Primary Batteries (Non-Rechargeable)
Primary (non-rechargeable) Batteries
Find Lithium and Alkaline Batteries to Power Your World!
Primary batteries are a disposable, low-cost alternative to rechargeable cells. BatteryJunction.com carries all the top brands, including Panasonic, Duracell, Energizer, Rayovac and Titanium Innovations. Primary batteries are also offered in a variety of sizes including AA, AAA, C, D, 9V, CR123A and 6V lantern batteries. There are also an assortment of specialty-sized batteries for key-less entry systems, watches, calculators, cameras and more! BatteryJunction.com also offers special discounts to bulk and wholesale buyers, with box sizes reaching nearly 1,500 batteries.
What Makes Primary Batteries So Special?
Primary batteries, though often times overshadowed by rechargeable batteries, are a more reliable and practical solution for powering your life-saving electronic devices. Military professionals, for example, may not always have access to an electrical outlet to power their rechargeable cells. Search-and-rescue teams also require instant readiness and reliability from their power source. Primary batteries, also known as disposable batteries, offer both and are used to power most hearing aids and pacemakers for this very reason. In general, these non-rechargeable cells provide a long shelf life and a reasonable capacity, on which we can rely. Smoke detectors, for example, utilize a small current for a long time, and therefore work best when powered by primary batteries. The self-discharge of a rechargeable cell would exceed the load current and limit operation to a mere few weeks. The last thing you need from any of these life-saving tools is for them to fail due to low battery power. Primary batteries are designed to last up to 10 years in storage and can maintain full capacity while they wait. When it's a life-saving issue, whether powering grandpa's pacemaker or maintaining mom's smoke detector, reliability is not something with which you want to mess.
What are Different Types of Primary Batteries?
Primary batteries include a variety of different different chemistries, each with their own benefits and features. Below is a brief explanation of each:
Zinc Carbon ("Heavy Duty")
Zinc Carbon primary batteries are the cheapest non-rechargeable cells. These disposable batteries provide a low amount of power; however, they offer a reliable shelf life, when stored at the proper temperature. Zinc carbon primary batteries provide a nominal voltage of 1.5V and are perfect for use within low-drain electronic devices, such as clocks. Zinc chloride cells are the new-and-improved variation of zinc carbon batteries, are offer a longer life and a steadier voltage output.
Alkaline primary batteries are the most commonly used chemistry within this group. This particular chemistry offers an excellent shelf life and energy. These non-rechargeable cells typically do not leak and are therefore safer, which is especially good for household usage. Alkaline primary batteries offer a standard voltage of 1.5V.
Lithium primary batteries offer a long shelf life and are suitable for use in low-drain devices; however, they are typically more expensive than alkaline and zinc carbon alternatives. These disposable cells offer a nominal voltage of 3V; however, the chemical compounds within the cells allow manufacturers to alter the voltage from 1.5V to about 3.7V. Lithium primary batteries are typically used in portable consumer electronics and LED lighting. Please note that these disposable batteries are typically used in smaller formats, such as in AA and coin cell sizes, due to safety concerns.
Lithium Thionyl Chloride (LiSOCl2)
Lithium Thionyl Chloride primary batteries are mostly used in commercial, military and industrial settings, such as within automatic external defibrillator (AED) applications. These non-rechargeable cells have a high energy density. Lithium Thionyl Chloride primary batteries offer a 3.5V nominal voltage. Due to safety concerns and to higher costs, it is best to leave these primary batteries to the experts.
Silver Oxide (Ag2O)
Silver Oxide primary batteries are designed to provide users with a high energy density; however, these coin cells are typically very expensive because of the cost of silver. For this reason, the silver oxide chemistry is limited to the button cell format typically found in watches and calculators. These non-rechargeable cells have a stable, 1.55V nominal voltage, a flat discharge curve and the ability to operate under a wide temperature range. Silver oxide primary batteries are perfect for use in low-drain electronic devices.
Zinc Air primary batteries are ideally meant for use within hearing aids. These non-rechargeable cells offer a very long run time and a high energy density. Zinc air primary batteries actually use oxygen from the air to generate power. To activate the cell, simply remove the sealing tab to enable airflow. Within 5 seconds, the battery will reach full operating voltage of 1.4V.
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