Grandiose battery testing

Battery Testing

Testing the batteries will let you know:

  • How expensive are cheap batteries?
  • How much capacity of lithium batteries is more usual?
  • How much capacity of salt batteries is less than that of alkaline batteries?
  • Are the batteries for digital devices different from conventional ones?
  • Which of the batteries worth equally, it is better to buy?

In our tests, all AA and AAA batteries that you can find are involved.

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

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

To increase the accuracy of measurements, the battery analyzer does not use PWM - it creates a constant resistive load on the battery

The device can work in different modes. To test AA batteries, three main modes were used:

  • Discharge with a direct current of 200 mA. This load is peculiar to electronic toys;
  • Discharge by pulses of 1000 mA (10 seconds of load, 10 seconds of pause). This load is inherent in digital devices;
  • Discharge by pulses of 2500 mA (10 seconds of load, 20 seconds of pause). This load is typical for powerful digital devices - cameras, flashes.

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

The measurement was made when the batteries were discharged to a voltage of 0.7 V.

According to the discharge schedule, you can clearly see how different types of batteries behave.

Discharge of AA batteries with a current of 200 mA

Discharge of AA batteries with a current of 200 mA

The first five lines are salt batteries.

You can clearly see how much less capacity.

The last three lines are lithium batteries.

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

This is especially evident in the battery Lithium Lithium.

In addition, lithium batteries can work in frost.

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

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

The Duracell Turbo Max batteries do have a capacity slightly larger than all other alkaline batteries, but I got one Duracell Turbo Max package that was significantly worse than others.

In terms of capacity, they corresponded to ordinary cheap batteries.

In the table and on the charts they are labeled "Duracell Turbo Max BAD".

It is clearly seen from the diagram that different batteries behave differently when discharged by large and small currents.

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

And on the big the opposite is true.

Typically, batteries designed for high currents indicate that they are designed for digital devices.

In this case, there are many universal batteries that work well with any currents.

I averaged the amount of energy that the batteries give out on large and small currents and based on the results and the price of the batteries (which in some cases is only approximate) was a one watt-hour chart for all AA batteries.

Diagram 2 - the cost per watt-hour for all AA batteries

The cost per watt-hour for all AA batteries

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

Some types of AAA batteries were subjected to a second test - a discharge with a current of 1000 mA in the "constant resistance" mode (the current was reduced as the discharge progressed).

This mode emulates battery operation in a flashlight.

In AAA format, Duracell Turbo Max was not the best alkaline battery.

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

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

Battery discharge AAA current 200 mA

Technical Findings

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

Consumer Conclusions

  • Salt batteries to buy is inappropriate. 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 the brands of Auchan and Ikea stores;
  • In other stores you can safely buy the cheapest alkaline batteries;
  • From what is sold in grocery stores, the best choice is GP Super;
  • Lithium batteries are expensive, but they are light, capacious and can work in the cold.

Most batteries were provided by the wholesale companies Source Battaries, and Power Systems and Technologies.

Their batteries were provided to Ikea, Camelion, Navigator.

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

Tests of AA and AAA using iMAX B6

IMAX B6 was used for the tests.

Each battery was discharged by a current of 0.2A until it could produce such a current.

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

My experiments took almost two months, because for testing each battery took about ten hours.

Tests of AA and AAA using iMAX B6

Measured battery capacity in milliampere-hours.

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

After the battery was "dead," it was left for a while (usually half an hour) and the test was performed again, while still giving some more energy - "Capacity 2".

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

More clearly the results look on the diagram.

Battery capacity in milliampere hours

A plate sorted by the cost of an ampere-hour shows which batteries are the most profitable.

Amp hours

Technical and Consumer Conclusion

  • Conventional batteries Duracell and Energizer to buy is meaningless. They are no better than batteries, which are cheaper in 2-4 times.
  • Duracell Turbo Max for 38 rubles a piece of course good batteries, but not as much as they are asked for.
  • The capacity of salt batteries is three times less than in the cheapest alkaline (alkaline) batteries.
  • Trophy, Okay - not very good batteries.
  • Duracell is better than Energizer. :)
  • GP, Photon, Era, Space - good batteries, the difference in capacity in which 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.
  • Probably under certain conditions (for example, when discharging with high currents), expensive Duracell batteries can be more efficient than with a medium-current discharge, but it's unlikely that their capacitance will be much higher, the same Ikea, as their price is higher (5.5 times).

Batteries participants

Batteries participants
Batteries participants

Testing process

Testing process