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Thread: Looking for info about these 18650 cells

  1. #1

    Default Looking for info about these 18650 cells

    Recently, a friend of a friend was cleaning out an R&D facility at a local university and discovered a stash of 18650 cells that were tagged as scrap. Knowing I'm a flashlight-and-battery enthusiast, this friend of friend gave me two boxes of these cells. Each box contains 30 unwrapped cells, and a Sanyo product label was affixed to the outer carton in which the two boxes of cells were packed.

    Each cell is imprinted with the following info: A_LLIU6 followed by what appears to be a unique, six-digit serial number; e.g., 077835.

    There's also a large upper-case "C" and the word "JAPAN" imprinted on each cell.

    According to the label on the carton, these are Sanyo UR18650U cells, but I can't seem to find much info about them online. I'd like to know how old they are and their capacity. Are they useful as is or should I recyle them? Should I "wrap" these bare cells before attempting to use them? (I have an OPUS BT-C3100 charger.)

    Thanks in advance for any info you can provide. See photos below:



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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for info about these 18650 cells

    You see that in the middle of the label, it says Tesla Motors, don't you? Looks like the shipping voltage is between 3.611v-3.621v. I don't see any date code configuration that works in the Battery Bros 18650 date finder.

    What voltage are they at?

    Do a discharge test on them if they're not below 2.5ish volts.

    Chris
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Looking for info about these 18650 cells

    some cells are not made to be sold to consumer, you wont find much info on those. seeing how these are not even wrapped, that may be it,
    just cycle few cells with hobby charger\or analyzer, yes you should defiantly wrap before use.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for info about these 18650 cells

    https://na.industrial.panasonic.com/...s/ur18650u.pdf

    You owe me a beer(s).

    Remember, Panasonic owns Sanyo's battery division and they're commingling wrapper colors and model numbers ah la the NCR18650GA.

    Looks like that data sheet is copyrighted by Sanyo and marked 2011.

    And it looks like it might only be a 4.0v cell, but I'm an Eng. Lit./Comm. major. 700mA charge rate for that one, although it says 1C on another graph. Looks like it has a really long cycle life, like thousands...thousands I say.

    Chris
    Last edited by ChrisGarrett; 04-12-2017 at 04:00 PM.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Looking for info about these 18650 cells

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGarrett View Post
    https://na.industrial.panasonic.com/...s/ur18650u.pdf

    You owe me a beer(s).

    Remember, Panasonic owns Sanyo's battery division and they're commingling wrapper colors and model numbers ah la the NCR18650GA.

    Looks like that data sheet is copyrighted by Sanyo and marked 2011.

    And it looks like it might only be a 4.0v cell, but I'm an Eng. Lit./Comm. major. 700mA charge rate for that one, although it says 1C on another graph. Looks like it has a really long cycle life, like thousands...thousands I say.

    Chris
    Thank for finding that, Chris. Very helpful.

    I checked voltage of a few cells, and they're all measuring 3.58 or 3.59 volts. Very consistent!

    "Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints."

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for info about these 18650 cells

    I don't know how smart you are about this stuff, but maybe somebody else can chime in about the 4.00v charge cutoff. I've seen sheets for 4.10v li-ions going back a ways, but not 4.00v.

    I don't know if I'd throw four on the old Opus and then go for a long smoke.

    Chris
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    Default Re: Looking for info about these 18650 cells

    This is a revision of the UR18650F with better storage performance - targeted at backup applications - see below.


  8. #8

    Default Re: Looking for info about these 18650 cells

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGarrett View Post
    I don't know how smart you are about this stuff, but maybe somebody else can chime in about the 4.00v charge cutoff. I've seen sheets for 4.10v li-ions going back a ways, but not 4.00v.

    I don't know if I'd throw four on the old Opus and then go for a long smoke.

