(9) Battery Basics for Mods: IMR or Protected ICR?
As mod users, we depend heavily upon batteries. To assist novices to choose which battery to use in their mod I have written this guide. Our choices are:
(LiPo batteries used as internal batteries in the eGo, MVP, iStick, etc will not be discussed here other than to say they are not safe chemistry.)
- Lithium IMR or Li-Mn
- a new class of IMR/Hybrid batteries
- protected ICR Li-Ion
High quality IMRs are currently recommended in place of protected ICR Li-Ion for all vaping applications. reference - Rechargeable Batteries
IMR (Li-Mn) are the safest batteries available for vaping. Using safer chemistry with nickel or manganese, they don't require a built-in protective circuit like ICRs do. They have higher tolerence to stress, and although they may vent during failure it is less likely to be as dramatic as an ICR. Should protective circuits fail in ICRs they can vent violently in flames and possibly explode. ICR battery explosion
Guide to Battery Specification Terms:
capacity or mAh rating - an approximation for how long a battery charge should last from 100% charge to when the battery will cut off. Roughly, 100 mAh = 1 hour usage with low drain applications like a flashlight. The "best battery" is not always the one with the largest mAh rating. In some applications, like high drain applications, the amp rating determines the better battery.
amps rating - "continuous discharge rate", it is the maximum current at which the battery can be discharged continuously before the battery will fail. It is set by the manufacturer, and is a standard measurement in the industry. The "pulse or burst discharge rate" is not a standard measurement and varies from one manufacturer/vendor to another, and therefore should never be relied upon. Beware of dubious marketing claims for battery amp ratings. Purple Efest Batteries Not As Advertised
High Quality, Brand Name Batteries. Batteries are not created equal. I recommend buying only the batteries from the list below, paying attention to model numbers:
18650 2000mah 10Amp
18650 1600mah 24A
18490 1100mah 16.5A
18350 700mah 6A
18650 2200mah 20A
18490 1200mah 18A
18350 800 mah 12A
LG 18650HE22500mah 20A
18650 1500mah 20A
26650 3500mah 20A
Panasonic or Orbtronic hybrid
CGR18650CH (IMR/hybrid) 2250mAh 10A
NCR18650BD 3200mAh 10A
NCR18650PF (LiNiCOMnO2) 2900mAh 10A
NCR18650PD (LiNiCoAl) 2900mAh 10A
Orbtronic 18650 SX22 2000mAh 22A
Orbtronic 18650 2500mAh 21A
Orbtronic 18650 SX30 2100mAh 30A
Panasonic 26650 CGR2650A 2650mAh 50A
Samsung hybrid (LiNiCoMnP)
INR18650-20R 2000mah 22A
INR18650-25R 2500mAh 20A
18650VTC4 2100mAh 30A
18650VTC5 2600mAh 30A
26650 2600mAh 26A
18650 2250mAh 10A
18650 2000mAh 10A
18650 1600mAh 30A
18490 1100mah 8.8A
18350 800mah 6.4A
purple 18650 2500mAh 35A* (rebranded LG18650HE2 2500mAh 20 amp*)
purple 18650 2100mAh 30A (rebranded Sony 18650VTC4)
purple 18500 1000mAh 15A
purple 18350 700mAh 10.5A
- Lower Quality Brand-Name Batteries. Trustfire, Ultrafire, and Surefire are a lower-tier name brand battery in terms of quality and safety. Not recommended.
- Generic Batteries. Not recommended. Seen at FastTeech, Amazon & EBay at cheap prices or thrown in for free in a kit when you purchase a mod from China. These are unknown batteries of unknown quality by an unknown manufacturer, and not worth the risk using in your mod. Never assume because they were included with your mod that they are safe or the correct battery to use.
- Be cautious when shopping for batteries. Unprotected ICR batteries should NEVER be used in a mod. Be aware of fake AW & Sony batteries.
- How to identify counterfeit AW batteries
- How to identify counterfeit Sony batteries | E-Cigarette Forum
- Final word on Sony's production plans for the US18650 VTC4 and the US18650 VTC5 (April 9, 2015)
- If uncertain about the quality or type of a battery, don't buy or use it. Do not use over-the-counter alkaline batteries like those from Radio Shack, etc. Buy only from trusted e-cig vendors such as RTD Vapor, Illumn, Lighthound, or Orbtronics. Use the type of battery that your mod calls for. For example, Provape recommends using only AW IMR button top batteries in the Provari; using magnets on flat top batteries will void the warranty because this is an unsafe battery practice.
- Battery Chargers. Get the best charger that you can reasonably afford. Statistically most battery incidents occur while charging. Pila, Xtar, and Nitecore Intellicharger are the most recommended brands.
- Always use safe battery practices and common sense with all batteries. Even the safest battery available to us can fail. IMR battery failure Most common user error battery failures are the result of rapid discharge, from the fire button inadvertantly pushed for too long, or the battery being shorted from metal objects (keys, change, etc) completing the circuit when carrying a battery in a pocket or purse. Use plastic Battery Cases. Do not stack batteries.
- If you are using sub-ohm coils in an RBA/RDA, it is extremely important to use the highest quality IMR battery. Coils < 0.6 ohm require an IMR battery that has a maximum continuous discharge rate over 10 amps, preferably with a 30 amps continuous discharge rate. Sub-Ohm Battery Chart
PROTECTED or IMR BATTERY: Which Lithium battery is best for your application?
IMR Li-Mn. Lithium manganese batteries. Also called "high drain", "safe chemistry", "unprotected".
- These are used in regulated mods that use buck boost circuitry to achieve variable voltage-wattage, but they are now also recommended for single voltage mechanical mods as a safer alternative to protected Li-Ion batteries.
- This class will have less capacity in mAh rating compared to protected batteries, but are superior when maximum load current is required, such as in regulated mods, mechanical mods using a Kick, or using an RBA. Why High Drain Batteries?
Protected ICR Li Ion. Lithium ion class batteries, also called "protected batteries".
- New mixed chemistry batteries that are both safe chemistry/high drain and extended capacity in one. A good choice for applications that demand both maximum load current and longer battery time. Can be used for either mechanical or regulated mods. Some of these have 20 or more amps continuous discharge ideal for sub-ohm or high wattage regulated mods.
AW 18650 2200mah 20 amp IMR/hybrid (new 2015)
- ICR batteries are now considered obsolete for mod use because of their potential for flames & explosion.
Samsung 18650 2500mah 20 amp IMR/hybrid LG 18650HE2 2500mah 20 amp IMR/hybrid
Sony 18650 VTC4 2100mah 30 amp IMR/hybrid
Orbtronic 18650 SX30 2100 mAh 30 amp IMR/hybrid
Mods, Batteries, & Safer Vaping
PBusardo's Mod Battery Information Guide
IMR Battery Specification Comparison
Deeper Understanding of Mod Batteries
What does IMR mean
Sub-Ohm Vaping: Discussion, Safety, Battery Info, Warnings
Battery Data | Deus Ex Vaporis
What does a battery's C Rating mean?
Battery Specifications and Online Calculators
Exactly why 18650 battery names like VTC4, VTC5, Samsung 25R, are confusing everybody
Best 18650 Battery (2015)?
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