Battery Facts

Battery labels

There is no universal standard for labeling batteries. This is a continuous source of confusion for consumers looking to replace a battery. Most manufacturers use their own labeling or designation system, which sometimes is similar to others, but not necessarily.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC, http://www.iec.ch/) has proposed a standard battery designation system that provides at least some clues as to which batteries it refers to. There are two variants of this standard:

Variant 1
The battery designation has five elements:
1. One digit for number of cells connected in series.
2. One letter to denote the electrochemical system.
3. One letter to denote shape (R=Round, P=Not Round).
4. Two or three digits as a unique physical dimension designation.
5. One or two letters as designation modifiers.
The electrochemical system is identified by the following:
L - 'Alkaline'
S - 'Silver Oxide'
C - 'Lithium/MnO2'
B - 'Lithium/CF'
For example, an 'LR44' cell uses alkaline technology (L), is round (R), and has a unique dimension identifier of 44 (11.6mm diameter, 5.4mm height). Or an 'SR44W', which uses silver oxide technology (S), is also round (R), has the same physical dimensions (44), and a modifier of 'W' to denote the 'high drain' variant, as opposed to the SR44SW which is the 'low drain' variant.

Variant 2
The battery designation is as above, except that the physical dimension designation (element 4) is replaced by:
4a. Two-digit code denoting the maximum diameter.
4b. Two-digit code denoting the maximum height.
For example, a 'CR2032' cell uses Lithium/MnO2 technology (C), is round (R), has a maximum diameter of 20mm (20), and a maximum height of 3.2mm (32).

As indicated, not everyone sticks to these standards. The CR2032 cell is also called a DL2032 (by Duracell, no less). The SR44W has many names, including '357', 'V357', 'D357H', '228', 'J', '280-62', 'SB-B9', 'SR1154' and probably others. Competent battery suppliers (such as Battery Force at http://www.battery-force.co.uk) make finding the right battery a lot easier by maintaining cross-reference databases of all of the various codes a particular battery can have.

Battery Data
Cell Type Shape Height Diameter
AAAA
Cylindrical 42.5mm 8.3mm
AAA
Cylindrical 44.5mm 10.5mm
AA
Cylindrical 50.5mm 14.5mm
C
Cylindrical 50.0mm 26.2mm
D
Cylindrical 61.5mm 34.2mm
J
Rectangular 48.5mm 33.5 x 9.2 mm
N
Cylindrical 29.35mm 11.95mm
9-volt
Rectangular 48.5mm 26.5 x 17.5mm


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