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Thread: L91 failure rate / fragility

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    Grijon's Avatar
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    Default L91 failure rate / fragility

    I very much appreciate a primary alternative to alkalines. I also appreciate lithium primaries' cold weather performance and long shelf life.

    Unfortunately, I have had a high failure rate with Energizer Ultimate Lithium L91 AAs over several years from several packages; this tells me that it can't be that I got a bad batch once. In my experience lithium AAs have been fragile and inconsistent in quality. This is disappointing to me because so much of their appeal is that they're supposed to be so reliable and ready to go.

    For those who use primary lithium AAs and AAAs, what has your experience been?

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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    I've had great results in performance and reliability with them in AA and AAA so far, however I've only ran maybe a dozen or so of each. Those that I have rather have survived 140F to -20F without any complaint though

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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    What do you mean by failures? DOA? Or short runtime? I have used them for years probably 200 -300 or so and canít recall having a single problem.
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    Iíve used countless ultimate lithium. Can you elaborate on what kind of problems youíve had because Iíve experienced zero in several years of use.
    Big butnotsomuch-burly

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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    Quote Originally Posted by thermal guy View Post
    What do you mean by failures? DOA? Or short runtime? I have used them for years probably 200 -300 or so and canít recall having a single problem.
    Started my reply and didnít finish as soon as you but Iíll just say..... jinx. Never a problem
    Big butnotsomuch-burly

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    Flashaholic* Crazyeddiethefirst's Avatar
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    Default L91 failure rate / fragility

    I have been using them for years without a single failure, so I am really surprised-could you explain what you mean by failure? Is it possible you are using them in lights with high parasitic drain that could lead to premature depletion? I had many failures with the early Energizer rechargeables, but the performance of the L91 has been impeccable. I have used them in both hi temp(deserts) and cold weather too. Please share what lights you are using them in too. Anyone else having any problems with them?

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    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    A lot of smart minds thinking alike. 😄😁
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    Thetasigma, thermal guy, Bigburly, Crazyeddie, thanks for the responses. Between the four of you we have a sample size of hundreds of cells spanning several years with no failures; this confirms that I have had a string of coincidental outlier experiences.

    That is exactly the information that I was looking for!

    Over the 3+ years that I have been using dozens of L91s and L92s I have had a few that were DOA and quite a few that gave up suddenly under normal use - meaning that a multi-cell light would suddenly go dim and when I'd check the voltage on the individual cells one of them would be dead while the other(s) were fine. Recently I dropped a cell while loading a 2xAA light; that light went dim perhaps 15 minutes later with one dead cell and one still reading full voltage, leading me to presume that the dead cell was dead because I dropped it...

    Anyway, my mind is put to rest that the L91 line is fine, and I just need to be more careful in my handling of cells and diligent about checking voltages right out of the package.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by Grijon; 12-30-2018 at 08:34 PM.

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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    No problems for me with these.

    Actually I've been really impressed overall with the performance (especially in the cold) and very light weight.

    I haven't done any formal testing, but they seem to last very well in "intermittent use" situations, when they may sit idle for long periods.

    It would be nice if they weren't quite as expensive, but quality costs ...

    Do your cells regularly see "hard knocks" (drops and falls, physical damage, or similar) ?
    Last edited by archimedes; 12-30-2018 at 08:33 PM.
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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    One thing that is a little different about these, compared to alkaline primaries, is that they have a rather "flat" discharge curve.

    While alkalines typically have a long slow taper as they drain, these tend to consistently deliver nearly all of their energy but then suddenly "crash" to empty.
    ... is the archimedes peak

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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    No problems for me with these.

    Actually I've been really impressed overall with the performance (especially in the cold) and very light weight.

    I haven't done any formal testing, but they seem to last very well in "intermittent use" situations, when they may sit idle for long periods.

    It would be nice if they weren't quite as expensive, but quality costs ...

    Do your cells regularly see "hard knocks" (drops and falls, physical damage, or similar) ?
    Thank you, archimedes, I really appreciate your response.

