The ability to utilize energy has been of great significance since the discovery of fire by man 2 million years ago in the Early Stone Age. It allows us to use fossil fuels like coal, oil, and biogas for everyday tasks such as cooking and lighting. However, the world is fast moving towards electric energy such as that stored in batteries in industries like robotics, solar power, and electric vehicles. Lithium-ion is the most advanced of the batteries currently present in the market with an improvement of 8% each year in terms of capacity and may hold the key to safe renewable energy. The 18650 battery refers to a size category of Li-ion batteries that measure 18mm by 65mm with a voltage range of between 2.5V and 4.2V.
The 18650 battery resembles an AA battery but slightly larger and comes with different specs. For 18650 cells, which are individual 18650 without a protective circuit, the most important specs are the amperes, which measure the max continuous discharge, and the milliamp hours commonly referred to as mAh, which measure capacity. Batteries with a high amp are usually low capacity while high capacity ones have the low amp. You, therefore, choose one over the other depending on your needs. However, there are 18650 batteries with modified chemistry to provide high capacity and high discharge. This is one of the things to look out for when choosing a 18650 battery. Other factors to consider include cycle life, rating, capacity, operating temperature and shock resistance. There are plenty 18650 models depending on what you need.
Examples that needs the 18650 battery
For instance, a flashlight requires a battery with a low operating temperature that can discharge at a high current since it is safer. This is determined by the chemistry, specifically, the components used in its composition which in this case is called IMR since it consists of manganese. An example of a favorite 18650 battery in this category is the LG HB2. For vaping, one would use a high discharge high capacity 18650 battery such as the LG HG2 or the Samsung 25R. For e-bikes, batteries with great cycle life and capacity such as the Panasonic 18650B or Panasonic 18650PF are great. However, for this, you have to sacrifice high discharge current currents. Batteries in this category are Li-aluminum batteries and are used in electric cars as well. Then there is the category with the highest specific energy that packs the biggest punch, Li-cobalt 18650 batteries. However, this energy comes at a cost as these are the most dangerous batteries in the lineup and need a built-in protective circuitry to be used in flashlights or vaporizers.
The uses of 18650 batteries range from the most common such as flashlights to running laptops, lighting vaporizers, running e-bikes and electric cars, power tools and even in smart homes. You can get a 18650 battery for virtually any device or application and the technology is continually growing to accommodate all our needs as they come up.