AA and AAA Batteries: What To Look For

Date Posted:2 October 2017 

For those looking to find battery replacements for small electronic devices, whether it’s office equipment or standard household items, you’ll probably find yourself looking for either a AA or a AAA size battery. These are some of the most common batteries and you’ll see them used in everything from remote controls, clocks, flashlights, calculators, and a myriad of other small devices.

AA Battery

One of the most common batteries for portable electronic devices is the AA battery. A single electrochemical cell, the battery may either be primary (which means it’s one-time use, disposed after it’s depleted) or rechargeable (which means you can recharge the power through means of a small charging unit). The voltages and capacity of AA batteries are dependent upon the particular chemicals & metals making up the battery, but are most commonly rated at 1.5 volts.

The AA battery was introduced in 1907, and standardized by ANSI in 1947 after many years of widespread use. AA batteries are available in a range of types, from lithium to alkaline to many others.

AAA Battery

The AAA battery is a dry-cell battery used often in small portable devices that require low power consumption. Often an AAA battery is a zinc-carbon battery. They are a single cell, and like double-A batteries are constructed in several different types: lithium, alkaline, or even rechargeable nickel-metal hydride (NiMH).

Triple A batteries are used in devices like remote controls which don’t require a large amount of power draw. Most devices have required AA, the larger battery, in the past. This is because AA batteries typically have three times the power capacity as AAA. However, because electronic devices are constantly increasing in efficiency, more and more hardware is switching to use AAA as their primary power source.

Voltages range from 1.2 volts to 1.5 volts or even higher. 

Types of batteries

When you’re looking for an AA or an AAA battery, you’ll typically have the choice between two types: alkaline, lithium, or nickel-metal hydride (NiMH). While alkaline batteries are cheaper, lithium batteries last much longer. Often, you’ll be able to buy a rechargeable NiMH cell battery, which enables you to use the battery many times over instead of disposing the used one and having to buy new batteries. NiMH rechargeable batteries are perfect for high-drain tasks, like digital cameras. A device like a digital SLR camera uses a lot of energy in a short period of time, making it useful to recharge the battery instead of disposing it every time. The same is the case for items like flashlights, which use a great amount of energy in short period as well.

Alkaline batteries

Alkaline batteries are one of the most affordable batteries, but they trade this cost advantage for lower power output and lower lifespan. These function based upon the reaction between the elements of zinc and manganese dioxide. An alkaline battery is called so because of the electrolyte used to conduct within the cell, an alkaline chemical called potassium hydroxide. Other batteries use an acidic electrolyte. Alkaline batteries can be rechargeable, unlike lithium batteries.

Lithium batteries

Lithium batteries utilize lithium as an anode. They’re more expensive than alkaline batteries, but last longer, as well as provide more power. One of the prime benefits of lithium batteries is they’re more resistant to temperature than alkaline batteries. Alkaline batteries can cease to work at extreme temperatures of either very hot or very cold. Lithium batteries will continue to function in a wider temperature range. Lithium batteries are also much lighter than the equivalent alkaline battery, an important factor for small devices that rely upon small size and weight for convenience and portability.

However, the downside of lithium batteries is that they’re usually much more expensive than alkaline batteries. The importance of cost depends upon the need, and if the battery lasts longer than alkaline it could be just as cost efficient, or more, over the product’s lifespan.

Some Batteries For Your Uses

Regardless of your particular needs, you’ll be well served by taking a look at our extensive range of batteries. Whether it’s a pack of AA batteries needed to freshen up the remote controls in the house, or whether it’s a wholesale acquisition of AAA batteries for a fleet of company devices, we’ve got the answer to your battery needs.

Feel free to reach out to us with any of your battery questions. We’re here to help and we are excited to assist you in finding the perfect battery for your needs.


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