Electronics Forums > How much current does a flashlight battery offer?

# How much current does a flashlight battery offer?

wylbur37
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Posts: n/a

 09-02-2004, 09:28 AM
For the typical flashlight battery (AAA, AA, C, D),
all of them are 1.5 volts, but how much current do they offer?
(I'm guessing it's around 100 to 150mA, and it varies according
to the type of load that's on it).

And does it differ according to the battery size?
(does a "D" cell offer more current than an "AA"?)
or is it just that the D lasts longer?

Watson A.Name - \Watt Sun, the Dark Remover\
Guest
Posts: n/a

 09-02-2004, 09:44 AM
"wylbur37" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> For the typical flashlight battery (AAA, AA, C, D),
> all of them are 1.5 volts, but how much current do they offer?
> (I'm guessing it's around 100 to 150mA, and it varies according
> to the type of load that's on it).

> And does it differ according to the battery size?
> (does a "D" cell offer more current than an "AA"?)
> or is it just that the D lasts longer?

It depends. For AA cells, the digital cameras draw more than a half amp
at times. D cells can handle much more than an amp. If you want the
batteries to last longer, then the current drain should be less. We're

Al
Guest
Posts: n/a

 09-02-2004, 01:19 PM
In article <(E-Mail Removed) >,
(E-Mail Removed) (wylbur37) wrote:

> For the typical flashlight battery (AAA, AA, C, D),
> all of them are 1.5 volts, but how much current do they offer?
> (I'm guessing it's around 100 to 150mA, and it varies according
> to the type of load that's on it).
>
> And does it differ according to the battery size?
> (does a "D" cell offer more current than an "AA"?)
> or is it just that the D lasts longer?

http://professional.duracell.com/sta...data&page=alka

al

Roger Hamlett
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Posts: n/a

 09-02-2004, 02:22 PM

"wylbur37" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> For the typical flashlight battery (AAA, AA, C, D),
> all of them are 1.5 volts, but how much current do they offer?
> (I'm guessing it's around 100 to 150mA, and it varies according
> to the type of load that's on it).
>
> And does it differ according to the battery size?
> (does a "D" cell offer more current than an "AA"?)
> or is it just that the D lasts longer?

Two seperate ratings involved. The 'current' is limited by the internal
resistance of the battery, the resistance of the load, and by the way the
chemistry behaves. A dead short across even a AA battery, can produce
currents over 10A, for a short time, with some battery designs (NiCad in
particular). Yes, the available current does rise with battery size, with
more volume for the chemistry, and areas/thicknesses for the electrodes.
The second rating, is the mAHr rating. This gives a figure for how much
current can be delivered for how long. This figure is normally based upon
the current that will discharge the battery in 10 hours. So a battery with
a 1000mAHr rating, should be able to deliver 0.1A, for 10 hours.
Now a typical AA Zinc-Cabon battery might offer perhaps 1000mAHr, while a
D cell will perhaps offer 4000mAHr. Note that the latter implies a 'test'
current 4 times as high as that used on the smaller battery.
Some battery chemistries function better at high discharge rates than
others. So (for instance), a NiCad D battery, may well support operation
at 50* it's 'ten hour' current, and still give perhaps 25% of the full
capacity, while designs like zinc-air, will only deliver low currents,
When multiple 'capacity' versions of the same battery exist, the extra
capacity is often gained at the cost of other features. So (for instance),
on NiMh batteries, where versions with higher capacities exist, these
often show higher internal resistance (so will work less well at high
loads), and increased 'self discharge' rates (they will run down quicker
when not in use).
A typical zinc-carbon D cell, delivering half an amp, will run for perhaps
4 hours. A high quality alkaline manganese dioxide battery into the same
load, will top 20 hours. The internal resistance of the D cell, will
typically be less than 0.2ohms, while the AA of the same type, may well
have an internal resistance over 0.4ohm.
Generall, AA batteries offer some of the best volumetric, and gravimetric
power output (pack the most 'power' into the least weight, and volume).

Best Wishes

Jacques Carrier
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Posts: n/a

 09-02-2004, 04:45 PM
"Watson A.Name - \"Watt Sun, the Dark Remover\"" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<(E-Mail Removed)>...
> "wylbur37" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> > For the typical flashlight battery (AAA, AA, C, D),
> > all of them are 1.5 volts, but how much current do they offer?
> > (I'm guessing it's around 100 to 150mA, and it varies according
> > to the type of load that's on it).

>
> > And does it differ according to the battery size?
> > (does a "D" cell offer more current than an "AA"?)
> > or is it just that the D lasts longer?

>
> It depends. For AA cells, the digital cameras draw more than a half amp
> at times. D cells can handle much more than an amp. If you want the
> batteries to last longer, then the current drain should be less. We're

Here is what you need to know.

acell Alkaline MN1300 1.5V 14AH D "D" CELL
Duracell Alkaline MN1400 1.5V 7.0AH C "C" CELL
Duracell Alkaline MN1500 1.5V 2.45AH AA "AA" CELL
Duracell Alkaline MN1604 9V .565AH 9V "9V" SIZE
Duracell Alkaline MN21 12V .038AH CAR ALARM REMOTE BATTERY
Duracell Alkaline MN2400 1.5V 1.1AH AAA "AAA" CELL

CWatters
Guest
Posts: n/a

 09-02-2004, 08:45 PM

"wylbur37" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> For the typical flashlight battery (AAA, AA, C, D),
> all of them are 1.5 volts, but how much current do they offer?
> (I'm guessing it's around 100 to 150mA, and it varies according
> to the type of load that's on it).

GP 3000/3300 Sub C NiMH cells (not quite typical flashlight batteries) have
been used in model aircraft to power motors drawing 150A+ (yes that's One
hundred and fifty Amps). In shorts bursts I should add.

http://ewc2004.users.btopenworld.com...hotographs.htm

One team had a few cells explode - not surprising really.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/attac...d=288470&stc=1

James Sweet
Guest
Posts: n/a

 09-03-2004, 02:39 AM

"wylbur37" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> For the typical flashlight battery (AAA, AA, C, D),
> all of them are 1.5 volts, but how much current do they offer?
> (I'm guessing it's around 100 to 150mA, and it varies according
> to the type of load that's on it).
>
> And does it differ according to the battery size?
> (does a "D" cell offer more current than an "AA"?)
> or is it just that the D lasts longer?

Batteries are rated in amp-hours, which is the amount of current that can be
supplied for an hour (within a certain range). Even the lowly AA alkaline
can probably supply over an amp for brief periods, a D will be capable of
much more. When you get talking rechargeables some of them can supply tens
of amps.

Peter A Forbes
Guest
Posts: n/a

 09-03-2004, 06:05 AM
On Fri, 03 Sep 2004 02:39:41 GMT, "James Sweet" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>
>"wylbur37" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>news:(E-Mail Removed). com...
>> For the typical flashlight battery (AAA, AA, C, D),
>> all of them are 1.5 volts, but how much current do they offer?
>> (I'm guessing it's around 100 to 150mA, and it varies according
>> to the type of load that's on it).
>>
>> And does it differ according to the battery size?
>> (does a "D" cell offer more current than an "AA"?)
>> or is it just that the D lasts longer?

>
>Batteries are rated in amp-hours, which is the amount of current that can be
>supplied for an hour (within a certain range). Even the lowly AA alkaline
>can probably supply over an amp for brief periods, a D will be capable of
>much more. When you get talking rechargeables some of them can supply tens
>of amps.
>

Non-Nicad cells are rated in Milliampere-hours, but the rate of discharge is
very restricted, and I doubt you would get anything near an amp out of them due
to the high internal impedance. They are designed for very low discharge
currents.

Nicad cells are a different beast, and up to 20 or more amps can be drawn
short-circuits.

I seem to remember that D cells are 4.5AH in Nicad and 15000 mAH in
Alkaline-Manganese, 0.6AH for AA Nicad and 1500mAH for A-M. In all cases the
Alkaline cells are much higher in nominal capacity, but that capacity is only
available at very low discharge rates.

Peter

--
Peter & Rita Forbes
(E-Mail Removed)
Engine pages for preservation info:
http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel

CWatters
Guest
Posts: n/a

 09-03-2004, 07:50 AM
> Nicad cells are a different beast, and up to 20 or more amps can be drawn
> short-term,

Way more than that even. 70A is possible and recent Sub C size NiMH cells
have been used at 150A (4 second bursts every 20 seconds until empty)

Watson A.Name - \Watt Sun, the Dark Remover\
Guest
Posts: n/a

 09-03-2004, 08:19 AM

"Roger Hamlett" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:k0GZc.72\$(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "wylbur37" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> > For the typical flashlight battery (AAA, AA, C, D),
> > all of them are 1.5 volts, but how much current do they offer?
> > (I'm guessing it's around 100 to 150mA, and it varies according
> > to the type of load that's on it).
> >
> > And does it differ according to the battery size?
> > (does a "D" cell offer more current than an "AA"?)
> > or is it just that the D lasts longer?

> Two seperate ratings involved. The 'current' is limited by the

internal
> resistance of the battery, the resistance of the load, and by the way

the
> chemistry behaves. A dead short across even a AA battery, can produce
> currents over 10A, for a short time, with some battery designs (NiCad

in
> particular). Yes, the available current does rise with battery size,

with
> more volume for the chemistry, and areas/thicknesses for the

electrodes.
> The second rating, is the mAHr rating. This gives a figure for how

much
> current can be delivered for how long. This figure is normally based

upon
> the current that will discharge the battery in 10 hours. So a battery

with
> a 1000mAHr rating, should be able to deliver 0.1A, for 10 hours.
> Now a typical AA Zinc-Cabon battery might offer perhaps 1000mAHr,

while a
> D cell will perhaps offer 4000mAHr. Note that the latter implies a

'test'
> current 4 times as high as that used on the smaller battery.
> Some battery chemistries function better at high discharge rates than
> others. So (for instance), a NiCad D battery, may well support

operation
> at 50* it's 'ten hour' current, and still give perhaps 25% of the full
> capacity, while designs like zinc-air, will only deliver low currents,
> even into a dead short.
> When multiple 'capacity' versions of the same battery exist, the extra
> capacity is often gained at the cost of other features. So (for

instance),
> on NiMh batteries, where versions with higher capacities exist, these
> often show higher internal resistance (so will work less well at high

In my experience, the opposite is true. The newer high capacity AA
Ni-MH cells of 2000 mAH and higher have very low internal resistance,
and last longer in my digital camera than the older ones. And digital
cameras, especially mine, with autofocus and flash, use a lotta current,
probably much more than an amp at times. You might think, why does he
seem to imply that the length of time has something to do with the
internal resistance? Well, in this case, when the four AA cells start
to get discharged, the camera starts to do things like shut off the LCD
while the flash is recharging. And it takes longer to 'boot up' the
camera when the batteries are low. Finally the camera's LCD won't come
on and the battery symbol just flashes. Time for another set of freshly
charged AA cells. But the cells aren't discharged that bad, their
internal resistance has just gone up.

> and increased 'self discharge' rates (they will run down quicker
> when not in use).

Yeah, that seems to be the case. I've left charged batteries in my
camera case for a couple months and I notice they last a lot shorter
time in the camera. So now I'm putting a post-it on the battery
carrying case with the charging date. And I check them and recharge
when they've sat around a couple months.

> A typical zinc-carbon D cell, delivering half an amp, will run for

perhaps
> 4 hours. A high quality alkaline manganese dioxide battery into the

same
> load, will top 20 hours. The internal resistance of the D cell, will
> typically be less than 0.2ohms, while the AA of the same type, may

well
> have an internal resistance over 0.4ohm.
> Generall, AA batteries offer some of the best volumetric, and

gravimetric
> power output (pack the most 'power' into the least weight, and

volume).
>
> Best Wishes
>
>
>

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