Batteries: specifications, types
Type and size of the battery.
The batteries on the market are divided into two main groups — batteries that can be recharged, and batteries that are sold already charged and cannot be recharged again (they must be disposed of when the energy supply is exhausted). The first option may seem more convenient and practical: batteries, although they are more expensive, but having bought such a battery and a charger for it once, you can no longer spend money on batteries — it is enough to periodically recharge the battery. However, sometimes batteries are the best choice. For example, during a tour of a foreign city, it is easier to immediately buy ready-to-use batteries in the store than to look for an outlet to charge the battery and wait until it is charged (and it can take quite a lot of time). In addition, miniature batteries designed for compact equipment with low power consumption (for example, watches) are more justified in the form of disposable batteries: the life of such cells can reach several months or even years, and batteries in this mode of operation would be unreasonably expensive and too slow to pay off.
The standard size describes the shape and dimensions of the housing, as well as the location of the contacts. The most popular sizes for rechargeable batteries are:
— AA. An extremely popular size, also known as a “finger-type battery” (can be used in both batteries and accumulators, in this case we are...talking about the second option). Also there are designations R6, 316, A316, Mignon. The AA element has the shape of a cylinder about 50 mm long and about 14 mm in diameter, with contacts at the ends; operating voltage — 1.2 – 1.5 V, capacity, depending on the manufacturing technology and brand, can be from 600 to 3500 mAh. Technology — most often Ni-Mh (see below). This size is very popular: in particular, almost all modern camera cameras designed for standard replaceable batteries are made specifically for AA (with the exception of some ultra-compact ones).
— AAA. This size can be described as a smaller version of AA: the shape of the AAA elements is the same, but the dimensions are noticeably smaller (length 44 mm, diameter about 11 mm). As a result, at the same operating voltage (1.2 – 1.5 V), such batteries have a slightly lower capacity — from 650 to 1300 mAh. They are mainly used where relatively high-capacity batteries are needed, but AA batteries are too bulky — in particular, in ultra-compact cameras. In common parlance, such elements are called "mini-finger" or "little finger", and from the technical designations, in addition to AAA, there are R03, 286, Micro.
-AA + AAA. A battery pack that includes elements of both standard sizes described above. This combination can be useful if you buy batteries for several devices at once — for example, cameras and flashes.
— C. Cylindrical elements with rather large dimensions — length 50 mm, diameter 26 mm (that is, the length of an AA "finger" battery, but almost 2 times thicker). The nominal voltage is 1.5 V, the capacity is usually in the range of 3000 – 4500 mAh, the technology is usually Ni-Mh. Due to its large size, it has not received much distribution; it is mainly used in relatively “gluttonous” technology, where the amount of stored energy for a battery is more important than its dimensions.
— D. Another "large-caliber" size of cylindrical 1.5-volt cells, the largest of the widely used: it has a length of about 63 mm, a diameter of about 34 mm. Thanks to this, D batteries have a high capacity — it can reach 10,000 mAh. However, it makes sense to use such elements only in equipment with high energy consumption — for example, portable radio tape recorders. Standard D battery technology is Ni-Mh.
— CR123. Cylindrical elements, similar in design to the types described above, such as AA or C, but having an operating voltage of 3 V. They have a diameter of 17 mm and a length of about 35 mm, a capacity of about 650 – 700 mAh. Usually performed using Li-Ion technology. In English, the colloquial name “Camera Battery” is used for CR123, but recently such elements are rarely found in cameras.
— Crona. Batteries made in the standard size of Krona batteries are in a rectangular case with dimensions of about 49x27x18 mm and a pair of contacts on one of the ends. This size differs from all those described above both in shape and in operating voltage — it is about 8.4 – 9 V. Due to the high operating voltage, the capacitance of such elements is relatively small, they are used mainly where such voltage is in principle indispensable. Standard capacity options are 120 mAh for Ni-Cd, 175 mAh for Ni-Mh and up to 500 mAh for Li-Ion.
