Batteries FAQ - All Battery Types
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Yes. Extreme heat or cold reduces battery performance. For this reason, we recommend storing batteries at room temperature in a dry environment. You’ll want to avoid putting battery-powered devices in very warm places. In addition, refrigeration is not necessary or recommended.
For best performance, keep battery contact surfaces and battery compartment contacts clean.
Refrigeration is not necessary or recommended, as heat or cold reduces battery performance. We recommend storing batteries at room temperature in a dry environment. You’ll want to avoid storing batteries or battery-powered devices in very warm places – a climate controlled environment may be best for storage.
Batteries may seem simple, but the delivery of packaged power is a complicated electrochemical process.
Electric current in the form of electrons begins to flow in the external circuit when the device – a light bulb for example – is turned on. At that time, the anode material, zinc, gives up two electrons per atom in a process called oxidation, leaving a zinc (Zn) charge of unstable ions behind. After the electrons do their work powering the light bulb, they re-enter the cell at the cathode, where they combine with the active material, manganese dioxide, in a process called reduction.
The combined processes of oxidation and reduction couldn’t occur in a power cell without an internal way to carry electrons back to the anode, balancing the external flow of current. This process is accomplished by the movement of negatively charged hydroxide ions present in the water solution called the electrolyte.
Every electron entering the cathode reacts with the manganese dioxide to form MnOO-. Then, MnOO- reacts with water from the electrolyte. In that reaction, the water splits, releasing hydroxide ions into the electrolyte and hydrogen ions that combine with MnOO- to form MnOOH.
The internal circuit is completed when the hydroxide ions produced in this reaction at the cathode flow to the anode in the form of ionic current. There, they combine with unstable zinc ions, which were formed at the anode when the electrons were originally given up to the external circuit. This produces zinc oxide and water, and completes the circuit (which is necessary to have a constant flow of electricity) and powers your device.
Battery life can be measured in mAh. What is mAh in batteries? The acronym mAh, meaning milliamp Hour, is a unit that measures (electric) power over time.
The following tips may help extend the life of your batteries:
- Turn off battery-operated radios and appliances whenever they’re not in use
- Store your batteries in a dry place at normal room temperature without the contacts touching
Always replace the battery or batteries in your equipment with the size and type specified by the device manufacturer. For standard size batteries (AAA, AA, C, D, 9V), alkaline batteries are often recommended for best performance. Zinc carbon batteries have inferior life spans and equipment may not operate properly if zinc carbon batteries are used. This is due to reduced mAh and charge of zinc carbon battery chemistry.
For high-drain professional devices, Procell recommends to use Procell Alkaline Intense Power batteries, designed with a unique power profile to last longer (vs. prior Procell Alkaline AA, AAA, C and D batteries) in high drain professional devices that require a high amount of power or peaks of power, such as blood Pressure monitors, soap dispensers or flashlights.
For low-drain professional devices, Procell recommends to use Procell Alkaline Constant Power batteries, designed to provide consistent performance over a long period of time and last longer (vs. prior Procell Alkaline AA, AAA, C and D batteries) in low drain devices such as smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, remote controls and flushometers.
We do recommend changing all batteries in a unit at the same time. A partially used battery will drain energy from a new one, reducing the total amount of battery power available.
No, different batteries provide different lengths of life and power output depending on the type and amount of chemicals used to compose them, as well as the needs of the device they’re powering.
No, Procell batteries are not designed to be used underwater or in vacuum conditions. Procell superior alkaline cell design enables operation in temperatures from:
-4°F to 129.2°F or -20°C to 54°C, with Lithium coin and High-Power Lithium batteries operating in temperatures from -4°F to 140°F or -20°C to 60°C.
Do not mix old and new batteries. Doing so will reduce overall performance and may cause battery leakage or rupture. When replacing batteries, we recommend replacing all batteries within a device.
Batteries should be removed from devices/equipment when:
- The batteries are worn out, as indicated by a loss of power to the device or lowered readings on a voltmeter (removing them immediately will prevent possible future damage from battery leakage)
- The device is being powered by AC current rather than battery power
Carefully follow instructions on your equipment regarding proper insertion of batteries, ensuring that the + (plus) and – (minus) terminals are aligned correctly. These should be clearly marked on both the device and on the battery.
CAUTION: Some equipment using three or more batteries may appear to work properly even if one battery is inserted incorrectly; such usage may lead to battery leakage or rupture that could result in equipment damage.
Procell Alkaline Constant Power batteries can be used in all your devices – low, mid and high-drain, although Procell has engineered Procell Alkaline Intense Power range specifically designed to last longer (vs. prior Procell Alkaline AA, AAA, C and D batteries) in high drain professional devices that require a high amount of power or peaks of power, such as electronic door locks, soap dispensers or security cameras.
Procell Intense Power batteries can be used in low and mid-drain devices, although they have been specifically designed with a unique power profile to last longer (vs. prior Procell Alkaline AA, AAA, C and D batteries) for high drain professional devices that require a high amount of power or peaks of power, such as blood Pressure monitors, soap dispensers or flashlights.
Only batteries that are specifically labeled “rechargeable” should be recharged. Any attempt to recharge a non-rechargeable battery could result in rupture or leakage. Procell Alkaline batteries are not rechargeable.
