Electronic – Combining and Charging multiple Lithium Ion Battery Cells (3.6 V or 3.7 Volts)

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1] Voltage: 3.6V or 3.7V
Are all 18650 lithium ion battery cells 3.6 or 3.7 voltsor or are there different voltage Lithium Ion cells in the market as well?

2] Possible Voltage Shortage?
Do all 3.6/3.7V li ions work the same standard way with a + a - and a T or do they really differ? What does the T stand for? Temperature sensor?

3] Physics Voltage Reason
Whats the reason for the 3.6/3.7 Volts per Li Ion Cell? I never saw a 3.0V or 5 Volts… Curious…

4] Parallel Charging of many Li Ion Cells
I was thinking of putting two or four of those Panasonic/Sanyo 18650 Li Ion cells in parallel, soldering together from the instant the are new, that way giving me lots of mAhs. Can I use the same Li Ion charger that was made for charging just 1 cell, and let it be in the charger for longer time?

5] Charging Wiring… How?
I found a nice small cheap charger about 30~40$ called Turnigy Accucel-6 (there is also an Accucel-8 for double price and double weight). Could I attach the + to + of all the cells and the – to all the – poles of the cells without needing any extra in-between-wiring?

Best Answer

1] VOLTAGE: 3.6V or 3.7V - 18650 Li Ion Batteries

All single cell lithium ion batteries are going to be 3.6-3.7v. There are applications where multiple cells will be tied together in series. This will result in voltages that are multiples of 3.6-3.7v. So as long as you match the number of cells and approximate mAH you should be fine.

2] Possible Voltage Shortage?

The voltages and battery life responses for all batteries are going to have slight difference. For the most part this won't matter. Most projects that use batteries are not terribly voltage dependent. They will either boost or regulate their voltage to get the voltage they want out, or they will be able to run at a wide range.

As a note, "Shortage" in this context usually means you are creating a short across your battery. Might want to be careful with that terminology.

3] Fundamental Reason for this Voltage Range

I am not an expert on this, but I know it deals with the chemistry of the battery itself.

4] Parallel Cell Charging - One BIG Li-Ion Battery Pack

This can be done. There are some issues that can come up when doing it. This might be worthy of a question by itself. If you do ask, might want to ask if the same can be done for packs in series.

5] Charging... How?

Same as previous answer.