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AA battery

This article is about the type of electric cell. For the military weapon, see anti-aircraft warfare.

An AA battery (also called "double A" or Mignon battery) is a standard size of a single cell cylindrical dry battery; in the IEC system it is designated size "R6" and "15" by ANSI .[1] AA batteries are commonly used in portable electronic devices. An AA battery is composed of a single electrochemical cell that may be either a primary battery (disposable) or a rechargeable battery. The exact terminal voltage and capacity of an AA size battery depends on the cell chemistry. AA batteries account for over 50% of general battery sales.

The AA battery size was standardized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1947, but had been used in flashlights and electrical novelties for some time before formal standardization. ANSI and IEC Battery nomenclature gives several different designations for cells in this size, depending on cell features and chemistry.


File:6 most common battery types-1.jpg
D, C, AA, AAA, AAAA cells and a 9-volt battery

An AA cell measures Script error: No such module "convert". in length, including the button terminal—and Script error: No such module "convert". in diameter. The positive terminal button should be a minimum 1 mm high and a maximum 5.5 mm in diameter, the flat negative terminal should be a minimum diameter of 7 mm.[1]

Alkaline AA cells have a weight of roughly Script error: No such module "convert"., lithium AA cells have a mass around Script error: No such module "convert"., and rechargeable NiMH cells around Script error: No such module "convert"..[citation needed]

Chemistry and capacity

Primary cells

Primary (non-rechargeable) zinc–carbon (dry cell) AA batteries have around 400–900 milliamp-hours capacity, with measured capacity highly dependent on test conditions, duty cycle, and cut-off voltage. Zinc–carbon batteries are usually marketed as "general purpose" batteries. Zinc-chloride batteries store around 1000 to 1500 mAh are often sold as "heavy duty" or "super heavy duty". Alkaline batteries from 1700 mAh to 3000 mAh cost more than zinc-chloride batteries, but last proportionally longer.

Non-rechargeable lithium batteries are manufactured for devices that use a lot of power such as digital cameras, where their high cost is offset by longer running time between battery changes and more constant voltage during discharge.

Lithium-iron disulfide batteries can have an open-circuit voltage as high as 1.8 volts, but the in-circuit voltage reduces, making this chemistry compatible with equipment intended for zinc-based batteries. A fresh alkaline zinc battery can have an open-circuit voltage of 1.6 volts, but an iron-disulfide battery with an open-circuit voltage below 1.7 volts is entirely discharged. [2]

Rechargeable cells

Rechargeable batteries in the AA size are available in multiple chemistries: nickel–cadmium (NiCd) with a capacity of 500–1100 mAh,[citation needed] nickel–metal hydride (NiMH) in various capacities of 1300–2900 mAh[citation needed] and lithium ion. Lithium ion chemistry has a nominal voltage of 3.6 volts. They are referred to as 14500 Li-ion batteries.

Nickel-zinc cell (NiZn) AAs are also available, but not widely so.


Type Zinc–carbon Alkaline Li-FeS2 Li-ion NiCd NiMH NiZn
IEC name R6 LR6 FR6  ? KR6 HR6 ZR6
ANSI/NEDA name 15D 15A 15LF 14500 1.2K2 1.2H2  ?
Capacity under 50 mA constant drain 400–1700 mAh 1800–2600 mAh 2700–3400 mAh 600-6000 mAh 600–1000 mAh 600–2850 mAh 1500–1800 mAh
Nominal voltage 1.5 V 1.5 V 1.5 V 3.6-3.7 V 1.2 V 1.2 V 1.65 V
Max. energy at nominal voltage and 50 mA drain 2.55 Wh 3.90 Wh 5.10 Wh 21.6-22.2 Wh 1.20 Wh 3.42 Wh 2.97 Wh
Rechargeable No No, except for Rechargeable alkaline battery No[3] Yes Yes Yes Yes


In 2011, AA cells accounted for approximately 60% of alkaline battery sales in the United States. In Japan, 58% of alkaline batteries sold were AA. In Switzerland, AA batteries totaled 55% in both primary and secondary (rechargeable) battery sales.[4][5][6]

See also


  1. ^ a b Classic (LR6) datasheet from
  2. ^ Lithium Iron Disulfide Handbook and Application Manual, Version LI4.04, Energizer Battery Manufacturing Inc.
  3. ^ Lithium Iron Disulfide, Handbook and Application Manual
  4. ^ Absatzzahlen 2008 INOBAT 2008 statistics.
  5. ^ Life Cycle Impacts of Alkaline Batteries with a Focus on End-of-Life – EPBA-EU
  6. ^ Monthly battery sales statistics – MoETI – March 2011

External links