A separate category is standard cylindrical batteries with an operating voltage of 3.7 V, having a five-digit marking — for example, 18650. Unlike the 1.5-volt cells described above, they are usually made using Li-Ion technology. And the marking corresponds to the dimensions of the element in thickness and length — so, in our example, the battery will have a diameter of 18 mm and a length of 65 mm. Such batteries have become widespread, in particular, in radio-controlled models and airsoft drives. It is worth noting that some of them are almost identical in appearance to some 1.5 V batteries (for example, the 14500 size gives almost the same dimensions as AA), but such pairs of cells are not interchangeable due to the difference in operating voltage.
In turn, disposable batteries can be produced both in standard sizes similar to those described above, and in their own. Here are the most popular options:
— AA, AAA, C, D, Krona, CR123 — see above for more details on these sizes, we only note that disposable batteries usually differ from batteries in capacity (often higher). For example, finger-type batteries normally have a capacity of 1100 mAh with salt technology and about 2700 – 3000 mAh with alkaline (alkaline). For AAA, these figures are 540 mAh and 1000 – 1100 mAh, respectively, for C — 3800 mAh and 8000 mAh, D — 8000 mAh and 12000 mAh. CR123 batteries are produced only in lithium technology and exceed batteries in capacity by more than twice — 1500 mAh. And disposable "Kronas" differ from rechargeable ones not only in increased capacity (400 mAh in saline, 565 mAh in alkaline and up to 1200 mAh in lithium), but also in an operating voltage of 9 V (for batteries it may be somewhat lower). Thus, disposable batteries are often more capacious than rechargeable batteries, and in situations where long runtime is important, this option may be more preferable.
— AAAA. One of the smallest standard sizes among elongated cylindrical cells with a nominal voltage of 1.5 V. It provides a length of about 43 mm and a diameter of 8.3 mm, a battery capacity of 300 mAh for saline and 500 – 600 mAh for alkaline. AAAA elements have not received much distribution, they are mainly used in miniature technology, for which there are already not enough “tablet” batteries, and larger sizes are too bulky — in particular, in laser pointers, ultra-compact flashlights, some medical devices, etc. Also note that some Krona batteries are actually a pack of six AAAA cells.
— CR[****]. The type designation "CR + digital index" is used for a whole family of "coin" batteries with a nominal voltage of 3V. All such cells use lithium technology — only it allows you to achieve the mentioned operating voltage of 3 V in a compact size. Actually, the digital index in this case means exactly the dimensions — the length in millimeters and the thickness in tenths of a millimeter. For example, the popular size CR2032, known to many from BIOS batteries on PC motherboards, assumes a diameter of 20 mm and a thickness of 3.2 mm. The larger the battery, the higher its capacity; accordingly, it is quite possible to estimate the general level of this element by the index. The smallest "pills" -CR have dimensions of 9.5x2.7 mm, the largest — up to 30 mm in diameter or 10 mm in thickness. However, some sizes from this range are more popular under non-standard names — for example, CR1 / 3N (see below).
— 3LR12. Quite large batteries of a rectangular shape, with two contacts in the form of plates of different lengths, placed on the upper end. Initially intended for flashlights, radios and some specialized devices. The capacity of such a battery in salt version is up to 700 mAh, in alkaline version it is up to 4800 mAh.
— CR1/3N. One of the names of the element CR11108, a three-volt "tablet" with a diameter of 11.6 mm and a thickness of 10.8 mm. It comes from the fact that in size such a battery is a third of the popular N size, and from three CR11108 cells you can assemble a battery similar to N in size (but with an operating voltage of 9 V).
— AG12. Formally, AG12 is the designation used by Seiko, the general marking of such elements is SR43. They have "tablet" proportions, with a thickness of 4.2 mm and a diameter of 11.6 mm. The nominal voltage is 1.5 V, the capacity is 80 mAh for an alkaline battery and about 120 mAh for a silver oxide one.
— A11. 6-volt cells of relatively high capacity. They are used quite rarely, they are found, in particular, in wall clocks.
— A23. Miniature cylindrical batteries with high voltage: with dimensions of 29 mm in length and a little more than 10 mm in diameter, they give out an operating voltage of 12 V. Because of this, the capacity turned out to be low — usually 40 mAh. They are mainly used in miniature radio equipment like car alarms. Most often they are assembled from 8 one and a half volt "pills".
