Sony VTC4 18650 Battery Review And Test Results

rechargeable lithium battery

I received these cells for testing through generous donations, and I'm grateful for the support. To avoid any confusion with eGo-type batteries, I'm using the term "cell" to refer to individual units as 18650, 26650, and so on.

Disclaimer

I base my opinions, conclusions, and recommendations on the tests I conduct. It's essential to thoroughly research any battery pack before buying it. Testing cells at their maximum limits is hazardous, and it should never be done by anyone who hasn't extensively studied the dangers and how to reduce them.

Note About Sony VTC4 Battery Review and Current Testing

If the cell only shows one current rating or explicitly says "max discharging current," the company claims the cell can handle discharging at that specific current level in any way, including continuous discharge.

The Sony VTC4 is a high-performing 23A continuous cell, surpassing its 2000mAh rating. It exhibited an identical appearance and performance to genuine VTC4 cells. While it operates too hot to be rated at 30A continuously, its temperature at 23A aligns with that of VTC5 and VTC3 cells at their respective ratings. The VTC4 delivers more potent hits than LG HB series batteries but generates more heat.

These tests demonstrate the cell's performance at higher pulsed current levels. If you operate your mod at these levels, please be aware that there is a risk of overheating and potentially venting the battery in case of a malfunction or accidental button press on your mechanical mod.

Sony datasheet ratings and graphs

Please refer to the subsequent post, as I have reached the limit for the number of graphics allowed in a single post.

Specifications of Sony VTC4 Battery Reviews

At 10A continuous, the cell achieved a capacity of approximately 1975mAh. This exceptional performance for a 2000mAh-rated cell operating at 10A led me to rate this cell at 2100mAh. This aligns with the nominal capacity rating for the VTC4 like Sony VTC5 Battery, and my results are typically consistent with this rating.

  • The temperature at 15A is continuous and was recorded at 64°C, significantly below the average temperature for a cell operating at its constant discharge rating (CDR).
  • At 20A continuous, the temperature rose to 77°C, around the average temperature for a cell operating at its CDR.
  • During 25A continuous discharge, the temperature reached 88°C, significantly exceeding the average temperature for a cell operating at its CDR.
  • At 30A, the temperature rose continuously to 97°C, which is excessively high considering this current level as the CDR. This battery cell is not a genuine 30A-rated cell.
  • At the specified 35A continuous discharge, the temperature rose to 104°C, surpassing my safety limit of 100°C.

I've set the continuous discharge rating (CDR) for this cell at 23A because, at this current level, its operating temperature is similar to the average for a cell operating at its CDR. While operating any cell near its maximum rated current level can cause damage, I expect this cell to have a good cycle life at 23A.

Pulsed discharges have been part of the tests. However, I still need to establish pass/fail criteria for pulse testing. The tests were done with a 5-second on/30-second off cycle, down to 2.5V. One chart shows the complete discharge at each level, while the other gives a close-up view of the first 5 minutes to observe voltage sag at different current levels.