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Thread: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

  1. #1
    HKJ's Avatar
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    Default Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)



    Official specifications:
    • Battery type: 18650
    • High Drain Capacity: 2900mAh
    • Max Discharge (constant current): 10A
    • Max Discharge Pulse Current (5-6 sec.): 18A
    • Full charge: 4.2V
    • Charging method: CV/CC
    • Minimum charging current: 0.6A
    • Rapid Charging current: 1.35A
    • Nominal (storage) voltage: 3.6V-3.7V
    • Minimum discharge voltage level: 2.5V
    • Dimensions: 18.5mm x 66.5mm
    • Weight: 46g
    • Button Top: Yes
    • AC-IR: 21 mOhm




    This is the newest high current cell from Panasonic. This battery uses the PF cell, even though it is named PD. The main difference between the PD and PF cell is that Panasonic has made the PF cell a bit safer (There is also a very minor capacity increase).










    The two batteries has a very good match in capacity and does also keep the capacity at high loads.















    Conclusion

    There are cells with higher voltage at high current, but none other with this much capacity.
    With a Panasonic cell inside it is a very good battery, that can deliver a lot of current.


    Notes and links

    How is the test done and how to read the charts
    How is a protected LiIon battery constructed
    More about button top and flat top batteries
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: lygte-info.
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Thank you HKJ for your time, and knowledge to test all these batteries.

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    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Ditto on thanks for these reviews. HKJ, your reviews are some of the very best and most important contributions to our hobby. Your methods and explanations are thorough, practical, and useful. Thanks again for another great review!
    Last edited by Mr. Tone; 12-09-2013 at 07:55 AM.

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    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Very informative and wonderful test as always. HKJ!

    Thanks a lot.

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    Flashaholic* RI Chevy's Avatar
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    Default How do these cells differ from the newer NCR18650PF?

    Another excellent review!

    How do these cells differ from the newer NCR18650PF?

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    Default Re: How do these cells differ from the newer NCR18650PF?

    Quote Originally Posted by RI Chevy View Post
    Another excellent review!

    How do these cells differ from the newer NCR18650PF?
    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    This is the newest high current cell from Panasonic. This battery uses the PF cell, even though it is named PD. The main difference between the PD and PF cell is that Panasonic has made the PF cell a bit safer (There is also a very minor capacity increase).

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* RI Chevy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do these cells differ from the newer NCR18650PF?

    Ah.....I missed that little blurb. I recently found some of the PF cells, but they are clearly marked as PF. Thank you for that finding that.

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    Default Re: How do these cells differ from the newer NCR18650PF?

    Quote Originally Posted by RI Chevy View Post
    Ah.....I missed that little blurb. I recently found some of the PF cells, but they are clearly marked as PF. Thank you for that finding that.
    Do you have the bare cells? Have you tried them out in anything high draw yet?

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* RI Chevy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do these cells differ from the newer NCR18650PF?

    No, I do not have the bare PF cells. I have the unprotected NCR18650PD cells. They are pretty good cells.

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    Default Re: How do these cells differ from the newer NCR18650PF?

    Excellent Review as always, Sir.



    These look like an excellent alternative to IMR 18650, which seem to top out at closer to 2250 mah or so.

  11. #11

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    So these are Lithium Manganese cells right? So aren't they IMR? Or is IMR a brand name? I love the idea of a safer chemistry as opposed to a protected dangerous-er cell.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Quote Originally Posted by ThirstyTurtle View Post
    So these are Lithium Manganese cells right?
    NCA

    Quote Originally Posted by ThirstyTurtle View Post
    So aren't they IMR? Or is IMR a brand name?
    "IMR" is not a brand, it is part of a pseudostandard cell model prefix format for Li-ion: Lithium-ion, manganese oxide cathode, round package.

    Here's something that has been on my mind a while: Nowadays a lot of high power cells are not IMR, they are various "hybrid" chemistries most of which have nickel and cobalt involved and some of which contain no manganese. If you open up 10 new drill packs you might find one that has true IMR cells in them, and those are probably Chinese and made by Lishen and found in a Ryobi pack.

