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Old 06-19-2013, 07:43 AM #1
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Default Common battery sizes and types - A guide

A short guide Batteries

I created this after trawling the web searching for different batteries available


AA and AAA
1.2-1.5V batteries, the most commonly used. Usable in low power flashlights, lasers(upto 100mW or so) and other small sized consumer electronic devices. Sanyo Eneloop is the current favorite among rechargeables due to high number of charge discharge cycles available. However, do not use in applications where you are drawing ~1A types of current

10180-32600, CR2, CR123A
The disadvantage with the AA/AAA cells is that the voltage is low. So you need to have upto 3 in series to get the voltages needed for Diodes (3V-8V)

Most of these cells have a voltage of 3.7V
However sizes are different.
You will find about 20 different types, but the most common ones are ->
Camera derived
Small size and high voltage
CR123A and CR2
CR2 is a 15.6mm dia and 27mm height pumping out 3V. Used in cameras
CR123A Dia is 17mm and length is 34.5mm. Voltage is also higher at 3.7V
AA-AAA derived sizes

10440 -> AAA - 3.7 V same size as an AAA cell. So if you have a host which takes 2 AAA cells(very common), using 2 of these can give you around 7V instead of the ~2.8V you will get from normal AAA.
14250 - 1/2AA cell - Imagine a small device which can take 1AA cell. You can put 2 of these into that, and have 7.2V instead of 1.5V
14500 - AA - This is again the AA equivalent of the 10440. Great for use in modded standard cheap 1-2$ flashlights. Put in this cell instead of AA, and use a drop in module with heatsink to get your souped up flashlight... or laser


Other Sizes - Laptop derived
18650 - The favorite cell. Used in laptop batteries, so very common and cheap. Size is a biggie at 18.6mm dia and 65.2mm length. Most medium sized handheld hosts can take 1X18650 cell. Protected 18650 is 19X67
16340 - At 16mm Dia to and 34mm length its like a CR123A replacement. Many hosts which take 18650 can take 2 16340. So you have twice the voltage. So if your laser host takes 18650 battery, you can run at 7.2V using two of these cells.
25500 - 25X50 - Same size as your "C" cell. C cell hosts are quite common, esp in older flashlights. So you can get 7.2V with high capacity of 3300mAh.
26650 - 26.5Dia X 65.4Length - Similar length, but more width than the 18650 battery, equal to the C cell. This means actual 3500mAh capacities are possible. Many older flashlights(vintage style esp) used the C cell which has 26mm diameter, and 50mm length. If you have a thick host, this battery is a good fit. But if the host is made for C cell, then 25500 is a better fit
32600 32x60 - Uncommon, but size is that of a D host. For those interested in trivia, this was the cell for the first ever flashlight(D cell). So older flashlights can take these easily. In India, there is a "Jeep" brand(nothing to do with Jeep) flashlight which costs around 150 INR (2.5-3USD), made with metal and biiiigg. Now almost extinct, but some variants took a D cell. Had a simple incandescent bulb though. Imaging such a torch with 2 3.7V batteries, a massive emitter and big heatsink!

For Building Lasers

A high power laser can be made in a pen sized host taking AA batteries, however, heatsinking will be an issue. Therefore its best to chose a 1X18650 host. Available fro less than 10$ from dx.com all you need is a heatsink and diode+driver.
Then you have a choice of running a low powered 1X18650 laser or a high power 2X16340 laser in the same host.

That said, if you are confident about your copper heatsink, cheap flashlights from the dollar store cost 1$ and take AA cells or AAA cells. Then you can use 10440X2 or 14500X2. If you are looking at 15V, use 14250X4 in the same host, but I shudder to think what will you need 15V for, and definitely the small flashlight will simply melt down!

Other info
From wikipedia
Quote:
Commonly-used designation numbers indicate the physical dimensions of the cylindrical cell, in a way similar to the system used for lithium button primary cells. The larger rechargeable cells are typically assigned five-digit numbers, where the first two digits are the (approximate) diameter in millimeters, followed by the last three digits indicating the (approximate) height in tenths of millimeters.
Battery Chemistry

Enough about the sizes. Lets talk about the different types of "chemicals". Now if you look at Wikipedia etc., you will find 100s of types. some you would have heard off (eg Lead acid, Li-ion,NiMh) while others will be totally weird (Eg organic radical battery). In this post we will talk about the common stuff

Non Rechargeable

Zinc Carbon - This is the standard AA,B,C,D cell. If you were born before 1990, you would remember it as the common cell found in every store. Now all you get are alkalines. Produces around 1.2-1.5V

Alkaline - The too too common battery. AAA, and AA sizes are the most common. Found in every little store. 10$ will buy you a pack of 50 last time I checked. Again voltage is 1.2-1.5V. Capacity is 4-6X that of a Zinc Carbon

Lithium - Till some time back, button cells were most commonly using this due to high capacity possible. Lately you get AAA and AA. You can get around twice the capacity of Alkaline

Rechargeable

Non-Rechargeable batteries are good for use and throw, but they create a garbage problem. And if you are in for the long haul, long term hit on your wallet is not so good. So lets come to Rechargeable batteries

