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Efficiency. Thinner wire and higher resistance VS thick wire and lower resistance

Discussion in 'Coil Builds' started by super_X_drifter, Oct 12, 2015.

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  1. super_X_drifter

    super_X_drifter ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 4, 2012
    Somewhere out there
    image.jpeg
    I am always thinking of ways to improve the efficiency of my vape. Having just recently acquired a regulated device, I learned a few things that have helped me to make a huge improvement in vape efficiency that will lead to improved battery life, less voltage drop and less contact maintenance. The contact maintenance part will not apply to you if you are using regulated device but all other aspects will apply to either regulated or mechanical mods.


    Follow along with me if you will. Up until I had the regulated device I was running mechanical mods with dual coils netting 0.43 ohms. I was constructing these coils using 26 ga Kanthal A1 at 2.5mm inside diameter. It vaped amazing. I take short 3-4 second pulls and typically chain vape quite a bit. So that calculation is 4.2 volts divided by 0.43 ohms = 9.76 amps. 4.20 volts x 9.76 amps = 40.992 watts. Just a little trailer park math / ohms law to paint the full picture.


    Many people in my circles suggested using 1 to 1.2 ohm builds on the regulated device. Being the lazy freak that I am, I just put the atomizer with the same 0.43 ohm build in there and thought that this is vaping fine when I set it at 30 – 35 watts. BUT my batteries – brand new 3000mah Samsung 30Q’s were dying after like 2ml of liquid vaped. So I did what was suggested and placed 2 28 gauge 3.0mm 10 wrap coils on there. The net resistance is 1.07 ohms. I left the watts set at 30 and hit the device. It was a much warmer vape. So I backed the watts down to 26.5 and the vape was perfect. I vaped this setup all day yesterday and the battery lasted all day. I pulled it this morning and it was at 3.70 volts.


    So I got to thinking – why does 30 watts with thick wire and lower resistance vape the same as 26.5 watts with thinner wire and higher resistance? If you guessed because it takes thicker wire considerably longer and use more energy to heat up, you are correct. So by using thicker wire to reduce resistance (ohms) you are causing your device to run much less efficiently to heat that thicker wire. If you are only taking 3-4 second pulls, the wire hasn’t even fully heated up when your letting off the fire button!. Here – try this (if you are using heavier gauge wire than 28 gauge and running like a 0.4 (or less ohms build): press the fire button for about 5 seconds then hit it – Its warm as hell right – like as in too warm? That’s because it’s taking that long to heat up your wire. So you are only really wasting power to heat that fat wire and it isn’t even fully heated when you are letting off the fire button.


    So I decided to apply the same theory to a mech mod. Remember, the lower the resistance on a mech, the more voltage drop and the more you will have to maintain your contacts. I removed the 26 ga Kanthal A1 at 2.5mm inside diameter dual coils from that atomizer and replaced them with 2 28 gauge 3.0mm 6 wrap coils netting 0.68 ohms. 4.20 volts divided by 0.68 = 6.17 amps. 4.20 volts x 6.17 amps = 25.91 watts. Guess what? The vape was the same as on the regulated device. Pretty awesome right? Every increased point of resistance reduces voltage drop, reduces contact maintenance and will result in greater battery life. So I’d highly suggest trying this or a similar experience yourself to dispel the rumor that thick wire and low resistance is required to produce a great vape.


    So the moral of the story is many of us don’t need fat wire and low resistance to get the same vape as a higher resistance MORE EFFICIENT build will produce. Now there are exceptions to that rule of course, but I still challenge the doubters to try the 5 second button press on a really low resistance build and see if you like that vape. Then try putting in a higher resistance build with thinner wire and see if the vape isn’t the same as you thought you needed thick wire and low resistance to achieve.
     
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  2. WharfRat1976

    WharfRat1976 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 31, 2014
    Austin, Texas
    28g, 3mm coil is unstable and not a very good vape. It just isn't in my opinion.

    Fatter wire gives more flavor and clouds.
     
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  3. M4rtin

    M4rtin Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 15, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Awesome information here X, appreciate you sharing your observations and helping us to achieve a better more efficient vape. :thumbs:

    Question on coil diameters. What does using a larger coil diameter do to a vape? I know increased surface area is more wraps resulting in more vapor in the basic sense, but I have never been clear on larger diameter coils and why use larger diameters. Would that just not increase the amount of cotton used which would increase the amount of liquid held inside the coil?

