Bench Test Results: Sony VTC4A 18650 Samples beats VTC4, estimated 1900-2000mAh, 25A/30A
Bottom Line: I received two samples for testing from Vapcell. They were a bit dinged up but performed well. I was told that they will not be generally available for several months, perhaps the end of the year. I do not know who has them in stock now or when they will.
I am testing them now because of the large number of requests I received and to let vendors know how they perform. I will retest these when full production quantities are available as Sony might make small changes to the cell’s performance before then.
The two VTC4A’s I tested outperformed the VTC4. At a 10A and 20A discharge the VTC4A hit harder than the VTC4, performing even better at the higher discharge current level. I will do higher current discharge testing and comparisons when I am able to get full production versions of these cells. This is a great cell though.
For a 25A continuous discharge the VTC4A runs at about the same temperature as the VTC4 does at 20A. Sony will probably rate the VTC4A at about 5A higher than the VTC4. This could mean a continuous current rating of 30A or higher for the VTC4A, perhaps with temperature-limited operation at some point above that.
My preliminary estimate for the VTC4A’s current rating is 25A though, up to 30A if the temperature is kept below 80°C. This can change at any time as I learn more about this cell.
Why don’t I rate it higher? Sony seems to trade off cycle life for performance when setting its ratings. That is, Sony gives the VTC series of batteries high continuous current ratings but that results in high operating temperatures and fewer cycles before they start losing capacity and performance. Until I can do some cycle life testing of production versions of these cells I am setting the ratings mentioned above. These ratings should result in about the same cycle life as cells from Samsung, LG, and Panasonic/Sanyo.
The VTC4A’s I tested delivered 1988mAh and 2002mAh at 0.5A. The capacity might change a bit before the cells are available in full production quantities but I am estimating the VTC4A’s rating at 1900mAh minimum and 2000mAh typical. If the cells I received were not A Grade then the capacity ratings from Sony could be higher, e.g., 2100mAh typical.
I have requested a copy of the datasheet but no one has it yet.
Two cells were donated for the purposes of testing by Vapcell (www.vapcelltech). Thank you!
Ratings graphic: https://imgur.com/a/AotMO
Test results: http://bit.ly/2H90gYt
These tests only note the estimated ratings for these batteries at the time I tested them. Any battery that is not a genuine Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic, or Sanyo can change at any time! This is one of the hazards of using “rewrapped” batteries or batteries from other manufacturers so carefully research any battery you are considering using before purchasing.
Misusing or mishandling lithium-ion batteries can pose a SERIOUS RISK of personal injury or property damage. They are not meant to be used outside of a protected battery pack. Never exceed the battery’s continuous current rating and keep the plastic wrap and top insulating ring in perfect condition.
Any rating in the tables can change at any time as different grade cells appear on the market or we get swamped with fakes. Please, never assume that the ratings in the table are permanent and will never change! Always download the latest version before considering any cell purchase.