    My cells have always been purchased in bulk from a warehouse store so I suspect that they are not treated 'appropriately' before I get them. Once I have them they are handled gently - unless I drop one! Which does happen. The one that recently failed suddenly was dropped onto a concrete floor, so could certainly explain that failure - it would be nice if such an expensive cell could handle a such a drop, but as you say quality costs and I wouldn't want to give up any of the cells' other qualities (temp range, performance, lightweight, shelf life, capacity and so on) just so that I could drop them with impunity. (Attempting word play here, don't know how well it'll come across)

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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    One thing that is a little different about these, compared to alkaline primaries, is that they have a rather "flat" discharge curve.

    While alkalines typically have a long slow taper as they drain, these tend to consistently deliver nearly all of their energy but then suddenly "crash" to empty.
    I was recently running a 3-cell incandescent on 3xL91. I ran the light until the bulb went very very dim. Reading the cells afterward showed that one was gone and the other two were relatively even with each other, much higher than the flat cell.

    I knew of the discharge characteristics of these cells, but it wasn't until reading your post that it really clicked that that was what is happening - the "failed" cell simply was that tiny bit further along the discharge curve and thus crashed completely, while the other two were much closer behind than I originally thought.

    This is great getting this stuff figured out! The collective information here is really bringing things together. My signature holds true, ha ha!

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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    One thing I noticed is L91s measure 1.8v or so when new and about 1.6v when depleted so measuring the voltage keeping that in mind gives you an idea of the condition of cells. It is easy to believe at 1.6v it should have plenty of power left but that isn't the case at all.
    Under a load the batteries measure differently depending on the load.
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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    As I read your response one thought did occur-is it possible you are getting counterfeit cells? As a random control experiment, try purchasing a pack in person in retail packaging. Try them in one light that you used the other cells in and see if there is any difference. I have dropped both the batteries and also lights with batteries in them and never once had one fail( some of my lights have climbed some very difficult terrain with me-I once had light(Sunwayman D40, 4 AA, fall 30 feet and other than dents and scratches kept working fine). The whole reason I bring up counterfeit cells is that the Lithium Ion rechargeable cells have been copied so many different times and ways a lot of us have had an experience with it. That is why 95% of CPFírs will suggest only buying brand name cells from a reputable seller. I have not heard of L91/L92 fakes, but it would not surprise me-I hope I am wrong on this...

  15. #15

    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    [

    Well, my 2013 batch of Energizer AAA Ultimate Lithium batteries, which the factory guaranteed "Not to Leak", leaked!
    Last edited by tatasal; 12-31-2018 at 08:25 AM.

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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    I've had "meh" results from Energizer Lithium AA's. I haven't used very many, but the few I have used died after about a year in storage. However, my "storage" was keeping them in the car all year. I presume the extremes of cold (-25C in the winter) and heat ( ??? in the summer sun) led to premature death. I got them hoping they would stand up to that kind of abusive storage, but perhaps they're not that tough. Regular Eneloops seems to fare better in that abuse, as long as I charge them once or twice a year. Well, the internal resistance probably takes a hit, but they can at least still power lights. Even alkaleaks do okay in the car. Maybe my Energizer Lithiums were just unlucky (all 4 of them, IIRC).

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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    Glad to see some more from the other side. Hoping more people chime in with failures as Iíve never had any of any kind. Interesting to get both angles
    Big butnotsomuch-burly

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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigburly912 View Post
    Glad to see some more from the other side. Hoping more people chime in with failures as Iíve never had any of any kind. Interesting to get both angles
    Yes, this kind of info is most helpful, and what forums like ours are all about.

    Those leaking cells seem really odd, are there any more details about that ? Storage conditions ? In use or not ? Source of cells ? etc ....

    As we all know, for the typical ( > 99.99% ) consumer, batteries are basically a blank metal can with a printed wrapper that one hopes is "correct"
    ... is the archimedes peak

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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    It would be nice if they weren't quite as expensive, but quality costs ...
    Yes, but right now I am seeing them at our favorite online retailer for $1/cell. Still a lot more than the $0.25/cell one can find, but worth the difference for the guaranteed no leaks.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothybil View Post
    Yes, but right now I am seeing them at our favorite online retailer for $1/cell. Still a lot more than the $0.25/cell one can find, but worth the difference for the guaranteed no leaks.
    I think the best price I was ever able to find was ~ 85 cents ea (on special) , but that's been quite a while back now
    ... is the archimedes peak

  21. #21

    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    Yes, this kind of info is most helpful, and what forums like ours are all about.

