Batteries have become a necessity for today’s millennials. We are constantly in need of new batteries for running our gadgets, devices, vehicles, etc. As soon as the old battery runs out, we rush to replace them. The market is flooded with new batteries, which come with manufacturer’s recommendations.
Batteries have to be dealt with carefully for safe handling and longer life. It is essential that you read the user manual before handling it so that you do not end up causing damage, accidents, or use the wrong battery. All this could cost you. Therefore, you can reduce cost by efficiently using your battery so that it longs longer.
Also, it is essential to check your battery type, battery dimensions, battery capacity, and other important details before buying a new battery or battery equivalents. Batteries can be dangerous if they get swallowed. They can also result in death due to the chemicals present in them. Some batteries can even cause fire and explosions when mishandled. Therefore, be very careful in handling them.
Coin and Button Cell Batteries
Coin or button cell batteries are very small and are often invisible to the eyes until you have to replace your watch, remote, or car keys. When the button or coin cell battery dies, people often get confused regarding the correct replacement.
There is a difference between the button cell and the coin cell batteries. As the name suggests, coin cells resemble a coin. The coin cells are thinner than a button cell battery and have a bigger diameter. The button cells are more stocky and tall in appearance. Both cannot replace each other due to the variance in the shapes and sizes.
Coin cells and button cells each have a unique model number. Batteries are listed on battery stations by their code. Every manufacturer uses their code of every different button cell or coin cell battery. This code can come in handy when you need to search for the availability of a particular battery type. This code helps in the identification of various types of chemistries of the battery.
AG13, LR44, SR44, SR44SW, and 357 Battery Equivalents
AG13, LR44, SR44, SR44SW, and 357 coin, button, or cell batteries are very well known as they are used in various devices. These are essential for mini flashlights, wristwatches, calculators, and other small appliances needing limited power. They are also used in mini electronic devices.
This group of batteries is non-rechargeable. The chemistry type of AG13, LR44, SR44, SR44SW batteries, and 357 are as follows:
However, the way these button, coin, or cell batteries are labeled might cause confusion to the buyer. This confusion is due to the use of the same label for both silver oxide battery and alkaline battery, such as the label ‘AG13 is used for both Alkaline G13 and Silver-oxide G13. Although for silver-oxide, G13 ‘SG13’ label should be used.
The IEC standards state that AG13 should be named LR1154 if it is alkaline or SR1154 if the composition is silver-oxide. May times, its short two-digit code is also applied to labels like LR44 for alkaline compositions and SR44 for Silver-oxide batteries.
In labels, you will also find the names of these batteries used by the manufacturers. However, some also write the names of batteries by the IEC or other standards. The manufacturers often also insert brief details and descriptions of the chemical composition of the batteries along with their main features.
The alkaline LR1154 and the silver-oxide SR1154 are both 5.4 mm in height and 11.6 mm in diameter. The capacity of power of these batteries depends on the chemical compositions used, which can be known through the labels. It also depends upon the capacity and the power usage of the device that they are meant to power.
Here are a few important codes that are labeled on batteries. By having an awareness of the meanings of these batteries, you could know the composition of your battery.
Battery codes beginning with L indicate that the battery is a coin cell Alkaline.
Battery codes beginning with S indicate that the battery is coin cell Silver Oxide.
Battery codes beginning with P indicate that the battery is coin cell Zinc.
Battery codes beginning with M indicate that the battery is a coin cell Mercury Oxide.
Battery codes beginning with N indicate that the battery is a coin cell Mercury Oxide.
Battery codes beginning with P indicate that the battery is a coin cell electrolyte of Potassium Hydroxide or contains organic electrolytes.
Battery codes beginning with S indicate that the battery is a coin cell electrolyte of Sodium Hydroxide or contains organic electrolytes.
Battery codes beginning with W indicate that the battery complies with IEC 60086-3 standards.
