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Nitecore 35A 3100mAh 18650 Bench Test Results...only 15A 3000mAh

Discussion in 'Batteries and Chargers' started by Mooch, May 15, 2017.

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  1. Mooch

    Mooch Electron Wrangler Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 13, 2015
    To prevent any confusion with the eGo-type "batteries", I use the term "cell" here to refer to a single 18350, 18650, 20700/21700, 26650, etc.

    While the test results are hard data, the conclusions and recommendations I make based on these tests are only my personal opinion based on my criteria for setting a rating. Carefully research any cell you are considering using before purchasing.

    Testing cells at their limits is dangerous and should never, ever, be attempted by anyone who has not thoroughly studied the dangers involved and how to minimize them.

    If the cell has only one current rating number on it, or if it says "max" then I have to assume that the company is stating that the cell can be discharged at that current level in any way, including continuously.

    IMG_5351.JPG IMG_5352.JPG IMG_5353.JPG IMG_5354.JPG IMG_5264.JPG

    Bottom Line
    This Nitecore is a 15A rewrapped cell with a useless "pulse" rating (see the Comments section) and an exaggerated capacity rating.

    While this cell has an inaccurate 20A continuous rating in micro print on the wrap it also has a useless 35A "max pulse discharge" rating on the wrap too. It also features "35A" in a huge font which many people will use as the cell's rating when shopping or when a vendor displays it on their web site. For these reasons I feel the large "35A" rating, or any "pulse" or "max" rating, is misleading and shouldn't be used.

    The wrap is not the standard heat shrink plastic. It is self-adhesive and appears to be similar to Mylar. I do not know how durable it is compared to the wraps being used now by other companies.

    This cell says "IMR18650" on the wrap but it does not use IMR chemistry. It uses one of the INR chemistries.

    I was especially disappointed to see this cell's capacity rating set at 3100mAh by Nitecore. It is clearly set by Samsung at 3000mAh (see the 30Q datasheet image below).

    I am rating this Nitecore at 15A and 3000mAh. The ones I tested were rewrapped Samsung 30Q's. Their performance was essentially identical to the 30Q's I have here.

    The two cells that were tested were purchased by me from IMRBatteries.

    Continuous-Current Test Comparison to Samsung 30Q

    30Q Datasheet Capacity Spec

    Pulse-Current Test Results
    Pulse tests were not done since this is a rewrapped 30Q.

    Always Remember
    ⁃ There is no 18650 with a factory/manufacturer rating over 30A continuous.
    - There is no 3000mAh 18650 that can have a rating over 20A continuous.
    ⁃ There is no 3100mAh-3600mAh 18650 that can have a rating over 10A continuous.
    ⁃ There is no 18650 available to vapers that has a capacity rating over 3600mAh.

    • At 10A continuous this cell delivered about 2800mAh. This is terrible performance for a 3100mAh rated cell so I am rating it at 3000mAh.
    • Pulse ratings are utterly and completely useless unless we know some things about how the ratings were set. There are no standards for a pulse rating. Without knowing the length of the pulse, the time between pulses, and the criteria used to set the rating (temperature? run time? voltage sag? a combination of these?) we can't compare one battery's pulse rating against another's. They're useless.
    • These "pulse" ratings can be dangerously high. While you might normally be able to vape at that high a level without too much risk, since the current is pulsed, these ratings don't take our safety into account in case of a mod malfunction or accidental button press. This can cause the battery to be discharged continuously, possibly causing it to vent (most likely not go into thermal runaway and burst though).
    To see how other cells have tested and how hard you can safely push them, check out these links: List of Battery Tests | E-Cigarette Forum
    • Like Like x 5
  2. Rossum

    Rossum Surly Curmudgeon Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Dec 14, 2013
    Southbound :)
    So Nitecore is the new Efest? :sneaky:

    Why would anyone buy these roughly double the price of the 30Q?
    • Like Like x 1
  3. sonicbomb

    sonicbomb Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 17, 2015
    1187 Hunterwasser
    Lies, more lies, and marketing.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. DaveP

    DaveP PV Master & Musician ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 22, 2010
    Central GA
    Just bought 4 Samsung 30Q's for $5.89 each at RTDVapor. They are good batteries in the ballpark with my Sony VCT6's.

    RTDVapor only has Nitecore chargers ... no Nitecore batteries for sale. Good for them!
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