Nickel - Cadmium
- If you were born before 1990, this is the rechargeable battery you would remember the most. Till recently, everybody who wanted rechargeable had this as their first choice. Around 2005 or so they lost favor, and then around 2006(or was it 2007) their regulation, esp in Europe meant that they are a dying breed. For a good reason too. Capacity of less than 1000mAh on a good day, and highly toxic, with issues like memory effect(which bite you with not so good chargers), these are losing favor. Like the alkalines and Zinc Carbon, these are 1.2V batteries

Nickel Metal Hydride - So what next? NiMh of course. The most common AA and AAA, with 1.2V available on tap. This is the most common rechargeable of the season, with some brands offering 2500mAh or even more. Favorite with heavy users is the Sanyo Eneloop, for its ability to withstand multiple recharge cycles, and low self discharge rate. That said, these batteries can suffer from problems like Polarity reversal(on deep discharge, esp in cheap flashlights and toys) which can permanently ruin the battery. That apart, due to low internal resistant, they can supply good current. Their voltage also remains constant during most of the usage cycles. They are in a constant race of one-upmanship with Li-Ion cells, with companies claiming that next generation may beat Lithium ion in energy density!

Lithium Ion - Now lets come to our favorite. Lithium Ion. With a voltage of 3.7-3.2V depending upon the variant. The most common cell you see is 3.7V, with full charge giving you around 4.2V at max charge. For long live its best to charge at 4.00V. But most chargers apply 4.2V. This type of battery is currently the most common rechargeable battery due to high energy density, and about 500 recharge cycles possible(enough for most consumers)

Lithium Ion Polymer - Have you heard of this? Well if you fly toy airplanes, you have. Due to their extremely light weight, they are a favorite with RC toys. With a voltage of 3.7V they can be used in similar applications as the Li Ion where low weight is desirable. Another advantage is that you can have this battery in any shape you desire. But there is a disadvantage of only ~100 charge/discharge cycles possible. With new tech, this may increase. PDA and cell phone companies making thinner and lighter stuff are looking at this tech with interest. Who knows, the next gen lasers may use these as tech matures. As of now Li-Ion is not going anywhere





Thats all.



Last edited by tsk1979; 06-20-2013 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:57 AM #2
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Default Re: Common battery sizes and types - A guide

Great summary! Very informative for new folks. +1 Rep.

I think this could definitely be expanded, and could be a sticky eventually.
(For example, you could add something about 26650's, which are also popular for lasers.)

-Andy
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:02 AM #3
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Default Re: Common battery sizes and types - A guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewb View Post
Great summary! Very informative for new folks. +1 Rep.

I think this could definitely be expanded, and could be a sticky eventually.
(For example, you could add something about 26650's, which are also popular for lasers.)

-Andy
Thanks andy, I will add this cell also!
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:30 PM #4
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Default Re: Common battery sizes and types - A guide

I vote for stickie! + rep when I can
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:15 PM #5
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Default Re: Common battery sizes and types - A guide

Add an section describing the difference between the different types of rechargeables.
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:31 PM #6
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Default Re: Common battery sizes and types - A guide

This is very good info for new members!!!
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:22 PM #7
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Default Re: Common battery sizes and types - A guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDukeAnumber1 View Post
Add an section describing the difference between the different types of rechargeables.
You mean Liion, Lipo, NimH etc.,?
My chemistry is a little rusty, lemme read up stuff, and will try to do so within the next 24 hours.
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:01 PM #8
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Default Re: Common battery sizes and types - A guide

Yeah it would be nice to have a little breakdown. There is some good info here.

Basic to Advanced Battery Information from Battery University
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:06 PM #9
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Default Re: Common battery sizes and types - A guide

I have updated the first post with common battery chemistry details.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:08 PM #10
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Default Re: Common battery sizes and types - A guide

A picture of each battery type below (or above) the description would make this even better.

Anyway, +rep earned
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:51 PM #11
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Default Re: Common battery sizes and types - A guide

A good guide.... Very helpfull... Thanks.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:48 PM #12
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Default Re: Common battery sizes and types - A guide

Hi Tsk,

Fantastic info many thanks (+rep)

There is also this newer size too

AAAA

Probably a little "light" in current for pointers but nice and small.

best wishes

Dave
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:53 PM #13
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Default Re: Common battery sizes and types - A guide

Thanks, this is definitely helpful. I agree it is sticky material.

Maybe add some info on what it means to be a protected cell vs a non-protected cell and charging concerns.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:55 AM #14
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Default Re: Common battery sizes and types - A guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Thats all.
NiZn? Lead-acid? ZnC? Those are just the chemistries on the top of my head.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:00 AM #15
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Default Re: Common battery sizes and types - A guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyparagon View Post
NiZn? Lead-acid? ZnC? Those are just the chemistries on the top of my head.
Yes, there are a lot more. But I deliberatly ingnored those which are not used in flashlights and lasers and consumer electronics.
So I covered Zinc Carbon, Alkaline and Lithium for non rechargeables. What I missed out is this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine-volt_battery -> The Transistor battery. Will add it too
That said, its just 6 cells wired together in series.


I will also add the new AAAA battery standard as well as your button cells

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Old 06-21-2013, 07:53 AM #16
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Default Re: Common battery sizes and types - A guide

Great summary of battery types
+1 for you
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