How to convert AAA batteries into AA batteries with tin foil

AA Batteries Features and Dimensions

AA batteries are cylindrical batteries featuring physical dimensions of (Diameter x Length) 14.5 x 50.5 mm (0.57 x 1.99 inches).

Their standard label is ‘AA’, but other labels are also in use, often depending on the country, chemistry, standard and similar, including U12, HP7, Penlight, Mignon, MV1500, MN1500, MX1500, Type 316, LR6, 15A, R6, 15D, FR6, 15LF, etc.

The following table lists the most common AA battery chemistries and their features, including their most important feature, AA battery voltage:

Chemistry Common Name Rechargeable Typical Capacity (mAh) Voltage (V) Zinc Carbon R6, 15D No 600 – 1600 1.5 Alkaline LR6, 15A No (Mostly No) 1800 – 2700 1.5 Li-FeS2 FR6, 15LF No 2700 – 3300 1.5 (1.8 max) Li-ion 14500 Yes 600 – 2000+ 3.6 – 3.7 LiFePO4 IFR14500 Yes 500-750 3.2 Li-SOCl2 (14505) No 2400-2700 3.5-3.6 Li-MnO2 CR AA No ~2000 3.0 Lithium – Yes 1000-2000+ 1.5 NiCd KR6, 1.2K2 Yes 600 – 1000 1.2 NiMH HR6, 1.2H2 Yes 700 – 2800 1.2 NiOOH – No 2200 – 2700 1.5 (1.7 max) NiZn ZR6 Yes 1500 – 1800 1.6 – 1.65

As one can see in the table, AA batteries differ in chemistry, capacity, voltage, and other features, and “the best of all”, as time goes by, new battery types are introduced.

AA Battery Voltage

The voltage of AA batteries depends on the battery chemistry and is expressed in volts (V):

– 1.2V: NiCd and NiMH AA batteries,

– 1.5V: Zinc-Carbon, Alkaline, NiOOH, and some AA lithium batteries with the built in DC-DC converters,

– 1.6-1.65V: NiZn AA batteries,

– 3.0V: Li-MnO2 AA batteries,

– 3.2V: LiFePO4 AA batteries,

– 3.5-3.6V: Li-SOCl2 AA batteries,

– 3.6-3.7V: Li-Ion AA batteries.

AA Battery Capacity (mAh)

The capacity of AA batteries also depends on the battery chemistry and is expressed in milliamp-hours (mAh) – capacity ranges from 500 mAh to 3300+ mAh which is a huge difference.

Fortunately, the most common battery types are Alkaline (primary, non-rechargeable) and Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH, secondary, rechargeable) batteries, but lithium AA batteries are coming on strongly.

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Choose Single-Use or Rechargeable

If you’re shopping for common cylindrical batteries, like AAA, AA, C or D, you have the option of buying single-use batteries or rechargeable batteries (coin-cell batteries, like CR2032, are single-use only). Both have advantages and disadvantages; Here’s a quick look at those:

Single-use batteries: These are what they sound like. When they run out of juice, you need to dispose of them (to find battery recycling options near you, visit ). The two main types of single-use batteries are alkaline and lithium.

Pros:

  • Cheaper upfront cost than rechargeable batteries.
  • Very low self-discharge rate (power loss when not in use) for a long shelf life.
  • Widely available.

Cons:

  • Require disposal after fully discharged.

Rechargeable Batteries: These batteries are built to be recharged over and over again, in some cases up to 500 times or more. The two main types of rechargeable batteries are nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion.

Pros:

  • Because they’re rechargeable, they generate less waste than single-use batteries.
  • They offer better long-term value than single-use batteries (the more you use them, the cheaper they get).

Cons:

  • More expensive upfront cost than single-use batteries.

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PRIMARY/DISPOSABLE BATTERIES

Primary or disposable batteries are the ones that are disposed of after it has been used for a certain period as indicated by the manufacturer. It cannot be recharged using a charger. These are somewhat cheaper than rechargeable ones. However, the regular battery replacement and shelf life may affect the costs or your own budget. Batteries of such chemistry as Zinc-carbon and Lithium Iron Disulfide (Li-FeS2) are solely primary variants. Alkaline batteries have primary variants, too, while some are rechargeable ones.

Primary batteries are your on-the-go, ready-to-use batteries for your portable devices whether you are outdoors or just staying indoors. Some consumers do not have to worry about using disposable batteries as some highly authentic brands can last for up to 10 years or even more.

There are also some primary AAA batteries that are just intended for low drain devices so you should make sure that you use this type of battery for low drain devices only to maximise its full potential and power capabilities. On the other hand, there are also AAA cells that are professionally designed for powering high drain devices and applications (like digital cameras and cell phones) so you better make sure whether your device or certain application requires high drain or low drain power solutions for optimal functions.

