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Thread: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

  1. #1
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    Default Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    I just happened to come across a 4-pack of Energizer C-cell alkaline batts in my junk drawer. This is a cell size I almost NEVER use, so I was about to recycle them when I noticed the "best used by" date: Dec. 1999.

    Just out of curiosity, I put them on my ZTS MBT-1, and lo and behold they all tested 100%.

    I for one was surprised to find they held up so well 9 years past their stamped date. Does anyone know if this is typical?

    John

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* Sgt. LED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    WOW somebody was doing a good job at the factory that day!

    I wonder if they are more likley to ooze now?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    I'm using a Duracell "Best if installed by Jan 2002" in my Arc right now.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    photonhoer, I'm not familiar with the ZTS testers, how do they work?
    I wonder how the ZTS's circuitry comes up with a percentage value, is it simply a voltage reading, converted into a percentage?


    I use a DMM, and most brand new Alk. cells read higher than the label. For example, I bought a Leatherman Blast/Fenix L1Tv2 combo at Costo recently. The Duracell AA that came in the package read 1.65V., and I've had Energizer AAA lithiums read as high as 1.9V.
    I'd rather have a flashlight in front of me than a "frontal flashlightomy"!

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    Flashaholic* Black Rose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    Quote Originally Posted by naked2 View Post
    I use a DMM, and most brand new Alk. cells read higher than the label. For example, I bought a Leatherman Blast/Fenix L1Tv2 combo at Costo recently. The Duracell AA that came in the package read 1.65V., and I've had Energizer AAA lithiums read as high as 1.9V.
    Are those measurements with a load or without?

    The DMM I use has a battery tester that puts a load oon the battery to get the voltage.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Rose View Post
    Are those measurements with a load or without?

    The DMM I use has a battery tester that puts a load oon the battery to get the voltage.
    No load; mine doesn't have that setting. Does yours put the same load on any cell, regardless of voltage, capacity, or chemistry?
    I'd rather have a flashlight in front of me than a "frontal flashlightomy"!

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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    Quote Originally Posted by naked2 View Post
    No load; mine doesn't have that setting. Does yours put the same load on any cell, regardless of voltage, capacity, or chemistry?
    It has a 1.5V and 9V setting for the battery tester.

    I only use it on alkaline, NiMh, and Energizer L91/L92 lithium cells and set it for 1.5V.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    Quote Originally Posted by naked2 View Post
    I bought a Leatherman Blast/Fenix L1Tv2 combo at Costo recently.
    They're selling Fenix at Costco now? That'd be good news...

    - FITP
    Obscenely bright or unbelievably tiny are my weaknesses...

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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    Quote Originally Posted by FlashInThePan View Post
    They're selling Fenix at Costco now? That'd be good news...

    - FITP
    The flashlight has been re-branded as Leatherman, but since I own one, I can confirm it is in fact a L1Tv2! So as not to take away from the OP, instead of discussing it here, there's this thread on CPFMP about it.
    I'd rather have a flashlight in front of me than a "frontal flashlightomy"!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    I am guessing the C cell was before the capacity race came about and had sturdier components making for lower self discharge and that with starting at perhap 1.57v it probably was at 1.49v when you got it out which is still good on testers. C and D cells 1.45v and above have perhaps 90% capacity left I would guess.
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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    I am guessing the C cell was before the capacity race came about and had sturdier components making for lower self discharge and that with starting at perhap 1.57v it probably was at 1.49v when you got it out which is still good on testers. C and D cells 1.45v and above have perhaps 90% capacity left I would guess.
    Thanks, I appreciate the on-topic reply.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    I found a couple of old alkaline Energizer batteries that expired in 2000. Somehow, the indicator on the battery reads almost full.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    the problem these days is not having batteries last long in storage but having them LEAK.... I have had too many alkalines measuring over 1.5v leak on me. I would rather the capacity go down 20% and leakage to decrease to nothing.
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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    Quote Originally Posted by naked2 View Post
    photonhoer, I'm not familiar with the ZTS testers, how do they work?
    I wonder how the ZTS's circuitry comes up with a percentage value, is it simply a voltage reading, converted into a percentage?


    I use a DMM, and most brand new Alk. cells read higher than the label. For example, I bought a Leatherman Blast/Fenix L1Tv2 combo at Costo recently. The Duracell AA that came in the package read 1.65V., and I've had Energizer AAA lithiums read as high as 1.9V.
    Quote Originally Posted by photonhoer View Post
    Thanks, I appreciate the on-topic reply.
    Could you answer my original on-topic questions?
    I'd rather have a flashlight in front of me than a "frontal flashlightomy"!

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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    Quote Originally Posted by naked2 View Post
    photonhoer, I'm not familiar with the ZTS testers, how do they work?
    I wonder how the ZTS's circuitry comes up with a percentage value, is it simply a voltage reading, converted into a percentage?
    The ZTS tester puts a load on the battery, but they do not explain how they calculate the percent.

    You can see the testers here.

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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    The ZTS tester puts a load on the battery, but they do not explain how they calculate the percent.

