Harness the Power of Vaping - Getting to grips with Watts, Volts, Amps & Ohms
Here we try and break down the terminology into easy to understand, bite sized chunks aimed to help get the most from any vaping experience.
What is an Ohm?
An ohm is the term used to measure resistance in the coil.
What is Voltage?
Voltage measures the power going into and put through the atomiser. This is the amount of power coming from the battery.
What is an Amp?
An amp shows the flow rate of an electrical current.
What is Wattage?
The wattage is used to show the power output that is produced.
Ohms and Amps
Low ohms mean low resistance in the coil which allows more electricity flow (more amps)
High ohms mean high resistance in the coil resulting in reduced electricity flow (less amps)
Both high and low resistance coils offer different characteristics. Whether these are positive or negative depends on the vaper and what features are important to them.
Low resistance coils have more power passing through them, therefore coils burn at hotter temperatures, produce a warmer vapour, can deliver more intensity depending on the flavour and result in a bigger cloud. However, the increased power can mean that e-liquids don't last as long, the battery is drained quicker, the lifespan of coil is shorter and there's more chance of getting a dry hit.
High resistance coils have less power passing through therefore there's less heat and less vapour produced which is generally cooler, however battery life is extended and less liquid is used.
Coils typically have a resistance between 0.1 and 3 ohms. The term 'sub-ohm' vaping refers to instances when the coil resistance is below 1 ohm. This used to be exclusively for hard core vapers and those that built their own coils however, through vaping advancements, is now becoming more accessible to the mainstream vaping community.
In the dawn of vaping the type of tank would dictate the type of coil used and therefore the resistance. Now manufacturer's are producing a range of coils to correspond and be used in conjunction with the same tank, each with varying resistances to meet the preferences of every vaper. That means that the same tank can be used by regular and sub-ohm vapers just by selecting a coil with the most suitable resistance.
Voltage and Wattage
With low resistance, less voltage results in less wattage.
With high resistance, you need more volts to get the same wattage.
Generally there are two types of mods/batteries available; variable voltage and variable wattage.
Variable voltage means that the vaper takes control, setting the power that the battery delivers. The actual output, or wattage, will depend on the resistance of the coil. This is generally recommended for dedicated, more hard core vapers. (Image of variable voltage screen?)
Variable wattage is more like an auto-pilot setting. The vaper sets the desired power output, or wattage and the mod works out the rest. This is a much easier way to vape making it the more popular choice for those that prefer uncomplicated vaping. (Image of variable wattage screen?)
The Power Trilogy
Amps, voltages and ohms are all closely linked; altering one will have an effect on the others. The key to deciphering all of these terms is Ohm's Law. This is where the science bit comes in.
(Include Ohms Law triangle)
Knowing any two quantities will allow the third to be calculated by using these equations.
V = I x R
I = V / R
R = V / I
Where: V=Volts (V), I=Amps (A), R=Resistance/Ohms (Ω)
The Power Quadrant
Wattage's are used to measure power output and are the by-product of the three areas stipulated in Ohm's Law. The power or wattage is similarly important as the other areas, especially in the world of vaping. Watt's Law highlights the relationship between power, amps, voltage and ohms.
In the same way as Ohm's Law, knowing any two quantities will allow the remaining two unknown quantities to be calculated.
P = V x I
P = I2 x R
P = V2 / R
Where: P=Watts (W), V=Volts (V), I=Amps (A), R=Resistance/Ohms (Ω)
Battery Safety Top Tip: It's vital to make sure the number of amps in use is less than the battery's capacity. If the amps used are greater than the battery's limit, things could get very dangerous with risk of overheating and possibly explosion. This is mainly a consideration for vapers who make their own coils.
The mods available in today's market are obviously more advanced than when vaping first emerged into the public's consciousness. These advancements have led to increased safety features which limit the liklihood of accidents occuring when buying 'off the shelf' equipment including mods, atomisers and coils.
A Good Place to Start...
Don't know where to start when navigating power settings? Examine the coil. Somewhere there should be information of the resistance of the coil and the recommended wattage range. Use this as a guideline, using either Ohm's Law to calculate the correct voltage or starting at the lowest wattage, experimenting and adjusting until that sweet spot is found. (Image of coil wih ohm and wattage info?)
Understanding how these power attributes correlate and work together is the trick to perfecting your power setting.
Power can also have an effect on other aspects of vaping. To learn more take a look at 'The Impact of Power on Other Areas of Vaping'. (LINK)