Extra heavy duty batteries

Thread Starter

tom66

Joined May 9, 2009
2,595
What's with it? Why do they call zinc chloride batteries - some of the cheapest and lowest in power density - "extra heavy duty" batteries? Almost all of them are marked this way, and it's just plain wrong compared to other batteries. Saying that, I do have a zinc chloride battery which is marked "for low power products", from Panasonic, but it's one of few.
 

t06afre

Joined May 11, 2009
5,934
It is just some marketing tricks. Most simple devices like flashlights, remotes do not need expensive duracell, or other so called heavy duty cells. I prefer to purchase budget brands. They cost 1/3 of the price or less. Such cells may have a somewhat shorter life time. But the difference is not that much
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
8,869
Isn't this a left over from the days when zinc-carbon was the standard flashlight battery? It was a marketing name to show they were more power full than the standard of the time, zinc-carbon.

When alkaline and newer batteries came along they just left this as away to describe this technology, since it was already established.
 

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,581
The reason they were called flash lights is the batteries could not sustain being used in a continuous manner. So you flashed the light to get a look at whatever, then turned it off again. A lot of them had a simple push button next to the on/off switch.
 

Georacer

Joined Nov 25, 2009
5,182
I, for one, prefer a good Energizer over any other battery. I bought a IKEA 10-pack AA the other day for 3 euros or so. My mouse crunched through a pair of them within less than a month, whereas the Energizers hold for more than four months.
 

Thread Starter

tom66

Joined May 9, 2009
2,595
I almost exclusively use Ni-MH rechargeables (saves me a lot of money in my wireless mouse and keyboard as well as in my digital camera) reserving alkalines/zinc-carbon for other things like clocks.
 

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,581
I replace a clock battery less than once a year so I use cheap alkalines. For outdoor sensors like wireless temperature sensors I have to go with lithium, which keep working at a much greater temperature range. The costs for generic alkaline have up, but it is still around 35¢ each. Not too bad.
 
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Thread Starter

tom66

Joined May 9, 2009
2,595
I replace a clock battery less than once a year so I use cheap alkalines. For outdoor sensors like wireless temperature sensors I have to go with lithium, which keep working at a much greater temperature range. The costs for generic alkaline have up, but it is still around 35¢ each. Not too bad.
Yes, I use Ni-MH in my power hungry camera and wireless mouse/keyboard. The batteries are usually charged each month. Everything else, like clocks, toys, remotes use zinc-carbon or alkaline.

Today I saw some batteries marked as "SUPER EXTRA HEAVY DUTY." What does that even mean?
 

BillO

Joined Nov 24, 2008
990
Ever consider lithium? They would last even longer.
Not in all cases. Especially low current draw. Both AA lithiums and AA alkalines have about 3 ahr of energy. However, alkalines do not respond well to high current loads and their life is drastically reduced. Lithiums deal with high current loads superbly. In low current situations (a milliamp or less) they have virtually the same life.

http://data.energizer.com/PDFs/l91.pdf
 

thatoneguy

Joined Feb 19, 2009
6,359
Not in all cases. Especially low current draw. Both AA lithiums and AA alkalines have about 3 ahr of energy. However, alkalines do not respond well to high current loads and their life is drastically reduced. Lithiums deal with high current loads superbly. In low current situations (a milliamp or less) they have virtually the same life.

http://data.energizer.com/PDFs/l91.pdf
The Lithium Energizer batteries are a bit better than "break even" cost-wise in an MP3 player for me in summer, but now that it is 5 degrees out, they really outperform standard alkalines.

For the "Super Extra Heavy Duty", I've never seen one labled that way, just "Heavy Duty" or alkaline. Did they come up with a new electrolyte other than MnO2 that makes Carbon Zinc batteries last even a bit longer?

I remember back when alkaline batteries cost about what lithium do now, and Carbon Zinc was a "normal battery". Those carbon rods from dead batteries I still have around. I wonder what the "normal battery" will be in another 30 years?
 

BillO

Joined Nov 24, 2008
990
Yeah, you can't beat lithiums once the temps drop. At least today. There is some serious research going into battery technology these days. I'll bet in 30 years today's lithiums will be marked 'Super Extra Double Massive Duty', or something of that ilk.
 
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