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Read: Batteries EXPLAINED

Discussion in 'General Vaping Discussion' started by tc1, Dec 1, 2012.

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  1. tc1

    tc1 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 26, 2011
    Ohio
    So after the latest mishap of an ECF member with regards to an exploding battery, many of us feel that proper battery safety should be something we as a community educate newcomers to. I will do my best at explaining what we all need to know easily and quickly. Remember, this information pertains to Lithium batteries in general ... not just e-cigs.

    *Batteries should almost NEVER be left to charge unattended in case of catastrophic failure. If at all possible, purchase a "LiPo bag" / "LiPo Sack" and keep proper fire safety equipment close by!*


    What is the difference between all the Li--- (lithium-based) batteries I see?

    They all function essentially the same, the difference being the chemistry which is used in the cell. Certain lithium mixes are more stable and less volatile to discharge, undercharge, and temperature fluctuation. In the case of LiPo, you are generally dealing with multiple cell batteries connected together to increase the voltage, capacity, and to allow a much higher discharge rate.

    Protected Battery? High Drain? What's going on here?

    ​This is a common question and often misunderstood topic here on the forum. Protected batteries have a built in circuit which protects the cell from temperature, pressure, and over discharge. In the case of high pressure, the battery will most likely stop working completely for safety reasons. High Drain batteries have no protection circuit and use chemistry such as IMR (LiMn2O4) which provides a more stable, reliable, and safe battery chemistry on their own.

    Which do I use on my device?

    If you are using a simple mechanical mod like a single voltage tube, most vendors will recommend a Protected Battery. This is because these mods do not have any built in protections for the battery and a high discharge of the battery is not required. If this is the device you own, you may want to think about purchasing a penny/2 cent fuse as well which will help protect your device in the event of catastrophic failure.

    High Drain Batteries such as IMR are generally recommended for regulated devices, often providing variable voltage/wattage. These devices require a higher discharge rate than normal protected style batteries can often provide. The battery protection in these devices are often found in the electronics of the device itself. You may also find that certain brands of IMR batteries are also recommended on mechanical devices due to their safer chemistry, known reliability, and performance. Once again, you may add a fuse for an extra layer of protection in your mechanical mod if you choose to use an IMR battery.

    What's the deal with this whole battery stacking thing?

    Battery stacking is when you take two or more batteries and run them together to increase your voltage output and capacity. Two 3.7 volt batteries will provide an output voltage of 7.4 (3.78 X 2) for example. The amount of time you get out of stacked batteries compared to one will depend on the output voltage and amps you are pushing under load. To summarize, stacked batteries allow you to increase the potential power and battery life of your device.

    Is it dangerous?

    In short, it CAN be. The problem with stacked batteries is that the less "in sync" they are with each other, the more likely an issue can occur. If one battery has a lower reading than the other it can cause one battery to "reverse charge" the other. This causes current interference and temperature spikes inside the batteries which if left alone can cause the batteries to burn and/or explode. If you decide to run stacked batteries in your device, ALWAYS use them in pairs. Use and charge them at the same time. If one begins to age decline before the other (less voltage off the charger), properly dispose of them BOTH. Many people use stacked batteries with no problem and you can too! Just remember to pair them and perhaps properly label them as such.

    What are the safety concerns and symptoms?

    Both physical and electrical abuse of these batteries can cause anything from premature death of the battery to explosive fire hazards. It's important to treat batteries with care and understand symptoms of a failing battery. Symptoms include:

    - Battery getting overly hot
    - Battery starting to smell or releasing gases into the air
    - Bubbling, Bloating, or Melting of battery casing
    - Noticeable sudden decrease in battery life


    If any of these symptoms occur, stop using the battery IMMEDIATELY. In the case of an overly hot battery or battery with sudden life loss, I recommend asking on the forum where members can help troubleshoot a potential solution. With the more severe symptoms, it is safe to say that you should not hesitate to dispose of it properly. Dumping the battery in a bucket of salt water (outside or a WELL ventilated area) is the quickest way to neutralize the battery and make it safe for handling.

    What can cause my battery to become volatile and/or dangerous?

    The most common causes of battery failures are the following:

    - Dropped or physically damaged battery
    - Over discharge of the battery
    - Over charging the battery

    What if I drop my battery or it takes some abuse?

    If you drop or put any physical strain on the battery, ALWAYS visually inspect the battery to make sure there are no signs of wear. You can then place it in your device and use it shortly. Remove the battery again and inspect it once more. Continue to do this until you personally feel comfortable about no damage being done.

    How do I prevent over discharge of the battery?

    Ensure you are using the proper battery for your device. Make an effort to use any and all protections possible on your device. In the case of mechanical mods, a fuse is a great idea to give you an added layer of mechanical protection. With digital devices, most of the protections are built in and will run automatically. If you have battery failure in one of these devices, stop using it immediately and contact the vendor.

