Battery Warnings

Posted 24th September 2018 by Dave Cross
The Sony VTC5 cell is very popular with vapers for it reliability and build quality. Recently, Amazon shoppers in the USA and the United Kingdom received emails warning them that the cells should not be used in vape products.

One of our POTV forum members wrote: “So, bought a couple of VTC5s about a year or two ago, and have just received an email from amazon stating that the batteries I purchased should DEFINITELY not be used with any products related to vaping as they can be dangerous and a link to an announcement from Sony about the whole thing...”

The Sony website carries a similar warning: “Caution: The use of Sony's Li-Ion Cell battery in eCigarettes and vape pens is not advisable.”

Sony has great concern for the safety of our consumers. We recently became aware that some people may use our cylindrical lithium-ion VTC battery cells ("Li-Ion Cells") in a way that Sony does not intend for them to be used: in eCigarettes and vape pens.

Sony has not tested Li-Ion cells in eCigarettes and vape pens. Because of the high power, Sony Li-Ion Cells require safety precautions and mechanisms to make their use safe. Sony is not aware of eCigarettes or vape pens that have such safety mechanisms.

The Electronic Cigarette Company

Misuse of Sony Li-Ion Cells in eCigarettes and vape pens may cause a serious risk to personal property and safety. The Sony Li-Ion Cells are sold to manufacturers and meant to power products like power tools that contain certain safety precautions and mechanisms which meet our quality standards.”

Does this mean that vapers should recycle their stock of VTC5 cells?

Absolutely not. If used correctly, within the cell’s parameters, the Sony batteries will provide a safe and reliable source of power for your mod and atomiser.

Sony is covering its back in case of an accident due to misuse…and any negative press that might come its way. Recent cases of devices exploding have led to journalists seeking to contact other cell manufacturers and re-wrappers (like Efest).

Vape Club

The Battery Mooch, widely respected for his testing of cells used for vaping, made the following comments about the VTC5:

  • At 10A continuous it reached about 2480mAh. This is fantastic performance for a 2500mAh-rated cell operating at 10A so I am rating this cell at 2600mAh. This is the nominal capacity rating for the VTC5 so my results are typically what you will get.
  • Its temperature at 15A continuous was 68°C, significantly below the average for a cell operating at its continuous discharge rating (CDR).
  • At 20A continuous the temperature rose to 82°C. This is at the upper limit of the average for a cell operating at its CDR.
  • At 25A continuous the temperature rose to 96°C. This is significantly above the average for a cell operating at its CDR.
  • At 30A continuous the temperature rose to 107°C. This is much, much too high a temperature to set this current level as the CDR and exceeds my 100°C safety limit.
  • At the 35A continuous the temperature rose to 116°C, significantly exceeding my safety limit of 100°C.
  • I am setting a CDR of 20A for this cell since at this current level its operating temperature is at the upper limit of the average for a cell operating at its CDR. While operating any cell near its rated maximum current level causes damage to the cell, I would expect decent cycle life from this cell at 20A continuous.
  • I have included pulsed discharges but I haven't set pass/fail standards for pulse testing yet. The discharges were done at 5sec on/30sec off, down to 2.5V. One chart shows the entire discharge at each level. The other chart is zoomed in to show the first 5 minutes to make it easier to see the voltage sag at different current levels.

Mooch states: “This is a great 20A continuous battery that exceeds its 2500mAh rated capacity, meeting its nominal capacity of 2600mAh. The VTC5 hits as hard as the Samsung 25R5 and runs a bit cooler. Due to its higher capacity the VTC5 runs a bit longer than the 25R before needing recharging.”

For new vapers, or old hands looking to learn more about batteries, Mooch has a YouTube video channel with a collection of excellent videos.

POTV recommends you buy from a trusted retailer to ensure that you do not end up with a cloned battery.

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 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker
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