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Batteries: specifications, types

Size

The dimensions describes the general shape, the arrangement of contacts, the rated voltage, and often the technology by which the power supply is made.

The variety of standard sizes in our time is very large. So, full-dimensions disposable batteries are available mainly in the following options: AA, AAA, AAAA, C, D, Krona, CR123, CR2, A23, A27, A29 and N (LR1). For batteries, the list is largely similar: AA, AAA, C, D, Krona. However, among full-dimensions batteries there is a specific separate category - 3.7-volt cylindrical power supplies, indicated by a five-digit index. There are 14500, 16340, 18350, 18490, 18500, 18650, 21700 and 26650....

Separately, it is worth highlighting miniature power sources, the list of which is very extensive in our time. Only among the most popular can a series of lithium elements CR ( CR1025, CR1216, CR1220, CR1225, CR1616, CR1620, CR1632, CR2012, CR2016, CR2025, CR2032, CR2320, CR2325, CR2330, CR2354, CR2430, CR2457 ) ; a series of manganese-alkaline batteries LR ( LR41, LR43, LR44, LR45, LR48, LR54, LR55, LR57, LR58, LR59, LR60, LR63, LR66, LR69); silver-oxide analogues of LR batteries, identified, among other things, by a three-digit numerical index ( 315, 317, 319, 321, 335, 337, 339, 341, 346, 357 (SR44), 361 (SR58), 362 (SR58), 370 (SR69), 371 (SR69), 373 (SR68), 377, 381, 384 (SR41), 389, 390 (SR54), 391, 392 (SR41), 394, 395, 396, 397, 399 ; PR for hearing aids.

First, let's look at the popular sizes found in full-dimensions general purpose elements. Let's start with the options that can be found in both batteries and accumulators :

— AA. 1.5 V cells, colloquially known as "finger" cells. One of the most famous and popular sizes; only relatively recently, due to the miniaturization of electronic devices, such power supplies began to gradually give way to the more miniature AAA.
Note also that 3.7V 14500 batteries are identical in dimensions to AA batteries, but these sizes are not interchangeable due to the difference in voltage.

— AAA. In the people - "mini finger" or "little finger" batteries (accumulators). Very popular in our time, widely used in remote controls, ultra-compact cameras, wireless keyboards and mice, etc. Nominally give out 1.5 V; also have a “twin” among 3.7-volt batteries - dimensions 10440; however, it is extremely rare.

— Kit AA + AAA. A set consisting of two standard sizes described above at once. In some situations, such a kit may be the best choice (for example, if a wireless PC keyboard runs on “finger” batteries, and a mouse runs on “pinky” batteries). However, such situations are quite rare, so there are few such sets.

— AAAA. The smallest variety of 1.5-volt "A-series" cells, even more compact than "pinky" batteries. Applications for such power sources include laser pointers, active styluses (the most famous example is the Microsoft Surface Pen), ultra-compact flashlights, etc. But in general, this is a rather rare, even exotic option. Also note that AAAA cells are produced mainly in the form of disposable batteries, although there are exceptions.

- C. Pretty large 1.5 V batteries - almost 2 times thicker than "finger" AA batteries at the same length. They are intended mainly for "gluttonous" devices with increased requirements for capacity or power supply, for which "finger" or "little" batteries are no longer enough.

- D. One of the largest 1.5-volt sizes - 33 mm in size, 62 mm long. Provides even more power and capacity than C elements, used mainly in devices where these parameters are much more important than compact sizes; a typical example is music centers.

- 6LR61. Characteristic rectangular batteries (less often - batteries) with a nominal voltage of 9 V and a pair of contacts on one of the ends; contacts differ in shape, which protects against reverse polarity when connected. They are used, in particular, in multimeters, smoke and gas detectors, electric guitars and effects pedals, microphones, etc.

- CR123 (CR123A). In general, all full-sized batteries with the CR index (not to be confused with compact cells like CR2032) were originally developed for cameras - this technique is characterized by increased requirements for power supply and voltage stability. Specifically, CR123 outwardly resemble shortened and thickened finger batteries, but they have a higher voltage - 3 V - and differ in manufacturing technology. The rechargeable version of these cells is sometimes referred to as RCR123 and is sized 16340.

— CR-V3. A rather unusual dimensions: in shape, dimensions and voltage (3 V) it corresponds to 2 AA batteries, made up side by side. This design allows the use of such elements in many devices that were originally designed for a pair of "finger-type" batteries. In terms of specialization, such power supplies are very similar to the CR123 described above - they were also originally intended for cameras.