    How do I prevent over charging of the battery?

    Always use the proper charger for your battery. Ensure that the output voltage and amperage of the charger match or are lower than that of the battery going to be charged. Charging a battery at a LOWER amp rating than listed will not harm it and only causes your charge time to increase. Charging a battery at a HIGHER amp rating than listed however can result in a fire hazard.

    Remember, just because a battery fits into a charger, doesn't mean the battery is SAFE in that charger!

    How do I find out the Amps I can charge my battery at?

    There is a very simple way to calculate the amp output needed to properly charge your battery. Remember, your charge should never exceed (small margins can be acceptable) the max amp rating. You simply take the mah rating of your battery and move the decimal 3 spots to the left. For example:

    3500 mah battery = 3.5 amp MAX
    2250 mah battery = 2.25 amp MAX
    600 mah battery = 0.6 amp MAX

    How do I store my batteries?

    If you plan to buy spare batteries that you won't be using for months at a time. It is recommended that you store them at around a 50% charge. This prevents cell leaking, which in return can cause irreversible cell death (the battery won't hold as large of a charge). This IS a recommendation and isn't something you absolutely have to do.

    When storing batteries, ensure that they are protected INDIVIDUALLY from contact with other batteries and metals. An affordable and cheap way to do this is by buying the plastic cases you can find all over the internet. These cases are great when carrying batteries on your person as well. Never place loose batteries into a pocket or bag where they can come into contact with each other or metals.

    I have more questions, what should I do?

    This concludes my general information regarding batteries and safety. If you have any questions feel free to ask them here at ECF. There are plenty of knowledgeable and nice forum members who spend a fair amount of time devoted to answering questions for those seeking answers. Best of luck to you on your journey into the world of e-cigs, and as always ... Vape On!
    :vapor:
     
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  2. denali_41

    denali_41 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 7, 2011
    Over Der
    not buying cheapy knock-offs is a good start to avoiding battery issues !!
     
  3. tc1

    tc1 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 26, 2011
    Ohio
    Regardless of perceived quality of battery, taking the proper safety precautions is important and will more than likely result in nothing catastrophic happening. The overwhelming majority of lithium-based rechargeable batteries are produced in a single providence located in China. Build quality is nearly identical in over 95% of Li-batteries produced world wide. (Because they're all coming from the same handful of factories)

    The biggest factor when looking at cheap batteries vs more expensive batteries tends to be performance.
     
  4. Thrasher

    Thrasher ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 28, 2012
    Madeira beach, Fla
    this is why I prefer panasonic if I can help it, japan baby, jaaaaapaaaaaaaaaaaan.

    also some of the aw batteries are also panasonic cells, then shipped to china where they add the protection circuits and shrink wrap them a pretty red
     
  5. dsy5

    dsy5 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    New York
    Tc1, you might think about posting this as a blog...
     
  6. tc1

    tc1 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 26, 2011
    Ohio
    Good idea ... copy and pasted into a blog entry.
     
  7. Faylool

    Faylool Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aw IMR Batteries. They rely on the device for protection? Shoot. Next year a mechanical mod I pre ordered using 18500 batteries wil be coming. Of course I already order 3 batteries for it. And I got AW IMR. Would you mind recommending the best protected battery for me. I have a wp2 II Xstar charger. I thought generally IMR was the best so still learning. I sure don't want to short my mechanical mod. She is expensive although fixable. I am also an ignorant person who is going to play with rba. Should I use an old ego to test with? I bought an ohm reader you screw in to. Will a bad rba job ruin the meter? That's all for now. So much tolerate. Blogs tend togounnoticed by newbies btw. What's a sticky? Keeps it from closing? Nice Thread
     
  8. tc1

    tc1 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 26, 2011
    Ohio
    AW is an IMR battery which means they have a relatively safer chemistry. It's also a well documented brand held in high regards for their performance and reliability. You'll be perfectly fine in using them. Just grab a fuse to be on the safe side if you want. (lots of people don't bother with a fuse and have zero issues, so it's just a personal choice)

    I was speaking in terms of recommendations that most vendors will give you. There are plenty of vendors who recommend AW IMR on all their devices. I might want to make that more clear in the post ...
     
  9. rcbell.N51

    rcbell.N51 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Oct 6, 2012
    Minnesota
    In regards to battery storage, and carrying them in general, does this cheap solution I came up with seem OK?

    IMAG0027.jpg IMAG0025.jpg IMAG0026.jpg

    It's a simple coin tube (1 cent sized) with a hole drilled on both ends (probably not necessary), and a couple 1/4 inch rubber gromets on each end. It fits an 18650 button or flat top perfectly. A protected 18650 fits but the cap doesn't quite screw on fully.
     