AG13, LR44, SR44, SR44SW, and 357 Battery Chemistry Comparison
There are four basic chemistries available in coin, button, and cell batteries. These are as follows:
If we compare these chemical compositions in batteries, we have to see the following details in their labels:
The nominal voltage of an Alkaline battery is 1.5V, whereas the nominal voltage of Silver-oxide is 1.55V. In contrast, Zinc Air has 1.4V to 1.45V, and mercury-oxide has 1.35V. This range makes mercury-oxide the lowest in nominal voltage.
The endpoint voltage of an Alkaline battery is 1.0V, whereas the endpoint voltage of Silver-oxide is 1.2V. In contrast, Zinc Air has 1.2 and mercury-oxide has 1.1V. This range makes mercury-oxide the lowest in endpoint voltage.
The capacity of an Alkaline battery is 110-130 mAh, whereas the capacity of Silver-oxide is 150-200 mAh. In contrast, Zinc Air has 600-700 mAh capacity, and mercury-oxide has 180-200 mAh capacity. This range makes alkaline batteries the lowest with regard to capacity.
Moreover, the voltage of alkaline drops over time, whereas the silver-oxide has a constant voltage. Zinc-Air has a lower voltage than alkaline, but its capacity is large. Besides, Zinc-Air is usually used for hearing aids. Mercury-oxide has a much lower voltage and is not in use anymore as it contains mercury.
Among the above-mentioned chemical compositions, alkaline is the most popular and reasonably priced battery. The only issue is that as you keep using it, its voltage keeps plunging until it drops.
The chief dependency of capacity is on the cut-off voltage of the device that is using the batteries. If your device that has to be powered by the batteries has cut-off voltage, it lowers the batteries’ capacity. Such cut-off voltage devices will need replacements soon as you would have to buy more batteries than usual.
If the device uses a lower voltage in the battery, alkaline is the best option available as it works best in devices requiring lower voltage.
The labels also differ in these compositions. The labels that manufacturers print are typical and according to the IEC. A typical AG13 battery has the following labels.
Alkaline Battery Labels: labels used in alkaline batteries are LR44, 76A, AG13, LR1154, A76
Silver-Oxide Battery Labels: Labels used in alkaline batteries are LR44, 76A, AG13, LR1154, A76
Zinc-Air Labels: Zinc-Air labels used by manufacturers are: 675, Blue Tab, ZA675, PR44, 7003ZD
Mercury Oxide Labels: Labels used in Mercury oxide are MR44 and MR1154
The shelf life of AG13, LR44, SR44, SR44SW, and 357 depends on their quality and the manufacturer’s use of quality raw materials and chemicals. In general, good quality Alkaline batteries have a shelf life of five years. In comparison, Silver-oxide batteries have a longer shelf life, estimated to be approximately ten years or more. This large capacity also balances a sturdy voltage while working, and the power doesn’t drop.
Many devices have trouble with alkaline batteries due to the plunge in the voltage of the alkaline batteries. In contrast, silver-oxide batteries work well as they have a larger voltage capacity.
357 Energizer Battery
The 357 is a tiny energizer battery that has many uses. The voltage of this 357 battery is 1.5V. It is used in various devices like watches, laser pointers, medical pieces of equipment, calculators, etc. these 357 size batteries are silver oxide batteries with greater capacity than alkaline batteries.
Mercury Oxide Batteries
Mercury Batteries were used in the past, but now their use is discontinued due to the environmental impact of mercury. The mercury in the button or coin cell batteries tends to pour out into the environment when they are discarded into landfills. These also cause damage when they are incinerated as the mercury gets back into the air. When not incinerated, it is usually thrown into landfills where it gets soaked into the ground and mixes with the underground water resources. These chemicals, when incorporated with the water and the air, contaminate the ecosystem. Thus this becomes very dangerous for the environment and can prove fatal for many species of plants, animals, and aquatic animals. Besides, these also become fatally dangerous for humans who consume mercury ingested water, plants, or animals.
