Found some 29 year-old Energizer alkalines (are they still any good?)

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Terry Oregon
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Found some 29 year-old Energizer alkalines (are they still any good?)

 

I purchased this 1990s vintage gold AA Maglite on eBay – which came with two Energizer AA alkalines. 

 

 

I noticed the date on the back of the blister pack says:

“2/90, ©1990 Mag Instrument, Inc”

 

I could not see any corrosion on the two Energizer AA alkalines. Out of curiosity, I decided to see if they were still any good.

After opening the blister pack, I checked the voltage:

  1.46V

  1.47V

Note, these old batteries did not have expiration dates (as current ones do).  There were, however, three characters stamped on the side LUA. I could not find any information on whether that's a date code or how to interpret those characters.

I then ran a discharge test on my SkyRC MC3000. As a comparison, at the same time, the discharge test included:

  • a new Energizer AA alkaline (exp date 12-2027)
  • a new Duracell Quantum alkaline (exp date March 2027)

 

 

The SkyRC discharge test was set up as follows:

“NiMH” battery type chosen (per manual when discharging alkalines).

Discharge Current: 100ma

Cut voltage:  .8V

D. REDUCE:  10ma. Note, this setting reduces the discharge rate as the battery gets closer to depletion, which takes into account an alkaline’s ability to recover. In other words, discharge rate drops to 10% of start rate.

 

What we see, is that there was plenty of capacity left in these two 29 year-old batteries.

Old Energizer #1:  1,968mAh

Old Energizer #2:  2,304mAh

New Energizer:   3,252mAh

New Duracell Quantum: 3,463mAh

 

 

I conclude that some alkalines have a very long storage life – if stored under favorable conditions (whatever that was in this case, which is unknown).

 

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Edited by: Terry Oregon on 09/13/2019 - 23:34
Rexlion
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This certainly surprised me. I figured they’d be dead or leaking by now.

Terry Oregon
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Rexlion wrote:
This certainly surprised me. I figured they'd be dead or leaking by now.

 

Yes, you and me both.

My reviews: , My personal collection of lights LINK,  J5 Tactical V1 Pro review LINK,  Thirteen Optical Sensors review LINKZebralight SC700d review LINK,  Ray-O-Vac Super Power Sportsman review LINK,  Convoy S2+ color combos LINK,  How To flash D4V2 LINK.

Th558
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Rexlion wrote:
This certainly surprised me. I figured they’d be dead or leaking by now.

maybe if they were duracell
NeutralFan
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Very interesting Terry Oregon!
Brought back good memories when I saw the Maglite “converts quickly to a free standing candle mode”. Smile

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

Couchmaster
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I’ve had new Duracells almost leak before I got them out of the door at Costco. That’s a new thing, I use to remember alkalines being much more stable with a longer shelf life. Wonder what is different. Regardless, thanks for sharing !~!!!!

sb56637
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Wowwwww. Very cool, thanks for sharing this. So apparently close to 0 self discharging for alkalines? And I wonder if their lower capacity was like that from the factory, or if they somehow degraded over time just in capacity but not in voltage?

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fran82
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The real test would be a higher discharge current… More than 500mA. That will make the difference and those old alkies will fail the test.

Btw, thanks for sharing

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samgalax
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That result is impressive! Thanks!

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Unloco
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I think the old alkalines were better than the new ones.

Not more than 3 years ago I took out a Duracell (if I remember correctly it was “Made in Mexico”) of an analog tester that should be well over 20 years old. It had run out but not leaked.

wle
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i’ve seen plenty of duracells with BC battery cancer

wle

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BlueSwordM
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Old alkalines have much thicker zinc casings vs new alkaline cells.

This allows for lower self discharge and much lower chance for a leak, but lower energy density.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

Lightbringer
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Back in the day, alkies rarely leaked unless you drained them to 0 (motor/light left on and forgotten about, eg) and left them cooking somewhere.

Nowadays, they’re just hateful little things that look for any excuse to leak and ruin what they’re put into, and sometimes can’t even wait that long.

Remember battery “rejuvenators”? Alkie casings were thick enough to get away with zapping additional life into them, even though that didn’t reconstitute the casing in any way.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

snakebite
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i have seen very old energizer lithium aa that were still good but never alkaleaks.
they might have near full voltage but ir was high.
moisture slowly outgassing over the years turning them into true dry cells LOL!
this is why you sometimes find pristine examples of vintage/antique batteries.
they dry out before the can corrodes through.