    You can see the testers here.
    HKJ is correct, as far as I know. The ZTS testers have been used and endorsed by a number of the 'pros' (e.g., high posters and acknowledged wise guys) on the Forum. I do not know how they work beyond the "pulse testing" phrase on their literature. Apparently, they do put a load (calibrated to the batt) on the batt and seem to give good and consistent results.

    Sorry I cannot explain more. I only included the name of the tester as a reference point for someone responding to my OP.

    John

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    Found some Maxell Super Power Ace(lulz?) sitting in my R/C servo tester when I was looking for my old R/C car a week ago.

    They expired in 2002 and still are at 90% of their charge. :O

    Not bad for alkalines. Atleast, I think they are alkalines. Doesn't say anywhere that they are lithums.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    if they were lithiums you could compare the weight to another known alkaline battery of the same type and the lithium would be noticeably lighter.
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    Hmm, good idea.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    oh and another thing.. I have never heard of maxells making lithium versions of standard alkaline batteries (1.5v) I think energizer has that market patent locked for the time being..... perhaps soon there will be other brands that are not *generic* when their patent expires
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    I compared the Maxell batts to some IKEA batts and the IKEA ones are significantly heavier than Maxell ones.
    Does this mean they are lithiums?

    They're both AA batts btw.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    nope..... maxell never made lithium 1.5v cells... could be just heavy duty ones.....
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    That would make sense since they look rather unique.

  24. #24
    Enlightened Jake.t's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    as alkaline's lose their charge over time you can help slow this down by putting them in a ziplock bag/baggy then put them in the fridge .photohoer were they kept in a cool place

  25. #25

    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    nimh and lithium batteries can supply a lot of current. If you have a DMM you could do a flash amps test on them put it on the 10 or 20 amp scale insert the leads in the correct hole and connect to the battery making sure to measure quickly the current as it is essentially a dead short. nimh and lithium can supply 8+ amps on the test while alkalines are a lot less and heavy duty probably won't even do 2 amps.
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake.t View Post
    as alkaline's lose their charge over time you can help slow this down by putting them in a ziplock bag/baggy then put them in the fridge .photohoer were they kept in a cool place

    One of the big threes websites says that puting in the fridge does nothing for them. I think maybe duracell.


    Here it is. http://www.duracell.com/care_disposal/care.asp?id=61&

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* hank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    I go through the earthquake stash every year and pull out the batteries that are reaching their "use by" date -- and sometimes find some that are years past it. And I do use them, but try to always take them out of the light before I put it down. Most of my 'emergency box' lights don't have batteries in them -- just a few with lithium Energizer AAs and glow-in-the-dark keyfobs, and the little 9v PALights that have a find-me dim glow.

    Just had too many alkalines leak over the years to ever trust them for very long unattended.

    I have also regularly each year found one or two packages of alkalines -- still a year or more before their "use by" date -- that have one or more cells leaking inside the blister pack.

    The reputable companies so far have always sent me some kind of coupon and a return envelope to get the batteries back -- though I'm sure I must be on their list of cranky customers. Explaining it's the earthquake box, and will serve the whole block when the dark happens, usually seems to convince them it's not just something mysterious about my house. I just buy a lot of batteries and put them aside for a long time.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    Quote Originally Posted by jhellwig View Post
    One of the big threes websites says that puting in the fridge does nothing for them. I think maybe duracell.


    Here it is. http://www.duracell.com/care_disposal/care.asp?id=61&
    the general consensus is only in hot climates does putting batteries in the fridge make a lot of sense. If the temp is below 85 where they are stored you are not going to make them last much longer than leakage will undo them IMO. I would rather alkalines last only 7-8 years in storage and never leak that be able to last 10-12 years and leak.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
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  29. #29
    *Flashaholic* Mr Happy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    That Duracell link just says refrigerating batteries is not worth it.

    Here's the thing: low temperatures slow down chemical reactions. So do batteries leak because the chemicals dissolve through the casing, or do they leak by physical seepage? But low temperatures slow down physical processes too.

    On balance, I don't see that refrigerating batteries in a sealed container is likely to do any harm. If you want them to last 20 years before use, it will help.

    But to get the best out of alkaline batteries you should use them while they are as fresh as possible. Storing them for ages before use is silly. So refrigerating alkaline batteries is just pointless, not harmful.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Shelf Life -- a tid bit

    the leaking problem are with chemicals and seals also. temperature changes can affect sealing and speed up reactions and getting something too cold or too hot can expand/contract things so seals can fail. I would be careful about putting batteries in a fridge in sealed containers because of condensation. If there is any moisture in the air when the container is sealed water will condense and be on the batteries. If you had a vacuum sealer it would be good. I think another issue is the history of a battery before you buy it. Where is it made at what time of year and what temperatures has it been subjected to in storage along the way. It is quite possible batteries have been shipped in hot trucks and/or stored in hot warehouses along the way. IMO alkalines should only be considered a 5 year battery for storage sake as far as being dependable and you should expect a 5% failure rate due to bad cells and leakage even though the figures are lower perhaps it would make sure you have a good supply of batteries.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

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