The 18650 is a type of size classification among lithium ion batteries. The battery is 18mm by 65mm in size, it holds a shape similar to AA batteries but is a little bigger. The voltage produced by various 18650 Lithium ion batteries
ranges from 2.5 volts to 4.2 volts. The 18650 is one of the most common types of lithium ion batteries found thanks to its energy storage capacity and lower cost per kilowatt hour. There are many companies in the battery sector that manufacture 18650 batteries and they are innovating every year to produce safer and more energy efficient batteries.
Why do you need to test your 18650 battery?
You need to test your 18650 battery as it will lose its ability to hold a charge over time. They can last up to 500 cycles, this usually means two to three years of standard usage. The reduction in the capacity of the battery is caused due to build up of contaminants and reduction in the number of lithium ions available. When you measure the capacity of the battery, you will be able to know how many hours it will be able to support your devices. If you do not test and assume that the capacity of the battery has been the same since manufacturing, you will end up in situations where you will need power for just a few extra crucial minutes but the battery would have been drained.
Other than the capacity, you also need to check to ensure that it is producing the optimal amount of voltage. If your battery ends up producing a lower amount of voltage and you continue using it unnoticed, you will face several issues. The device that the 18650 battery powers will not be able to get its optimal level of voltage, it won't be able to properly function. If the voltage is too low the device will just not power on. Thus you must constantly keep checking the voltage that your 18650 battery is producing to make sure that your devices are not placed under risk.
How to test 18650 battery?
If you want to test a battery you must first remove it from the device. The exact procedure to remove the battery will vary between each device. Do refer to the manual for the device if you are not able to take the battery out. Take the battery out and place it in a suitable holder with accessible positive and negative terminals. There are two main things that you must test in a 18650 battery, the voltage and the capacity of the battery.
The voltage of the battery is measured in volts. You can determine it by using a voltmeter. Simply turn on your voltmeter and connect it properly to the terminals of your battery. Take care to properly identify the positive and negative terminal and connect appropriately. Now set the voltmeter to measure in volts, it must now display the number of volts that your battery is producing. If you do not have access to a voltmeter, you can still determine the voltage using wires of known resistance and an ammeter. Just hook up the ammeter to the battery using these wires and note down the reading. If you multiply the ammeters reading with the resistance of these wires, you will be able to determine the voltage of your battery. There are also many devices that are specifically designed to measure the capacity of a 18650 battery.
The capacity of a battery is measured in ampere-hours. The capacity is actually a measure of the amount of charge that the battery is holding. If a battery has a capacity of one ampere hours, you will be able to draw one ampere of current from the battery for an hour. You can determine the capacity of your 18650 battery by applying a constant current load to the battery and measuring how long it takes for the battery to reach EVOD. Multiply the constant current load with the amount of time taken to reach EVOD to obtain the capacity of the battery. Ensure that you use a proper clock and load as they are important to obtain an accurate reading of the battery’s capacity.
Battery testing and safety
Batteries have the potential to be extremely dangerous if they are abused or are not properly designed. Battery manufacturers must be conscious of the risks of the battery and must incorporate safety measures into the battery. While the battery is designed to be safe during proper usage and to be able to handle minor abuse, it cannot tolerate excessive abuses. The companies use various methods to ensure that batteries are safe. This includes altering the cell chemistry to be safer and adding chemical inhibitors to the electrolyte. The cells construction is also affected by the need to be safe, this includes adding rigid separators into the cells to prevent short pictures. Most batteries have vents to prevent them from getting overheated. They are also surrounded by robust packaging to reduce the impact of physical abuse. There are many institutions that test batteries and check whether they are safe to use.
There are many steps that you can take to ensure that your 18650 battery is always safe to use. This includes using appropriate chargers and removing cells from chargers once they are fully charged. You must also take care to never overcharge or over discharge your batteries. Always handle your 18650 batteries with care and do not place them in direct sunlight or on top of hot surfaces. Also check the 18650 battery for damage before each use, if you find the battery to be puffed or damaged, properly dispose of it.