    Related: I wonder how many "IMR" cells sold in the flashlight market are really IMR today. Some of the discharge curves don't look like IMR. LiMn2O4 cells have a nominal voltage of 3.8V. That seems to be a reliable telltale when looking at industrial cell datasheets.

    This is a real IMR: http://www.molicel.com/ca/pdf/IMR18650E.pdf

    And this is a hybrid: http://www.panasonic.com/industrial/...UR18650SAX.pdf

    Quote Originally Posted by ThirstyTurtle View Post
    I love the idea of a safer chemistry as opposed to a protected dangerous-er cell.
    You see, that's something I wonder about nowadays. Are the low current type cells of recent design really less safe than the high power?

    There has been a lot of R&D both with safety engineering and with chem, and neither class of cell is what it was years ago. I don't think anything over 2600mAh (18650) is regular lico... Pana has their NCR series (supposedly NCA), and Sanyo calls their 4.35v cells "neo-hybrid cathode". Samsung lists their high charge voltage cells as having a "safety functional layer" similar to Pana's "heat resistance layer".

    So how does all that stack up as far as probability? Is it really safer to use two INR18650-20R in series than two NCR18650B? I don't think anyone knows. It's just an assumption that high power equals safer. I'd bet they are more or less even.

    As to the Pana PD... These cells were intended for EV packs. The vent indentation in the can on the PD (Deleted from the PF) is part of a Tesla patent. Speculation on endless-sphere, which I think was more than just speculation, was that the PD cell was exactly identical to the original NCR18650 but with the PTC removed. No chem difference. just like the old CGR18650CH and CGR18650CG.

    And ultimately, the NCRs seem really safe, haven't heard of one blowing yet, and there is a video of someone with a big hammer smashing 2 charged ones to bits that do not even warm up let alone ignite.

  13. #13

    Default

    Thanks for all the detailed information! I was asking because I've been using AW IMR cells on my ZL H602W because it gets the longest and highest output use of any of my lights AND it's literally strapped to my forehead so even though the ZL has built-in low-voltage cutoff, I wanted the absolute safest cells I could get. The problem is they're only 2,000mAh so I have ordered 4 of these cells in the hopes of gaining some added capacity without sacrificing the inherent safety benefits of manganese cells. I need to re-read your post a few times but I THINK I've accomplished that goal.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    I posted this on the TM26 (Nitecore Tiny Monster 26) thread but wanted to put it here as well for feedback and to have the safest batteries for it when running in turbo mode.

    Could protected NCR18650PF Panasonic battery cells which Orbtronic sells (2900mah) be charged inside the TM26? Also, since these are high drain models, would the voltage remain higher on the turbo mode than when using the other models such as the NCR18650B cells? 0.6 amp minimum charging current so is the charging system or the TM26 capable of charging 4 cells?



















    Last edited by Glow Bug; 12-18-2013 at 09:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Quote Originally Posted by Glow Bug View Post
    I posted this on the TM26 (Nitecore Tiny Monster 26) thread but wanted to put it here as well for feedback and to have the safest batteries for it when running in turbo mode.

    Could protected NCR18650PF Panasonic battery cells which Orbtronic sells (2900mah) be charged inside the TM26? Also, since these are high drain models, would the voltage remain higher on the turbo mode than when using the other models such as the NCR18650B cells? 0.6 amp minimum charging current so is the charging system or the TM26 capable of charging 4 cells?
    I cannot answer questions about the TM26, because I do not have it.

    The standard version of the Orbtronic battery is not protected.

    For the unprotected version you can use my comparator to compare voltage to other batteries. A protected battery will have up to 0.1 volt lower output at its maximum output current, due to the protection. I.e. if the protection trips at 10A, the output will be 0.1 volt lower at 10A and 0.01 volt lower at 1A.