This is the reason why Procell Alkaline AAA for low drain and general-purpose batteries exist. Its partner, the Procell INTENSE Power AAA batteries also exist for high drain (has high output voltage) professional devices. Other batteries used to power specific devices are the industrial batteries from such original brands as Energizer, Varta, Duracell, and many others.

A long-lasting AAA battery

Among the top-performing AAA batteries in our testing, these kept a flameless candle flickering for 36 hours and a remote-control car running for seven hours.

Buying Options

Buy from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $18.

PRIMARY LITHIUM AAA BATTERIES : FEATURES AND APPLICATIONS

Here are some features of Lithium AAA batteries that you can compare or even contrast to the Alkaline variants.

 – Not prone to leaking

– More expensive than Alkaline cells

– Longer shelf life

– Can last for up to 9 years or even more when used in the right/suitable devices

– Batteries must be fully discharged before disposing

– Legal requirements vary by state

 

Common Applications:

 – Flashlights

– Motorized toys

GPS Units

– Camping gear

– Laser and hunting scopes

– Game controllers

Remote control toys

– Project kits

– High Power LED Lighting

– Stud finders

– Laser Levels

 

AA AAA Battery Voltage Chart

Michael Bluejay’s (Source: Michael Bluejay’s)

This chart shows the battery voltage rate against the its discharge capacity. Looking at the table or chart, you’ll see that a battery with a voltage of 1.5 has a discharge rate of 750mAh.

4 AA Battery Voltage Range

4AA battery voltage range as we have explained in a 3AA battery depends on how you used them. The voltage rises if you arrange these batteries in a series. If they are in parallel, it increases the current flow.

How These Battery Arrangement And Power Works?

To further explain how a 3AA and 4AA voltage range works, it will be helpful to understand the battery arrangement and power.

howstuffworks (Source: howstuffworks)

Battery Arrangement

Parallel Arrangement. Showing the diagram on top, it shows a parallel method of batteries. These four batteries in a parallel system will produce the same voltage as a single battery, 1.5V. The rate in which an electric charge passes through a circuit is called a Current. We usually measure the current through Amperes. In general, batteries with a higher ampere per hour ratings are the ones with greater capacities. ● Serial Arrangement. The lower diagram shows an example of a serial arrangement. When you series four batteries it will produce the current of one battery. However, the voltage will be four times of a single cell. The measurement of energy per unit charge is what we call voltage, and it is measured in volts.

In a battery, voltage is the determinant on how strong the electrons are pushed into the circuits, in the same way, that pressure is the one that determines how strong the water will be pushed into the hose. Majority of the alkaline batteries like AA, Triple-A, C and D batteries have 1.5V.

To show you more clearly, the diagram showed batteries with a rate of 1.5V and 500 milliamps per hour. In a parallel arrangement, the four cells will produce 1.5V with a speed of 2000 milliamps-hour while the four batteries in a series will be able to provide 6V with 500 milliamps-hour.

Rechargeable AA Batteries

NiCd or Nickel Cadmium batteries are an older typeRechargeable AA batteries include batteries like NiCd, NiMH, and Li-ion batteries.

NiCd or Nickel Cadmium batteries are an older type of rechargeable batteries featuring 1.2 V nominal voltage and a capacity of 600 – 1000 mAh.

NiCd batteries also feature a strong memory effect, high self-discharge rate, but they are also able to provide strong currents without adverse effects on the batteries.

But, they also contain cadmium (heavy metal, dangerous pollutant), and are being phased out in the favor of NiMH batteries.

NiMH or Nickel Metal Hydride batteries feature a nominal voltage of 1.2 V and a typical capacity of 700 – 1500 mAh, with certain low drain models featuring a capacity of up to, and even more than 2800 mAh.

Modern NIMH batteries have a very low self-discharge rate, almost no memory effect (if any!), and output voltage more stable than NiCd batteries.

However, some models are optimized for high-drain use, while some models are optimized for high-capacity operation – thus when choosing NiMH batteries, be sure to know the required output current of your device(s).

AA Battery vs Lithium-ion 14500 Battery

They are based on one of many lithium-ion batterie14500 lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable cylindrical batteries that are physically very similar to AA batteries.

They are based on one of many lithium-ion batteries and feature a typical voltage of 3.6 – 3.7 volts. Capacity significantly varies, depending on the intended use and other features present, from ~600 mAh to 2000 mAh or even more.

14500 batteries can be optimized for high-drain operations (but smaller capacity), for low-drain operations (but higher capacity), and for general use (balance between capacity and the maximum allowed output current).

