. 

There is one caveat with temperture.  It can actually damage the cell if it's exposed to temperatures too cold for too long.  The temperature of a home refrigerator is the coldest you'd ever want to go.  Some makers recommend against cold storage for more than a year.

Shelf life wear is somewhat lower for an IMR cell, but I havent' seen any numbers so I cant' say exactly.  It's probably the same as a LiPo which is a 60% loss after 5 years at room temperature with a full charge.

From a consumer's perspective, Li-Ion batteries should not be stored long term for later use.  Just buy them as you need them.

Offline 8Ball

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2012, 10:19:51 AM »
 
Thanks for sharing this with us Craig.  It's cleared up a couple of questions I had about batteries. :)
 
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Offline jurgen

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2012, 10:39:38 AM »
I have to read that again...and again...and again...great question, Cy, great response Craig. The education continues....I'll save that in the archives... 8)

Offline Puffball

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2012, 12:54:03 PM »
Thanks for that Craig... I even managed to read and absorb (most of) the information without the customary fixed glassy-eyed stare that techy stuff usually induces.... ???
I think I'm going to need to curb my battery-hoarding fixation on the basis of that advice  ::)
 
oh dear, I'm going to have to own up to the hidden battery stash now  :'(

Offline 8Ball

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2012, 01:12:34 PM »
Thanks for that Craig... I even managed to read and absorb (most of) the information without the customary fixed glassy-eyed stare that techy stuff usually induces.... ???
I think I'm going to need to curb my battery-hoarding fixation on the basis of that advice  ::)
 
oh dear, I'm going to have to own up to the hidden battery stash now  :'(

What?  There's more??  ???      Oh bleedin' 'el. 
 
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Offline Knoton

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2012, 02:59:32 PM »
I think I got it this time, not really sure though  ???
Does all this means there is no benefit for me to use my very expensive IMR AW 18350 batteries with my lavatube?
I could use those instead http://www.madvapes.com/Protected-18350-Lithium-Ion-Battery-1200-mAh_p_2041.html
They say they are 1200mah and that is way more than 700mah for my IMR AW 18350 battery.
Could this be right?

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Current favourite setup: Stig Juno with Vision Vivi Nova filled with Decadent Vapours Absinthe

Offline 8Ball

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2012, 03:13:24 PM »
I think I got it this time, not really sure though  ???
Does all this means there is no benefit for me to use my very expensive IMR AW 18350 batteries with my lavatube?
I could use those instead http://www.madvapes.com/Protected-18350-Lithium-Ion-Battery-1200-mAh_p_2041.html
They say they are 1200mah and that is way more than 700mah for my IMR AW 18350 battery.
Could this be right?

No Ken.  Keep using those IMRs.  You need the IMRs (high-drain) for your LT (LavaTube).  You don't want to use protected batteries in the LT.  It needs the high-drain capabilities of the IMRs, and protected batteries don't have that capability.

As Craig said, basically you only want to use unprotected IMRs in mods where the high-drain capability is needed (and your LT needs it) and where protection is included inside the mod (and there is protection built into your LT).
 
And use protected batteries where there is no need for high-drain capability and no protection circuits are built into the mod (like the SD for example).

Hope this helps. :)
Nick
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Offline Knoton

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2012, 03:36:52 PM »
I think I got it this time, not really sure though  ???
Does all this means there is no benefit for me to use my very expensive IMR AW 18350 batteries with my lavatube?
I could use those instead http://www.madvapes.com/Protected-18350-Lithium-Ion-Battery-1200-mAh_p_2041.html
They say they are 1200mah and that is way more than 700mah for my IMR AW 18350 battery.
Could this be right?

No Ken.  Keep using those IMRs.  You need the IMRs (high-drain) for your LT (LavaTube).  You don't want to use protected batteries in the LT.  It needs the high-drain capabilities of the IMRs, and protected batteries don't have that capability.

As Craig said, basically you only want to use unprotected IMRs in mods where the high-drain capability is needed (and your LT needs it) and where protection is included inside the mod (and there is protection built into your LT).
 
And use protected batteries where there is no need for high-drain capability and no protection circuits are built into the mod (like the SD for example).

Hope this helps. :)

Thanks Nick  ;D
Looks like I did not get it again  :(
Anyway I get the dont use it part  ;D simple enough for me  ;D

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Mods: Ego-T, Ego-C, Ego-Twist, LavaTube Mini, Gary Dibley Box 3.7V, Stig Juno VV Box
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Offline 8Ball

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2012, 03:38:25 PM »
LOL, yeah Knoton.  Just keep using them IMRs in your LavaTube, and you've got it! ;)
Nick
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Offline cath77

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Re: Understanding Battery’s ?
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2012, 09:40:51 PM »
Craig, i can't believe i'm saying this but i think i actually understood most of it :D (not a dig at you but a dig at my poor little brain cell lol)

Just to clarify (for myself because i might have got it wrong as usual)

IMR for protected devices, such as lavatubes and provaris. They are also high drain and can take the beating of a VV.

ICR for mechanical mods and other such unprotected devices.

Ok, if i'm right about the above there may still be hope for me yet lol

(sorry i know i'm probably repeating what has already been said)

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