Here we are going to discuss all things e-cig batteries, including but not limited to safety, their chemistry and what the little numbers mean.
Let’s start with the numbers on e-cig batteries:
18350 – 18mm diameter by 35mm tall.
18650 – 18mm diameter by 65mm tall.
20700 – 20mm diameter by 70mm tall.
21700 – 21mm diameter by 70mm tall.
The chemistry of e-cig batteries
Li-ion – Lithium Ion batteries. The most common e-cig batteries used in vaping. They’ve been around since the ‘70s and are used in all sorts of devices from portable electronics to electric vehicles. They contain a flammable electrolyte so if damaged or incorrectly charged can lead to fires and/or explosions. Yikes.
Made up of an anode, electrolyte and a cathode. Within the category of Li-ion there are different chemistries that make up the cathode part of the cell:
IMR uses magnesium. The magnesium allows the battery to discharge at a high rate whilst maintaining low temperatures.
INR uses magnesium, but also adds nickel. Supposedly making the battery safer and allowing an even higher discharge rate. Examples of batteries that use this technology are Sony VTC5 or Samsung 25R.
Lipo – Lithium polymer e-cig batteries. They use a polymer electrolyte instead of a liquid electrolyte (as found in Li-ion batteries). They are lighter than Li-ion batteries so are used in applications where weight is a critical factor. The same dangers apply as that of the Li-ion batteries only with the added issue that because they use a foil wrap as opposed to a metal case as found with Li-ion batteries, they are more susceptible to damage from dropping or crushing.
With that being said, here are a number of safety tips for e-cig batteries:
- Don’t use a battery if the wrap or insulator ring is damaged in anyway. They are there to protect the battery from shorting. It takes less than a minute to rewrap a battery and it’s incredibly simple to do. It’s not worth potentially losing a limb or parts of your face over.
- Don’t exceed the batteries continuous discharge rating – Essentially the rate at which current can be pulled from the battery without it overheating. Always build to within safe limits of the battery.
- Buy batteries from places you know for sure will sell genuine batteries. Because it’s incredibly easy to rewrap batteries, unscrupulous companies rewrap poor quality or even used batteries to pass them off as more expensive brands. This can be very dangerous for the end user. You can find the batteries we stock here They are of course all 100% genuine.
- Don’t leave batteries charging unattended.
- Make sure you are using batteries that are suitable for vaping. There are lots of low amp, high mah batteries on the market that are only suitable for torches and the likes. A rule of thumb I like to go by is that if the battery company has fire in the name (ultrafire or trustfire for example), often using them will lead to just that. These batteries are not intended for use in vaping devices.
One piece of advice I often see given that I don’t really understand is: Don’t charge your mod via USB. If it’s a single battery mod or it supports balance charging, I really don’t know why you couldn’t charge it via USB. My charger cost £15-20 and my mod cost £50-60 so to say that the chip in the mod will destroy my batteries somehow and my cheap Chinese charger will somehow look after them better makes no sense.
I charge my vape devices via usb or battery charger depending on which is handy at the time. Deal with it.
If you are interested in battery saftey and would like to learn more, I recommend checking out Battery mooch.
If you follow the link, you’ll find a veritable smorgasbord of useful info from individual battery performance tests to voltage drop tests and everything in between.
Ohms law defines the relationship between power, voltage, current and resistance.
Ok, bare with me as it’s all going to get a little bit Russell Crowe in a beautiful mind. I’ll try and keep this as simple as possible.
There are a number of simple mathematical equations to determine various different pieces of information in relation to wattage and battery safety, for the most part, if you’re using a regulated device, these are not vital to know as the chip in the mod sorts this shit out for you but honestly you may as well learn them as they are so simple and could keep you from doing something stupid in the future.
How to determine the wattage of e-cig batteries:
Volts x Volts ÷ ohms = Wattage
So, using a fresh battery, 4.2V and a 0.5ohm coil, we can see we are vaping at 35.28w:
4.2 x 4.2 ÷ 0.5 = 35.28
How to determine the amperage of e-cig batteries:
Volts ÷ ohms = Amps
Again, using a fresh battery, 4.2V and a 0.5ohm coil, we can see we are drawing 8.4 amps:
4.2 ÷ 0.5 = 8.4
There’s a lot more information to Ohms law that we could dig further into but to be honest, those two equations are probably enough to keep you out of A and E.