    I started with 2 - 28 gauge 1.5 mm 8 wraps, now using 2 - 27 gauge 2mm 10 wraps in my nuppin. All on reos. If I go to 2 - 28 gauge 6 wraps and use a 3mm diameter in my nuppin, would that be too much for the size of a nuppin? The 3mm size that is? More vapor then a 27 gauge 10 wrap?

    I am still so confused on coil diameters and the functionality behind the diameter. I know wraps to achieve ohms, but I cannot figure this diameter size out and the functionality behind it, besides that it will also effect your ohms, just like the gauge of wire you use.

    Sorry to hit you with questions.
     
  4. WharfRat1976

    WharfRat1976 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 31, 2014
    Austin, Texas
    Will not fit under the hood of a Nuppin at 3MM. 28g at 3MMID is a bad idea. Try wrapping and mounting one. It's unstable. The vape is dry and not very good. You are right, there is too much cotton inside the coil. I could care less about my battery contacts and other "efficiencys". I care about my overall vape.
     
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  5. Johntodd

    Johntodd Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 18, 2011
    USA
    Subb'ed. Would like to know more.

    (recently got a mech.)
     
  6. WharfRat1976

    WharfRat1976 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 31, 2014
    Austin, Texas
    26g, 2.5mmID, 7/6 is the nut vape. Dual coil mode. Ohms out at .5 to .4 Use 90VG juice.
     
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  7. sig-cmt

    sig-cmt Ultra Member

    Sep 28, 2015
    HoustΩn, TX
    If you fire your mod at 100W and have your temp set at 440F under TC, your 26g wire will be fully heated after five seconds.
     
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  8. rgerber

    rgerber Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 30, 2014
    Prescott, AZ USA
    Great info as always.....
     
  9. M4rtin

    M4rtin Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 15, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Appreciate the info Wharf!:thumb:
     
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  10. WharfRat1976

    WharfRat1976 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 31, 2014
    Austin, Texas
    You bet. 28g really only works for me with a 2mm coil id or smaller in dual mode. It's good clapton wire as well.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. M4rtin

    M4rtin Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 15, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    I shall try the 28 in 22 mm duals, I definitely like the ramp up better on 28 over 27.
     
  12. super_X_drifter

    super_X_drifter ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 4, 2012
    Somewhere out there
    Yes, the reasoning behind this thread was better battery life through less wire and achieving the exact same vape. It won't really apply to anyone who primarilly hits for longer than 4 seconds or so.

    Yes, it can easilly be achieved to crank up the watts and do the same thing with thicker wire but more watts = less battery life.

    Personally I prefer battery life. I find it senseless to just eat thru a battery in a couple of hours / ML vaped when it can last much of the day and vaporize double or more the juice while providing the same vape just by using thinner wire and higher resistance. It's even more obvious on a regulated mod.

    Yep, them power up / down buttons were made to be used and hitting the power up button is equally as simple as hitting the power down one. But the consequences of each on battery life can be pretty drastic in either direction. If one is the type that likes 10 second 100w pulls, this is prolly not gonna apply to ya.

    Anytime I can reduce the opening and closing of a mod is good too.

    @M4rtin - brother, I used to like micro coils when I was us using attys where larger diameter coils were not feasible. The attys Ive been running facilitate larger diameter coils and I just prefer wicking a larger diameter coil than trying to thread a micro coil anymore. I believe if the coil construction is sound and it's lighting up / oxidizing well then coil diameter becomes less important.
     
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  13. MacTechVpr

    MacTechVpr Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Aug 24, 2013
    Hollywood (Beach), FL
    Coil diameter is all about the flow. Bigger pipe, more juice capacity. The diameter should match the potential flow of the media type to the power, temp or wire mass the atomizer can reasonably support without loss. Then the magic begins. Smaller diameters and (wick) compression also deliver. Compression concentrates juice transport of the wick increasing flow velocity to match output (towards its limit). The goal, towards best vaporization density in the coil's design. Too little flow relative to power and you get more diffusion (and a drier vape). Exceed limits of too much or little wick compression for the dia. and the wind will not perform, either to the dry or wet side.

