Vapcell 26650 Cell Review

Preface

Another day, another Vapcell tested!  This is the Vapcell 26650, a 20A cell, with a huge 5000mAh capacity.  Want to see how it performs?  Read on!

As always, click for bigger images!!!


Official Specs

Model:INR26650 5000mah 20A
Size: 26.1*65.5mm
Nominal voltage: 3.60V
End-of-charge voltage: 4.20V
End-of-discharge Voltage: 2.5V
Typical Capacity: 5000mAh (0.2C discharge)
Min capacity: 4900mAh (0.2C discharge)
Weight: Max:95g
Internal resistance: Max:15mΩ (AC 1kHz)
Standard Charge: 2000mA,CCCV 100mA cut-off
Charging Time: 3hours(standard charge)
Quick Charge Current: 3000mA
Max Continuous Discharge Current: 20A

Price

I got these directly from the manufacturer, and my contact is AWOL – I’m not sure the price on these.  LiionWholesale doesn’t have this exact model, but there’s a lower capacity, higher current Vapcell battery available there for ~$9.  

Short Review

This is a good cell for flashlights, and performs to specification.  Twenty amps continuous should be plenty for just about any flashlight out there!

Long Review

Package

As with the other Vapcells, these ship in a Vapcell branded zip closed soft pouch.  

The cells themselves have a plastic wrapper, which should be removed before use.  

Build Quality

These cells are a deep purple color (as are some but not all other Vapcells).  The wrapper is well aligned, and the quality of feel is excellent.  

There’s a proof of authenticity on a sticker on the side.  This shouldn’t cause any fitment issues.  The positive terminal is a 4 prong bit.  

Size

As 26650 cells, these should be 26mm in diameter, and 65mm long.  

I measure them at exactly 26mm in diameter, and exactly 65mm long.

Testing

I’ve tried to keep the scales similar, so over time the charts will be generally comparable.

Discharge tests

In this long graph, it’s really possible to see the hard drop off under around 3.4V that this cell experiences.  (Read on for more….)

Capacity

Regarding the dropoff at 3.4V – note that the cell is still hitting its rated capacity, even if you shut the test or use off at 3.4V.  

Energy

Bounce

Fairly consistent bounce numbers show that the cell is performing well under most conditions.  

“Bounce back” is what the cell voltage does when the cell rests after a discharge. Interestingly, after heavy discharge rates, the cell bounces back higher.  This corresponds to a discharge amount of less energy, and does mean that there’s energy left in the cell.  So if I selected the cell with the highest bounce back (ie the cell that was discharged at the highest current), then discharged it to 2.8V at 0.2A, I’d still find that there was a lot of energy still in the cell. And I have finally figured out what I think it so interesting about “bounce.”  A poorly performing cell will bounce back higher on high discharges.  That’s because the IR is higher, and because the cell performs much worse under high loads.  So a good performing cell (like this one) will bounce back much less because it’s much more capable of high discharge.  And we can see that here.  This cell is capable well past the tested 20A, and so at 20A much more of the energy is used from the cell.  Hence less bounce.  I don’t really have anyone else telling me that, so I could be grossly wrong.  Or maybe I just proposed a new metric for cell quality.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Charge test

Power, Constant

Internal Resistance

Most often (read: always), internal resistance is mentioned as a spot value.  In truth, the IR changes over time.  Due to cell age and cell heat among other things.  A graph of IR is interesting because it can show, for example, when a cell begins to “die” – at which point the remaining energy will be “harder” to extract.  This is when the IR spikes.  In the graph below, that’s around 750-800mAh.  These graphs are also useful for determining if a cell would be good for a hot-rod flashlight, for example.  

Conclusion

This is a fine cell, and probably useful for most flashlights that can use 26650 cells.  The max output of 20A will certainly be enough for non-FET lights, and the max of 20A could be a good way to limit lights that want tons of current.  It’s a good cell for most cases!


Up Next

Tomorrow I’ll be reviewing a light that can make the full use of this cell!  And next week, more lights, more stuff!

Notes

  • These cells were provided by Vapcell for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for these cells, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons. It’s possible to subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *