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Alkaline Battery Capacity

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Bill Bowden, Jun 8, 2008.

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  1. Bill Bowden

    Bill Bowden Guest

    Can't seem to locate any battery specs for Alkaline "D" cells. Tried
    the Duracell and Raovac sites, but couldn't find much data for
    standard cells. Read a few notes indicating the capacity of a standard
    "D cell" is somewhere between 12 and 16 amp hours.

    Anybody know what capacity to expect from a standard Alkaline "D cell"
    at a continuous 0.5mA discharge rate until the voltage falls to 1.1


  2. Bob Monsen

    Bob Monsen Guest
  3. neon


    Oct 21, 2006
    asume 15ah you got 300 hours. that rating at 15amps is into a dead short. i allways claim "D" that can kill you if you can get to the blood supply. 300ma trough your clicker and you are gone interesting. 300 hours is an extimate not a rule depends on battery condition temperature and then some more.
  4. To name a few I've read about:
    Uniross Hybrio
    Sanyo Eneloop
    Nexcell EnergyOn
    Accupower Acculoop

    I think they are typically a little less in terms of mAh capacity
    (2000 to 2100 versus 2600+ elsewhere, for example.) Also, I remember
    reading this:

    Not sure if the poster did their work well, or not. But it is a
    cautionary word on the topic of taking the manufacturers' specs on
    their face.

    If the OP is close on the 12-16 Ah capacity of an alkaline D cell and
    that is the range the OP is looking for (or better), then with 500uA
    draw we are talking about 3-4 year operation. NiMH seems wrong on
    that point.

  5. bw

    bw Guest

    AAA = 1 AH
    AA = 2
    C = 5
    D = 10

    Note that each capacity is max. Max capacity for each size occurs at a
    different current.
    Your application may be limited by operating temperature and shelf life.
  6. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Off the top of my head it was between 2 and 3 Ah.

    You'll get better out of other brands than Duracell though.


    Note that the capacity vs discharge curves don't go down that low for D
    cells. You could try and extrapolate the curves, but that's only guessing.
    When you get to figures this low you are talking 40000 hours+, the shelf
    life of the battery.

    If you want to use the full capacity of the battery then you need to have a
    0.9V cutoff or slightly lower. 1.1V will be wasting a fair bit of the

    What is your application?

  8. My experience with NiMH is that 1.2 volts per cell is conservative at
    C/5 discharge rate and 80% of the way discharged. My experience is that
    NiMH mostly achieves at least 1.25 volts/cell at that discharge rate.

    - Don Klipstein ()
  9. Bill Bowden

    Bill Bowden Guest

    In what time frame? I need 2 to 3 year continuous operating time and
    not sure that's doable with a NiMH battery due to the high self
    discharge rate.

  10. NiMH ain't gonna do that. Use alkaline. I was only commenting on what
    voltage NiMH delivers.

    - Don Klipstein ()
  11. I just checked the Energizer curve for their alkaline D cell (E-95)
    and they include a chart that shows a service life at a 2mA discharge
    (4X the OP's spec) that is 4000 hours down to 1.2V or something around
    6500 hours down to 1.0V. The curve is roughly linear in the 2mA to
    1mA span, and shows about 8000 hours down to 1.2V at 1mA, so
    extrapolating backwards it works out to 16k hours to 1.2V and 26k
    hours down to 1.0V. This is squarely in the 2-3 year range. If the
    op can accept operation down to 1.2V, then almost 2 years. If down to
    1.0V, then almost 3 years.

    Assuming the environmental characteristics required are consistent
    with the specs, anyway, and that extrapolation backwards into 500uA
    territory isn't too optimistic. I gather from cursory reading that
    shelf lives are in the 5-7 year category, with an 80% of rated
    capacity remaining, and assuming a constant 70F temp. If that
    represents a rough guide for consideration, then D cell self-discharge
    is somewhere in the neighborhood of 40-50uA. (The mid-span within a
    larger span given from a rated capacity at 1.0V or 1.2V and 5 years or
    7 years as the shelf life to 80%.) That is enough below 500uA to
    suggest that extrapolation isn't unreasonable.

    I may be missing something important, though.

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