— A27. Another size of miniature 12-volt cells. Similar to the A23 described above (in particular, they are also assembled from 8 “pills”), but they are even smaller — only 28 mm long and 8 mm in diameter — and have a capacity of about 22 mAh.
— A29. Compact batteries with an increased operating voltage, which, however, is somewhat lower than that of the A23 and A27 — 9 V. They are similar in diameter (8 mm) to the latter, but slightly shorter — 20 mm. The nominal capacity is 20 mAh.
— CR2. Disposable equivalent of 15266 and 15270 rechargeable batteries (see above for “five-figure” batteries), 15 mm in diameter and 27 mm long, with an operating voltage of 3V. It has a capacity of about 750 mAh (600 mAh models are found in batteries). It is mainly used in cameras and flashlights.
— CR-P2L. Element in the form of a double cylinder, with a total length of 35 mm, a width of 19 mm and a height of 36 mm. It is often made from two elements similar in shape to CR123, made up side by side with a “jack”. Has contacts on one side and an asymmetrical design to prevent insertion into the battery slot on the wrong side. Refers to specialized elements, designed mainly for photographic equipment. Typical capacity is 1500 mAh, voltage is 6 V.
— CR-V3. Similar to CR-P2L, these batteries are shaped like a double cylinder and are mainly used in cameras. They are similar in shape and size to two AA batteries side by side and have a nominal voltage of 3V. . The standard capacity of such an element is 3000 mAh, it is usually performed using lithium technology.
— 2CR5. Another "photographic" size, providing the shape of a double cylinder. In terms of capacity and voltage, it is similar to CR-P2L — 1500 mAh and 6 V, respectively, it also has "fool protection" in the form of an asymmetric shape, but the dimensions are somewhat larger — height 45 mm, length 34 mm, width 17 mm.
— LR44. The name AG13 is also used. Such elements have the form of "tablets" with a diameter of 11.6 mm and a thickness of 5.4 mm; nominal voltage — 1.5 V. LR44 is available only in the form of disposable batteries.
— N (LR1). 1.5-volt batteries are cylindrical, 12 mm in diameter and 30.2 mm long. They are used relatively rarely, in particular, in some models of flashlights and laser pointers.
— 4SR44. Cylindrical elements of small size — 13 mm in diameter and 25 mm in length. Performed using silver-oxide or alkaline technology; for the latter, the designation 4LR44 can be used, the capacity is 170 – 200 mAh and 110 – 150 mAh, respectively. Two such cells are similar in size to an AA battery, but these options are not interchangeable — the nominal voltage of the 4SR44 is 6 V.
— V[***]. With rare exceptions (see below), batteries marked with the letter V and a digital index are miniature "pills" designed for watches, calculators, etc. Usually, they have an operating voltage of 1.5 V, and the capacitance directly depends on the dimensions. Unlike three-volt CR, in this case, the dimensions are not directly related to the index, they should be specified using special tables (or find out which variety was used in the technique that requires a battery and look for a similar element). Also note that this designation format (V+number) is used as proprietary by Varta, and elements from other manufacturers may carry a different marking; these points are also best specified in special sources.
— V28PXL. Another name is 2CR1 / 3N, because. such batteries are similar in size and electrical characteristics to two CR1/3N (see above) stacked one after the other. With a diameter of 11.6 mm, the length is about 20 mm; operating voltage — 6 V.
The technology used to manufacture the hardware of the battery / battery. It determines both general properties (in particular, capacitance) and specific nuances, for example, resistance to high discharge currents.
— Ni-Cd. The oldest and least advanced technology used in today's batteries. The advantages of this option are reliability, resistance to low temperatures (including frost), as well as high charging currents, which allows you to quickly charge "dead" batteries. However, all this is covered by one significant drawback — the so-called "memory effect". If you put the battery on charge without completely discharging it, the battery will seem to “remember” how much of its capacity has remained unclaimed, and will not use it in the next cycles — that is, the practical capacity of the battery will drop. The "learning" process is reversible, but restoring the battery is a rather long and troublesome business. In fairness, it must be said that, to one degree or another, all types of modern batteries are subject to this effect, but in nickel-cadmium it manifests itself most clearly. Plus, this technology poses a significant risk to the environment. Therefore, today nickel-cadmium batteries are considered obsolete and are gradually being forced out of use, being replaced by more advanced ones (in particular, nickel-metal hydride).
