Differences between AA and AAA Battery-use, size, capacity, mAh
AA and AAA batteries are two common types of household batteries. The main differences between them are their size and capacity. AAA battery is also called a Pencil cell.
AA battery is bigger than AAA battery and have a higher capacity. They typically measure about 50.5 mm in length and 14.5 mm in diameter, and have a capacity of 2000-3000 milliampere-hours (mAh).
AAA batteries, on the other hand, are smaller than AA batteries and have a lower mAh capacity. Their dimensions are 44.5 mm in length and 10.5 mm in diameter, and have a capacity of 1000-1200 milliampere-hours (mAh).
Both types of batteries are commonly used in household electronics, such as remote controls, flashlights, and small toys.
Both AA and AAA batteries have the same voltage rating of 1.5V for a single cell despite their size.
If we want to increase voltage we have to connect more cells in series. For example, if we required 6V then we can use 4 numbers cells in series i.e. 41.5V =6V.
Rechargeable AA and AAA batteries are also available in the market, They can be recharged and used multiple times, making them a more cost-effective and eco-friendly option than disposable batteries.
AA and AAA battery may look similar, but there are important differences between the two that can affect their performance and suitability for different applications.
However, AA batteries are generally more commonly used than AAA batteries due to their larger size and higher capacity, which makes them suitable for devices that require more power.
AA battery can not fit into AAA battery slot. As both batteries hold different sizes. And AAA and AA doesn’t stand any meaning it’s just notation used to express sizes and capacity of them.
Comparison between AA and AAA Battery
When it comes to batteries, size, and capacity are two important factors to consider. AA and AAA batteries differ in both size and capacity.
AA batteries are larger than AAA batteries, measuring about 50.5mm in length and 14.5mm in diameter, while AAA batteries measure about 44.5mm in length and 10.5mm in diameter.
In terms of capacity, AA batteries typically have a higher capacity than AAA batteries. This means that AA batteries can provide more power and last longer than AAA batteries.
For example, a typical AA alkaline battery has a capacity of around 2,850mAh, while a typical AAA alkaline battery has a capacity of around 1,200mAh.
It’s important to note that there are different types of AA and AAA batteries available, such as rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries.
Rechargeable AA and AAA batteries tend to have a lower capacity than non-rechargeable batteries, but they can be recharged multiple times, making them a more cost-effective option in the long run.
When choosing between AA and AAA batteries, it’s important to consider the device you’ll be using them in and its power requirements.
If the device requires a lot of power, such as a digital camera or a portable speaker, you may want to opt for AA batteries with a higher capacity.
However, if the device is smaller and requires less power, such as a TV remote or a computer mouse, AAA batteries may be sufficient.
Applications and Uses Different Batteries
AA and AAA batteries are widely used in various electronic devices, from small toys to large appliances.
AA batteries are commonly used in devices that require more power, such as digital cameras, flashlights, and handheld gaming consoles.
On the other hand, AAA batteries are typically used in smaller devices that require less power, such as remote controls, wireless keyboards, and computer mice.
AA batteries are also commonly used in portable audio devices, such as MP3 players and portable speakers.
They provide a longer battery life compared to AAA batteries, making them ideal for extended use.
Additionally, AA batteries are often used in emergency kits and survival gear due to their longer shelf life and higher capacity.
AAA batteries, on the other hand, are commonly used in medical devices, such as blood glucose monitors and hearing aids.
They are also used in small electronic devices, such as calculators and handheld games, due to their compact size and lower power requirements.
In summary, AA batteries are best suited for devices that require more power and have a longer battery life, while AAA batteries are ideal for smaller devices that require less power and have shorter battery life. It is important to choose the right battery size and type for your device to ensure optimal performance and longevity.
Selecting the right batteries for applications
When it comes to choosing between AA and AAA batteries, it’s important to consider your specific needs.
If you’re looking for a battery with a longer lifespan and higher capacity, AA batteries may be the better choice.
However, if you need a smaller battery that can fit in tight spaces, AAA batteries may be more suitable.
Consider the devices you’ll be using the batteries for and their power requirements.
