Battery Life


I have a large torch which contains 4 1.5 V batteries and when the torch light faded and went out I checked the voltage in the 4 batteries and they all read 1,4 V It would appear that a drop of 0.1 V in each battery brings their life to an end. Is this correct? Blair
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No. I have a so-called battery tester which makes the same mistake. What matters is not so much the voltage, as that will be adequate even when the battery is almost dead, but the capacity to deliver current, which depends on the chemical energy remaining to be converted (strictly, the rate at which conversion can be maintained).
The two are related it's true, but the 'internal resistance' of the battery is intentionally as low as possible so that maximum current can be delivered to the external load. Consequently, a battery will maintain voltage until almost all the chemical energy is gone, while the current it supplies will weaken sooner.

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Many thanks for your very clear explanation. I now understand! When I checked the amps the old battery read 1.2 but the new ones read 4.5 Thanks again Blair
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