All About Batteries...

I was doing some research and I discovered a few interesting facts about batteries... I thought I'd share the basics:

The basic unit batteries are composed of is called a cell. Higher voltage batteries, like a standard 9V, are composed of several cells (6 in this case) wired in series to increase the voltage.

Each type of battery - alkaline, NiCad, LiIon, etc - has a characteristic voltage for each cell.

For instance an alkaline battery, like a AA, is approx 1.55 volts. The only difference between a AA and a D battery is how long the battery will last at a certain amount of load.

I did a little test with a bunch of alkaline batteries and found that they pretty much universally put out 5 Amps... regardless of size. If anyone knows... is this an anomaly or is it actually a characteristic of batteries (I couldn't find the info anywhere).

But wait... there's good news! If you want to use disposable alkaline batteries - maybe because they're cheap - you're not stuck with 1.5V/5A... you can wire them in series (all in a row) and then add the voltages up, or in parallel (side by side) and add all the currents up. This is pretty common knowledge... so lets move on.

You can get some good info on how long standard alkaline batteries will last at wikipedia. This is measured in milliAmp Hours (mAh). A 500mAh battery (which is pretty small) can power a load of 100mA for 5 hours. A more in depth explanation can be found at the aforementioned wikipedia page.

I'll be posting a follow-up to this post in the near future with additional information, as I collect it.

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