For high-drain devices like digital cameras or handheld gaming consoles, AA batteries may be the better option.
On the other hand, for low-drain devices like remote controls or wireless keyboards, AAA batteries may suffice.
It’s also important to consider the cost and availability of each type of battery.
While AA batteries are more commonly used and easier to find, they may also be more expensive than AAA batteries.
Ultimately, the right battery for your needs will depend on a variety of factors.
By understanding the differences in size, capacity, and applications between AA and AAA batteries, you can make an informed decision and choose the battery that best meets your needs.
AA vs. AAA Batteries: What’s The Difference? (Explained)
We have come a long way from the industrial revolution which took back in the 19 th century. And since then we as a civilization have evolved and innovated many new machines and devices which are all reliant on energy. As a result, our energy consumption has also increased.
To quickly answer, the main difference between the AA and AAA batteries is their size. The AAA battery is larger in size due to which it also has a higher energy capacity and voltage output.
In this article, I’ll be discussing the most common type of energy provider for households: batteries. I’ll also be discussing the difference between the AA and AAA type batteries and why there’s a price difference between the two despite them providing the same voltage output and current ratio.
What Is a Battery?
In simple words, a battery is a collection of cells joined together in a parallel or a series circuit. These cells are devices made out of metals that transform the chemical energy they possess into electrical energy. They do so through a reaction known as an electrochemical redox reaction.
A battery has three components the cathode, the anode, and the electrolyte. The cathode is the positive terminal of the battery and the anode is the negative terminal. The electrolyte is an ionic compound in its molten state which has free-moving positive and negative ions present inside it.
When the two terminals are connected to a circuit a reaction takes place between the anode and the electrolyte which results in the transfer of electrons from the anode to the cathode. This movement of electrons is what produces the electricity,
There are two types of batteries:
- Primary batteries: These types of batteries can only be used once and then must be thrown away.
- Secondary batteries: These types of batteries can be recharged and so be used again and again.
AA Type Battery
The AA battery is a small, cylindrical battery that is often used in small electronic devices. It’s usually made of lithium or alkaline materials. The size of an AA battery is 14mm in diameter and 50mm in length. There are two types of AA batteries: disposable and rechargeable.
Disposable AA batteries are called Alkaline batteries and are made out of manganese and zinc oxides. These are the most common type of batteries.
Rechargeable AA batteries are called lithium batteries and they are made of the metal lithium. They have a higher energy density than alkaline AA batteries and can be recharged.
The alkaline and lithium batteries differ from each other in terms of their voltage Battery Capacity, Operating Temperature, diameter height, and chemistry. The following table summarizes these changes.
|Battery Nominal Voltage
|AA Battery Capacity (Avg.)- Alkaline
|≈ 2500 mAh
|0°C – 60°C
|0°C – 60°C
AAA Type Battery
The AAA battery is a small, cylindrical battery that is often used in small electronic devices. It’s also known as a triple-A battery. The AAA battery is usually made of lithium or alkaline, and it has a voltage of 1.5 volts.
There are two types of AAA batteries: the disposable AAA battery and the rechargeable AAA battery. The disposable AAA battery can only be used once and then discarded, while the rechargeable AAA battery can be used multiple times. The AA equivalent batteries are the LR03 and LR6, which have a voltage of 1.2 volts and 1.5 volts respectively
The size of AAA batteries varies depending on the type, but they are generally about 10mm in diameter and 44mm long. Alkaline batteries are the most common type of AAA battery. Lithium batteries are more expensive but last longer than alkaline batteries.
Just like in AA batteries the rechargeable type is the lithium battery and the non-rechargeable type battery is the alkaline one. The alkaline and lithium-type AAA batteries have some differences and similarities as well. They’re listed in the following table:
|Battery Nominal Voltage
|AAA Battery Capacity (Avg.)- Alkaline
|≈ 1200 mAh
|0°C – 60°C
|0°C – 60°C
Output Voltage And Current Ratio of The AA And AAA Batteries,
The output voltage and current ratio of AA and AAA batteries vary depending on the type of battery. Some AA batteries have a higher voltage and current output than AAA batteries, while others have a lower voltage and current output.
