Ultimate Guide to the 18650 Battery

What Is A 18650 Battery?

A type of rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

The term "18650" refers to the size and shape of the battery, which is 18mm in diameter and 65mm in length. These batteries are commonly used in high-drain products such as cell phones, digital cameras, and flashlights.

  • 18650 Battery voltage is typically between 2.5 and 4.2 volts
  • Capacity ranges from 1800 to 3500mAh
  • Most 18650 batteries have a standard discharge rate of 0.25C, meaning they can provide a current of up to one amp for four hours or two amps for two hours.
18650 battery for flashlight
18650 battery - Maytown

History Of The 18650 Battery

Exxon researcher Michael Stanley Whittingham researched the 18650 Battery in the early 1970s. He was the one who discovered that lithium could be used as a battery anode material.

The first 18650 batteries were made in 1974 by Sony. These batteries were used in early laptops and other devices.

Today the 18650 battery is one of the leading choices for powering electronic devices due to its high energy density and long lifetime. From the original 18650 battery, many other variations have been created, such as the 20700, 21700, and 26650.

In addition, the battery is also rechargeable, making it even more convenient to use.

How Does A 18650 Battery Work?

The working procedure of a lithium-ion battery is based on a simple principle. For producing energy, two metals are needed that react with each other. Adding these two metals results in an electrochemical reaction that generates electricity.

Source: Lesics - Youtube

A 18650 battery comprises three main parts: the anode (negative electrode), the cathode (positive electrode), and the electrolyte.

The anode is made up of lithium metal. The cathode usually comprises a transition metal oxide, such as cobalt or manganese. The electrolyte is an alkaline solution that aids in the movement of electrons between the cathode and anode.

The anode and cathode are connected to an external circuit when the battery is in use. This circuit allows the electrons to flow from the anode to the cathode. As the electrons flow through the course, they generate electricity. When it operates, both high charge and high discharge rates are available from a 18650 battery. This is made possible by using a thin film of lithium metal on the anode. The lithium metal can rapidly release and absorb electrons, allowing for high charge and discharge rates.

The main advantage of using a 18650 battery over other types is that it has a much higher energy density ad a low self-discharge rate. Indicating that a 18650 battery may store more energy than different batteries and retain its charge for longer when not used.

The 18650 battery is also much safer than other types of batteries. The reason is the lithium metal used in the anode is much less reactive than other metals. So it makes it much less likely for the battery to catch fire or explode.

Protected vs Unprotected 18650 Battery

Most 18650 batteries will come in either a protected or unprotected type.

The main difference between the two is that the protected class has a circuit board that prevents the battery from overcharging, over-discharging, and short-circuiting.

The unprotected type does not have this circuit board, which means it is more susceptible to these issues. However, the unprotected type is usually cheaper and has a higher capacity.

On the other hand, Protected 18650 batteries are a bit more expensive but offer better safety for the user.

protected 18650 battery
flashlight with 18650 battery

Applications, How They're Used?

18650 batteries are most commonly used in electronic cigarettes, flashlights, and other electronics due to their high capacity and reliability.

In electronic cigarettes, the battery is used to heat the coil, producing vapour. Most electronic cigarettes will use one or two 18650 batteries.

In flashlights, the battery is used to power the LED light.

18650 batteries are also used in other devices, such as electric scooters, solar panels, medical equipment, toys, and remote control cars. They are also used in almost all portable and cordless power tools.

Battery Cycle Of Lithium-Ion 18650

The 18650 battery has a standard cycle of lithium-ion, which is 300-500. This means that it can be recharged and used again up to 500 times before it needs to be replaced.

This makes the 18650 battery a very economical choice for those who use electronic devices regularly and need to recharge their batteries often.

Compared with several other battery types like AA, AAA, and CR123, 18650 is considered the better one for those who need a reliable and affordable battery for their electronic devices.

The battery also has a voltage of 3.7V, making it compatible with most electronic devices.

how it works - 18650 battery
Benefits of A 18650 Battery

What Are The Benefits of A 18650 Battery?

The 18650 battery is powerful and durable for high-end flashlights and other portable lighting products. Here are several benefits over other types of batteries:

  • Longer lasting power: An 18650 battery can last up to 500 charge cycles, significantly longer than most other types of batteries.
  • More powerful: store more energy than other batteries, making it ideal for devices that require a lot of power.
  • More environmentally friendly: 18650 batteries are built with lithium, a more environmentally friendly material than the lead used in other types of batteries.
  • Rechargeable: An 18650 battery can be recharged multiple times, making it more sustainable than disposable batteries.
  • Versatile: 18650 batteries can be used in various devices.

What is the Capacity of a 18650 Battery?

18650 battery run time is determined by their capacity and the power in milliampere-hours (mAh). The higher the mAh, the longer the battery will last.

  • Standard: 1200-2000 mAh
  • High Capacity: 2000-3000 mAh
  • High Drain: 3000-3500 mAh

The capacity of a 18650 battery is measured in milliampere-hours (mAh).

Most 18650 batteries have a capacity of 1200-2000 mAh. However, some have a higher power, such as 2000-3000 mAh and 3500+ mAh.

It is one of the essential factors when considering the battery for any electronic device and how much the machine can run through the 18650 battery. It is always better to have a higher capacity battery to provide more power and last longer.

Capacity of a 18650 Battery

Looking for a supplier producing a flashlight with 18650 battery?

Send inquiry now