    Chris
    I noticed the 4-volt charge recommendation on the datasheet, too. I suspect they want a "gentle" charging voltage to avoid stressing these cells, thus extending their life in a backup application. I know enough about this stuff (I'm a biomedical engineer) to know that Li-ion cells are best stored at less than full capacity to prolong their life. That makes me think that Sanyo (a/k/a Panasonic) specified the 4-volt charge for these cells for just that reason: longevity.

    If I have time tomorrow, I'll wrap one of these cells, stick it in the Opus charger at 500ma, and see what happens.
    "Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints."

  9. #9

    Default Re: Looking for info about these 18650 cells

    Yesterday, I wrapped one of these brand-new Sanyo UR18650U cells, measured voltage at 3.58 volts, and popped it into my OPUS BT-C3100 charger to discharge. After the 500ma discharge was complete, the OPUS showed 330 mAh of capacity. (Keep in mind this cell has been in storage for five or six years.)

    Next, I used the OPUS charger's test feature to find out the total capacity of this cell when fully charged. The OPUS claims 1530 mAh. After the all-night test, with cell-status showing "full" on the OPUS charger, I measured 4.15 volts on the fully charged cell.

    I'm surprised this cell's capacity exceeds 1500 mAh, and I wonder if this really is a special, low-voltage cell because of the 4.15-volt measurement when fully charged. At least it didn't overheat or appear stressed when charged with the OPUS BT-C3100.
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  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for info about these 18650 cells

    My Xtar VP2 has the 3.8v charging voltage setting for use with LiFePO4 cells. I wonder how these cells would do charged in that manner. I assume there would be a reduced capacity, but extrapolating from the performance data, they should last almost forever. With the lower capacity I don't see them as working real well in a flashlight, but as a power bank of say 12v. I think they would be ideal.

    PS: If you want to send me one of the boxes, I'll let everyone know how they would work in such a situation. My DSL modem and wireless router both run on 12v, and I have been looking at some way to make a specialized UPS for them so that I can stay connected to the outside world in a power failure situation. I don't see using them like a typical UPS (reasonable capacity/short run time), but as being an alternate power supply I can switch to when the power fails, especially for several hours. I know from experience that my 1000va UPS will only run this pair for a few hours, even with them being the only load. I know part of that is the waste of driving an inverter only to have the wall wart drop it back to 12v again.

    PPS: What would be the best way to recharge these cells in a 4s7p battery configuration?
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  11. #11
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for info about these 18650 cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Exit32 View Post
    Yesterday, I wrapped one of these brand-new Sanyo UR18650U cells, measured voltage at 3.58 volts, and popped it into my OPUS BT-C3100 charger to discharge. After the 500ma discharge was complete, the OPUS showed 330 mAh of capacity. (Keep in mind this cell has been in storage for five or six years.)

    Next, I used the OPUS charger's test feature to find out the total capacity of this cell when fully charged. The OPUS claims 1530 mAh. After the all-night test, with cell-status showing "full" on the OPUS charger, I measured 4.15 volts on the fully charged cell.

    I'm surprised this cell's capacity exceeds 1500 mAh, and I wonder if this really is a special, low-voltage cell because of the 4.15-volt measurement when fully charged. At least it didn't overheat or appear stressed when charged with the OPUS BT-C3100.
    It's gotta be a special formulation. It's 1200mAh at 4.00v, you pumped it up to 4.20 and since it's an older cell, it settled at 4.15. That 4.00v>4.15v (or more) difference is your extra 330mAh and remember, the Opus charger can be a bit dwanky when it comes to capacity measurements, so take that 1530mAh with a grain of salt and perhaps subtract 5%-10% from it and now you're a bit closer to the specs on the data sheet/label.

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, S2+, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

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    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for info about these 18650 cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothybil View Post
    My Xtar VP2 has the 3.8v charging voltage setting for use with LiFePO4 cells. I wonder how these cells would do charged in that manner. I assume there would be a reduced capacity, but extrapolating from the performance data, they should last almost forever. With the lower capacity I don't see them as working real well in a flashlight, but as a power bank of say 12v. I think they would be ideal.
    'Danger Will Robinson...danger Will Robinson.'

