Battery Question - Not as dumb as it might first seem. Would appreciate any advice.

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• posted on February 26, 2012, 11:17 pm
My question: When do you throw a battery away?
The obvious answer I think everyone will advise is "When it quits working." However, I need a bit more advice then that. I have about 50 AA and AAA batteries not in any devices. Some used, some new. I have a Volt Omh Meter. The batteries are 1.5volt. At what tested voltage should I discard the battery. I know that some batteries that won't power one device because it is running out of juice, may run something else. I get that. BUT,
IN GENERAL, at what voltage would you disgard a 1.5volt battery? Is it when the battery reaches a % of its original power?
Thanks B
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<%-name%>
• posted on February 26, 2012, 11:41 pm
On Sun, 26 Feb 2012 18:17:27 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@Notmyemail.com wrote:

depending on the capacity of the battery - a simple battery tester instead of a multitester will supply a load that will give you a reasonably good idea of the battery condition. A resistor of something like 10 ohms across the multitester leads will test the battery under roughly 150ma load, which will weed out the really weak ones pretty quickly. A 5 ohm resistor will show you the good ones with a roughly 350 ma load.
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<%-name%>
• posted on February 27, 2012, 12:40 pm
On 2/26/2012 6:41 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I agree. Also 1.5 volts is nominal for a lead acid battery but depending on the chemical composition of the electrodes the voltage will vary.
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<%-name%>
• posted on February 27, 2012, 10:54 pm
On Mon, 27 Feb 2012 07:40:41 -0500, Frank

6 cells a2 2 volts for 12 volts. Actual fully charged voltage is up to 13.2 (depending on intitial acid SG and lead composition (calcium, antimony, or pure lead)
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<%-name%>
• posted on February 27, 2012, 11:20 pm
On 2/27/2012 5:54 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Thanks for correcting. I should have said zinc/carbon for the normal 1.5 volt battery.
Wiki has a decent table:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_%28electricity%29
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<%-name%>
• posted on February 28, 2012, 1:41 am

I just measured a less than new d cell. 1.6 volts. 9 volt cell, 9.9 volts no loads.
you could say 1.5 volts with nominal lad.
Greg
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<%-name%>
• posted on February 27, 2012, 4:22 pm
On 2/26/2012 5:41 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I agree that a test should be under load.
One of the best things I bought (cheap at a yard sale) was a Radio Shack battery tester. It uses a 50mA test for AAA batteries. And 150mA for AA, C, D.
--
bud--

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<%-name%>
• posted on February 26, 2012, 11:42 pm
On Sun, 26 Feb 2012 18:17:27 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@Notmyemail.com wrote:

You can't tell just by reading the voltage at the terminals. The battery needs to be loaded to get any sense of its remaining capacity.
The problem with reusing batteries is that (almost) dead batteries tend to leak, which will ruin the appliance they're in. It's simply not worth messing with dead batteries.
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<%-name%>
• posted on February 26, 2012, 11:44 pm
On 2/26/2012 6:17 PM, snipped-for-privacy@Notmyemail.com wrote:

If an alkaline battery has been partially discharged AND exposed to 90F or greater temps, it has been my experience that the battery will start leaking so I just toss them.
FWIW, I use rechargeable NiMH batteries wherever I can. Never had a NiMH leak and destroy a device.
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<%-name%>
• posted on February 27, 2012, 4:10 am
wrote:

Excellent advice! I've been moving away from alkalines because of their leaking.
NiMH has higher energy density,too. Instead of a 1300maH alkaline,I can get a 2300maH NiMH(or even higher) and recharge it many times,and no leakage.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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<%-name%>
• posted on February 27, 2012, 4:23 am

They're often not direct replacements, though, because of the lower terminal voltage and discharge profile. They're also poor for emergency applications where the appliance may sit unused for a year.
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<%-name%>
• posted on February 27, 2012, 3:11 pm

They never leak but they're never charged when you need them.
Cheap ones won't hold a charge after a few cycles. Waste of money.
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<%-name%>
• posted on February 27, 2012, 10:14 pm
The newfangled "precharged" NiMH may be better, in that regards.

