1.5 Volt Battery: The Ultimate Guide
1.5 Volt batteries are some of the most popular batteries on the market, ranging in size from tiny button/coin cell batteries to large, heavy-duty cylindrical batteries.
Thanks to their popularity, practically all battery brands offer them - 1.5V batteries thus differ in chemistry, size, type, intended use, etc.
Published: January 28, 2023.
1.5V Batteries Chemistries
1.5V batteries come in several different chemistries, as shown in the next comparison chart showing typical AA battery 1.5V chemistries:
|Chemistry||Common Name||Rechargeable||Typical Capacity (mAh)||Voltage (V)
|Zinc Carbon||R6, 15D||No||600 - 1600||1.5|
|Alkaline||LR6, 15A||No (Mostly No)||1800 - 2700||1.5|
|Li-FeS2||FR6, 15LF||No||2700 - 3300||1.5 (1.8 max)|
|NiCd||KR6, 1.2K2||Yes||600 - 1200||1.2|
|NiMH||HR6, 1.2H2||Yes||700 - 2800||1.2|
|NiOOH||-||No||2200 - 2700||1.5 (1.7 max)|
|NiZn||ZR6||Yes||1500 - 1800||1.6 - 1.65|
Note: AA and other cylindrical batteries are also offered as rechargeable and non-rechargeable 3.0 - 3.7V batteries, but they are out of the scope of this article - for more information, feel free to check our AA Batteries - Size, Types, and Equivalents article.
Next to these chemistries, one also has to mention Silver Oxide, Zinc Air, and Mercury Oxide chemistries, which are used practically only for button/coin cell batteries.
Note: Due to the mercury content, Mercury Oxide batteries are no longer in use.
Zinc Carbon Batteries
Zinc carbon batteries are non-rechargeable batteries, and they are one of the oldest battery chemistries in use.
The nominal voltage is 1.5V, while the cutoff voltage is usually in the 0.8-1.0V range, and it depends on the device being used as well.
Their standard electrolyte is Ammonium Chloride (NH4Cl), which is replaced in "heavy-duty" versions with Zinch Chloride (ZnCl2).
Zinc Carbon batteries are typically used in cylindrical batteries (1.5V) but also for batteries consisting of three cells (4.5V), four cells (6V), and six cells (9V) connected in series.
Zinc Carbon batteries are cheap and reliable batteries, but they tend to leak even when not in use, have relatively short storage life, and generally lower capacity when compared with Alkaline batteries. Also, their voltage drops quickly.
Alkaline batteries (Zinc-Mangane Dioxide, with Potassium Hydroxide or similar electrolyte) are generally non-rechargeable batteries featuring a nominal voltage of 1.5V and a cutoff voltage of 0.9-1.0V.
When compared with Zinc Carbon batteries, alkaline batteries feature longer shelf life, higher capacity, larger energy density, and they don't leak as easily as Zinc Carbon batteries.
Alkaline batteries are used for both cylindrical and button/coin cell batteries.
Although they offer many advantages over Zinc Carbon batteries, Alkaline batteries' voltage also starts to drop quickly when the battery is discharged.
Silver Oxide Batteries
Silver oxide batteries are non-rechargeable batteries with a nominal voltage of 1.55V and a cutoff voltage of 1.2V.
During the discharge, voltage is very constant, making these batteries suitable for powering sensitive instruments and devices.
Also, when compared with Alkaline batteries, Silver Oxide batteries have a longer shelf life, higher capacity, are almost leak-proof, etc.
But, Silver Oxide batteries are also more expensive than Alkaline batteries and are used practically only for button/coin cell batteries.
Zinc Air Batteries
Zinc Air batteries are non-rechargeable batteries with a nominal voltage of 1.4-1.45V and a cutoff voltage of 1.05-1.1V.
When compared with Alkaline and Silver-Oxide batteries, Zinc Air batteries have much higher capacity. However, Zinc Air batteries have a wet electrolyte that dries over time - when the electrolyte is dry, the battery is dead, regardless if the battery is discharged or not.