The output voltage and current ratio of The AA and AAA batteries are 1.5 volts and 3000 mAh, respectively. This means that the AA battery can provide 1.5 volts of power for 3000 mAh, while the AAA battery can provide 1.5 volts of power for 1000 mAh.
AA batteries have a higher output voltage, while AAA batteries have a higher current output. The voltage of a AA battery is typically around 1.5 volts, while the current output is around 2.4 amps. The voltage of a AAA battery is typically around 1.2 volts, while the current output is around 3.6 amps.
Manufacture Of AA Batteries
AA batteries are made of a few different materials. The most important material is the cathode, which is made of manganese dioxide. The anode is made of carbon, and the electrolyte is a mixture of potassium hydroxide and water.
The manufacturing process starts with the cathode. The manganese dioxide is mixed with carbon and pressed into pellets. The pellets are then placed into a mold that gives them their AA shape. The anode is made in a similar way, except the carbon is mixed with graphite.
The electrolyte is made by mixing potassium hydroxide and water. Once all the materials are ready, they are assembled into AA batteries.
Manufacture Of AAA Batteries
AAA batteries are made from a variety of materials. The most important ingredient is the cathode, which is usually made from lithium metal.
Other materials used in AAA batteries include anodes (usually made from carbon), separators (to keep the cathode and anode from touching each other), and electrolytes (to help conduct electricity).
The manufacturing process begins with creating the cathode and anode. These are then placed into a battery case with the separator and electrolyte. The battery is then sealed and tested to make sure it meets safety standards.
Major Producers Of AA And AAA Battery
The AA and AAA type batteries are greatly produced across the world. Following are the major producers of these batteries:
- Duracell Coppertop
- Energizer Max
- Private label
- Duracell Quantum
- Eveready Gold
AA vs. AAA Batteries
The first difference between these two very similar battery types is that the AAA battery is smaller in diameter and height than the AA battery. As a result, its energy storage capacity is lower than the AA-type battery’s energy storage capacity.
This means that even though the two batteries can give the same output the AA battery can give an output for a longer time. This is why the AA battery has 3000 mAh for 2.5v whereas the AAA battery has a mAh of 1000 for 1.5v.
The second notable difference between the two is that the amount of current that can travel through each battery can vary. The AA battery can handle more amount of current flowing through it than the AAA battery. This is because of the AAA battery’s smaller size.
Lastly, the AA battery type has a greater voltage output and the AAA battery has a greater current output. The main differences are summarized in the table below.
|can provide 1.5 volts of power for 3000 mAh
|can provide 1.5 volts of power for 1000 mAh.
The price difference is mainly due to the supply and demand factors. The AA battery has a greater supply hence its price is lower. Secondly, the material used to manufacture AA batteries is also inexpensive. So the manufacturing cost of AA batteries is lower than that of AAA batteries and so it is cheaper and AAA is more expensive.
Better Than Duracell? Pale Blue Earth Makes Its Case: AA, AAA Rechargeable Battery Review
The AA and AAA rechargeable lithium batteries from Pale Blue Earth solve some of the longstanding issues with these kinds of reusable batteries — but they still have limitations.
My first time using rechargeable AA batteries was while trekking in Nepal for almost 2 months in 1999. I had a 1.41-megapixel Olympus digital camera and suspected batteries would be hard to come by along the Annapurna Trek I was about to embark on.
I bought a solar charging kit that held four AA batteries along with eight rechargeable AA batteries from REI. The solar kit I strapped to the top of my pack to charge a set while trekking, while the other set was in the camera. Each evening, I swapped the batteries out.
That system just barely worked. The batteries were pretty dead by the end of each day. It was an unfortunate combination of the nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) chemistry and the limited amount of power they were able to get from the sun. Once back home from that trip, I never used those batteries or that charging system again.
Since then, a number of AA and AAA rechargeable battery systems have hit the market. But the common limitations — requiring a specific charger, and the NiMH chemistry — are still an issue with many of them. Pale Blue Earth launched its own version of rechargeable batteries claiming to have solved or worked around some of those problems. I got my hands on a set to test them out for myself.