They never leak but they're never charged when you need them.
Cheap ones won't hold a charge after a few cycles. Waste of money.
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<%-name%>
• posted on February 27, 2012, 10:34 pm
On 2/27/2012 10:11 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I've been using Maha Powerex and Sanyo Eneloop batteries in a Maha charger and never had a problem.
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<%-name%>
• posted on February 26, 2012, 11:49 pm
snipped-for-privacy@Notmyemail.com wrote:

Are you hoarding used batteries? I just discard them as soon as the device it's in becomes sluggish. If I check the voltage of them with Simpson 260, it's ~1.35V. I just don't want to take chance.
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<%-name%>
• posted on February 27, 2012, 12:47 am

We used to use large batteries on our diver radios. These were about 8 x 5 x 4 inches, and had two little plastic knobs on top with a brass nut in them. They were spendy at the department stores. When they reached the level where the dive radio would give a low volt reading, (around 9.6v IIRC) they would chuck them. Me and a friend would take them all. We then would hook them up to a headlamp with a special bulb in it, a PR(something) that was rated for about 9 v. We used them to go frogging in the Southern Louisiana swamps in the areas where now they film the Swamp People shows. Every place these people go, I've been there, all throughout the Atchafalaya swamp.
The batteries great threw out a bright long range light, they were free, and a new one, at that time, was about \$15. You can match most any device with a battery of acceptable voltage, so I would say that the batteries could be used on something else, you would just have to find out what. I think that on that low a voltage, it wouldn't matter a lot, and if you hooked up a bank of them, you could make a very long lasting battery substitute.
Steve
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<%-name%>
• posted on February 27, 2012, 2:44 am
wrote:

volts (1.5 nominal) open circuit there is not a lot of chemical activity left in the battery. 2 in series are unlikely to provide much more than 2 volts into a load for very long after that point.
At least that's been my experience. The old Carbon Zinc Manganese dioxide batteries would carry on for quite some time at low voltage, but the alkalines do not seem to be able to do it.
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<%-name%>
• posted on February 27, 2012, 7:02 am

I have about two dozen AA nimh batteries I use for pro photo work. I charge them with a Radio Shack charger, but seldom get them up in the 1.4 to 1.5 range. Just in the high 1.3+, occasionally above 1.4, but not by much. They do work fine there, and last for about a couple of hundred pictures, and that's with leaving the back screen on. I jog back and forth with the eye viewer when I need to more accurately compose something, but have it on 2.5" LCD screen most of the time.
I was surprised when I got a good electronic digital tester what the actual numbers were for a recharged nimh battery. The Sony DSCH1 camera seems to run just fine with batteries in the high 1.3 v. range.
Now, I guess I have to pay attention to just what they are. I just know I never see them at 1.5, or even 1.6 that I occasionally see factory sealed batteries at.
Steve
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<%-name%>
• posted on February 27, 2012, 1:22 am
On Sun, 26 Feb 2012 18:17:27 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@Notmyemail.com wrote:

That's what I do, move it something that uses less current. But not with flashilght quality batteries. I think they leak more ofen when they get dead. Alkalline batteries leak much less often, (but I don't use them in everything, in case I leave it on, I don't want to drain a whole expensive battery.)

By the time the voltage is 1.4, the battery is 90 or 95% discharged.
The math is not that hard and we went over it in high school chemistry that all chemical batteries are like this.
Thjere are slight differences in starting voltage, depending on carbon-zinc, alkaline, ni-cad, etc. so to be really accurate in judging how much lower the voltage is, you should consider where it started. But 1.56 seems to be common. Even 1.45 is pretty dead, but I still save these in my maybe bag.
I keep all my batteries in the fridge in the hopes t hey'll last longer. And my film and my long candles and maybe some drugs, and there's no real room for food anymore. :)
It also depends on whether you are using a plain voltmeter setting or a battery setting. The battery setting has a load built in, so weak batteries with moderately high voltages might test bad, as they will in a device that uses medium to high current. , I never used my battery setting and now it's bad for 1.5 volts, but I bought yesterday an equus 3120 iirc. We'll see how it does, when it comes in the mail. .

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<%-name%>
• posted on February 27, 2012, 2:03 am
On Sun, 26 Feb 2012 18:17:27 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@Notmyemail.com wrote:

Don't check them with a voltage tester. Test them by putting them in something and see if the work. Keep the same (brand) batteries grouped together as a set if you can. You can get more life if you use batteries that have been drained the same.
I usually tape a pair together with black tape.