Lithium-ion 14500 batteries and AA batteries are physically interchangeable, but the output voltage difference is rather large (3.6-3.7 volts vs 1.5 volts), which can lead even to the destruction (to say the least) of the user device.

Especially the devices intended to be powered via NiMH batteries should NOT be powered via 14500 batteries UNLESS explicitly stated by the device’s manufacturer.

Some devices like advanced LED flashlights, photo cameras and similar allow the use of AA alkaline (1.5 V), AA NiMH (1.2 V), and 14500 batteries (3.6 – 3.7 V) batteries, but that is always clearly stated by the manufacturer.

Additional features of 14500 batteries may include:

– built-in protection electronics that monitor the condition of the battery, protecting the battery from overheating, overcharging, over-discharging and similar events.

– built-in charger allows the charging of the individual batteries via a micro-USB (or similar) charging port, simplifying the use, etc.

Such circuitry requires some space, leading to smaller capacity, but additional features often justify a drop in capacity.

If you need a charger too

This combo pack includes Panasonic Eneloop batteries (eight AA and four AAA) and a great charger.

Buying Options

Buy from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $45.

What to Look for in a Rechargeable Battery

Long Life

The life of a rechargeable battery is defined by how many times you can charge it, use it, and charge it again before it no longer works. Look for rechargeable AA and AAA batteries that are rated for at least 500 recharge cycles, or up to 2,000 recharge cycles for higher-end batteries.

Charge Capacity

Rechargeable AA and AAA batteries are defined by charge capacity, which is given in mAH. If your devices use a lot of power, then high-charge capacity is essential. If you’re buying batteries for devices that require less power, like wall clocks and remote controls, a lower capacity is fine.

Low Self-Discharge

This refers to how much charge the batteries lose when they aren’t in use. This is extremely important if you want to keep a bunch of extra AA and AAA rechargeable batteries in your drawer and grab fresh ones when you need them instead of waiting for the charger.

02 NiMH vs. NiCd vs. Lithium-ion vs. Lithium Poly

When it comes to choosing rechargeable batteries, Lithium-polymer is the best. This is due to the fact that once it is fully charged, it doesn’t lose its capacity as quickly as others. This makes it ideal for emergencies and long trips. Nickel–metal hydride [ NiMH ] on the other hand is cheaper and it only makes perfect sense for those that will consume the entire charge within a few days. For instance, photographers and their flash guns.

NiMH has a higher discharge rate than poly but advancement in technology has caught up and today’s NiMH has a high retention rate. These newer batteries from Sony, Panasonic and more has the ability to store their charge for longer than a year. The table below shows the industry average for discharge rate. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of both materials:

VoltageCharge discharge efficiency in %Self-discharge rate in %/monthMainly Used InTime durability in years
1.270%-90%20%Rechargeable Batteriesn/a
1.266%5 – 30%Rechargeable Batteries2 – 5
3.699%5%-10%Smartphone batteries2 – 6
3.799.8%5%Power Bank / Power Pack2 – 3

Lithium-ion Battery:

  • [ Pro ] High energy density – potential for yet higher capacities.
  • [ Pro ] Does not need prolonged priming when new. One regular charge is all that’s needed.
  • [ Pro ] Relatively low self-discharge – self-discharge is less than half that of nickel-based batteries.
  • [ Pro ] Low Maintenance – no periodic discharge is needed; there is no memory.
  • [ Con ] Requires protection circuit to maintain voltage and current within safe limits.
  • [ Con ] Subject to aging, even if not in use – storage in a cool place at 40% charge reduces the aging effect.
  • [ Con ] Expensive to manufacture – about 40 percent higher in cost than nickel-cadmium.

Continue Reading   Lithium-Ion vs. Lithium-Polymer Portable Power Pack Charger

Lithium-polymer Battery:

  • [ Pro ] Flexible form factor – manufacturers are not bound by standard cylinder cell shape. With high volume, any reasonable size and shape can be produced economically.
  • [ Pro ] Lightweight – gelled electrolytes enable simplified packaging by eliminating the metal shell.
  • [ Pro ] Improved safety – more resistant to overcharge; less chance for electrolyte leakage.
  • [ Con ] Lower energy density and decreased cycle count compared to lithium-ion.
  • [ Con ] Expensive to manufacture.
  • [ Con ] No standard sizes. Most cells are produced for high volume consumer markets.
  • [ Con ] Higher cost-to-energy ratio than lithium-ion

Step 2: In a Working Device

Now you see 2) adapted AAA’s in a CD player that uses 2)AA batteries. It works fine, won’t play as long as 2) AA’s would. I will guess it plays only about half as long.

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