In short: The rechargeable AA and AAA batteries from Pale Blue Earth are a step in the environmentally right direction. They don’t have as much battery life or power as a standard alkaline or lithium battery. And the brand’s claim that every charge equates to a AA or AAA battery being diverted from the waste stream might be somewhat hyperbolic. But they do work better than other brand-name rechargeable batteries, charge faster, and use a standardized charger. Overall, for people who are tired of throwing batteries out, and want a more sustainable solution, these Pale Blue Earth rechargeable AA and AAA batteries are a good option. They just have their limitations.
Pale Blue Earth USB Rechargeable AA and AAA Batteries Review
Every single year, people throw away over 3 billion batteries in the U.S. alone. That comes out to some 180,000 tons of hazardous waste material entering landfills annually. And as those batteries corrode over time, the chemicals inside of them leech into the soil and water.
That’s why the shift toward rechargeable batteries like Pale Blue Earth’s is so important. The average American household goes through about 7.5 alkaline batteries a month. If everyone had access to functional, high-quality rechargeable batteries, that number would come down drastically — and the environmental impact would be enormous.
Modern Rechargeable Batteries
Pale Blue Earth’s whole mission is to address the environmental problems with disposable batteries. The brand wanted to make batteries that met the needs of users, without bringing the planet down. And in the 20 years since it started along that path, rechargeable battery technology has advanced a lot.
Like Pale Blue Earth’s C, D, and 9V batteries, its AA and AAA batteries have a USB-C plug-in on the side of the battery itself. The batteries ship with a very convenient USB-A to a four-way USB-C splitter making it easy to charge all four batteries in the pack at once.
I appreciate this recent progressive step to USB-C on the batteries. Previous Pale Blue Earth versions used a micro-USB, which is still available on a 9V battery size. The next step will hopefully be a USB-C option on the source end of the charging cable.
Battery Chemistry Comparing Competitors
The lithium-ion chemistry used in Pale Blue Earth rechargeable batteries is one of the most stable and safest in the industry. This is why it’s become the standard in most modern rechargeable batteries.
Pale Blue Earth claims these batteries have 1,000 charge cycles. The brand says that equates to preventing 1,000 alkaline batteries from being used and disposed of.
But, consider this: Pale Blue Earth’s AA lithium-ion rechargeable batteries only have a capacity of 1,700 milliampere hours (mAh). That unit, mAh, measures the energy charge a battery can hold and how long its juice will last. Compared to Pale Blue Earth’s AA batteries, alkaline AA batteries hold 2,850 mAh, and straight-up lithium AA batteries can hold as much as 2,700-3,300 mAh.
I believe Pale Blue Earth’s AA and AAA batteries would last for 1,000 charge cycles (if you can avoid losing or damaging them for that long). But the claim that each charge cycle equates to preventing an alkaline or lithium-ion battery from entering the landfill seems like a bit of a stretch.
Compared to Duracell’s rechargeable NiMH AAA rechargeable batteries, though, Pale Blue Earth’s have a notable edge. Duracell’s rechargeable batteries advertise 900 mAh and 400 charge cycles. Energizer has its own version of these batteries also. They have 2,300 mAh, but only last several hundred charge cycles.
So, the Pale Blue Earth lithium-ion chemistry is at least on par with its competitors. Granted, they are also significantly more expensive than both of those options, at 30 for a four-pack.
Pale Blue Earth Rechargeable Batteries: Charge Time
Another aspect where lithium-ion really shines compared to its NiMH competitors is in the charge time. Some brand-name NiMH AA batteries can take nearly 7 hours to charge fully.
From what we’ve seen in testing, the rechargeable AA batteries from Pale Blue Earth will charge in about an hour. That makes a big difference for users who are powering things like cameras or flashlights with them. Being able to recharge your batteries quickly greatly enhances their usability.
And, if you’re using them often and charging them frequently, you are saving lots of battery waste from entering the landfill.
