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Grand Battery Testing

Battery testing

Testing the batteries will give you a clue:

  • How expensive are the batteries better than the cheap ones?
  • How much is the capacity of lithium batteries more than usual?
  • How much capacity of salt batteries is less than that of alkaline ones?
  • Are batteries for digital devices different from normal?
  • Which of the same-priced batteries is better to buy?

All AA and AAA batteries that could be found participated in our tests.

58 types of AA batteries and 35 types of AAA were collected.

A total of 255 batteries were tested - 170 AA and 85 AAA.

To improve measurement accuracy, the battery analyzer does not use PWM - it creates a constant resistive load on the battery

The device can operate in different modes. For testing AA batteries, three main modes were used:

  • Discharge DC 200 mA. Such a load is peculiar to electronic toys;
  • Discharge pulse 1000 mA (10 seconds load, 10 seconds pause). Such a load is peculiar to digital devices;
  • Discharge pulse 2500 mA (10 seconds load, 20 seconds pause). Such a load is characteristic of powerful digital devices - cameras, flashes.

In addition, four batteries were discharged by small currents of 50 and 100 mA.

Measurements were made when the batteries were discharged to a voltage of 0.7 V.

The discharge graph clearly shows how different types of batteries behave.

AA battery discharge current 200 mA

AA battery discharge current 200 mA

The first five lines are saline batteries.

It is clearly seen how much less their capacity.

The last three lines are lithium batteries.

They not only have a large capacity, but also discharge in another way: the voltage on them does not decrease almost to the very end, and then drops sharply.

This is especially pronounced in the GP Lithium battery.

In addition, lithium batteries can work in the cold.

Among the many similar alkaline batteries, two outsiders are clearly visible - Sony Platinum and Panasonic Alkaline and two leaders - Duracell Turbo Max and Ansmann X-Power.

The remaining batteries differ in capacity by only 15%.

Diagram 1 - AA batteries are sorted by capacity at a discharge current of 200 mA

AA batteries are sorted by capacity at a discharge current of 200 mA

Duracell Turbo Max batteries do have a capacity slightly larger than all other alkaline batteries, but I came across one pack of Duracell Turbo Max, which were significantly worse than the others.

In terms of capacity, they corresponded to the usual cheap batteries.

In the table and on the graphs, they are labeled “Duracell Turbo Max BAD”.

It is clearly seen from the diagram that different batteries manifest themselves differently when discharged by high and low currents.

For example, Camelion Plus Alkaline gives more energy than Camelion Digi Alkaline on a small current.

And on the big all the way around.

As a rule, batteries designed for high currents indicate that they are designed for digital devices.

At the same time there are many universal batteries that work perfectly with any currents.

I averaged the amount of energy that batteries give out at high and low currents and, based on the results and price of batteries (which in some cases is only approximate), made a chart of the cost of one watt hour for all AA batteries.

Chart 2 - the cost of one watt-hour for all AA batteries

Cost per watt hour for all AA batteries

All types of AAA batteries were discharged with a direct current of 200 mA.

Some types of AAA batteries were subjected to a second test — a discharge of 1000 mA in the “constant resistance” mode (the current decreased with the discharge).

This mode emulates the operation of batteries in the lamp.

In AAA format, Duracell Turbo Max turned out to be far from the best alkaline battery.

Many cheap batteries (for example Ikea, Navigator, aro, FlexPower) had a larger capacity.

Diagram 3 - AAA batteries sorted by capacity at a discharge current of 200 mA

Discharge AAA batteries with a current of 200 mA

Technical findings

  • Most alkaline batteries differ in capacity by only 15%;
  • Lithium batteries have 1.5-3 times (depending on the load current) greater capacity than alkaline ones;
  • Unlike alkaline, the voltage on lithium batteries almost does not decrease in the process of discharge;
  • Salt batteries are 3.5 times worse than alkaline at low currents and can not work at all at high;
  • There are three types of alkaline batteries: universal, designed for low load currents and designed for high load currents. In this case, universal is better than the other two at all currents.

Consumer conclusions

  • Salt batteries to buy impractical. Even in devices with the lowest consumption, alkaline (Alkaline) will last much longer due to its long shelf life;
  • It is most profitable to buy batteries sold under Auchan and Ikea brands;
  • In other stores you can safely buy the cheapest alkaline batteries;
  • From what is sold in grocery stores, the GP Super is the best bet;
  • Lithium batteries are expensive, but they are lightweight, capacious and can work in the cold.

Most of the batteries were provided by the wholesalers Source Battaris, and Grid and Technology.

Ikea, Camelion, Navigator provided their batteries.

I bought some batteries in Auchan, Metro, Okay, Yulmart, Pyaterochka, Dixie stores.

AA and AAA tests with iMAX B6

For testing was used iMAX B6.

Each battery was discharged with current 0.2A until it could deliver such a current.

To confirm the results, I tested two copies of some batteries.

My experiments took almost two months, because it took about ten hours to test each battery.

AA and AAA tests with iMAX B6

Measured battery capacity in milliampere-hours.

The voltage was measured on a battery two minutes after the start of the test.

After the battery "died" it was left for some time (usually half an hour) and the test was carried out again, while it gave some more energy - "Capacity 2".

The cost of one ampere hour is indicated in the last column.

More clearly the results appear in the diagram.

Battery capacity in milliampere-hours

A label, sorted by amp-hour cost, shows which batteries are the most profitable.


Technical and Consumer Findings

  • Regular Duracell and Energizer batteries are meaningless to buy. They are no better than batteries, which are 2-4 times cheaper.
  • Duracell Turbo Max for 38 rubles a piece of course good batteries, but not as much as they ask for.
  • Capacity of salt batteries is three times less than that of the cheapest alkaline (alkaline) ones.
  • Trophy, Okay - not very good batteries.
  • Duracell is better than Energizer. :)
  • GP, Photon, Era, Cosmos are good batteries, the difference in capacity is less than 10%.
  • The most profitable batteries are Ikea and FlexPower, but they are sold only in Ikea and F-center stores, respectively.
  • The capacity of AAA batteries is almost three times less than AA.
  • Perhaps in certain conditions (for example, when discharging with large currents), expensive Duracell batteries may be more effective than when discharged by an average current, but their capacity is unlikely to be as high, Ikea as much as their price (5.5 times).

Batteries participants

Batteries participants
Batteries participants

Testing process

Testing process