NCR18650B: A Lithium Ion battery with a ton of promise! People say it has twice the energy per gram as LiPos... but is that true? Lets test it!

But it doesn't stop there! I want to know how to actually use this on an RC Aircraft, how to charge it, what it's maximum amp draw is, how many watt hours of power does it have, and in the end, can you actually use these on RC aircraft?

I think I've found the answers to these questions! 

Battery: Panasonic NCR18650B
Grams per Watt Hours is 57% that of a typical LiPo
Pack Capacity: 3.3Ah (3,325mah)
Pack Voltage in 4S: 14.4v
Pack Power: 43 watt hours (personally tested with a watt meter)
Pack C-Rating: 2 (6amp max discharge rate)
Cycles: Hundreds! I've not personally tested this, but this is the same chemistry as an iPhone, which can last years of daily use.

Buy the battery pack here:



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  • Have you seen my post on page 5?

  • Hi Tilman,

    Lithium Iron actually have a somewhat lower energy density than the LiPos we normally use now.

    They have 2 advantages: a higher number of charge / discharge cycles and a smaller tendency to act like a pyrotechnic device.

    The Lithium batteries described here have nearly twice the energy density per unit weight of the LiPos we normally used.

    EG: the 3300mah lithium 4S batteries described here weigh almost exactly half of an equivalent LiPO.

    Basically if you can live with the 2C rate (really hard to do) you can fly twice as long.

    Interestingly, if you treat them nice they also have a much larger number of total charge discharge cycles than the LiPos too.

    I am trying to design a couple different size quadcopters especially optimized to make use of these, but it is not easy as weight, motor (and flying) efficiency and even max current limiting is all critical.

    There are very few motors that are even suitable candidates.

    Designing and building an endurance record holder that uses them is realtively easy, but to design a copter that can actually fly around and do things (video, photo, etc) is a whole other story.

  • Tommy - Is this the type of spot welder you are using?

  • I use these batteries with good success in my FPV quad (5s3p, RCTimer 5010, 16x5.5 props). Flight time is about 40 min (down to 3.0V, plus some reserve), maximum current at full throttle is about 4C/35A. During normal flying the power goes rarely above 20A. After some 20 flights no worries so far...

  • T3

    @Tommy and Denny, I also have a hexa around 3kg and I am looking for new 4S batteries. Since your experience is quite different it would be nice if you could provide some details about your setups. Thanks in advance, Thorsten

  • Very interesting, thanks. Pro tip: Lose the highly distracting bouncy close-up shots of your head with the ground swimming by in the background. It makes those parts nearly unwatchable for some folks.

  • I have those Panasonic NCR18650B in 2 packs of 6s3p and i have no problem at all to lift my Tarot T810 Hexa... don't know what's wrong with your batteries, Denny...

  • Is this actually anything substantially different than your garden variety LiFePo4 cell?

    I'm always looking for better batteries in my gliders. So far I have used a lot of generic LiFePo4 cells from ebay.

  • Li-Ion technology is what is currently used in F1 cars but with some very high voltage and supercaps. It is not without some problems at the moment. It should be interesting at Albert Park this weekend. Finishing the race will be the main target for most.

    I have a pack that is made up of 5x 4cells. So it has 20 cells and fully charged it is around 16.8v.

    When I tested it on a real machine that weighs 3.4 kg the voltage never changed as it lifted off, yet it was barely able to lift the model and still have enough reserve for proper stabilization.

    So that is a 17,000 mah pack that weighs 951 grams. Swopped it out for a 6,800 mah. Lipo which weighs 660 grams and it went up like a rocket.

    Unless I have some damaged cells this is not going to work. The endurance model that I made has 15 grams per watt lift efficiency,at 300 grams of lift which changes to around 11.5 at 600 grams. So motor efficiency really improves the lighter you get. This probably accounts for why it works ok at lower lift values.

  • Energy density is painfully low for super capacitors, around 2% of what something like lifepo4 will have. :-(

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