Use Cases: Outdoor Gear
My kids love using walkie-talkies on our adventures. The kid-specific radios do not have rechargeable batteries, so installing Pale Blue Earth’s batteries was a perfect upgrade for those radios. We have taken them on half a dozen adventures, including a 3-day ski hut trip and I haven’t had to replace or recharge the batteries yet.
Unfortunately, the Pale Blue Earth AAA batteries did not do very well in my headlamp tests. I tested two different headlamps, from different brands. The first headlamp can only take AAA batteries. A set of normal (disposable) alkaline batteries at the highest setting lasted for 4 hours before the amount of light dimmed to the point where I would want to refresh the batteries.
The Pale Blue Earth AAA batteries, by comparison, barely lasted half an hour on the same setting. Fifteen minutes into the test, the light dimmed significantly, and then the light would get bright for a moment and then go back to dim again. The headlamp was clearly struggling with the power delivery of the Pale Blue Earth battery chemistry. By 20 minutes, the light was very dim and by 30 minutes, it was out.
The second headlamp came with a proprietary rechargeable lithium-ion battery (1,250 mAh) the same size as three AAA batteries. A set of three alkaline batteries in this headlamp on its brightest setting (350 lumens) lasted 24 hours. The Pale Blue Earth batteries lasted a little longer in this headlamp, but only about 45 minutes.
Like the first test, the light dimmed about 20 minutes into the test. Then around 30 minutes, the light would go bright for a few seconds and then back to dim. After this test, I wouldn’t recommend Pale Blue batteries as primary or backup batteries for headlamps.
Use Cases: Around the House
There are also plenty of use case opportunities for the batteries around the house, beyond outdoor adventure. During testing, we found the Pale Blue Earth rechargeable batteries to work equally well in TV remotes, Lego trains, small R/C cars, and in a small AA-powered AM/FM radio I still use at my workbench in the garage.
Most of these case uses have a very low draw. So, the slightly smaller battery capacity isn’t really noticeable. However, our Lego train has been burning through standard alkaline batteries pretty quickly. I feel much better about being able to just plug them in to recharge them instead of adding to a once fast-growing bin of used batteries that needed to be discarded.
Use Case Limitations
Unfortunately, lithium-ion batteries cannot be used everywhere alkaline batteries can. For example, the Pale Blue Earth website warns not to use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in safety-related devices like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
The same limitation can apply to the non-rechargeable 3,500 mAh pure lithium batteries, though. Some devices just have to use batteries with alkaline chemistry. The Pale Blue Earth website recommends checking the instructions of the device you want to use the batteries in beforehand.
Avalanche safety beacons are another piece of safety equipment Pale Blue Earth warns against using its batteries in. That isn’t mentioned on the website, but Pale Blue Earth told me directly that these batteries were not designed for avy beacons. Which is unfortunate. Most avy beacons recommend replacing the batteries as soon as they’re below 40%. Being able to recharge them would save a lot of waste.
However, if you’re someone who uses an avy beacon a lot and is tired of prematurely swapping batteries before they’re totally depleted, you might be in luck anyway. Ortovox has released a rechargeable avalanche beacon called the Diract Series.
Pale Blue Earth Rechargeable AA AAA Batteries: Conclusion
While lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are not yet suited for every situation, there are a lot of instances where they have proven to be very handy. Both logistically in not needing to go buy more disposable batteries and ecologically, minimizing the amount of battery waste produced.
They’re great for walkie-talkies, remotes, GPS units, and toy trains. They aren’t great for headlamp use or lanterns. And they’re expressly forbidden from being used in smoke detectors and avy beacons.
And while every one of the Pale Blue Earth rechargeable AA or AAA lithium-ion batteries may not keep as many as 1,000 disposable batteries out of the waste or recycling stream, they can certainly make a huge difference. Every time you recharge one, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you didn’t have to throw away a disposable battery.
Headlamps: Why Rechargeable Rules
The common headlamp is going rechargeable, and throw-away batteries are becoming a thing of the past. Are you ready to make the switch? Read more…
EBL 1200mAh 1.5V AAA Non-Rechargeable Lithium Batteries
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