At the beginning of the 20th century, mercury batteries were very common, but in 1996, a bill was passed in the United States of America for phasing out these dangerous batteries. This bill was named the Mercury-Containing Battery Management Act or just Battery Act for short.
The voltage of Mercury-oxide Batteries was 1-35V which is the lowest of all chemistries. But they had good capacity ranging from 180 mAh to 200 mAh. The capacity of Mercury oxide is similar to the capacity of silver oxide batteries.
Difference between AG13 and LR44
There isn’t much difference between the AG13 and the LR44 batteries. Both these batteries’ chemistries are so similar that they can be called the same battery with two separate names. AG13 is an alkaline, zinc, magnesium battery with 1.5V and a minimum capacity is 130 mAh. The size of the cell in AG13 is 5.4mm x 11.6. The battery parameters of LR44 are the same. The working temperature of AG13 should be -10C to 60C.
Other names of AG13 apart from LR44 are 357, SR44, A76, LR1154.
All these battery names mentioned are compatible with each other. This compatibility is due to their similar names, and these batteries have very similar chemistries, like names starting with S are composed of silver-oxide. The voltage of all these batteries is also almost similar, making them able to interchange for many devices and applications. However, batteries with silver oxide are more costly as they have more capacity.
Interchangeability of AG13 Batteries and LR44 Batteries
AG13 battery and the 357 battery
These are interchangeable in most devices and applications. But appliances requiring constant voltage work better on 357 batteries than the LR44 as their voltage remains consistent and doesn’t fall like the LR44. Precision clippers and certain watches are examples of such cases.
SR44 battery vs LR44 battery
These are both of similar size physically. The terminal voltage of LR44 is slightly lower than SR44, which works on 1.55V. However, the device might work fine if SR44 and LR44 have been interchanged, and it wouldn’t harm the operation. The SR44 would perform much better in some applications. The LR44 is alkaline, and the SR44 is silver oxide.
Consequently, silver oxide performs better than alkaline. The capacity of silver oxide is 50% to 100% more than the alkaline battery, making it last longer. Even the declining voltage is very slow in the silver oxide battery due to its greater capacity.
The labels of silver oxide are indicated through S, and L shows the presence of zinc. Both L and S are electrochemical systems. The S electrochemical system has added capacity, which indicates better device performance.
The equivalent of LR44 alkaline batteries are AG13, A76, L1154, G13, LR1154, 157, etc. The equivalents of silver oxide are SR44, SRSW, 303, 357, SR44W, SR44SW, etc.
Button cell batteries also contain a bit of mercury to hamper the buildup of gasses inside the battery.
Lithium and Alkaline Batteries
Lithium batteries are five times more expensive than alkaline batteries. Also, lithium batteries last much longer than alkaline batteries. Their shelf life is also more. Therefore, device performance cannot be improved by interchanging a lithium battery with an alkaline battery. In contrast, the device performance will decline, and the pressure might cause a rupture or leak in the battery.
Even if the battery details are similar, it is recommended not to interchange batteries, or the performance of the device or application will be affected. If available, use the same battery brand within a device.
357 battery and 357A battery
Although quite similar, the 357 battery and the 357A battery have a difference in voltage drop degrees. Voltage drops faster in a 357 battery than in a 357A battery. Therefore, devices utilizing higher power work longer on 357A.
Proper Disposal of Batteries
It would be best if you were very careful while disposing of batteries as they contain hazardous chemicals which should be properly disposed of. Regular alkaline batteries can be disposed of in ordinary trash cans. The same is the case with carbon-zinc batteries and magnesium batteries.
Lithium batteries that are small and of single or rechargeable use can also be recycled. However, their recycling procedure is not available in all locations. Batteries that get leaked or ruptured should be placed in a clear plastic bag. Make sure to place one battery per bag as their chemical compositions shouldn’t meet, or they will react.
These should be taken to HHW Center (municipal household hazardous waste center). It is important to keep damaged batteries away from other chemical compounds or materials so as to eliminate potential burns, damages, or fires.