- N. They are LR1, 910A, MN9100. Quite compact (length 30 mm, size 12 mm) 1.5-volt power supplies. They are very close in dimensions to A23 batteries, however, due to the difference in voltage, these sizes are not interchangeable.


As for sizes found only in full-dimensions batteries, the most popular series of lithium-ion power supplies with a five-digit marking is the most popular here; a typical example (and the most common option) is 18650. All such batteries have a cylindrical shape and a nominal voltage of 3.7 V, while marking allows you to accurately determine their sizes: the first two digits correspond to the size (in millimeters), the remaining three correspond to the length (in tenths fractions of a millimetre). So, in our example, the size of the power source will be 18 mm, length - 65 mm. And most of the batteries in this category on the market are in the range from 10180 to 26650; the larger the battery, the higher its capacity, respectively.
Detailed data on specific options can be found in special sources; here we note that some of these batteries are outwardly similar to batteries of other sizes, but interchangeability should be specified separately. For example, 16340 in most cases can be used instead of CR123 batteries, but 14500, although they are identical to “finger-type” AA batteries, are twice their voltage, so the possibility of mutual replacement is the exception rather than the rule.


And here are the sizes that can only be found among full-dimensions disposable batteries :

- CR series - first of all CR2, "just CR" (in fact - CR ½ AA), CR-P2L, 2CR5. Elements from the same series as the CR123 described above are lithium batteries, originally designed for cameras and other equipment with fairly strict requirements for power quality. At the same time, we note that CR2 and CR½AA have a classic cylindrical shape and a voltage of 3 V, and CR-P2L and 2CR5 resemble two cylinders side by side, give out 6 V and are interchangeable with a pair of CR123 cells in many devices.

- Series A * ("A with a number", for example A11 or A23). It includes power supplies of a traditional cylindrical shape, but with an increased voltage - from 6 to 12 V. Such elements are used mainly in devices where power consumption is episodic, but high; a typical example is car alarm key fobs, wireless calls and other similar devices. The most popular sizes of this series in our time are A10, A11, A23 and A27.

— V28PXL. Not a particularly common dimensions of cylindrical batteries with a voltage of 6 V. In terms of specifics, it is similar to the cells of the A * series described above. Can be made up of 2 CR1/3N elements (see below), in such cases marked as 2CR1/3N.

- 4SR44 (4LR44). Cylindrical 6 V batteries, made up of 4 miniature "tablets" - hence the first number in the name. If the “pills” are alkaline, the designation LR is used, if the more advanced silver-oxide ones are SR.

- 3LR12 / MN1203 (3R12). Characteristic flat rectangular batteries with a voltage of 4.5 V, with a pair of “petal” contacts on the upper end. They have rather large sizes - 67 x 62 x 22 mm; the designation 3LR12 is used for alkaline energy sources, 3R12 for saline. Known, in particular, as "flashlight batteries", since at one time they were popular in fairly powerful hand torches. Now they are rarely used both in this role and in general.


In addition to full-sized batteries, miniature batteries are very popular nowadays, which are also called “pills” for their characteristic shape. The variety of specific sizes in such elements is very extensive, however, there are several main series that combine power supplies that are similar in basic parameters:

— CR series. Miniature batteries from this series are made using lithium technology and have a voltage of 3 V. They are marked with the CR index and several numbers - usually four; while the first two digits indicate the size in millimeters, and the rest - the height (thickness) in tenths of a millimeter. This allows you to accurately determine the dimensions: for example, the popular CR2032 elements have a size of 20 mm and a thickness of 3.2 mm. A definite exception is the CR11108 batteries (size 11 mm, thickness 10.8 mm) - they are more often found not under this marking, but under the designation CR1 / 3N (since they resemble a three times shortened type N battery)
Detailed data on specific sizes from this series can be found in special sources. Here we note that a whole set of alternative marking options is used for CR batteries - with letter indices BR, DL, E-CR, KECR (at the beginning), LC (at the end), etc. Some of these designations are only proprietary markings for certain manufacturers, others point out the differences between such batteries and standard ones: for example, “tablets” with the BR index have a reduced discharge power and are intended for devices that have a low uniform power consumption. — LR series. A series of miniature batteries with a nominal voltage of 1.5 V, made using alkaline-manganese (alkaline) technology. In addition, one and a half volt "tablets" can be made in the form of silver oxide cells (they are standardly marked SR, and our catalog uses the designation in the format of the "three hundredth series", see below). Alkaline power supplies are inferior to silver-oxide power supplies in terms of voltage stability, discharge currents, and capacitance; on the other hand, they are noticeably cheaper and are optimally suited for devices with stable and low power consumption.

