CR-V3, CRV3, ELCRV3, RLCRV3 Battery Equivalents and Replacements
CR-V3, CRV3, ELCRV3, RLCRV3 is very popular, high-capacity single-cell lithium or lithium-ion battery, often used in high-drain devices and appliances, like flashlights, photo cameras, toys and similar.
CR-V3 is flat, rectangular battery 52.2 mm in height, 28.05 mm in width and 14.15 mm in depth and is physically very similar to two AA (R6) batteries side-by-side.
Most common label for this battery is CR-V3 or CRV3, but other labels are used as well like ELCRV3, RLCRV3, 5047LC, 5047LF, KCRV3, LB-01 etc. But, most popular brands generally use either CR-V3 or CRV3 labels, sometimes combined with other labels as well.
CR-V3 batteries features and specifications depend on the exact battery chemistry.
Non-Rechargeable CR-V3 Batteries
Non-rechargeable CR-V3 batteries are most common CR-V3 batteries. Their negative electrode is lithium, while positive electrode is made of manganese-dioxide.
Manganese-dioxide lithium CR-V3 batteries feature operating temperature range between -20°C (-4°F) and 60°C (140°F), although there are models with wider operating temperature.
Their nominal voltage is 3.0 V, with open-circuit voltage being somewhat higher than that (model dependent). Cutoff voltage is 2.0 V, while capacity depends on the load used for capacity measurement and is in the 2500-3700 mAh range.
CR-V3 batteries from reputable brands feature shelf life up to 10 years.
Rechargeable CR-V3 Batteries - RCR-V3 vs CR-V3 Batteries
Rechargeable CR-V3 batteries are commonly labeled as RCR-V3 and are based on lithium-ion chemistry.
RCR-V3 batteries are not as common as non-rechargeable CR-V3 batteries for many reasons, including voltage difference (3.0 volts vs 3.6-3.7 volts) and smaller capacity (3.0 Ah vs 1.7-2.1 Ah). Also, while some CR-V3 batteries have shelf life of 10+ years (they still have at least 90% of their initial capacity after 10 years), RCR-V3 batteries have shelf life of few months, after which, they must be recharged again.
But, RCR-V3 batteries may be recharged 300-500+ times, and they may potentially save a lot of money.
Since RCR-V3 batteries are required to provide relatively large currents, they are commonly made using Lithium Manganese Oxide (LiMn204, 'IMR' lithium ion batteries) or Lithium Manganese Nickel (LiNiMnCoO2, 'INR' lithium ion batteries) chemistries - these batteries feature nominal voltage of 3.6-3.7 volts, maximum charging voltage of 4.2 volts and can be recharged 300-1000 times, sometimes even more, depending on the battery load and use.
Some RCR-V3 batteries are made using Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4, 'IFR' lithium ion batteries) chemistry. Such RCR-V3 batteries feature nominal voltage of 3.2-3.3 volts with maximum charging voltage of ~3.7 volts. Although lithium iron phosphate batteries are not able to provide as large currents as IMR and INR batteries, their nominal voltage is much closer to the nominal voltage of non-rechargeable CR-V3 batteries (3.0 vs 3.2-3.3 volts).
Other chemistries like Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LiCoO2, 'ICR' lithium ion battery) are rarely used for high-drain devices, but hybrid technologies like Lithium Nickel Cobalt Oxide (LiNiCoO2), Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (LiNiCoAlO2) and similar, have potential to increase both safety, capacity, number of charging and discharging cycles and output current. But, it still remains to be seen, at least regarding RCR-V3 batteries.
Note: due to the voltage difference between CR-V3 and RCR-V3, unless the device explicitly allows the use of both batteries, CR-V3 and RCR-V3 batteries are not interchangeable. Better safe than sorry. Also, some manufacturers offer RCR-V3 batteries with modified chemistry providing 3.0 volts (lithium-aluminum anode, for example) or the batteries feature Battery Management System (BMS) that ensures output voltage of 3.0 volts.
CR-V3 vs AA (R6) Batteries
Physically CR-V3 are very similar to a pair of AA (R6) batteries: 52.2 x 28.05 x 14.15 mm vs. 50.5 x 14.5 mm (x2).
Because of that, many devices may be powered by either CR-V3 or AA batteries. Since lithium CR-V3 batteries pack much more energy than a pair of AA batteries, devices operated via CR-V3 batteries feature longer operating time.
For example, typical features of AA batteries depending on their chemistry are:
- zinc-carbon, non-rechargeable, 600-1600 mAh, 1.5 volts,
- alkaline, non-rechargeable, 1800-2700 mAh, 1.5 volts,
- NiCd, rechargeable, 600-1000 mAh, 1.2 volts,
- NiMH, rechargeable, 700-2800 mAh, 1.2 volts,
- Li-ion (14500), rechargeable, 600-2000+, 3.6-3.7 volts.
Note: AA (R6) batteries are very popular batteries, differing in chemistry, capacity, voltage, and other features. For more information about these batteries, check our AA Batteries - Size, Types and Equivalents article.
Features and specifications of most popular CR-V3 batteries are given in the following chart:
|Duracell CR-V3||2700 mAh||-||Duracell Ultra|
|Energizer CR-V3||3000 mAh||100 Ω, 21°C, down to 2.0 volts||Energizer ELCRV3|
|Panasonic CR-V3||3300 mAh||continuous drain 200 mA||Panasonic CR-V3|
|Rayovac RLCRV3||3700 mAh||200 Ω, 20°C, down to 2.0 volts||Rayovac RLCRV3|
|Sanyo CR-V3||3700 mAh||-||-|
|Sony CR-V3||3300 mAh||-||-|
As one can see, a pair of zinc-carbon AA batteries connected in series features 3.0 volts and capacity of 600-1600 mAh, while a pair of alkaline batteries features 3.0 volts and capacity of 1800-2700 mAh.
However, high-capacity zinc-carbon and alkaline AA batteries are commonly low-drain batteries, not intended for photo cameras and similar.
A pair of NiCd and NiMH batteries connected in series offer capacity of 600-1000 mAh (NiCd) and 700-2800 mAh (NiMH). Their nominal voltage of 2.4 volts is commonly not a problem, since devices designed to be powered with CR-V3 batteries operate properly with 2.0-3.0 voltages.
However, NiCd AA batteries feature very low capacity and they are not environment friendly, while high-capacity NiMH batteries are commonly not the best performers when being drained with large currents.
Lithium ion AA battery (14500 battery) capacity depends on the intended drain, but a pair of these have nominal voltage of 7.2 - 7.4 volts and can easily damage device intended to be powered via single-cell CR-V3 battery.
For short: if you have a photo camera, a flashlight, a toy or any similar device intended to be powered with one or more CR-V3 batteries, go for CR-V3 batteries from reputable brands.
While CR-V3 batteries may be replaced with a pair of AA batteries featuring 1.2-1.5 volts per cell, such batteries in most cases have smaller capacity than a single CR-V3 battery.
RCR-V3 are not yet commonly accepted on the market, but things change over time and more and more RCR-V3 batteries are replacing CR-V3 batteries, especially in the devices used on a daily basis.
For a standby and Every-Day-Carry (EDC) devices, CR-V3 batteries are still by far the best option.