    The "Minimum charge current" is a typo, it is probably "Standard charge current", i.e. using a higher current will reduce the lifetime of the battery. All batteries has a standard/nominal charge current where the parameters are guaranteed and a maximum charge current where the battery is safe to charge, but it will reduce the lifetime. Often only the standard current are specified.
    Last edited by HKJ; 12-18-2013 at 11:32 AM.
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Thanks for the reply. I will probably just use the protected 3100-3400 NCR18650 cells. I really do not use the turbo function enough worry about the voltage sag. This way, I know the built in charger would effectively charge the 4 batteries.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Quote Originally Posted by Glow Bug View Post
    Thanks for the reply. I will probably just use the protected 3100-3400 NCR18650 cells. I really do not use the turbo function enough worry about the voltage sag. This way, I know the built in charger would effectively charge the 4 batteries.
    I'm just one guy, but I've been using protected EagleTac 3100s, naked Pannie 3100s and I recently bought some naked Sanyo 2600s to run in my SC-600 and Fenix PD32. I'm in a position where I can check often, the battery voltages, so it's not a big issue for me, but they work fine with a little attention to detail.

    I've never felt the need to run out and buy IMR 18650 because of my specific lights, but I have bought a pair of AW IMR 16340s to run in my old V10R and now V11R, so IMR cells do have their place, but you're sacrificing a decent amount of 'capacity' by doing so.

    I know the proper thing to do here, is err on the side of caution when giving advice to novices, but as toruk intimates, 'how' dangerous are these various chemistries if we're buying quality cells and not running them down to 0.0v and letting them sit for a month, before charging them up on a fake Zing-Fire charger?

    Multi-cell lights, I get that things should be matched/balanced, as best as possible, but running things in a single cell light, as long as you've got good stuff, the risk factor is low, is my thought.

    Chris
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  18. #18

    Question Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Hey guys,

    I am actually looking for the information about Panasonic NCR18650PF. We wanted to use this in our product development. However, it seems not easy to get the information even on Panasonic's website. I was wondering does this battery actually exist?

    I found a testing diagram on a website which is selling it. It claims the testing was done by HKJ from this forum. So I traced to this forum but have found nothing related. Then I figured that diagram was probably taken from this post and been modified in purpose.

    Could someone help me to get the actual information about Panasonic NCR18650PF? Some say this is a NMC Lithium-Ion battery, is that true? Did HKJ have ever done test on this particular battery?

    Thanks a lot in advance!

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* RI Chevy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Here is a link to HKJ's review of the Panasonic NCR 18650PF cell. http://lygte-info.dk/review/batteries2012/Orbtronic%2018650PD%202900mAh%20%28Black%29%20UK.h tml

    From Henrik: "This is the newest high current cell from Panasonic. This battery uses the PF cell, even though it is named PD. The main difference between the PD and PF cell is that Panasonic has made the PF cell a bit safer (There is also a very minor capacity increase)."

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Quote Originally Posted by stoneboy View Post
    Could someone help me to get the actual information about Panasonic NCR18650PF? Some say this is a NMC Lithium-Ion battery, is that true? Did HKJ have ever done test on this particular battery?
    Look in the information box at the top, this is the PF cell, but the dealer has labelled it PD (This is based on information from the dealer).
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: lygte-info.
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Thanks a lot for your reply HKJ! and thanks for RI Chevy as well!

    Sorry I missed the detail in your report! It's kind of confusion from those manufactures and dealers though.

    Do you know where I can get the Panasonic's detailed tech info on this battery? coz we wanted to use it in our developing product not for personal usage.

    Thanks again!

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Quote Originally Posted by stoneboy View Post
    Do you know where I can get the Panasonic's detailed tech info on this battery? coz we wanted to use it in our developing product not for personal usage.
    You have probably already seen this on Panasonics website: http://industrial.panasonic.com/www-...CR18650PF+7+EA

    Try asking Orbtronic or Keeppower about the battery, maybe they have more information, if you want to buy.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Thanks HKJ!

    Yeah, I've been there couple of time. No PDF has been found for detailed info. We might have to ask Panasonic directly to get the info.