    Those leaking cells seem really odd, are there any more details about that ? Storage conditions ? In use or not ? Source of cells ? etc ....

    As we all know, for the typical ( > 99.99% ) consumer, batteries are basically a blank metal can with a printed wrapper that one hopes is "correct"
    (in reference to my post # 15 with photos)

    It was in use on my Panasonic Split-type Inverter Air-Conditioner Remote control. After years of use, the lcd display started to flicker, then weakened. I checked on the batteries to check the voltage and was surprised the Ultimate Lithiums leaked and spewed corrosion.[IMG][/IMG]
    Last edited by tatasal; 12-31-2018 at 10:34 PM.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    Do you happen to remember the voltage ?
    ... is the archimedes peak

  23. #23

    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    Do you happen to remember the voltage ?
    I still have both batteries with me.

    I just tested it, both at a stable 1.783v, still a long way to go actually had they not corroded.

    The ironic thing here is I 'ate' the Energizer Ultimate Lithium costs for peace-of-mind protection against corrosion....(after seeing the so much cheaper alkalines leak even before running out of juice in my other friend's Remotes)..only to have this happen to me!

    Edit: Photo added

    Last edited by tatasal; 01-01-2019 at 04:59 AM.

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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    Very interesting, thanks for posting.
    ... is the archimedes peak

  25. #25
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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    I have about 4 of them these came in the SF 2AA when they used to make them. This is of course few years back, no issues, I have them in one remote that takes 2xAA and no problem. The remote would be $50 to replace so that is why the Lithium.
    The other 2 i just keep as spares.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    Quote Originally Posted by tatasal View Post
    The ironic thing here is I 'ate' the Energizer Ultimate Lithium costs for peace-of-mind protection against corrosion....(after seeing the so much cheaper alkalines leak even before running out of juice in my other friend's Remotes)..only to have this happen to me!
    Duracell and Energizer also have warranties against leaks from their alkaline cells. But we all know how much they leak anyway. I think the companies know that only about 0.1% of people will actually bother to make a claim when the batteries leak.

    I use Eneloops in everything. Never had a leak, but I have heard that some people have seen NiMH cells leak. So, I guess nothing is guaranteed.

  27. #27
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    Christo Pull Hair Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    Anyone else have the first battery in a series of AA ultimate lithium batteries in a device go completely dead... (Zero volts!!!) ...but the other batteries measure full voltage? I now have nearly a dozen that this has happened with.
    In remotes with two batteries one battery goes dead within a week. The remote will still operate within 4 feet, but if I'm that close, I may as well use the controls on the device.
    This only happens with these "ULTIMATE" lithiums.

  28. #28

    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    Quote Originally Posted by tatasal View Post
    [

    Well, my 2013 batch of Energizer AAA Ultimate Lithium batteries, which the factory guaranteed "Not to Leak", leaked!

    Are you sure something didn't get spilled on your remote? These batteries don't have aqueous electrolyte in them, if they did it would react with the lithium inside the cell.

  29. #29

    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    Quote Originally Posted by xxo View Post
    Are you sure something didn't get spilled on your remote? These batteries don't have aqueous electrolyte in them, if they did it would react with the lithium inside the cell.
    Yes, I am sure nothing got spilled into my remote. If you look closely, the corrosive liquid have seeped out of the cell through the side of the button top, eating away the label at different levels of damage.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]

  30. #30

    Default Re: L91 failure rate / fragility

    That is weird. The electrolyte is 1, 2-dimethoxyethane and 1, 3-dioxolane, if that is what leaked, you don't want to touch it or breath it in. It is also highly flammable. That much of the stuff should give a tremendous either smell, even a few parts per million in air gives off a very strong Oder.

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