CR2020/BR2020/VL2020 Battery Replacements and Equivalents
CR2020/BR2020/VL2020 are lithium coin-cell batteries with nominal 3.0 voltage. They come in several versions: CR2020 is a manganese-dioxide lithium non-rechargeable battery, BR2020 is Carbon-monofluoride lithium non-rechargeable battery and VL2020 is a lithium rechargeable battery.
Depending on the exact chemistry, CR2020/BR2020/VL2020 are used in various applications requiring different battery features and characteristics.
Updated: May 3, 2022.
CR2020/BR2020/VL2020 are coin-cell batteries and they are 20 millimeters in diameter and 2.0 millimeters in height.
Commonly, these batteries are used in watches, car keys, remote controls, compact security devices, electronic boards, and similar.
Non-rechargeable batteries are commonly labeled as CR2020 or BR2020, chemistry dependent:
- CR2020: Their negative electrode is lithium, while the positive electrode is manganese-dioxide, their labels start with 'C' with an operating temperature range between -20°C (-4°F) and 70°C (158°F).
The nominal voltage is 3.0 V with a cutoff voltage of 2.0 V. Typical label example is 'CR2020 battery', with a typical capacity of 110-130 mAh, although there are manufacturers claiming that their CR2020 batteries feature capacities of up to 190 mAh - somehow hard to believe prior rigorous testing (IMHO, of course).
- BR2020: Their negative electrode is lithium, while their positive electrode is carbon-monofluoride, their labels start with 'B', and generally their operating temperature range is -30°C (-22°F) and 85°C (185°F).
The nominal voltage is between 2.8V (older models) and 3.0V (newer models), with a cutoff voltage between ~2.25V (older models) and 2.0V (newer models).
A typical label example is the 'BR2032 battery', with typical capacity being slightly smaller when being compared with CR2020 battery (90-110 mAh).
Note: temperature ranges for both CR2020 and BR2020 depend on the battery type and brand.
Generally, BR2020 and CR2020 are interchangeable batteries, since the slightly lower voltage of BR2020 batteries is usually not a problem - after all, the BR2020 output voltage is over time more stable than the output voltage of CR2020 battery.
For devices operating in more extreme temperatures requiring very low self-discharge batteries, BR2020 batteries are recommended batteries over CR2020 batteries.
- VL2020 batteries are 3.0 volts rechargeable lithium batteries and are commonly used in devices with automatic recharging, or they are being recharged manually.
VL2020 batteries often come in two versions: without soldering tabs and with soldering tabs.
VL2020 batteries without soldering tabs are most often being manually recharged, while VL2020 batteries with soldering tabs are soldered to a permanent position and are being automatically recharged by the devices that use them.
A typical VL2020 battery with soldering tabs is a Panasonic VL2020 battery, featuring a nominal capacity of 20.0 mAh, with a standard continuous drain current of 0.07 mAh.
Although VL2020's capacity of 20 mAh is some 5-6x smaller than the capacity of CR2020/BR2020 batteries, they can be recharged numerous times and most are being replaced due to the age, not due to the number of charging/recharging cycles.
CR2016 Battery vs CR2020 Battery vs CR2025 Battery
For some reason, CR2020 batteries are not the most common batteries on the market and some users have difficulties finding them.
Their closest battery equivalents by size are CR2016 and CR2025 batteries, which are rather common.
But, the problems are dimensions - all three batteries are 20 millimeters in diameter, but the height is different: CR2016 height is 1.6 mm, CR2020 height is 2.0 mm and CR2025 height is 2.5 mm.
If you are replacing CR2020 with CR2016 expect issues with shorter operating life (~90 mAh vs ~120 mAh), but also with contacts due to the 0.4 mm difference in height. It is possible to add thin aluminum foil between the CR2016 battery and the contacts, but this is NOT recommended (just a possibility!).
If you are replacing CR2020 with CR2025 expect a longer operating life due to the larger capacity (~120 mAh vs ~160 mAh), if the CR2025 battery can fit the CR2020 battery compartment since the CR2025 battery is 0.5 mm thicker.
This 0.5 mm difference doesn't sound much and it is usually small enough for the adult to be able to push/press (using large enough force) the CR2025 battery into the CR2020 battery compartment, but that can also cause the CR2020 battery compartment to buckle, deform or even break and to have issues with contacts.
For short, if your device uses CR2020 and it is THE ONLY battery dimension supported officially, DON'T try to use CR2016 or CR2025 batteries instead of CR2020!
CR2020/BR2020/VL2020 batteries are small, shiny objects that can attract little children and even pets.
If these and other similar batteries are swallowed, call emergency services right away and explain to them what happened. Personally, I would recommend inducing vomiting right away, but small children can have issues with vomiting 20 mm wide batteries (it is completely another story how they were able to swallow them).
Although modern CR2020/BR2020 and similar batteries don't contain toxic and heavy metals and pollutants, if such batteries get swallowed, they may cause electrolysis in the human body, causing chemical burns ...