Lithium and alkaline batteries employ different chemistries for maximum performance in different devices. Lightweight and compact, lithium batteries often come in distinctive sizes for use in specific devices.
Procell dark grey batteries are new and improved compared to prior Procell yellow batteries, with options including:
- Procell Intense Power batteries are engineered with a unique power profile to last longer (vs. prior Procell Alkaline AA, AAA, C and D batteries) in high-drain professional devices such as flashlights, security cameras and paper towel dispensers.
- Procell Constant Power batteries are designed for longer lasting (vs. prior Procell Alkaline AA, AAA, C and D batteries) in low-drain professional devices such as smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, remote controls and flushometers.
Procell recommends* Procell Intense Power batteries for use in high-drain devices, such as: (non-exhaustive list)
- Blood pressure monitors
- Paper towel dispensers
- Electronic door locks
- Security cameras
- Wall safes
- Camera flashes
- Infusion pumps
- Surgical staplers
- Automatic odorizers
- Medical cement mixers
- Medical cautery devices
- Wireless video doorbells
- Motion sensor trash cans
- Soap / sanitizer dispensers
- Motorized window shades / blinds
- Insulin pumps
*Battery life can vary depending on the frequency of usage, operating temperatures, applied load and cut-off voltage
- Motion/occupancy sensors
- Wireless keyboards
- Security keypads
- Remote controls
- 2-way radios
- Laser levels
- Alarm clocks
- Weighing scales
- Pulse oximeters
- Wireless mouses
- Digital thermostats
- Bluetooth trackers
- Heart rate/activity monitors
- Smoke/carbon monoxide detectors
How they're made
Batteries may be small, but they’re far from simple.
They’re highly engineered electrochemical cells. Chemical energy is converted to electrical energy by a redox reaction. This process takes place between the three major parts of a battery: the anode, cathode, and electrolyte.
Different types of batteries use different materials for these parts. The materials for these parts are chosen depending on how well they give up or attract electrons, something that must happen for an electric current to be generated.
The anode is often a metal, the cathode is a metallic oxide, and the electrolyte is a salt solution that facilitates the ion flow.
In the 1860s, George Leclanche of France developed what would be the forerunner of the world’s first widely used battery; the zinc carbon cell.
The anode was a zinc and mercury-alloyed rod (zinc, the anode in Alessandro Volta’s original cell, proved to be one of the best metals for the job). The cathode was a porous cup of crushed manganese dioxide and some carbon. Into the mix was inserted a carbon rod to act as a current collector via carbon charge. Both the anode and the cathode cup were plunged into a liquid solution of ammonium chloride, which acted as the electrolyte. The system was called a “wet cell.”
Though Leclanche’s cell was rugged and inexpensive, it was eventually replaced by the improved “dry cell” in the 1880s. The anode became the zinc can containing the cell, and the electrolyte became a paste rather than a liquid; basically, the zinc carbon cell that is known today.
No, all Procell batteries are mercury-free.
The date appearing on Procell battery packaging is the expiration date, which represents the shelf-life. The manufacture date does not appear on Procell batteries, but can be deduced from the expiration date based on the following guidance:
Procell AA, AAA, C and D batteries have a reliable performance up to 7 years in storage. Procell 9V batteries last up to 5 years.
All batteries (alkaline, rechargeable, lithium, silver oxide, zinc air) can and should be recycled according to local guidance.
Procell alkaline batteries are composed primarily of common metals – steel, zinc, and manganese – and do not pose a health or environmental risk during normal use or disposal. We have voluntarily eliminated all of the added mercury from Procell alkaline batteries since the early 1990s, while maintaining the performance consumer’s demand.
Procell alkaline batteries are composed primarily of common metals – steel, zinc, and manganese – and do not pose a health or environmental risk during normal use or disposal. Procell has voluntarily eliminated all of the added mercury from Procell alkaline batteries since the early 1990s, while maintaining the performance consumer’s demand.
In the unlikely event that a battery is wet or covered with a white powdery substance, limit your handling of the battery. Only handle the battery as required for proper removal and disposal and immediately wash any exposed body surfaces and clothing with soap and water. If contact with the eyes occurs, immediately flush the eyes with running water for at least 15 minutes and then seek immediate medical assistance.
Although most batteries contain chemicals that won’t harm exposed skin, any direct contact with the boric acid contained in battery cells on skin should still be treated as any chemical exposure would. Always take precautions when handling exposed battery chemicals. Battery chemicals shouldn’t be placed near the eyes or ingested. Contact a physician immediately if this should occur.
Follow these tips to clean up after a battery has leaked:
- Work in a well-ventilated area.
- Wear gloves and glasses.
- Remove battery leakage from the electrical contacts uUsing a toothbrush or cotton swab, remove battery leakage from the electrical contacts.
- Make sure the electronic device is completely dry before trying a new battery.
To avoid future problems, adopt the following practices:
- Do not mix and match different battery brands in the same device.
- Remove batteries from devices that are being stored.
- To clean any leakage of the following battery types, Alkaline, NiCd and NiMH batteries, use either one tablespoon of boric acid in one gallon of water or a mixture of equal amounts of diluted vinegar or lemon juice with water (50/50 ratio).
NEVER light or dispose of batteries in a fire – they may explode, rupture, and cause safety risks.
Where to buy
If you experience any issues with your Procell batteries, please call us at:
1800 509 176