AA cells are the most common type of single-use battery, and although
the use of rechargeables is increasing, single-use batteries are still
more commonly used. Because of the huge range of battery brands and types
(the chemistry used) it is useful consumer information to know how well
common brands will perform.
Cells are tested at one of the following currents.
100mA - low currrent device such as a radio.
400mA - medium current device such as an electric shaver.
700mA - high current device such as a bright torch.
1,000mA - very high current device such as a digital camera.
Cost effectiveness for cells is a figure for each test current, calculated
by assigning 100% to the cell at that discharge rate with the best cost
performance. A cell that performs half as well but costs only half as
much will also get 100%, but it should be noted will be more hassle due
to having to change twice as often, will create twice as much landfill,
Cells are in price order.
Price per cell
Tested capacity @ 100mA
Tested capacity @ 400mA
Tested capacity @ 700mA
Tested capacity @ 1,000mA
Rocket Heavy Duty
Eveready Heavy Duty
Energizer e2 Advanced
Eveready Heavy Duty - I'm underwhelmed. At 55 cents per cell
these didn't do well.
Rocket Heavy Duty - Wasn't expecting great performance, but
they did better than the "reputable" Eveready cells, and at
two thirds of the Eveready price, make much better value for money.
They really don't last long though.
Energizer Max alkaline - Kept its voltage well compared to the
e2 and came out significantly more cost effective
than that cell even at high current.
Energizer e2 Advanced alkaline - At 1000mA current it kept going
the longest of the tested primary cells (at a cost, though).
Eveready Heavy Duty - 1.627V straight from packet.
Discharge @ 700mA, 51 min first run, 80 minutes total over four
Rocket Heavy Duty - Pak 'n Save's inexpensive brand. 1.643V
straight from packet.
Discharge @ 400mA, 143 minutes total over four runs.
Discharge @ 700mA, 79 min first run, 131 minutes total over four
Digitor Exxtra Alkaline - An old version of Dick Smith
Electronics' house brand, a short shelf life may drag these cells down
compared to the DSE branded cells.
DSE Exxtra Alkaline - A newer version of Dick Smith Electronics'
Energizer Max alkaline - 1.629V straight from packet, best before
2014 (7 years away at time of testing).
Discharge @ 1000mA: Initial run 76 minutes or 1161mAh. Recovered
to 1.34V after one hour resting. Second run just 12 seconds, 2mAh.
Total 1163mAh over two runs.
Energizer e2 Advanced alkaline - 1.613V straight
from packet, best before 2014 (7 years away at time of testing).
Discharge @ 1000mA: Initial run 87.5 minutes or 1321mAh. Recovered
to 1.33V after one hour resting. Second run 1.5 minutes, 21mAh. Total
1342mAh over two runs.
Proposed testing procedure is as follows, designed to produce reasonably
relevant results for real-world uses such as torches or digital cameras.
Cells are discharged in one continuous burst at one of the test currents
mentioned above (90% duty cycle). Discharge is terminated when loaded
voltage reaches 0.9V.
Cells are rested and repeat runs are made after a suitable rest.
Discharge rates are nominal; the MH-C9000 integrates the total mAh based
on the actual current.
Since the MH-C9000 is designed for rechargeable cells it terminates discharge
at 0.9V under load. This leaves some capacity in the cells, which means
that these results cannot be taken as conclusive evidence of how much
each cell holds, but should give a good indication of how well these batteries
compare to each other.