  10. dsy5

    dsy5 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    New York
    If its a true mechanical, you don't have to worry about shorting it out. There are no circuits in it to damage. But you will put the stress on the battery. That's why it is important to test an RBA with a stand alone ohm meter to make sure you have no shorts. Usually a coil will pop before damage is done to the battery, but siding with common sense will avoid a catastrophe.

    No, an ohm meter is designed to read shorts.
     
  11. tc1

    tc1 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 26, 2011
    Ohio

    Haha ... I like that! That will absolutely work and work well. Main thing is that your batteries aren't being shorted out by each other or something conductive. Otherwise, it'll bring a whole new meaning to "Hot Pocket". ;)
     
  12. Faylool

    Faylool Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Are they still providing batteries that work best when fully discharge before recharging re: memory and length of charge achievable? Or if I always recharge my batteries when ever I feel like it which are the best for that and not decreasing their life. I for sure will no doubt depend on panasonics or AW I don't acre about price. I was told egos are LiPo. Are they the ones that do best being run to full discharge?
    And my rba question. Sorry. So many questions.OOPS Dsy5 answered my rba question up there. thank you!
     
  13. tc1

    tc1 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 26, 2011
    Ohio
    Correct:

    In a mechanical mod the only thing you really have to worry about damaging is the battery. However, certain mechanical mods might have say a cap spring which melts if the battery starts over discharging. With a fuse, you can prevent that spring from melting which can save you some money not having to replace.

    In a "digital" mod you can damage both the battery and the mod itself. This is why pretty much every one of these mods has 4 or 5 built in protection modes. It's an attempt to protect both.

    As you can see, a mechanical mod could generally be considered more "sturdy"/"long lasting" because there are less potential faults in the mod.
     
  14. tc1

    tc1 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 26, 2011
    Ohio

    Nicads are the batteries that are better to run all the way down before charging to prevent cell memory buildup. Lithium-based (LiPo included) are basically the opposite. If you discharge the battery too far below the rated voltage you can cause cell death which decreases the capacity of the battery.
     
  15. dsy5

    dsy5 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    New York
    Lithium batteries should not be run to discharge - they will be damaged by voltages lower than (I think) 2.4v. That's why most mods with electronics flash at you or refuse to work below a certain voltage. The life of the battery can be shortened by under discharges and destroyed (think explosion/fire) or damaged by over charges.

    And we don't use nicads because they are lower voltage. They also are not capable of generating high currents as lithiums can.
     
  16. Faylool

    Faylool Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    So the flashing ip and shut down is protection from over discharge. I haven't actually over discharged it.. Why do they want such long charge times on the ego? 6-8 hours?
    And how I will I know if I'm too close to over discharging my battery on a mechanical mod?
     
  17. dsy5

    dsy5 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    New York
    The flashing occurs well before you reach an undesirable discharge state. Depends on the mAh rating of the battery. Bigger battery (>mAh), longer charging. 6-8hrs is not out of the ordinary. The eGo type chargers are designed to shut down when the proper voltage is attained; but you should remove them as soon as the LED turns green, since some chargers are not as good as others and may tend to slightly overcharge.

    On a mechanical, you should be able to tell due to the quality of the vapor produced well before you get to the danger zone. But only a check of the battery voltage with a meter will tell you for sure.
     
  18. tc1

    tc1 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 26, 2011
    Ohio
    Yes, the flashing and shutting down of your device is due to a chip inside the tube which prevents you from over discharging the battery. The max amps they recommend EGOs charging on are 420mah. Although technically, the higher the mah rating ... the higher you could charge it. So a 1100mah Ego could technically be charged at 1.1 Amps, which would provide the fastest charging speed possible.

    The problem however is that almost all EGO chargers only output 420mah, making it a more "universal" charger for all of the battery sizes. An EGO should not take 6-8 hours to charge. If this is happening, chances are you have a faulty charger.

    In a mechanical mod, there will be a noticeable decrease in vapor and flavor production when it's time to replace the battery with a new one. You *could* use a multimeter and check the voltages as well.
     
  19. Faylool

    Faylool Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Thank you Dsy5 for sticking around. Been trying to search for these answers. Should be simple but sometimes things just aren't.
     
  20. Faylool

    Faylool Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    OK. I read it in my manuals so even though the light turned green I left them in their recommended time of that 6-8 hours stuff. I must have a dozen egos and at this point I don't care how long they last because I got a Vamo on the way and that mechanical mod. The egos have been good. Especially the ego v passthroughs. Now those guys really are fine for the money or at least so far. Going on three months alternating 2. Was told a year Time will tell ut anyway doesn't matter. I'll be using my new stuff and they will become awesome backups. I do have to worry about loosing things. Something that happens too often with dingy me. So I'll take my ego v passthroughs on the road and leave the good stuff at home. Thanks so much for this thread. I hope another person asks more and more.
     
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