    You were saying "The main difference between the PD and PF cell is that Panasonic has made the PF cell a bit safer" in your report. Could you be more specific on it? Why it's safer then PD? We were originally looking at NCR18650B for our product as it has quite high capacity. If the NCR18650PF is safer we would move to it. But we need to make sure of that.

    Thanks!

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Quote Originally Posted by stoneboy View Post
    No PDF has been found for detailed info. We might have to ask Panasonic directly to get the info.
    I doubt it is easy to get the full data sheet from Panasonic.

    Quote Originally Posted by stoneboy View Post
    You were saying "The main difference between the PD and PF cell is that Panasonic has made the PF cell a bit safer" in your report. Could you be more specific on it? Why it's safer then PD? We were originally looking at NCR18650B for our product as it has quite high capacity. If the NCR18650PF is safer we would move to it. But we need to make sure of that.
    Panasonic lists two improvements from PD to PF: Improved weldability and improved safety. Maybe the main reason for the fast switch from PD to PF was the improved safety. This probably has to do with the CID as they says it works earlier.

    This has nothing to do with the NCR18650B.
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Thanks HKJ for your kindness!

    I have been doing research for this afternoon and evening. Here are some pieces I've got from other forums and websites.

    "I hate vague information so I contacted orbtronics about it
    this is the reply:
    'Hi William,
    Yes, that's the improved PD. It runs even cooler on high Amps, and improvement on voltage drop. Nothing significant. 30-40 mAh more in capacity as well.'"

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "The only thing i could find was the internal resistance change, and the chemistry change,
    *
    the PD is 22mΩ with a Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminium core,
    *
    the PF is 35mΩ with a Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide core.
    *
    From what i can tell, the new PF chemisty will be better for longer high drain applications and should be less prone to damage over time."

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "The PF is a nice cell for sure. It is supposed to last longer (more charge cycles, handle more abuse) than the PD. It appears that it also performs as well or better than the PD.
    Here's a review from Tom E:
    Ordered 4 of these at first, and 2 protected versions. In my 4.9A Nanjg, copper pill, XM-L2 U2 configured HD2010, when fresh at full charge, these got higher amp readings than the Pana PD's they replaced! Interesting because the PF specs said they had higher resistance than the PD's, but opposite seems to be true. Here are some of the measured amps, all fresh charged: Pana PD's: 4.26A/4.25A Pana PF's: 4.43A/4.45A Powerizer: 4.90A Samsung 20R: 4.83A Samsung 20Q: 4.50A Sanyo UR 18650FM: 3.85A Panasonic B (3400, unprot): 3.69A ** There are variations, and some cells are 4.21v, others may be as low as 4.16v. If 2 cells were tested, both are listed separated by a slash (/). ** Highly recommend these for there longer runtimes of 2900 mAh at high amps"
    It seems clear that PF is safer especially under high drain situation. The CID, as I have noticed in there 3D illustration, it seems has been using on all their newer generation batteries as standard design. Would it be using PSS + HRL technology? If that's true. I would consider the 18650PF is safer and cooler than 18650B in general, despite it's smaller capacity. We are designing a kind of mobile charging system which the demanding of charging current could be very vary.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Hi guys, are this cells EXACTLY the same as the Panasonic green PF? (if we exclude button top)

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Quote Originally Posted by dazed1 View Post
    Hi guys, are this cells EXACTLY the same as the Panasonic green PF? (if we exclude button top)
    Yes
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  28. #28

    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    Yes
    So why does Orbotrnic charge so much more? :/

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Quote Originally Posted by dazed1 View Post
    So why does Orbotrnic charge so much more? :/
    Compared to what?
    Are there another shop in US that sells them cheaper with the same service and reliability?
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  30. #30

    Default Re: Test/Review of Orbtronic 18650PD 2900mAh (Black)

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    Compared to what?
    Are there another shop in US that sells them cheaper with the same service and reliability?
    http://www.illumn.com/batteries-char...-flat-top.html


    Dont know if they are 100% reliable, but very close.

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