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Lithium vs Alkaline – MyBroadband battery test

Lithium AA batteries can provide longer lifespans than their alkaline counterparts, but they are considerably more expensive. To see which one gives you more minutes of power per rand, we tested the lifespan lithium and alkaline AA cells. The test comprised depleting Energizer Ultimate lithium and Energizer Max alkaline AA batteries at a fixed power drain until they reached a cut-off voltage.

The price of the batteries was then used to calculate a minutes-per-rand value.

Testing

For the tests, we used a West Mountain Radio CBA IV – which is designed to test small cells and batteries. The CBA IV is capable of testing batteries at load currents from 10mA to 40,000mA. We tested eight of the Energizer Max AA batteries – to ensure an average lifespan time was accurate – against six of the Energizer Ultimate lithium batteries at a draw of 800mA.

This simulates high-draw applications and minimises the effect of extraneous variables on the performance of the cells. Each battery was tested until it dropped below the suggested cut-off voltage limit of 1.10V. All tests used an initial test voltage of 1.5V.

Results

Battery Test

Lifespan at 800mAh

Energizer Max (Alkaline)
Energizer Max 1 30:15 mins
Energizer Max 2 23:05 mins
Energizer Max 3 24:27 mins
Energizer Max 4 29:30 mins
Energizer Max 5 27:17 mins
Energizer Max 6 28:33 mins
Energizer Max 7 23:02 mins
Energizer Max 8 23:05 mins
Energizer Ultimate (Lithium)
Energizer Ultimate 1 221:16 mins
Energizer Ultimate 2 215:46 mins
Energizer Ultimate 3 212:33 mins
Energizer Ultimate 4 216:11 mins
Energizer Ultimate 5 211:03 mins
Energizer Ultimate 6 220:10 mins

The results show that the lithium batteries have a much longer lifespan.

Based on the tests, we then calculated the average depletion time for the lithium and alkaline AA batteries. The pricing, average depletion time, and minutes-per-rand measurements for each battery type is listed in the table below. A graph showing the distribution of the Energizer Ultimate lithium battery lifespans is also posted below.

Lithium vs Alkaline – MyBroadband battery test

Battery

Average lifespan at 800mA

Price

Minutes per rand

Energizer Max – Alkaline 26:35 mins R19.50 1.36
Energizer Ultimate – Lithium 216:10 mins R42.50 5.09

While the Energizer Max AA cells are considerably cheaper than the Energizer Ultimate, they come nowhere near in terms of longevity.

According to the depletion tests conducted at 800mA, Energizer Ultimate AA batteries feature triple the minutes-per-rand value of the Energizer Max cells.

Now read: Duracell vs Energizer – Ultimate battery showdown[1]

References

  1. ^ Duracell vs Energizer – Ultimate battery showdown (mybroadband.co.za)

Duracell vs Energizer – Ultimate battery showdown

Duracell and Energizer are top battery brands which consumers know for long-lasting performance. The brands are known for their “longest lasting” and “best in high-power devices” products by many South Africans. To see which batteries delivered the most battery life under a constant high-drain test, we bought dozens of batteries and put them to work.

Duracell Plus Power, Energizer Max, and Duracell Ultra alkaline AA batteries were selected for the test, due to their similar offerings. The batteries’ packaging states they hold their power for several years, and all batteries where within their sell-by dates. Based on the standard price of the respective battery packs on Takealot, the following per-battery pricing was calculated:

  • Duracell Plus Power AA – R16.25
  • Energizer Max AA – R17.25
  • Duracell Ultra Power AA – R18.75

Duracell vs Energizer – Ultimate battery showdown

The tests

For the tests, we used a West Mountain Radio CBA IV – which is designed to test small cells and batteries.

The CBA IV is capable of testing batteries at load currents from 10mA to 40,000mA. After consulting with battery testing experts, we were advised to purchase eight of each battery and test them at a draw of 800mA. This simulates the lifespan of a battery in high-draw applications and minimises the effect of extraneous variables on the performance of the cells.

We took each battery – 24 in total – and tested how long it took for each to drop below their suggested cut-off voltage limit of 1.10V. All tests used an initial test voltage of 1.5V.

Results

Battery Test

Lifespan at 800mAh

Duracell Plus Power
Duracell Plus Power 1 27:33 mins
Duracell Plus Power 2 23:05 mins
Duracell Plus Power 3 24:29 mins
Duracell Plus Power 4 26:19 mins
Duracell Plus Power 5 27:21 mins
Duracell Plus Power 6 22:08 mins
Duracell Plus Power 7 22:27 mins
Duracell Plus Power 8 23:08 mins
Energizer Max
Energizer Max 1 30:15 mins
Energizer Max 2 23:05 mins
Energizer Max 3 24:27 mins
Energizer Max 4 29:30 mins
Energizer Max 5 27:17 mins
Energizer Max 6 28:33 mins
Energizer Max 7 23:02 mins
Energizer Max 8 23:05 mins
Duracell Ultra Power
Duracell Ultra Power 1 19:08 mins
Duracell Ultra Power 2 16:07 mins
Duracell Ultra Power 3 06:22 mins
Duracell Ultra Power 4 23:09 mins
Duracell Ultra Power 5 21:13 mins
Duracell Ultra Power 6 15:19 mins
Duracell Ultra Power 7 26:02 mins
Duracell Ultra Power 8 07:10 mins

The image below details the first two test batches. Duracell vs Energizer – Ultimate battery showdown

Based on the results, we calculated the average time until depletion for each batch of batteries. We then used the price and lifespan of each battery to calculate the average minutes per rand each product provided at this level of drain. The average lifespan and minutes per rand for each battery, calculated from the test results, are shown below.

Battery

Average lifespan at 800mA

Price

Minutes per rand

Duracell Plus Power 24:34 mins R16.25 1.51
Energizer Max 26:35 mins R17.25 1.54
Duracell Ultra Power 16:49 mins R18.75 0.90

The results show the Energizer Max AA lasted just under 8% longer than its Duracell Plus Power counterpart – at an 800mA drain level – on average.

The Duracell Ultra Power’s lower lifespan is not necessarily indicative of its overall performance, as this test only measures lifespan at a single power drain level.

The data gained from the tests also showed that battery life can vary between different batteries of the same model.

While the Energizer Max had a longer lifespan under the test conditions, performance could vary under different drain levels and in real-world applications.

Now read: Duracell can’t say its batteries last “10-times longer” in South Africa[1]

References

  1. ^ Duracell can’t say its batteries last “10-times longer” in South Africa (mybroadband.co.za)