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Old 12-18-2018, 09:15 AM   #1
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Lithium AA batteries

Ran into a lithium AA battery in one of my appliances. Seems to have lasted longer than a regular AA battery. Before I invest a lot of money and/or time what does the collective wisdom think of them?

Worth the price?
Last longer?
Better power output?
Best place to get them?

Americas shopping mall (Amazon) has them both as throw away and as rechargeable.

Are the rechargeable ones worth it?

Thanks for any ideas.
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:52 AM   #2
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Yes, they are worth it. If you can, buy them at Costco, and get their Kirkland brand. I've been using them for years, and they are the throwaway type.

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Old 12-18-2018, 12:33 PM   #3
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Are the lithium AA "non-leaking"? I recently started looking at those for use in emergency gear that has installed batteries but the equipment is held in standby mode. If so, that seems another good reason to use them.
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Old 12-18-2018, 12:34 PM   #4
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The rechargeable ones are a different technology, and I don't think they're worth it in most applications.

The "regular" lithium cells are great for hard-to-reach stuff (like my weather station) where it's difficult to replace them often, and also for anything that's going to be used in cold weather, when other batteries don't work as well.
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Old 12-18-2018, 12:54 PM   #5
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A few years ago I did the math on the lithium AA cells and I think it came out that they cost about exactly the same as a good quality alkaline cell in terms of cost per unit of power. So they make sense especially for items where it is difficult or inconvenient to change batteries.


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Old 12-18-2018, 01:06 PM   #6
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yes they are worth it. i use them in most all my fluke meters. they wont leak acid as well as lasting a lot longer. i also use them in my stream light pen light. nice and bright and last several time long than regular batteries.
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Old 12-18-2018, 01:44 PM   #7
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Lithium batteries are best in very specific applications. Firstly, they withstand very cold temperatures and will last a long time when it is cold. Secondly, they are the best performers when the application has a high voltage requirement.(Their voltage draw down curve is flatter at the start and drops more rapidly near the end of life) As they say, for flashes, electronics, certain motored items that need a higher voltage to run. They are a waste in a flashlight sitting on the counter.
Be aware, some electronics will not run on lithium batteries- my GPS for example. It's written right in the manual. My thought on this is that while lithiums are good for maintaining a higher voltage for longer, they are only 1.2v and others like alkaline are 1.5 volts. Your electronics may need more than 1.2 volts.
My two cents anyway. I use a lot of AA's!
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Old 12-18-2018, 03:05 PM   #8
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My experience with Li primaries is the opposite on voltage. Their low drain initial voltage is higher than Alkalines. I've had equipment NOT start due to the higher voltage.
On a military job I did, we had to drop the voltage on a pack of 6 to keep it down to 9 Volts. IIRC, each cell was 1.7V when new.


here: http://data.energizer.com/pdfs/l91.pdf
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Old 12-18-2018, 03:24 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by diver dave View Post
My experience with Li primaries is the opposite on voltage. Their low drain initial voltage is higher than Alkalines. I've had equipment NOT start due to the higher voltage.
On a military job I did, we had to drop the voltage on a pack of 6 to keep it down to 9 Volts. IIRC, each cell was 1.7V when new.


here: http://data.energizer.com/pdfs/l91.pdf
I just checked my lithiums and you're right they are 1.5v. The NiMH are 1.2 volt.
What you're saying as to why things won't run with them makes more sense then. Thanks for this.
In the end, be thoughtful of where you use them as there are advantages and disadvantages.
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Old 12-18-2018, 06:29 PM   #10
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I use the rechargeables in my flashlights and other small appliances (CD player, AM-FM radio, etc) and think they are worth the money.


https://www.batteryjunction.com/lithium-chargers.html
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Old 12-18-2018, 07:58 PM   #11
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I never use Energizer or Coppertop batteries since the only thing you can trust them to do is leak. Despite all the marketing crap about 10-year warranty, they still leak.

Lithium batteries have lower self-discharge rates over alkaline batteries and will never leak corrosive acids or bases into your devices. It holds power longer with low draws (like mice or radios) but gives very little warning when they die. My cameras have them and they work forever (almost) and then die.

They are not rechargeable batteries but my devices are worth far more to me than the batteries inside them. I lost a $120 flashlight, an apple mouse and keyboard to bad coppertop batteries. They have a warranty thing where you send your stuff in and they may replace it with a $10 certificate for more bad batteries.

Just say no and go Lithium.
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Old 12-18-2018, 10:47 PM   #12
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Some of the newer AA lithium batteries have a USB plug on the side so you don’t need a charging station.
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Old 12-19-2018, 12:11 AM   #13
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As mentioned, in devices that need a lot of power, Lithiums can make a difference. Most of the insanely expensive ( and bright!) flashlights are rated with lithium primaries or rechargeable ( usually Ni-mh ), and have some asterisk to a statement like "max output will be lower with alkaline batteries" I have never seen lithium rechargeables in AA format.

