N-Cell/E90 Battery Replacement
N-cell/E90 battery is a cylindrical battery mostly used in Bluetooth headsets, glucose and blood pressure monitors, remote keys, compact LED flashlights, dog collars, and similar.
Although the most common N-cell/E90 battery chemistry is alkaline, there are several variations and even other chemistries used, with each having somewhat different discharge characteristics. Also, there are several standard battery sizes that are very similar to N-cell/E90 batteries, but they are far from being compatible.
Published: November 6, 2021.
N-Cell/E90 Battery Features and Replacements
N-cell/E90 battery features physical dimensions of (D x H) 12.0 x 30.2 mm (~0.472 x 1.189 inches) and a nominal voltage of 1.5 volts, cutoff voltage of 0.9 volts, and capacity of 300-1000 mAh.
However, both nominal voltage and capacity depend on the exact battery chemistry.
The most common labels used for N-cell/E90 battery include MN9100, LR1, R1, 910A, 910D, HR1, KR1, UM-5, UM5, etc.
All these batteries are cylindrical 12.0 x 30.2 mm batteries with a nominal voltage of 1.5 volts unless stated otherwise.
N-Cell/E90 Battery Chemistries
The following comparison table lists some of the most common N-cell/E90 battery chemistries with their most important features and specifications:
The most common N-cell/E90 batteries today are alkaline N-cell/E90 batteries thanks to their good capacity, broad temperature operating range, relatively low-self discharge rate, and affordable price.
Mercury oxide N-cell/E90 batteries are not being manufactured anymore due to the mercury content.
Mercury oxide N-cell/E90 batteries had a nominal voltage of 1.35 volts and a capacity of 1200-1500 mAh.
They have been completely phased out and are not in use anymore.
Zinc Carbon N-cell/E90 batteries are the oldest type of N-cell/E90 batteries. They feature a nominal voltage of 1.5 volts, a capacity of 300-500 mAh, and a relatively short shelf-life.
Also, zinc-carbon batteries are almost always in danger of leaking the electrolyte, even when not in use.
But, due to their price and reliability, zinc-carbon N-cell/E90 batteries can still be found on the market.
Personally, if You are in a position to choose between zinc-carbon and alkaline battery, always go for an alkaline battery.
Alkaline N-cell/E90 batteries are the most common N-cell/E90 batteries on the market - they feature shelf life of 3-5 years, a nominal voltage of 1.5V, a cutoff voltage of 1.0-0.9 volts (although some brands claim 0.8 volts, that also depends on the cutoff voltage of the used device), and nominal capacity of up to 1000 mAh.
Actual capacity depends on the battery age, temperature, and discharge conditions.
For example, many N-cell/E90 batteries are used in "pulse" applications - the battery must provide a short but relatively strong current pulse, after which the battery is not being used sometimes for days, weeks, or even months.
On the other hand, some N-cell/E90 batteries are used on a daily basis, where they are required to provide small currents over longer periods of time.
If You are unsure, which N-cell/E90 battery to buy, always go for an alkaline N-cell/E90 battery from reputable brands.
Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) N-cell/E90 batteries are rechargeable batteries featuring nominal voltage of 1.2-1.25 volts and a nominal capacity of 200-500 mAh.
Although they contain toxic cadmium, NiCd N-cell/E90 batteries may still be found on the market - they are able to provide very strong currents and can be recharged several hundred times.
Note: NiCd N-cell/E90 batteries feature a very strong memory effect and should periodically be discharged completely. Also, they feature a relatively strong self-discharge rate.
NiCd N-cell/E90 batteries are being phased out by NiMH N-cell/E90 batteries.
Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) N-cell/E90 batteries are rechargeable batteries featuring a nominal voltage of 1.2-1.25 volts and a nominal capacity of 350-700 mAh.
NiMH N-cell/E90 batteries tolerate up to or even more than 1000 charging/discharging cycles with some models having a very low self-discharge rate, allowing them to retain up to 75% of their nominal charge after 3 years.
Also, unlike NiCd N-cell/E90 batteries, NiMH N-cell/E90 batteries don't feature memory effect and are environment-friendly batteries, since they don't contain mercury, cadmium, or any other heavy/toxic element.
For devices that use N-cell/E90 batteries and are used on a daily basis, draining their batteries quickly, rechargeable NiMH N-cell/E90 batteries can save a lot of money.
Note: Amazon link opens in the new window, feel free to check it for the most up-to-date offers and prices.
