Tests of Nitecore NL166 & NL169 16340s using MC3000, & BT-C3100

aznsx

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During the course of doing some cell testing in the past few weeks, plus the initial checkout of a new 'charger/analyzer' I acquired, some data from my notes may be of interest to some, so I'll share it:

The 2 devices in use were:
  • Opus BT-C3100 V2.2
  • SkyRC MC3000 FW EDIT: Rev:1.15

NOTE: Keep in mind that both the discharge cutoff voltage value and discharge current / rate used in the referenced cell manufacturer's capacity ratings is unknown, so direct comparisons of this data with those manufacturer ratings is not practical.

Some 'rest' time was provided for all cells between all operations. Also note that these are both fairly short OAL for protected 16340 cells.

I ran discharge tests on 4 new examples of NItecore NL-166, protected 16340 cells which have a rated capacity of 650 mAh. I paid unit price of $5.95USD for these cells. Note that I've been using a number of these same model cells regularly during the past ~6 months with good results, and subsequent re-tests of those cells have looked very acceptable so far.


Discharge current used was 1.0A, discharge cutoff voltage was set to 2.8V on the MC3000, and the non-configurable default value of the Opus is the same (~2.8V).

The resulting capacity / internal resistance indicated by the MC3000 was:
Cell #6 - 671 mAh - 0.153 Ω
Cell #7 - 677 mAh - 0.163 Ω
Cell #8 - 677 mAh - 0.137 Ω
Cell #9 - 666 mAh - 0.153 Ω

I then ran the same test on the Opus, with the following results:
Cell #6 - 718 mAh - 0.257 Ω
Cell #7 - 709 mAh - 0.249 Ω
Cell #8 - 741 mAh - 0.226 Ω
Cell #9 - 725 mAh - 0.248 Ω

I then re-ran the original test using the MC3000, with the following results:
Cell #6 - 673 mAh
Cell #7 - 679 mAh
Cell #8 - 682 mAh
Cell #9 - 669 mAh

Those results would indicate that the capacity results of the Opus are, in this particular case, ~7.5% higher than those of the MC3000.

It also indicates that the change in average measured capacity (per the MC3000) between the first and third tests was minimal / negligible (~ +3mAh, or +0.446%).

About a week later, I tested 4 new examples of NL-169, a newer version Nitecore protected 16340 cell with a rated capacity of 950 mAh using the MC3000, with same parameters as previous tests. I paid unit price of $6.95USD for these cells.


Those results were:
Cell #1 - 905 mAh - 0.153Ω
Cell #2 - 913 mAh - 0.158Ω
Cell #3 - 911 mAh - 0.161Ω
Cell #4 - 897 mAh - 0.165Ω

I re-ran the test on the same 4 cells, but this time I used a discharge current / rate of 0.5 A (rather than 1.0A used in all the previous tests) with these results:
Cell #1 - 925 mAh
Cell #2 - 938 mAh
Cell #3 - 940 mAh
Cell #4 - 924 mAh

Although the effect of different discharge rates on measured capacity is easy to determine from looking at any proper manufacturer-provided discharge graph (which I do not have for these cells), this just provides a real world data point I happen to have in front of me. This 50% reduction in discharge current appears to have increased measured capacity by ~2.8%.
 
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