Safe 18650 batteries and their use.....advice welcome

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Jamesbond007
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Location: Melbourne, Australi
Safe 18650 batteries and their use.....advice welcome
Hi,
I have some 18650 flashlight, and the following batteries.
 
I have the following lights, batteries and charger:
  • 2 x AW 2900mah protected cells which I use in my twin battery Skayray STL-V2
  • 2 x Solarforce L2P with Manafont XML dropins
  • 1 x Ultrafire 502b with XML it came with from DX
  • 2 x Trustfire flames protected 3000mah
  • 2 x Trustfire flames protected 2400mah
  • 2 x fake Sony protected 3000mah
  • 2 x Ultrafire blue protected 2400mah
  • Pila IBC charger
I have some concerns regarding exploding and venting with flame batteries and therefore have purchased some AW's for my twin battery Skyray.
 
I always watch the charger while I am charging, and touch the charger and batteries to ensure they are not getting too hot.
I use a Multimeter when I take batteries out of my flasdhlights to ensure that I haven't over drawn them, and like to keep voltages above 3.6V
I also take a multimeter reading straight from the charger, and then let the cells rest for an hour before re-testing the voltage and then using in the flashlights.
I have small children and therefore am a little paranoid about having any issues with the cells.
Do you think I should replace all my cells with good quality Redilast or AW cells, or just keep the cells I have and just be vigilant and keep using the same charging and testing regime I am using to ensure I am not overcharging my cells.

I have another question in relation to how cells will explode of vent. Does it mostly happen in a charger, when the cells are over charged?
 

Can it happen with a single cell flashlight, and if so, what sequence of events causes this to happen?

Is it by over drawing current from the cell, or using it when it's at a lower voltage?
 
Also, will a short between the strip that runs on the side of the protected cell is exposed and touches the body of the flashlight? Will this cause an cell to explode?

Should I just dump the cells I have and replace them with good quality ones, and be done with it?

I don't mind doing that, if it's going to mean that I won't have issues with venting or exploding cells?

I can tell that the AW cells I have are really well put together, and the wrapping is thick and strong. The fake Sony's I have have had the strip from the PCB to the positive end of the cell already pierce through the wrapping around the cell after about 2 weeks of use. Is this dangerous?

All advice is welcome, as at the moment I am a little concerned about the dangers of using these cells.

Cheers

Rob

BetweenRides
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Joined: 01/02/2011 - 10:34
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Location: Chicagoland, USA

Rob:

I think someone could easily write a book answering all the questions in your post... Wink  Let's start off easy - one at a time? It sounds to me like you have a good routine going in charging and checking your cells so my humble opinion would be:

just keep the cells you have and just be vigilant and keep using the same charging and testing regime you've been using to ensure you are not overcharging your cells.

Keeping Li-ion cells within their normal operating voltage is a very good thing. Your batteries are probably all fine and ok to use in your single cell lights. Good to hear you got some quality AW cells for the Syray. Stay vigilant with those too - check voltage before / after charging to make sure they are very close in charge and staying that way.

If you want to do a little reading up on Li-ion and other battery chemistries, see Here and Here:

http://flashlightwiki.com/Main_Page
http://batteryuniversity.com/