What's in an order?

You might be wondering what to expect from your order of 18650 lithium-ion batteries. Let’s clarify how we process and ship our used cells.

All of our cells are carefully removed from their respective battery pack and inspected for damage. Any cells with physical damage to the metal casing, rust or corrosion are immediately recycled. We check initial voltage, and fully charge to those that meet our minimum voltage threshold. We then label, log and store them for one week at full charge. We recheck voltage prior to testing, and recycle those that don’t meet our threshold for voltage retention. Cells are then tested, capacity logged, and those above 75% of the manufacturer’s rating stored in the appropriate warehouse location.

We must note that different models have different voltage ranges. Higher-capacity ICR (LCO, or lithium cobalt) cells, for example, are often rated at 4.35v max, rather than the “traditional” 4.2v, and often have voltage cutoffs as low as 2.5v. Since our chargers only charge to 4.2v, we make slight adjustments up to 5% of the manufacturer’s rating to account for this. Other times, a manufacturer may have a minimum capacity rating lower than what is advertised. As an example, LGABD11865 (or ICR18650D1) is rated at 3000mAh, but the data sheet shows 4.35v maximum voltage and 2900mAh minimum capacity. We therefore use 2900mAh as the manufacturer’s rating.

Once we receive an order, we pull the appropriate number of cells and check voltage to ensure none are dead. We also double-check for physical damage, then place them in plastic holders to keep them safely spaced apart and wrap them in layers of bubble wrap. We include a capacity sheet and data sheet for reference. When you receive the cells, they should all be around 3.0 – 3.5 volts. Make sure you charge all cells prior to use.

Despite there potentially being multiple cell part numbers per SKU, we try to keep your order as uniform as possible. That is, if we have if you order qty 30 of Samsung ICR18650-22, for example, we will try to ensure all 30 are -22FM, for example.

Battery holders included!
Example capacity sheet included with each order.

Keep in mind that these 18650 lithium-ion cells are used. We ensure they are not physically damaged, but they are often locked into their battery pack with adhesive. You can expect the heat shrink to be damaged, or have adhesive or tape still attached. However, we never sell 18650s with the heat shrink completely or mostly missing, or the insulator ring missing, instead re-wrapping the offending cell(s) in a random color. We also sell pre-cut heat shrink and flat top insulators in a variety of colors. They also might have remnants of nickel strip attached to either end. We remove excessive nickel strip to prevent an electrical short, but you might still need to do some clean-up depending on your preference.

Cells may have damaged heat shrink or adhesive tape, but the metal casing is carefully inspected to ensure no dents.

Finally, we ship our cells in accordance with US DOT hazardous materials regulations, including the appropriate warning labels on the outside of the box. All battery orders are transported via ground shipping, and we do not offer expedited shipping on orders with batteries in order to ensure compliance.

Questions? Drop us a line at sales@higherwireenergy.com. We also manufacture custom battery assemblies, with or without a BMS. Email for pricing.

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