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Batteries 2018, 4(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/batteries4030045

Consumer-Based Evaluation of Commercially Available Protected 18650 Cells

College of Engineering, Penn State University-Hazleton Campus, 76 University Dr, Hazleton, PA 18202, USA
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Received: 20 August 2018 / Revised: 6 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract

Over the past few years, the use of 18650 form factor lithium-ion (Li-ion) cells have transitioned from primarily commercial applications to consumer/residential use. An evaluation of eight commercially available, circuit protected, 18650 form factor Li-ion cells were performed, with analysis focusing on a residential consumer evaluation of performance. As typical consumer cell usage occurs at a relatively low discharge rate, cells were evaluated between 4.2 V and 2.7 V at C/10, C/5, and C/2 discharge rates. The evaluated cells ranged from “high-cost” Panasonic, Hixon, Orbtronic, and EastValley cells to “low-cost” UltraFire (UF) and Eilong cells. Initial discharge comparisons revealed that no cells delivered their nameplate capacity, with a large overstatement of cell capacity occurring for low-cost cells. On average, high-cost cells delivered 92.5% of their advertised capacity, with low-cost cells delivering 20.6% at a C/10 rate. Basing consumer evaluation on a cost per unit capacity and/or cost per unit energy, even with this large overstatement in capacity, low-cost cells still offer an advantage over higher-cost alternatives. The average cost per amp-hour for each cell group ranged from $1.65 to $3.38 for the low-cost and high-cost cell groupings, respectively. Analysis of voltage profiles highlighted two chemistries used in cell production, coinciding with each cell grouping. View Full-Text
Keywords: lithium-ion; 18650 cells; consumer; cost; gravimetric; volumetric; capacity; energy lithium-ion; 18650 cells; consumer; cost; gravimetric; volumetric; capacity; energy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Baksa, S.; Yourey, W. Consumer-Based Evaluation of Commercially Available Protected 18650 Cells. Batteries 2018, 4, 45.

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