Lithium-ion battery safety 101

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CRC
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I’m currently learning everyting I can about lithium-ion batteries so I can safely own and operate the flashlights I’m interested in.
The subject is a bit over my head at the moment but Im slowly learning a lot from this forum and from links provided to me here from people willing to help.

I’m looking at replacing my Olight S2R Baton II with a Noctigon KR4 as my EDC, which requires unprotected high drain cells.
My big question right now is –
What are the risks involved using a flashlight like this compared to a flashlight that uses protected cells, and flashlights with built in protection?

Can I use the light in a way that is harmful to the battery?
Am I going to ignorantly use it in a way that I could harm the battery, flashlight or myself?

The thing is going to live in my pocket daily and get used extesively.

Am I going to hurt myself or destroy anything?

jon_slider
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good questions
respect for your taking the time to learn more

my thumbnail impressions (not an expert)

LiIon safety in a nutshell
do not drain the battery/cell below 2.5 volts. IF this happens, there is a risk that during recharge the battery will overheat and explode. (IF the overdischarge created electrical reversal inside the cell)

LiIon types
ICR cells require protection..
IMR and INR are safer chemistries, and are often unprotected.

Lights designed for high output, call for high drain cells, and those are unprotected. Anduril lights tend to have built in LVP (LowVoltageProtection)

If the IMR/INR cells are used in a light with built in low voltage cutoff.. then all is well for the battery.

separate from issues related to overdischarge, lets consider heat

Anduril lights are capable of high brightness and high heat. They should therefore only and always, be carried locked out.

It is bad for the battery to overheat, so, never tailstand the light on high output levels. Instead, always hold the light in hand, when using hot outputs, and turn the light off, before it gets too hot to hold.

There are also thermal regulation features in Anduril, that let you set the step down temperature, lower.. And it is possible to set the ceiling output, to a low enough level not to burn delicate parts. Anduril also lets you select the startup brightness.. it can be set low enough not to burn holes in stuff.

just for illustration.. what not to do
1. Set the light up to come on at turbo, disable thermal stepdown, and drop the light in your pocket, unlocked…

2. When using the light on Turbo, when it steps down, turn it off and back on, over and over again. Wear Gloves, and just hold the end of the tail, where it is coolest. Thereby defeating the thermal stepdown and creating a dangerous overheating condition.

If you read this far, I imagine you can see the errors of those ways Wink

Enjoy your KR4! Thumbs Up

cabfrank
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Good stuff Jon, well put.

zoulas
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ShyOne
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zoulas wrote:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbEfhPbqTDE


Hmmmmm…. Interesting video. I have always heard it is a bad idea to charge a LiIon battery with low voltage. ??? Shocked
zoulas
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I know, I think the person that made the video is misinformed.

CRC
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jon_slider

Thank you very much for the information!

CRC
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkvSw4b5J80&ab_channel=PluginIndiaElectr...

I feel like this might belong here?

As someone trying to learn about lithium-ion cells myself, I found this pretty informative.

jon_slider
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good link
some details about different types of “Lithium” cells

1. CR123 is a Lithium Primary (non rechargeable), with a nominal voltage of 3v

this is a disposable battery that was popular before rechargeables became available
there is still a large number of lights (Surefire), and people that use them.. particularly in places like LEO and Military applications, where batteries are stockpiled and provided for free

2. LiFePO is a Lithium cell (rechargeable), also with a nominal voltage of 3v
this is a rare cell, used in security cameras that were originally designed for CR123, but whose owners seek a more cost effective, rechargeable option. They cant use 3.7v LiIon because the voltage is too high for those old circuits

3. LiIon is a Lithium Ion (rechargeable), with a nominal voltage of 3.7v
these are the “typical” cells in high output flashlights

multifuel lights
there are many CR123/16340 lights on the market
one example is the Jetbeam RRT-01
the lights work with both types of cells, but due to the difference in voltage, the maximum output is different between the two types.

the voltage difference makes it difficult to design a protection circuit inside the light, because the LiIon cell does not like to go below 2.5v (for recharge safety), whereas the CR123 does not care if voltage goes below 2.5v, since the cell is disposable.

these dual fuel lights usually recommend using only Protected LiIon.. because the driver cannot distinguish.

there is one dual fuel on the market that has a sophisticated enough set of options, that it can use UnProtected LiIon and also CR123. That is the HDS/Novatac design.

The Anduril lights only work on LiIon, they are not CR123 compatible. Anduril lights have built in LVP, that would get confused by a CR123 (the LVP would think the battery is discharged, when it is not)

HKJ
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jon_slider wrote:
good link 2. LiFePO is a Lithium cell (rechargeable), also with a nominal voltage of 3v this is a rare cell, used in security cameras that were originally designed for CR123, but whose owners seek a more cost effective, rechargeable option. They cant use 3.7v LiIon because the voltage is too high for those old circuits

LiFePO4 is usually rated at 3.2V as nominal, not 3V.
You can find a lot about it on my website.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

jon_slider
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HKJ wrote:
LiFePO4 is usually rated at 3.2V as nominal, not 3V.
You can find a lot about it on my website.

thanks for the accuracy check

for those interested, your excellent site is here

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CRC wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkvSw4b5J80&ab_channel=PluginIndiaElectr...

I feel like this might belong here?

As someone trying to learn about lithium-ion cells myself, I found this pretty informative.

Good video CRC…. ✅

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