N-Cell/E90 Battery Examples
N-cell/E90 batteries are being manufactured by many reputable battery brands - when choosing "the best" one, always look for models with the best reviews by many users.
Here are several examples, in alphabetic order:
Duracell N (MN 9100, LR1) Battery
Duracell N battery is a non-rechargeable alkaline battery featuring a nominal voltage of 1.5V and an operating temperature range of -20°C to +54°C.
Actual capacity depends on the discharge conditions. For example:
- when the battery is discharged over 5.1Ω load at room temperature down to 0.9 volts, the battery features a service life of ~2.5 hours,
- when the battery is discharged over 300Ω load at room temperature down to 0.9 volts, the battery features a service life of ~210 hours,
- when the battery is discharged over 1000Ω load at room temperature down to 0.9 volts, the battery features a service life of ~790 hours,
As the temperature drops, the service life gets shorter.
For more info about this battery, feel free to check the Duracell B Battery Datasheet (PDF) (link opens in the new window).
Energizer N/E90 Battery
Energizer N/E90 battery is a non-rechargeable alkaline battery featuring a nominal voltage of 1.5V and a nominal capacity of 900 mAh when the battery is being discharged @21°C down to 0.8 volts at a rate of 10 mA.
Actual capacity depends on the discharge rate, and with the increase of current, actual capacity drops:
- ~900 mAh: 10 mA, down to 0.8V @21°C,
- ~850 mAh: 25 mA, down to 0.8V @21°C,
- ~600 mAh: 100 mA, down to 0.8V @21°C,
- ~350 mAh: 200 mA, down to 0.8V @21°C.
Energizer N/E90 battery features a temperature range of -18°C to 55°C and has a shelf life of up to 5 years.
For more info about this battery, feel free to check the Energizer N/E90 Battery Datasheet (PDF) (link opens in the new window).
Again, there are other reputable battery brands on the market that manufacture very fine N/E90 batteries.
N/E90 Batteries Frequently Asked Questions - N/E90 Batteries FAQ
Here are some of the most popular Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about N/E90 batteries:
Is the A23 battery the same as the N battery?
No, they are not.
The A23 battery features physical dimensions of 10.3 x 28.5 mm, while the N battery features physical dimensions of 12.0 x 30.2 mm and although they have very similar dimensions, the A23 battery features a nominal voltage of 12 volts, and the N battery features a nominal voltage of 1.5V.
What is the voltage of an E90 battery?
The nominal voltage of the N/E90 battery is 1.5 volts and it drops during use down to 0.9-1.0 volts, although some devices tolerate voltages down to 0.8 volts.
What battery is equivalent to E90? What battery replaces N battery?
N/E90 battery equivalents are batteries that feature nominal voltage in the 1.2-1.5V range and feature physical dimensions of 12.0 x 30.2 mm.
Such batteries are commonly labeled as N-cell or E90 batteries, but also as MN9100, LR1, R1, 910A, 910D, HR1, KR1, UM-5, UM5, etc.
What are size N batteries used for?
N/E90 batteries are commonly used for powering Bluetooth headsets, glucose and blood pressure monitors, remote keys, compact LED flashlights, dog collars, wearable electronics, game controllers, etc.
Is E90 the same as LR1? What is an LR1 battery?
Yes and No. LR1 is an alkaline E90 battery, while E90 battery can be an alkaline, zinc-carbon, NiCd, and NiMH battery.
Are AA and N/E90 batteries equivalent batteries?
AA batteries feature physical dimensions of 14.5 x 50.5 mm, while N/E90 batteries feature physical dimensions of 12.0 x 30.2 mm.
Due to the physical difference, AA and N/E90 batteries are not directly compatible.
However, some devices, mostly medical devices designed for AA batteries also feature a small battery holder that accepts N/E90 battery, allowing the user to use either AA or N/E90 battery/batteries to power such devices.
Personally, due to the larger volume, AA batteries feature larger capacity when compared with N/E90 batteries and are easier to find, since they are much more common than N/E90 batteries.
Long Story Short: When looking for new N/E90 batteries, go for either:
- non-rechargeable alkaline cylindrical 12.0 x 30.2 mm battery, or
- rechargeable NiMH cylindrical 12.0 x 30.2 mm battery.
Zinc-carbon non-rechargeable batteries feature lower capacity, shorter shelflife, and may eventually leak.
Also, NiCd batteries are toxic to the environment and suffer from a strong memory effect.
Although both alkaline and NiMH batteries are environment-friendly batteries, when they die, they have to be recycled properly.