That's the reason why Zinc Air batteries are used almost exclusively in hearing-aid devices - they are activated by removing the protective foil, letting the air into the battery. After a few minutes, the battery is ready for use.
The actual operating time of Zinc Air batteries depends on the local temperature and humidity, but when they are stored (not activated), they may last 3-4 years.
Mercury Oxide Batteries
Mercury Oxide batteries feature a somewhat lower nominal voltage of 1.35V and a cutoff voltage of 1.1V and a larger capacity than Alkaline batteries.
Due to the stable output voltage, Mercury Oxide batteries were used in various sensitive instruments, but due to the Mercury content, they are not in use anymore.
AG13/LR44/SR44/SR44SW/357 Battery Chemistries Comparison Chart
The following comparison chart list features and specifications of the button/coin 11.6 x 5.4 mm cell batteries (AG13, LR44, SR44, SR44W, 357):
|Notes||Voltage drops over time||Very constant voltage||Slightly lower voltage, large capacity;
mostly used as hearing aid batteries
|Slightly lower voltage, contains mercury;
not in use anymore
|Typical Labels||LR44, 76A, AG13, LR1154, A76, L1154||SR44W, SR44, SR44SW, 157, 357, 303, SG13, AG13, S76, A76, SR1154||675, Blue Tab, ZA675, PR44, 7003ZD||MR44, MR1154|
|Typical Capacity||110-130 mAh||150-200 mAh||600-700 mAh||180-200 mAh|
|Amazon Link||LR44 AG13 Battery||SR44 357 Battery||PR44 Battery||No longer in use.|
Note: Amazon affiliate links open in the new windows; feel free to check them for the latest offers and prices.
Lithium Iron Disulfide (Li-FeS2) Batteries
Lithium Iron Disulfide (Li-FeS2) batteries are non-rechargeable batteries featuring excellent capacity and a very long shelf life, up to 20 years.
Their nominal voltage is ~1.8V, but when they are under load, the voltage drops quickly to 1.5V.
Li-FeS2 batteries are often used in photo/video equipment, flashlights, alarms, medical devices, and similar.
Obviously, they are not the cheapest battery chemistry.
Lithium Ion Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable battery chemistry with a nominal voltage of 3.2-3.7V, depending on the exact chemistry - due to their voltage, this battery chemistry should NOT be on our list.
But, some brands offer 1.5V lithium-ion batteries with DC-to-DC converters with USB charging ports.
Because of the very stable output voltage of 1.5V, such lithium-ion batteries are compatible with other 1.5V batteries.
Note: never use a lithium-ion battery without a proper 1.5V DC-to-DC converter instead of standard 1.5V batteries - the voltage difference will most probably destroy the device.
Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) Batteries
Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) are rechargeable batteries with a nominal voltage of 1.2V. Although NiCd batteries have a nominal voltage of some 0.3V lower than the typical 1.5V battery, most devices that work well with Zinc Carbon and Alkaline batteries can be powered with NiCd batteries.
NiCd batteries support several hundred charging/discharging cycles and can provide very strong currents.
But, due to the very strong memory effect, lower capacity, relatively high self-discharger rate, and environmental impact due to the Cadmium content, NiCd batteries are being phased out in favor of NiMH and Lithium batteries.
Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries
Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries are similar to NiCd batteries - they both feature a nominal voltage of 1.2V and can be used instead of Zinc Carbon, and Alkaline batteries.
However, NiMH batteries support a much larger number of charging/discharging cycles, have no memory effect, have a very low self-discharge rate, and don't contain cadmium and other heavy metals and toxic pollutants, etc.
Nickel Oxy-Hydroxide battery (NiOOH) Batteries
NiOOH or Nickel Oxy-Hydroxide battery chemistry is a variety of non-rechargeable alkaline battery chemistry where Nickel Oxyhydroxide is added to the Manganese Dioxide (MnO2) and graphite, leading to a maximum voltage of 1.7V and a typical voltage of 1.5V during high drain discharges.
NiOOH batteries are often used in high-drain devices like photo/video equipment and similar.
