A lithium-ion battery has a finite life, and that’s something that’ll factor heavily into your decision when you’re shopping for a new vape mod. If you’ve read our article concerning fixed- vs. removable-battery mods, you know that once the battery in a fixed-battery mod stops holding a charge, the device is effectively dead. A few intrepid people might buy new batteries and take soldering irons to their dead mods, but the safest option is simply to get a new device.
On the other hand, you can buy a vape mod with a removable battery. In that case, the battery isn’t a point of failure. When the battery stops holding a charge, you can just replace it. Given that fact, a vaping device with a removable battery should last much longer than a device with a permanent battery.
So, what’s the break-even point between fixed- and removable-battery mods? What kind of life can you expect when you buy a new set of vaping batteries? How long do vaping batteries last? In this article, we’re going to shed some light on those questions.
How Long Do Vaping Batteries Last?
The 18650 battery cell usually lasts for around 300-500 charge/discharge cycles before the battery capacity decreases to the point at which the battery becomes unusable. If you charge a battery daily, you should plan to replace it in about a year. That’s also true if you buy a vaping device with a built-in battery; you’ll most likely need to replace the device in about a year.
When you compare different types of vaping devices, you should use one year as the break-even point. If you enjoy having the latest and greatest vaping technology and would probably buy a new mod every year anyway, there’s no need to stress about the decision between a fixed- or removable-battery mod. Just buy the device that you like best. If you’d like to use a mod for longer than a year, though, you’ll probably be happiest if you buy a device with a removable battery.
The Trade-Off Between Capacity and Maximum Discharge Rate
When you shop for vaping batteries, two key specifications will influence your buying decision. Those specifications are:
- Milliampere-hours: Expressed with a figure such as “2500 mAh.” This specification describes a battery’s capacity when fully charged. If everything else is equal, a battery with a higher mAh specification will work longer before you need to recharge it.
- Maximum continuous discharge rating: Expressed with a figure such as “35 amps.” This specification describes the maximum current that you can draw from the battery without risk of the battery overheating. Using a low-resistance atomizer at a high wattage results in a high discharge from the battery, so buying a high-amperage battery gives you plenty of breathing room when working with low-resistance sub-ohm coils.
While the first specification describes a battery’s capacity, the second specification describes how safe the battery is in high-demand applications. Since vaping places heavy demands on a battery regardless of atomizer coil resistance – and you want your batteries to last as long as possible – you don’t want to ignore either of those specifications.
Your choice becomes even more important when you consider that an increase in a battery’s ability to handle load will come with a decrease in that battery’s capacity – and vice versa. A battery that can handle a higher load, in other words, will have a lower maximum capacity. You’ll have to charge the battery more often, and that may decrease its usable lifespan. If you always use the same tank and coil with your vaping device, you can use an Ohm’s Law calculator to determine how many amps you’re drawing from your battery. If your amperage demands are low, you might want to buy a higher-capacity battery for the longest possible lifespan.
How to Maximize the Life of a Vaping Battery
Keep Your Batteries Cool
The most important thing that you should do to maximize the life of a vaping battery is prevent the battery from getting too hot. Lithium-ion batteries work best at room temperature. Follow these tips to keep your batteries working their best.
- Don’t store batteries or vaping devices in your car. The inside of a car can become very hot during the day, and the heat will trigger oxidation of the battery’s internal chemicals.
- Leave plenty of headroom between the battery’s maximum discharge rate and your actual usage conditions. If your coil’s resistance and your device’s wattage setting will draw 11 amps from the battery, for example, you shouldn’t use an 11-amp battery because you’ll always be operating the battery at the maximum load that it can handle. The stress and heat will shorten the battery’s life.
- Charge your batteries slowly. Although a good vaping battery can often handle a 2-amp charging current, charging a battery at a higher rate generates more heat. You’ll get better life from your batteries if you charge them at 1 amp or 500 milliamps. Don’t ever use a charging adapter for a mobile phone or tablet; vaping batteries can’t handle the extremely fast charging rates that phones and tablets can handle. Using a fast charging adapter won’t just shorten a vaping battery’s life; it’s also potentially dangerous.
Avoid Long-Term Storage of Fully Charged Batteries
Heat isn’t the only thing that you should consider when caring for your vaping batteries. You should also consider storage conditions. If you’re not going to use a battery for a while, store it in a partially discharged state. A lithium-ion battery loses its maximum capacity over time regardless of whether you’re using it or not. If you store a battery with a full charge, it’ll degrade much more quickly. With a partial discharge and cool ambient temperatures, you can slow the battery’s internal degradation.
Don’t Over-Discharge Your Batteries
A typical lithium-ion battery is fully charged at 4.2 volts and “dead” at around 3.2 volts. That’s the point at which a regulated vaping mod will cut you off and tell you that it’s time for a recharge. If you use a mechanical mod, on the other hand, you’ll need to monitor the battery voltage yourself. That shouldn’t be much trouble because you’ll notice a steep decline in vapor production when the battery’s voltage is low. Don’t attempt to continue using the battery past that point. Using an over-discharged battery causes stress to the battery and may lead to overheating. If a battery’s voltage is allowed to go too low, it may no longer be possible to recharge it safely.
Jason Artman is the owner and author of eCig One. A professional freelance writer and SEO consultant with more than a decade of experience, Jason works with vaping companies around the world to increase their targeted web traffic and improve their revenue
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