Battery Equivalents and Replacements

AA Battery Voltage

AA batteries are some of the most common batteries used in consumer electronics, despite 18650 and similar batteries offering much more energy and power.

As such, AA batteries are present in a long list of available battery chemistries, each one offering its own pros and cons, including the voltage and capacity, leaving many people wondering what the voltage of an AA battery is.

Published: April 17, 2024.

 energizer aa battery

AA Battery Voltage Chart

AA batteries are cylindrical batteries with physical dimensions of (Diameter x Length) 14.5 x 50.5 mm (0.57 x 1.99 inches).

Thanks to their popularity, other labels are also used, some of which depend on the exact battery chemistry. These labels include U12, HP7, Penlight, Mignon, MV1500, MN1500, MX1500, Type 316, R6, LR6, FR6, 15A, 15LF, 15D, etc.

The following comparison chart lists some of the most common AA battery chemistries, including their voltages, capacities, and most common labels.

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)
Li-ion 14500 Yes 600 - 2000+ 3.6 - 3.7
LiFePO4 IFR14500 Yes 500-750 3.2
Li-SOCl2 (14505) No 2400-2700 3.5-3.6
Li-MnO2 CR AA No ~2000 3.0
Lithium - Yes 1000-2000+ 1.5
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

As one can see, the nominal voltage of a single AA battery may range from 1.2V to 3.7V, which is a huge difference, and one must be careful not to mix up cells - many devices intended to be powered by 1.2V-1.5V AA batteries would be destroyed if the batteries with much higher voltage are used.

Zinc Carbon AA Battery Voltage

Zinc Carbon is the oldest type of AA battery non-rechargeable chemistry, and it sets standards that all other batteries are trying to follow. Mostly.

The zinc-carbon AA battery's nominal voltage is 1.5V, and the cutoff voltage is 0.8V. During the discharge, the output voltage drops relatively quickly.

Since the voltage of a single zinc-carbon AA battery ranges from 0.8V to 1.5V, similarly, one can calculate the voltages of two or more AA batteries:

  • two (2) AA batteries voltage: nominal voltage 3.0V, cutoff voltage 1.6V,
  • three (3) AA batteries voltage: nominal voltage 4.5V, cutoff voltage 2.4V,
  • four (4) AA batteries voltage: nominal voltage 6V, cutoff voltage 3.2V,
  • five (5) AA batteries voltage: nominal voltage 7.5V, cutoff voltage 4.0V,
  • six (6) AA batteries voltage: nominal voltage 9.0V, cutoff voltage 4.8V, etc.

Most zinc-carbon AA batteries are phased out in favor of alkaline AA batteries, but some manufacturers still offer them, very often labeled as "Heavy Duty" AA batteries.

Alkaline AA Battery Voltage

Alkaline AA batteries are non-rechargeable batteries with a nominal voltage of 1.5V and a cutoff voltage of 0.8V. During the discharge, the voltage drops, but not as quickly as the voltage of zinc-carbon batteries.

Thanks to advancements in chemistry and technology in general, some brand-new alkaline AA batteries feature OCV (Open Circuit Voltage) above the nominal 1.5V.

For example, Duracell Quantum AA Battery (PDF Datasheet, opens in the new window) features OCV of ~1.65V - as soon as the battery is discharged, the voltage drops down to 1.5V or less.

Lithium Iron Disulfide (Li-FeS2) AA Battery Voltage

Lithium Iron Disulfide (Li-FeS2) AA batteries are non-rechargeable batteries featuring a nominal voltage of 1.5V and a cutoff voltage of 0.8V.

Li-FeS2 batteries feature excellent capacity, ultra-low self-discharge rate, wide operating temperature range, strong output currents, etc.

But, they cost a little bit more - and they are worth every (euro)cent, especially in high-drain devices, backup/emergency/security applications, EDC flashlights, and similar.

During the discharge, Li-FeS2 battery voltage is very constant, and for very low currents (for example, 1mA), it is ~1.7-1.73V. For a current of 10mA or stronger, the output voltage is ~1.5V.

One of the most popular Li-FeS2 AA batteries is the Energizer L91 Battery (datasheet PDF, opens in the new window) with a nominal capacity of 3500 mAh, 25 years storage life (again: twenty-five years storage life), and operating/storage temperature range from -40°C to +60°C.

Lithium-Ion AA Battery Voltage

14500 aa battery

Lithium-ion AA batteries are a rechargeable type of cylindrical batteries and are also labeled as 14500 batteries due to the batteries' dimensions:

  • AA battery: 14.5 x 50.5 mm,
  • 14500 battery: 14 x 53 mm.

As one can see, technically, AA batteries and 14500 batteries are not the same batteries, but due to very similar dimensions, 14500 batteries are often labeled as lithium-ion AA batteries.

Also, some manufacturers offer lithium-ion 14.5 x 50.5 mm batteries just to be sure that they may fit battery compartments intended for "true" AA batteries.

Anyway, a lithium-ion AA battery's nominal voltage is 3.6-3.7V, depending on the exact battery chemistry, with the cutoff voltage usually around 2.7-2.8V.

Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) AA Battery Voltage

shockli 14500

Everything said about lithium-ion AA batteries goes for the LiFePO4 AA batteries (also known as IFR14500 batteries), except that the nominal voltage is 3.2V and the cutoff voltage is 2.0-2.2V, model dependent.

LiFePO4 AA batteries generally store slightly less energy than lithium-ion batteries, but their much more stable chemistry supports thousands of charging/discharging cycles.

Lithium Thionyl Chloride (Li-SOCL2) AA Battery Voltage

saft ls 14500

Lithium Thionyl Chloride (Li-SOCL2) AA battery is a non-rechargeable battery chemistry featuring a nominal voltage of ~3.6 volts, OCV (Open Circuit Voltage) of ~3.65 volts, and nominal capacity of 2400-2700 mAh.

