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Batteries 2018, 4(3), 45;

Consumer-Based Evaluation of Commercially Available Protected 18650 Cells

College of Engineering, Penn State University-Hazleton Campus, 76 University Dr, Hazleton, PA 18202, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 August 2018 / Revised: 6 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
PDF [1955 KB, uploaded 12 September 2018]


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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Baksa, S.; Yourey, W. Consumer-Based Evaluation of Commercially Available Protected 18650 Cells. Batteries 2018, 4, 45.

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