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AW Li-ion RCR123A Black Label New (ICR123A) Battery Analysis

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  Introduction:
AW Li-ion RCR123A Black Label New (ICR123A) battery is enhanced version of previous black label RCR123 Lithium ion battery brought to market by AW in Q1 2008. The cells are fully protected against overcharge, over discharge, over current and short-circuit and are safe to use in single/multi-cell applications.

CAUTION: For safe operation, please handle Lithium ion batteries should with respect. Do not expose to, dispose off the battery in fire. Do not put the battery in a charger or equipment with wrong polarity. Avoid electrically shorting the battery, excessive physical shock or vibration. Do not disassemble or deform the battery. Do not immerse the battery in water. Do not mix and match batteries of different types, make, or model. Most importantly, keep out of the reach of children. Charging and Discharging: Battery must be charged in appropriate charger only. Refrain from using a modified, broken or damaged charger. Storage: Store the battery in a cool, dry and well-ventilated area. Disposal: Regulations may vary from place to place in different countries. Please dispose the battery in accordance with local regulations.

AW Li-ion RCR123A Black Label New (ICR123A) Battery Features:
  • Button top tab positive terminal
  • Protected cell with anti-explosion Vent / PTC (mechanical thermal protection)
  • Electronic PCB protection featuring PCM
  • PCM: Overcharge Detect Voltage: 4.35V
  • PCM: Overcharge Reset Voltage: 4.15V
  • PCM: Over-discharge Detect Voltage: 2.5V (3.0V under load)
  • PCM: Excess Current Threshold: 2.5A
  • PCM: Excess Current Detect Voltage: 0.2V
In-Depth Review & Pictures:
Size Comparison: Externally the battery appears to be virtually identical to previous black label version. Measuring 34.8mm length x 17.2mm diameter AW ICR123A Black Label New Lithium Ion Battery is slightly larger when compared against standard size of 34.5mm length x 17.0mm diameter. Here is a picture comparing standard CR123 battery, AW ICR123A and standard AA battery. In the picture, you can barely notice the difference in size.


Pictured below is comparison of diameters between standard AA battery and AW ICR123A Black Label New Lithium Ion Battery.


Another comparison of diameters between standard CR123, AW ICR123A Black Label New Lithium Ion, AW ICR123A Blue Label Li-ion and standard AA battery.


Side view of AW ICR123A Black Label New Lithium Ion Battery the PTC is located at the positive end of battery.


Electronic protection circuitry is located at the negative terminal end of the Lithium Ion Battery.



Battery Analysis & Results:
Testing Equipment: Vencon UBA5 was used for it's extensive capabilities. Vencon UBA5 not only allows charging and discharging of batteries, it also enables unlimited possibilities for creation of analysis routines.

Battery Condition: The batteries used for this test are manufactured in Q1 2008 where as the test are performed in Q4 2008. The number of charge discharge cycles on these batteries is about 50 to 60 cycles. Considering the fact that typical lifetime of Lithium ion batteries is about 36 months from the date of manufacture, the batteries are still fresh and new with limited number of cycles.

Test Condition: The tests performed considering battery capacity of 800.0 mAh as 1C. Battery was subjected to a total of 15 charge discharge cycles at various discharge rates. For each charge cycle, the battery charged at 4.2V with charge current as 1C with charge termination current of 0.05C. For each discharge cycle, battery discharged at constant current discharge rates of 1C, 3A, 2A, 1A, 0.5A and 0.25A depending on the subroutine. Discharge termination voltage set to 2.75V. The test was performed single battery sample. First the battery was subjected to 5 charge discharge forming cycles at 1C and later subjected to 1C charge and variying discharge rates.

Master Routine shown here visually describes the test condition.


Subroutine for battery forming.


Here is a typical subroutine for various discharge rates. For each cycle, battery was given rest for one Minute.



Table below summarizes test results.
AW Li-ion RCR123A Black Label New (ICR123A) Battery Analysis
Cycle Duration
(h:m:s)
Charge I
(mA)
Charged
(mAh)
Duration
(h:m:s)
Load I
(mA)
Discharged
(mAh)
Chr - Dis Total Time Efficiency
1 0:07:55 800.0 9.9 0:27:30 800.1 366.7 -356.8 0:35:25  
2 1:01:04 800.0 376.2 0:25:16 800.1 336.9 39.3 1:26:20 89.55
3 0:57:11 800.0 355.5 0:24:37 800.1 328.3 27.2 1:21:48 92.35
4 0:58:46 800.0 351.2 0:22:36 800.1 301.4 49.8 1:21:22 85.82
5 0:53:56 800.0 320.9 0:23:14 800.1 309.8 11.1 1:17:10 96.54
6 0:55:06 800.0 327.1 0:00:16 2994.0 13.3 313.8 0:55:22 4.07
7 0:08:50 800.0 19.1 0:00:16 2994.0 13.3 5.7 0:09:06 69.87
8 0:08:52 800.0 18.0 0:00:51 1995.0 28.3 -10.3 0:09:43 156.91
9 0:13:27 800.0 32.4 0:00:50 1995.0 27.7 4.7 0:14:17 85.55
10 0:13:33 800.0 32.2 0:14:00 995.3 232.3 -200.1 0:27:33 720.53
11 0:42:12 800.0 244.2 0:13:36 995.3 225.6 18.6 0:55:48 92.38
12 0:42:24 800.0 246.9 0:57:35 495.1 475.5 -228.6 1:39:59 192.59
13 1:14:17 800.0 497.9 0:57:43 495.1 476.5 21.4 2:12:00 95.70
14 1:12:49 800.0 496.8 1:59:28 251.1 499.9 -3.1 3:12:17 100.62
15 1:15:51 800.0 527.8 1:59:06 251.1 498.3 29.5 3:14:57 94.41
16 1:18:44 800.0 523.7 523.7 1:18:44  

Here is the chart with graphical representaiaton of battery capacities.


Based on the above results, there is a slight advantage over the previous black label battery test results.
Reviewed: 2008-12-05
Updated: 2008-12-12


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