Lithium Thionyl Chloride AA battery chemistry is known for a very stable output voltage, ultra-low self-discharge rate (10-20 years shelf rate), and good energy density.

However, these batteries are not compatible with standard 1.5V AA batteries due to much higher voltage and low discharge currents - most Li-SOCL2 AA batteries feature maximum continuous output currents in the 50-300 mA range, but they perform the best with discharge currents of ≤1-10mA.

But, their output voltages are very stable.

For example, Saft LS 14500 Li-SOCL2 Battery (datasheet PDF, opens in the new window) feature:

  • ~3.25V @55mA,
  • ~3.48V @8.6mA,
  • ~3.54V @3.6mA,
  • ~3.55V @1mA.

These currents are relatively low, but most modern devices, especially those based on MOSFET and similar technologies, have very low energy requirements.

Lithium Manganese Dioxide (Li-MnO2) AA Battery Voltage

eemb limno2 battery

Lithium Manganese Dioxide (Li-MnO2) AA battery is a non-rechargeable chemistry featuring a nominal voltage of 3.0 volts, a cutoff voltage of 2.0 volts, and a typical capacity of 2000 mAh, with various labels including 14505, CR AA, and similar.

The voltage of CR AA batteries quickly drops down to 2.8V and stays very stable during the discharge. Also, some models offer a shelf life of up to, or even more than 10 years.

Due to the different voltage, CR AA batteries are not directly compatible with standard 1.5V AA batteries.

Note: some newer CR AA batteries feature OCV voltage up to 3.3V, but as soon as the load is applied, their voltage drops to 3.0V or slightly less. Also, very similar Carbon-Monofluoride Lithium AA batteries are so rare that I have yet to have one in my hands ...

Lithium 1.5V Rechargeable AA Battery Voltage

lithium 1 5V aa battery

Lithium 1.5V rechargeable AA batteries are based on either Lithium-Ion (internally ~3.7V, supports several hundreds of charging cycles) or Lithium Iron Phosphate (internally 3.2V, supports several thousands of charging cycles) chemistry and a DC-to-DC step-down converter that ensures a very constant voltage output of 1.5V.

As such, these batteries are directly compatible with standard 1.5V AA batteries, just be sure that the maximum output current of your lithium 1.5V battery is strong enough for your device.

sorbo usb litihum

Charging methods of these batteries differ, but mostly, they are charged either using USB cables or they can be directly plugged into the USB charging ports.

NiCd AA Battery Voltage

tenergy nicd aa battery

Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) batteries are rechargeable AA batteries that feature a nominal voltage of 1.2V and a cutoff voltage of 1.0V, although due to the sharp voltage drop, it is often recommended to stop discharging them @1.1V.

Many modern NiCd batteries feature an OCV voltage of 1.3-1.35V, but as soon as the load is applied, the voltage drops to 1.2V or somewhat less.

Note: due to the cadmium content, memory effect, lower number of charging/discharging cycles, etc, NiCd batteries are being phased out in favor of NiMH and lithium AA batteries, but they are cheap, reliable and can provide huge currents.

NiMH AA Battery Voltage

eneloop pro aa

In many ways, Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) AA batteries behave similarly to NiCd AA batteries - they also feature a nominal voltage of 1.2V and a cutoff voltage of 1.0V.

However, the OCV of modern NIMH batteries may go up to 1.4V, and their voltage discharge graph is flatter.

Also, NiMH batteries support larger number of charging/discharging cycles, have larger capacity (especially low-drain models), don't contain cadmium or mercury, don't feature (so strong) memory effect, etc.

But, for many cheaper tools and toys, requiring really strong currents, some manufacturers still choose NiCd batteries.

Nickel Oxy-Hydroxide (NiOOH) AA Battery Voltage

NiOOH or Nickel Oxy-Hydroxide battery is a type of alkaline AA battery where Nickel Oxy-Hydroxide (NiOOH) is added to the Manganese Dioxide (MnO2) and graphite (Carbon "C") for the cathode, leading to the 1.5V high-drain voltage and 1.7V nominal voltage.

Nickel Oxy-Hydroxide AA batteries have a very similar capacity to standard alkaline batteries, but they can be drained using stronger currents and are often used in high-drain devices like cameras and similar.

Nickel Zinc (NiZn) AA Battery Voltage

Nickel-Zinc batteries are very similar to Nickel-Cadmium batteries, except that they have higher voltage - nominal voltage up to 1.60-1.65V, OCV up to 1.80-1.85V, cutoff voltage of 1.0V, although at 1.2V there is a strong voltage drop.

They are both excellent in high-drain applications, but NiZn batteries support a very low number of charging/discharging cycles, 30-50, with some models claiming up to 100 (or even more), but that sounds very optimistic.

Since the NiCd batteries contain cadmium, NiZn batteries are investigated (and still being developed) for tools and similar applications requiring very strong currents from relatively small and lightweight battery packs.

Long Story Short: AA batteries are a very common type of battery, with dimensions of 14.5 × 50.5 mm (0.57 × 1.99 inches). Their most important types are:

  • Alkaline: non-rechargeable, 1.5V nominal voltage, general purpose,
  • Li-FeS2: non-rechargeable, 1.5V nominal voltage, high-capacity, high-drain use,
  • NiMH: rechargeable, 1.2V nominal voltage,
  • Li-ion (14500): rechargeable, 3.6 - 3.7V nominal voltage.

Again, if unsure, when buying new batteries, always go for the same battery type.

Need new AA batteries? Then, feel free to check the AA Batteries Amazon link (the link opens in the new window).