— Ni-Mh. Nickel-metal hydride batteries appeared as an impr...oved version of nickel-cadmium batteries (see above). This technology made it possible to minimize the "memory effect" (it is much easier to avoid than in Ni-Cd) and make the batteries themselves more "environmentally friendly", retaining many of the main advantages of the previous technology — in particular, reliability and resistance to frost. In addition, such batteries are characterized by high voltage stability — it does not drop until almost completely discharged. The charging time, however, has slightly increased, and Ni-Mh cells are quite demanding on storage conditions — for example, they cannot be stored in a discharged form. However, these shortcomings cannot be called critical, and nickel-metal hydride batteries are quite widespread today.
— Ni-Zn. Another rather old technology for the production of rechargeable batteries, which, however, is still used today. According to the main features, nickel-zinc elements are similar to the nickel-metal hydride ones described above. However, there are also differences. On the one hand, Ni-Zn batteries have a higher capacity (almost a third higher than that of Ni-Mh); on the other hand, their service life is relatively short and in most cases is up to 400 charge-discharge cycles.
— Li-Ion. One of the most popular types of batteries, originally created for portable equipment, but today used in almost all areas. Note that here this term can mean both the original lithium-ion technology and the more advanced lithium-polymer technology. The main advantage of such batteries can be called a high charge density — in other words, Li-Ion batteries of the same size will have a higher capacity than similar "nickel" ones. In addition, such elements are charged quite quickly, and there is practically no “memory effect” in them (more precisely, it is usually compensated by built-in charge controllers). The main disadvantage of this technology is its high price; in addition, it is sensitive to high and low temperatures, and if the operating mode is violated, there is a possibility of fire or even explosion of the battery.
— Salt. Also called "manganese-zinc", according to the base metals used in the construction of the cathode and anode, respectively. The oldest and simplest technology used for the production of disposable batteries. This also determines the general features of salt elements. On the one hand, they have the smallest capacity among the main types of batteries, an uneven voltage curve (it decreases sharply as it is discharged) and does not tolerate low temperatures; on the other hand, they are easy to manufacture and inexpensive. Salt batteries are recommended for devices with low power consumption and unpretentious voltage stability, such as remote controls or clocks. This is due not only to low capacitance, but also to the fact that when operating at high currents, this capacitance can be significantly reduced.
— Alkaline. Technology for the production of disposable batteries. Another name is alkaline, or manganese-alkaline; the design also uses manganese and zinc, as in salt, however, the term "manganese-zinc" is not used to avoid confusion. Due to more advanced technology in such cells, many of the shortcomings of salt batteries have been eliminated. Thus, the capacity increased several times, the voltage drop during discharge became not so pronounced, in addition, alkaline batteries perform well at high load currents and can be stored longer due to reduced self-discharge. The main disadvantages of this technology are the high price and increased weight of the batteries.
— Lithium. Production technology involving the use of lithium as an anode (cathode material may be different). Do not confuse with Li-Ion — in this case we are talking exclusively about disposable elements. One of the key advantages of this option is the ability to easily create compact batteries with different voltages, up to 3 V (it is quite difficult to provide voltages above 1.5 V in other types of batteries). In addition, lithium cells are great for long-term operation (some devices with this power supply can go for years without changing the battery). As a result, this technology is especially popular in miniature batteries, primarily "pill" batteries, which are used in watches, medical sensors and other devices where a long operating time is critical. Among other advantages, it is worth mentioning the extremely low self-discharge currents (as a result, a long shelf life) and a wide temperature range of use.
— Silver oxide. Technology for the production of disposable batteries, which involves the use of silver oxide cathodes (in combination with a zinc anode and alkaline electrolyte). It allows you to achieve a very high charge density (the ratio of capacity to dimensions and weight), in addition, it is distinguished by uniform voltage (it practically does not decrease as it is discharged). On the other hand, the use of silver has a corresponding effect on the value. Therefore, the main area of application of this technology is miniature “tablet” batteries, in which the high cost of materials is not so noticeable due to their small size.
Qty per pack
The number of individual batteries supplied in the kit.