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, S2+, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

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    Default Re: Looking for info about these 18650 cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothybil View Post
    My Xtar VP2 has the 3.8v charging voltage setting for use with LiFePO4 cells. I wonder how these cells would do charged in that manner. I assume there would be a reduced capacity, but extrapolating from the performance data, they should last almost forever. With the lower capacity I don't see them as working real well in a flashlight, but as a power bank of say 12v. I think they would be ideal. [...]
    LiFepO4 is 3.2V nominal, not 3.8V. Instead, 3.8V nominal is for LiHV cells, which charge to 4.35V. This should only be used for cells that are designed for such higher voltages. Otherwise you will be overcharging, which will cause greatly accelerated degradation and may eventually lead to catastrophic failure.
    Last edited by Gauss163; 04-14-2017 at 02:02 PM.

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    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for info about these 18650 cells

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGarrett View Post
    'Danger Will Robinson...danger Will Robinson.'

    Chris
    Okay, so I'm an idiot. I can't even remember what I was thinking when I wrote that. I think I was aiming at saying that if I used the 3.2v setting of the charger so that the cells would be somewhat under-charged, what would happen to the life cycles of the cells.

    Also, after thinking about it, the ramifications of charging a 4s7p battery bank in situ make the possibility beyond my capabilities. It would be easier, safer, and cheaper to just use the 12v SLA I was thinking about in the first place.
    You don't NEED a parachute to skydive. You DO need a parachute to skydive twice.

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    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for info about these 18650 cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothybil View Post
    Okay, so I'm an idiot. I can't even remember what I was thinking when I wrote that. I think I was aiming at saying that if I used the 3.2v setting of the charger so that the cells would be somewhat under-charged, what would happen to the life cycles of the cells.

    Also, after thinking about it, the ramifications of charging a 4s7p battery bank in situ make the possibility beyond my capabilities. It would be easier, safer, and cheaper to just use the 12v SLA I was thinking about in the first place.
    Hi,

    Yeah, I figured you knew what was what and just mis-typed it.

    I always return my VP2 to 3.6v, since I don't have any LiFePO4 here and I generally discharge my cells down in my lights, although I learned last week that I can just use the 3.2v setting, which is good to know.

    As for your second paragraph, I don't use packs, so I won't comment. I have a Battery Tender Jr. here for my two 12Ah/22Ah SLA AGM batteries, so I use that and I'm good.

    Anyhow...

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, S2+, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for info about these 18650 cells

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGarrett View Post
    Hi,

    Yeah, I figured you knew what was what and just mis-typed it.

    I always return my VP2 to 3.6v, since I don't have any LiFePO4 here and I generally discharge my cells down in my lights, although I learned last week that I can just use the 3.2v setting, which is good to know.

    As for your second paragraph, I don't use packs, so I won't comment. I have a Battery Tender Jr. here for my two 12Ah/22Ah SLA AGM batteries, so I use that and I'm good.

    Anyhow...

    Chris
    I am working on setting up a poor man's version of your solar setup. I am planning on acquiring a 40w 12v/USB solar panel setup, a nice PWM charge controller, and a good SLA 12v battery. Right now I am looking at around 35Ah. Since I already have a couple USB power banks, the main usage for this setup would be to power my DSL modem and wireless router during extended power outages. We haven't had any for a few years, but I figure that with the way the weather is bouncing around lately, I expect that to change one of these days.

    I know that MPPT charge controllers are more efficient, but right now they are out of my price range. Acquiring one of those would be the first upgrade when funds become available, as well as another solar panel to increase my input wattage.

    PS: I am assuming that I should include a diode for each panel in a multi-panel setup where the outputs are paralleled, so that one panel cannot interfere with the other. Should I worry about small voltage variations between panels if I parallel them?
    You don't NEED a parachute to skydive. You DO need a parachute to skydive twice.

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