    I'm with ya supe on the smaller diameters on REO's (of coils and wire). Why I went for the max Ø of 1.778mm promoting tensioned micro's on Protanks for new vapers (largest for slot). That's my philosophy of rebuilding — to provide enough, as much as possible, wick media for the device first. then as much efficiently productive wire as possible. Adjust power/temp by dropping or adding to a thicker or thinner wire dia., lower or higher as a res/temp target. But vaporization density (efficiency) is first achieved by providing enough wick for the platform. Diffusion by constraining flow and/or diameter along with greater power application, if desired. But drop diameters too low and you've limited potential.

    So that for real efficiency…I'd use the greatest possible wire contact surface (not wind/wire surface area) that the device will permit (for maximal vapor output). Efficiency is a percent of thermal loss in electrical terms. However, it's achieved in vaporization when you get higher production for the wetted contact surface area. Wire surface area of the wire itself like leads or exorbitant diameter or capacity is not at work. It's effect can also be measured in ramp up time. You can have great diffusion of the vape with airflow after vaporization, done right. But first you've got to have vapor.

    Variable power devices like Provari's and now box mods require us to find the productive balance between the mod's optimal electrical efficiency in output (often a median) and the atomizers most efficient (greatest) capacity based on space to accommodate wire and wick, its geometry.

    There's a serious advantage to this strategy beyond frugality in mAh — cooler more stable operating temperatures. 'Nough said.

    Good luck all and enjoy the vape!

    :)
     
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  14. SLIPPY_EEL

    SLIPPY_EEL Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Oct 11, 2013
    Ω England Ω
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  15. Uncletattoowhat

    Uncletattoowhat Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 21, 2014
    Poquoson, VA
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  16. super_X_drifter

    super_X_drifter ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 4, 2012
    Somewhere out there
    2.5mm 28GA parallel @ 0.72 ohms that in my case (4-5 second hits, often chaining) produces the same vapor as a 2.5mm 26GA parallel at 0.43 ohms in this atomizer.

    Why? Wire fully heated in a second or two. The 26GA - not so much.

    image.jpeg

    Edited to note that I do cut the air down a lil too - 2 holes open each side rather than 3.
     
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  17. MacTechVpr

    MacTechVpr Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Aug 24, 2013
    Hollywood (Beach), FL
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  18. Froth

    Froth Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 1, 2014
    Chipotle.
    I'm going to have to be the guy on the other side of the fence, every device I use has pretty much the same build in it with some nice thick 22G and I can tell you right now that nobody here would be able to take a drag off of my setup if you fired it for five seconds before you tried to, it would be spitting and hissing after 2-3 seconds because it gets up to vapeable temperature very very fast. Thick wire has its place, my usual inhale doesn't go over 2 seconds for a hit, and that works from dead cold pressing the button as I start to inhale. To each their own, I suppose. I like a hot vape with instant heat, with no warm up or dual hit chaining required.
     
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  19. MattyTny

    MattyTny Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 8, 2013
    New York
    I've recently been thinking about coil heat up and building for a mechanical with a single 18650 and there's some correlation in this thread I feel. I use both regulated devices and mechanical devices, but there are certain coils I would only use on my regulated. Reason being that I built them with more wire/more resistance for surface area and want to be putting a certain voltage though for a consistent vape, more than a single 18650 can offer.

    What are some of your member's thoughts on coil properties as far as usage on a unregulated and regulated? For example, I have a 0.7 (27g, 2.4mmID) dual in one RTA that only gets used on a regulated around 4.2volts. Then I have a 0.5 (26g, 2.4mmID) dual in another RTA that I use on both a mechanical and a regulated. If I use the 0.7 on a mechanical it's not very satisfying, but the battery life is great on my sigelei 30 mini, easily all day. The 0.5 on a mechanical gets a battery swap usually after 4.0volts, but I don't mind since that's the nature of the mechanical. It also vapes great, but obviously can be taken up on a regulated if I wanted to

    More of a question of balancing resistance and amount/type of wire.
     
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  20. SLIPPY_EEL

    SLIPPY_EEL Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Oct 11, 2013
    Ω England Ω
    Uncle, i am using the metal precision screwdrivers, the 2.78mm is a little bit of a lie, it's more 2.5mm but using 7/64th on Steam calc gets me closer to my final ohms of 0.15 that the coils read on the meter, i also dont adjust the leg length on the calc, the leg length on the phenotype-l may compensate for this as you need a tiny bit extra to reach the outer edge of this atty :)
     
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