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Mar 28, 2016, 01:59 PM
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Alkaline Battery

Maglite to LED using Lipo

very bright LED
This is not my writing. just information i came across for reference.

Alkaline Battery Shoot Out

Have you ever wondered…
Which brand of battery is better? Are they all the same? Is the “Industrial” version better than the regular version, or how about the “Plus” version? Does “Heavy Duty” mean it works better? Are the private labeled batteries rejects from the name brand battery manufacturers?

I found myself wondering the same things, and decided to do a series of tests.

I picked a variety of batteries. While my list is far from exhaustive, I think this is a good representation. The graphs are pretty full, but if I have made any glaring omissions, additional data may be added in table form.

Battery Capacities:
Alkaline battery capacities are listed at a reduced load that is typically well below the demands of a lot of our lights. The capacity is reduced at higher load levels. Energizer lists the following capacities for comparison:
Energizer Max
AAA 1.250 Amp Hours
AA 2.850 Amp Hours
C 8.350 Amp Hours
D 18.000 Amp Hours

Graph Nomenclature:
Ah = Amp Hours
Wh = Watt Hours
M = Minutes

The battery line up:
Duracell Copper Top – Name brand
Energizer Max – Name brand
Energizer Industrial – The Industrial version
RayOVac Max Plus – Name brand
Radio Shack – Name Brand
Radio Shack Plus – Better than the regular Radio Shack batteries?
Rite Aid – Drug store chain brand
EverActive – Wal Mart brand
RayOVac Heavy Duty – Not Alkaline but Zinc Chloride, for very light loads
Panasonic Power Edge – Photo battery - Interesting results
Kodak – Thanks Sigman, these are marked USA but are made for Kodak
Red Cell – Thanks Sigman
Also added below:
Duracell Ultra
Dorcy Mastercell
e2 Energizer
IKEA - Thanks Andreas
CSV - Thanks John

The graphs:



Here is a table of the data, sorted by WattHours.

Here is a table of the data, sorted by WattHours.


Test conditions:
All tests were conducted at room temperature of about 68 degrees Fahrenheit utilizing a West Mountain Radio CBA.
All batteries were bought fresh off the shelves. The Panasonic Power Edge AA’s had a date of 2007, the rest were 2010 or 2011.
Rick (Sigman) gave me some Kodak and Red Cell batteries to test and they had dates of 2005 and 2006. They were sealed in the package and he assured me that they were fresh.
AAA and AA batteries were tested at 0.5 and 1.0 Amp Rates.
D batteries were tested at 0.5, 1.0, and 3.0 Amp Rates. (I only had two Red Cell D’s, so I skipped the 3.0 Amp Rate on those.)
I ran out of testing time (and budget) so no C batteries were tested. Perhaps at a later time I can have a look at those.

What does all this mean?
Let’s look at an example: Jump to the AA chart at the 0.5 Amp Rate. The Energizer Max AA battery, at this load, has a capacity of 1.31 Amp Hours (1.50 Watt Hours) and will run continuously for 157 Minutes (down to 0.8 Volts). This load is typical of the Peak AA High Power with 5 LED’s. If you want more run time, go with the Rite Aid batteries. They ran for 218.5 Minutes which is about a 39% increase in run time. I should also note that the Rite Aid batteries were cheaper than the Energizer batteries.

Interesting concept, longer run time, cheaper price…

I added a comparison of Energizer Lithium AAA and AA VS the Energizer Max Alkaline. What a difference Lithium makes…

3/13/05 We have a new player in the Lithium AA cells. I have added the results from the Battery Station cells. They are rated 2900 mAh and while a bit below the Energizers, are doing very well and cost a lot less as well. Look out Energizer, Battery Station is knocking at your door...

AAA Lithium VS Alkaline at 0.5 Amp Rate

AA Lithium VS Alkaline at 0.5 Amp Rate

AA Lithium VS Alkaline at 1.0 Amp Rate

To round out the lithium comparison, Peter (PeLu) sent me some Lithium Sulpher Dioxide (LiSO2) cells to check out. Thanks Peter. Henry (HDS Systems) is also sending me some cells for verification. Thanks Henry.

I did a series of tests and have compared them to the RayOVac Max Plus D cells. The LiSO2 cells are a different voltage, but the interesting observation is that they had close to 7 Ah of capacity regardless of current draw. How nice it is that the voltage remains constant throughout the test.

Here are the graphs.

Yes there is a difference, sometimes a substantial difference. While it is important to pay attention to the construction quality of our lights, I believe that it is also important to pay attention to the power source as well.


I found some Duracell Ultra AA's and it appears we have a new winner. They have more capacity than the Copper Tops and have come out on top of all of the others tested so far.

It is a common belief that Costco's Kirkland cells are simply re-labeled Duracell Ultra's. I added the Kirkland test results to the Duracell's. It would appear that they are a bit less than the Ultra's.

4/19/07 Update: Archangel sent me some additional Kirkland cells to check out to see if they are the same as the original ones I tested. The original cells were labeled 2011. The ones Mike sent me were labeled 2013. As you can see, they behave similar at 1 amp, but seem to have fallen off a little at 0.5 amps. Thanks Mike.

Here is the data:

A couple of side notes:
The Ultra's were more expensive than the Copper Tops at the store I was in.
These cells ran hotter than the others. Testing was done at 68 degrees (F) and the cells quickly heated up to 78 degrees. They stayed there, but I don't recall that happening on the other tests. This was consistent in both the 0.5, and 1.0 Amp Rates.

I found some Dorcy Mastercell batteries. I don't know who makes Dorcy cells, but I threw in a comparison with the Energizer Max. You can refer to the legend to compare them with the other cells tested earlier.

I was going to test some e2 Energizer cells for comparison and I finally got around to doing it.

I went to the store and also picked up a pack of Energizer Max cells to see if there were any changes since last years tests.

At 0.5 amps, the e2 cells have 4% greater capacity over the Max cells purchased in 2004, and 32% greater capacity over the Max cells purchased in 2005.

At 1.0 amps, the e2 cells have 11% greater capacity over the Max cells purchased in 2004, and 32% greater capacity over the Max cells purchased in 2005.

Hello Energizer, what is going on here...?

Here is the data:

Winny noticed that IKEA not only offers furniture but also has a line of Alkaline AA batteries. As far as I know, these are not available in the US. He was kind enough to send me some for testing.

Thank you Andreas.

I was not sure of the capacity, but did notice that the cells are labeled 1.5V LR6 Mignon-AA-AM3-MN1500 and are made in Germany.

I decided to do a 0.25 amp run to check the capacity. It looks like they are around 1500 mAh cells. Andreas sent me some extra cells, so I did an additional run at 1.5 and 2.0 amps.

Here are the test results:

Onthebeam sent me some CSV AA’s to check out. I have added those, as well as the IKEA cells to the comparison graphs at the beginning of this post.

Thank you John.

Since the graphs were getting a bit cluttered up, I added the data in tabular form. Once again it is sorted on WattHours, with the highest at the top of the list.

4/6/07 GCBStokes sent me some Nuon Powerizer Lithium Iron AA cells to check out. These are labeled as 2900 mAh at a 1 amp draw. They do seem to come very close to their rating, but their voltage curve is a bid different. The Energizer L91 cells still lead in Watt Hours, and hold higher voltage during the start.

Here is the data.

Last edited by bigtruck169; Mar 28, 2016 at 02:25 PM.
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