Note that in addition to the common marking of the “LR with 2 digits” format, there are other variants of names. For example, popular LR44 batteries from different manufacturers can be referred to as V13GA, AG13, RW82, G13, A76; and the official international name for such elements is LR1154, indicating a size of 11 mm and a thickness of 5.4 mm. Also, a certain exception is the LR9 elements - they are better known under the V625U index.

Detailed data on different sizes from this series can be found in special sources. Here is a list of correspondences between the most popular LR alkaline batteries and silver-oxide analogues of the “three hundredth series” (the first is an analogue with a low discharge power, the second with a high one):
  • LR41 - 384, 392;
  • LR43 - 301, 386;
  • LR44 - 303, 357;
  • LR45 - 394, 380;
  • LR48 - 309, 393;
  • LR54 - 390, 389;
  • LR55 - 381, 391;
  • LR57 - 395, 399;
  • LR58 - 362, 361;
  • LR59 - 397, 396;
  • LR60 - 364, 363;
  • LR63 - 379 (low discharge power only);
  • LR66 - 377, 376;
  • LR69 - 371, 370;
  • V625U (LR9) - does not have a silver-zinc counterpart.

- "Three hundredth series" (315, etc.). Analogues of 1.5-volt tablets of the LR series, made using silver oxide technology. This increases the cost, but has a positive effect on a number of performance characteristics - in particular, capacity, voltage stability and resistance to high discharge currents. At the same time, such elements are divided into two varieties - designed for high discharge power with uneven loads (HD) and for constant low loads (LD).
The most popular marking of all such power supplies is SR with two digits. But in our catalog, another option is taken as the basis - a three-digit number with a triple at the beginning, for example, 315 (hence the name "three hundredth series"). This designation is convenient in that it takes into account not only the physical sizes of the battery, but also its operating format (LD or HD), while the SR index does not take the latter into account. For example, elements 370 (HD format) and 371 (LD) according to common rules will have the same designation - SR69.
There are other marking options - for example, a 357 battery (SR44, HD variant) is designated by different manufacturers as V357, D357, SR44W, SB-B9 or RW42, and its official international designation is SR1154. More detailed information on specific sizes from the "three hundredth" series can be found in special sources. Here we also give a table of correspondences between the most common options and their analogues of the LR type (power specialization is indicated in brackets):
  • 315 - does not have an alkaline analogue (LD);
  • 317 - LR516 (LD);
  • 319 - LR64 (LD);
  • 321 - LR65 (LD);
  • 335 - does not have an alkaline analogue (LD);
  • 337 - LR416 (LD);
  • 339 - LR614 (LD);
  • 341 - LR714 (LD);
  • 346 - LR712 (LD);
  • 357 - LR44 (HD);
  • 361 - LR58 (HD);
  • 362 - LR58 (LD);
  • 370 - LR69 (HD);
  • 371 - LR69 (HD);
  • 373 - does not have an alkaline analogue (LD);
  • 377 - LR66 (LD);
  • 381 - LR55 (LD);
  • 384 - LR41 (LD);
  • 389 - LR54 (HD);
  • 390 - LR54 (LD);
  • 391 - LR55 (HD);
  • 392 - LR41 (HD);
  • 394 - LR45 (LD);
  • 395 - LR57 (LD);
  • 396 - LR59 (HD);
  • 397 - LR59 (LD);
  • 399 - LR57 (HD).

— PR series. Miniature batteries designed primarily for use in hearing aids. They are carried out according to a rather specific technology - air-zinc. For more information about it, see "Technology"; here we only note that in a sealed state, such batteries can be stored for a very long time without loss of working properties, and after printing they must be used within a strictly defined time - otherwise the element will become unusable anyway. However, with constant use in a hearing aid, the battery is discharged before it loses its performance for other reasons.
The official international marking of such elements is the letters PR with two numbers, for example, PR44. Individual manufacturers may use different labeling rules. We also note that in each standard dimensions of such batteries, the plug removed before use is indicated by its own color. Detailed data for each dimensions should be sought in special sources; here is a list of the most popular options (in order of decreasing dimensions) and specify the colors of the plugs:
  • PR44 - blue;
  • PR48 - orange;
  • PR41 - brown;
  • PR70 - yellow.

Sensor

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 have 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 "coin" 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 “coin” 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

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.

Voltage

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.

Charge cycles

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 perfect 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.

Protection board

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.

USB charging

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 PP3.

Boxing

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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