The CR123 ( usually in cameras ) is a lithium primary ( ie: non-rechargeable )

The 18650 is a lithium rechargeable that you'll find in laptops and cordless drill applications.

If you are buying lithium rechargeables, get a name brand, and make sure they are "protected". That means they have features to keep them from over pressurizing, overheating, shorting out, or charging too fast. If you recall when kids electronic skateboards and laptops were bursting into flames, unprotected and/or defective batteries were the problem.
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Old 12-19-2018, 07:13 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Benthic2 View Post
The 18650 is a lithium rechargeable that you'll find in laptops and cordless drill applications.
18650 batteries are lithium ion chemistry, since lithium batteries are discharge only, lithium ion batteries are rechargeable.

Rather than having charge circuitry in the battery, why not have it in the flashlight? These two have built in USB-C ports to charge the battery. Just don't drop them overboard since they would sink quickly!

Check this out:
https://illuminationgear.com/products/eagtac-tx30c2
or:
https://illuminationgear.com/product...o-rechargeable

You can stuff the tail into a pool noodle for flotation in case you drop it overboard.
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Old 12-19-2018, 07:21 AM   #15
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Some of the newer AA lithium batteries have a USB plug on the side so you don’t need a charging station.
If you have to add the charger and USB plug to an AA sized Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, how much battery capacity will you have to give up?

Whenever you switch from discharge / disposable battery to a rechargeable battery, you switch to a less efficient battery chemistry. That's why many 18650 battery powered lights have an option to replace each 18650 with 2 CR-123 lithium cells.

CR-123 lithium cells are great for a few things. They are powerful and have 10-year life due to their low self-discharge rate. Lots of power in a small package, but they can be expensive if you use it regularly. And, they will never leak and damage your device. Great high and low temperature performance.

I prefer 18650 batteries for all my lights (headlamp and hand-held lights) with a few 18650 batteries charged up and ready to swap out if needed. They are cheaper than buying bulk CR-123 batteries.
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Old 12-24-2018, 03:18 PM   #16
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EagTac Flashlight, Lithium Ion, Battery

I misplaced my favorite TX25 flashlight over the past couple of months and am replacing it with a better EagTac TX3G Pro MKII flashlight and my first 26650 Lithium-Ion battery. Unlike my 18650 powered flashlights, this one has a USB-C charge port in the side so can be charged from the car cell charger. The 26650 battery has the same chemistry as the 18650 but more capacity, so longer runtime.

https://illuminationgear.com/product...ac-tx3gpromkii

I got a EagTac TX3L Pro light with 18650 battery for the admiral. It also has the USB-C charger port on the side.

https://illuminationgear.com/product...o-rechargeable

Merry Christmas everyone!
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:24 PM   #17
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My Experience With Rechargeables

In 2009 I purchased a pile of AA & AAA Sanyo Enloops and 2 LaCross Chargers. Both the Lacross charges bit the dust in less than a month.


I purchased a Maha C808M charger to replace the LaCross chargers that same you. It still works flawlessly.



The Enloops are still going strong - not one failure. Since my purchase I understand that Sanyo came out with a low discharge battery. I can't comment on them as I am still on old technology (that works and works well for me, YMMV).


So, in eight years of constant use, that's what impart to you.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:33 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by lobsterclaw View Post
In 2009 I purchased a pile of AA & AAA Sanyo Enloops and 2 LaCross Chargers. Both the Lacross charges bit the dust in less than a month.


I purchased a Maha C808M charger to replace the LaCross chargers that same you. It still works flawlessly.



The Enloops are still going strong - not one failure. Since my purchase I understand that Sanyo came out with a low discharge battery. I can't comment on them as I am still on old technology (that works and works well for me, YMMV).


So, in eight years of constant use, that's what impart to you.
Good to know. Panasonic/Sanyo has had a strong energy place in the market for a number of decades. I used to make custom Panasonic ni-cad battery packs for dive lights, back when ni-cad was the only game in town.
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Old 12-31-2018, 05:49 PM   #19
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Old 12-31-2018, 05:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
They are a waste in a flashlight sitting on the counter.
Disagree. They're perfect for devices that sit on the counter!

I've lost many electronic devices due to leaking batteries. Especially the devices I don't use very often... they get put in a drawer and used occasionally, then one day I take them out only to find the battery has leaked. Sometimes I can salvage them, sometimes I can't and it's just a big ugly mess that I'd rather not deal with.

I've switched exclusively to lithium batteries. They last longer, have a 10 year shelf life and don't leak. When I do pull those rarely used items out the lithiums power them right up and I never find a mess of acid.
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