Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why Are They Called 18650 Cells?

Because they are actually still Li-Ion batteries in a way. The newer Li-Polymer batteries are still not very popular because they are very expensive. However 18650 cells are a significant improvement in the type of cells Li-Ion batteries have. Some specifications include:
-          Better energy output
-          More capacity
-          Fewer resources used
-          Better protection circuits
-          Longer life
Are 18650 Cells Worth the Money?
18650 cells are the basics of electric car engines. Energy sources actually. This should tell you enough about their quality and power. They were originally developed by Panasonic in order to create a better and durable energy source. They found their use in electric cars and they are far from being weak. Consider some of these features they have in cars:
-          0-60 mph acceleration: 3.9s
-          Quarter mile acceleration: 12.7s
-          EPA driving range: 244 miles
So in other words, the 18650 cells are definitely one of the stronger battery cells out there. They also support over 500 charges and recharge in 2-4 hours.
What Are Some Other Specifications?
-          High capacity, usually around 2400 mAh
-          Reliable
-          Over-charge protection (optional but common)
-          Over-voltage and under-voltage protection
-          2-4 hour charge time
-          More than 500 recharge cycles
-          Better energy output
There are some things people should keep in mind when buying 18650 cells. Before wasting any money and batteries, you should know these things:
-          Rechargeable, but only with a specific 18650 charger
-          Different sizes than AAA, AA or other traditional batteries
-          Not all 18650 cells have in-built protection circuits
-          You still need to take care of them properly
People can be irresponsible. They are buying the newest product on the market and believe it is indestructible. You need to know how to properly take care of your batteries. Even if they have improved 18650 cells, you should still keep in mind that they could have the same downsides as Li-Ion batteries.
How to Take Proper Care of 18650 Cells?
Keep the same things in mind like regular Li-Ion batteries and everything will be fine. In other words, practice the following procedures:
-          If you are not using your 18650 cells, keep them in the refrigerator
-          You did not buy them to keep them in the refrigerator, so do not let them stay in there forever
-          Do not expose directly to heat
-          Expose them directly to sunlight if you have to, but never for too long. It will eventually kill them.
-          Do not charge them in the refrigerator. If you charge them on low temperatures, the 18650 cells will not be very grateful
-          Do not over-charge them or even under-charge them.
By over-charge, it means that once the LED light says they are done, you should remove them. Some batteries have protection circuits in-built to prevent damage to their 18650 cells from over-charge. However, do not play with them more than you should.
Under-charging is actually not charging itself; it is more like letting the battery die. If you allow that, you will not be able to recharge it again by a conventional charger. Maybe you can if you let them stay inside long enough, but it is not certain.
Should I Look at Other Customer Reviews When Buying 18650 Cells?
Yes and no. Yes, because people are going to tell you some more information on how they find the 18650 cells useful. No, because people are technically ignorant in most cases and will spread misinformation with bad comments that have no connection with reality. In fact, most people rate products badly because the size did not fit in their appliance. Strange, nobody ever said 18650 cells were compatible with AA or AAA batteries. Size is specified for every product. So keep your eye on the specifications of the product you need, not on half-literate comments.
There are many vendors available, but Amazon is well-known for good customer service and is recommended. If you get a defect product, you will be certain that you can get a replacement or your money back.

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