Nickel Zinc (NiZn) Batteries
Nickel Zinc (NiZn) batteries are similar to NiCd batteries, but they don't contain cadmium and have a higher nominal voltage of 1.6-1.65V.
NiZn can provide high discharge currents, but they also feature relatively large self-discharge rate.
Types and Sizes of 1.5V Batteries
1.5-volt batteries are typically button/coin cell batteries and cylindrical batteries.
Button/Coin Cell Batteries
The most popular 1.5V button/coin cell batteries include (batteries are ordered according to the size):
- Silver Oxide: SR621, SR621SW, SR60, 164, 364, SG1
- Alkaline: LR621, LR60, AG1
- Silver Oxide: SR626, SR626SW, SR66, 177, 376, 377, SG4
- Alkaline: LR626, LR66, AG4
- Silver Oxide: SR41, SR736, SR736PW, SR736SW, SG3, AG3, 192, 384, 392
- Alkaline: LR41, LR736, AG3
- Zinc Air: 312, ZA312, Brown Tab, PR41, 7002ZD
- Silver Oxide: SR1130W, SR1130SW, SR1130PW, SR1131, SR54, 189, 387, 389, 390
- Alkaline: LR1130, LR1131, LR54, V10GA, AG10
- Silver Oxide: SR44W, SR44, SR44SW, 157, 357, 303, SG13, AG13, S76, A76, SR1154
- Alkaline: LR44, 76A, AG13, LR1154, A76
- Zinc Air: 675, Blue Tab, ZA675, PR44, 7003ZD
The most popular 1.5V cylindrical batteries include (batteries are ordered according to the size):
- 8.3 x 42.5 mm battery: AAAA, MX2500, Mini, LR8D425, 25A, LR61
- 10.5 x 44.5 mm battery: AAA, MN2400, MX2400, Micro, LR03, R03
- 14.5 x 50.5 mm battery: AA, MN1500, MX1500, LR6, R6, 15A, 15D
- 26.2 x 50.0 mm battery: C, MN1400, MX1400, 343, U11, LR14, R14, 14A, 14D, E93
- 34.2 x 61.5 mm battery: D, MN1300, MX1300, LR20, R20, 13A, 13D, Type 373, BA-30
Of course, the list is much longer, but these sizes are the most popular cylindrical 1.5V batteries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about 1.5-volt batteries:
Is a 1.5 V battery the same as AA?
No, 1.5V batteries come in various sizes, shapes, and chemistries. Also, AA battery voltage ranges from 1.2 to 3.7V, chemistry dependent.
However, a typical AA battery is a Zinc Carbon or Alkaline battery that features 1.5V.
What is a 1.5-volt battery called?
Numerous batteries feature 1.5V voltage, varying in shape, size, and chemistry.
If unsure, measure your battery and find it on our Home Page.
Is 1.5 V the same as a C battery?
Alkaline and Zinc Carbon C/LR14 battery feature a nominal voltage of 1.5 volts. But, C/LR14 batteries may also have other voltages, depending on their chemistry.
Also, many other batteries may have a nominal voltage of 1.5V.
Are 1.5 V batteries AA or AAA?
Alkaline and Carbon Zinc AA and AAA batteries are 1.5V batteries, but AA and AAA batteries may have a nominal voltage in the 1.2 to 3.7V range.
Are all Triple A batteries 1.5 volts?
Not, not all Triple A (AAA) batteries have 1.5 volts nominal voltage.
How do you know if a battery is AA or AAA?
Read what's written on the battery.
Or, measure its size; AAA batteries are 10.5 x 44.5 mm batteries, while AA batteries are 14.5 x 50.5 mm in size (diameter x length).
Few Final Words
Modern batteries are made with zero mercury content to make them as environmentally friendly as possible.
However, they should not be thrown in the garbage with general waste - most stores that sell electronics (batteries included) also accept old batteries and send them to recycling.
1.5V batteries are still very popular and are used practically everywhere - and when they die, recycle them properly.
Note: when looking for a new battery, be sure that the new battery is of the exact size and chemistry as your old one. Better safe than sorry.