Bench Test Results: Vapcell N40 - 10A 4000mAh 18650


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  • May 13, 2015
    These tests below only note my personal opinion for the ESTIMATED ratings for the batteries I tested at the time I tested them. Any battery that is not a genuine Samsung, Sony, Murata, LG, Panasonic, Molicel, or Sanyo can change at any time! This can be one of the hazards of using “rewrapped” or batteries from other manufacturers so carefully research any battery you are considering using before purchasing.

    Misusing or mishandling lithium-ion batteries can pose a SERIOUS RISK of property damage, personal injury, or even death. Never use them outside of a fully protected battery pack and you use them at your own risk. Never exceed the battery’s true continuous discharge rating (CDR), never let it get colder than 0°C or hotter than 60°C, and keep the plastic wrap and top insulating ring in perfect condition. Never use a battery that is physically damaged in any way.

    Testing batteries at their limits is dangerous and should never be attempted by anyone who has not thoroughly studied the dangers involved, understands the risks, has the proper equipment, and takes all appropriate safety precautions.

    If the battery has only one current rating number, or if it only says "max", then I have to assume the battery is rated at that current level for any type of discharge, including continuous.

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    Test Results
    This is a great performing cell, running just a little longer than the LG MJ1 and Panasonic/Sanyo NCR18650GA. The Vapcell F38 outperforms this cell by just a little though and if their prices are about the same I would choose the F38.

    This cell is identical in appearance to the F38 but runs for a slightly shorter amount of time due to this cell’s approximately 10% higher internal resistance.

    I originally thought that the N40 and F38 might be the same cell, just sorted out by capacity and internal resistance. But the N40 has more than 300mAh extra actual capacity and that’s a pretty large difference for cells from the same batch of one model. I could be wrong though.

    The N40 weighs about 1 gram more than the F38 so that also makes me think that these are two different cells just assembled into the same metal can on the same assembly line, probably in batches.

    I ran one of these through the same five abusive cycles*** that I subjected the F38 to and this cell did just a tiny bit worse than the F38 did. By cycle five it delivered one pulse less than it did for the first cycle and ran at a couple of mV lower. Maybe not noticeable in actual use but the F38 seems to be a little better able to handle abuse.

    The N40’s 10A rating seems reasonable and two cells delivered 4121mAh and 4131mAh in my capacity testing. That is fantastic consistency and both exceeded their 4000mAh rating. I recommend charging at 1A or lower, 0.5A preferred, since they got a bit warm at 1A.

    The N40 does not have a non-continuous rating and I recommend not pulsing it at above its continuous rating (10A, about 30W) as there will be a lot of voltage sag. This is true for all cells though.

    I do not know who makes these yet but in my opinion it’s not Samsung, Murata, Panasonic, LG, or Molicel. I do not know who is stocking this cell or what its availability is.

    ***Pulse-discharged at 15A for 10 sec on/5 sec off to average out to 10A. Cell temperature reached about 61°C for each cycle (too hot to hold). Charging was done at 2A while still warm, about 40°C-45°C. Do not go over this cell’s 10A rating! My 15A testing was done only as a check of how well this cell can handle abuse, to see if it was “fragile”.

    Continuous Current Discharge Graphs
    Vapcell N40 - 10A 4000mAh 18650 CC Tests - June 2023.jpeg

    Ratings and Performance Specs Graphic

    18650 Ratings and E-Scores Table:

    20700/21700 Ratings and E-Scores Table:

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