Buying a multi-cell kit is convenient when you need more than one battery, but it is especially justified when you need several batteries for one device. In such cases, it is desirable that these cells are identical in characteristics and condition (it is not recommended to use fresh batteries in conjunction with discharged ones); Batteries from one set usually satisfy these requirements.
Capacity describes the amount of energy that a fully charged battery is able to deliver to a load before being discharged to zero. The most popular designation for capacity is in milliamp-hours: 1 mAh means that the battery will be able to work for 1 hour before being discharged, delivering a current of 1 mA. From the point of view of pure physics, such a designation is not entirely correct, because the actual amount of energy delivered also depends on the voltage. However, in fact, it is usually necessary to compare elements of the same voltage among themselves, and the designation in mAh is quite suitable for this.
In general, the higher the capacity, the more energy the battery holds and the longer it will be able to work before recharging/replacing. At the same time, it is worth remembering that different devices have different power consumption, which means that the actual battery life will depend on the features of the equipment where batteries are used.
Rated voltage of a fully charged battery or a fresh battery. The practical value of this parameter may differ slightly from the nominal one, however, in the design of most electronics models, this feature is usually taken into account, and the user himself does not need to worry about this. And in general, voltage data in most cases does not play a key role and is more of a general reference information. This is due to the fact that all sizes (see above) have requirements not only for the overall design of the battery, but also for its voltage. Therefore, it is necessary to pay special attention to this indicator mainly in specific cases, such as searching for interchangeable elements or assembling a home-made electrical circuit and selecting power for it.
Rated discharge current
Rated discharge current provided by the battery. This is the highest discharge current at which the battery will operate without a voltage drop and without a noticeable decrease in the actual capacity. It is worth paying attention to this parameter first of all if the battery is purchased for a device that is sensitive to supply voltage — for example, for a multimeter.
The rated discharge current is indicated only for rechargeable batteries (see "Type").
Maximum discharge current
The maximum discharge current provided by the battery is the maximum current that the battery can deliver without the risk of overloading, overheating and other troubles. This indicator directly determines compatibility with a specific device: the current consumed by the load must not exceed the maximum battery discharge current.
The maximum discharge current is indicated only for rechargeable batteries (see "Type"). By definition, it is greater than the nominal one (see above), but it is worth recalling that when the rated current is exceeded, the voltage at the battery output decreases. Therefore, in some cases, it is necessary to choose a battery exactly according to the rated discharge current.
The number of charge cycles that a battery can withstand without noticeable degradation in performance.
A charge cycle refers to the period of time from one complete discharge of the battery to the next, when the battery is first fully charged and then discharged “to zero”. In fact, this method of operation is relatively rare — much more often the batteries are put on charge under-discharged, and sometimes the process has to be stopped before the charge is replenished by 100%. In addition, it is customary to indicate the number of charge cycles for ideal operating conditions: a “native” charger, a relatively low load during operation, the ambient temperature matches the operating parameters, etc. Therefore, the number of cycles indicated in the characteristics is quite approximate, and in fact it is hardly worth expecting a 100% exact match. Nevertheless, by this parameter it is quite possible to evaluate the durability of the battery and compare it with analogues.
The presence of a protection board in the design of the battery (see "Type").
As the name implies, this feature is designed to protect the battery from failure and damage when operating in non-standard modes. In particular, the protection board usually "monitors" the level of charge, preventing both excessively deep discharge and overcharging, and also limits the charge and discharge currents. Thus, the operation is as simple and convenient as possible: the battery, in fact, monitors its own condition.
Note that a protection board is not always needed: some devices have their own battery controllers.
The ability to connect the battery directly to the USB port for charging. The specific implementation of this function may be different. Most often, a miniature socket like microUSB is provided on the battery case, and a corresponding cable is included in the kit, however, there are also more original solutions — for example, a built-in USB connector, covered by a lid during normal use. Most elements with this function belong to the popular 18650 size, but it can also be used in other sizes — in particular, AA and Krona.
Box included in delivery.
The box is a rigid container in which you can keep complete batteries (or others in the same quantity and size). This is more convenient than storing or transporting batteries "in bulk" or in impromptu packaging — they are packed into the box as securely and tightly as possible. It makes sense to use the container primarily with batteries, so it usually comes with rechargeable cells.
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