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The capacity of alkaline battery


The capacity of an alkaline battery is greater than an equal size Leclanché cell or zinc chloride cell because the manganese dioxide is purer and denser, and less space is taken up by internal components such as electrodes. An alkaline cell can provide between three and five times the capacity of an acidic cell.

The capacity of an alkaline battery is strongly dependent on the load. An AA-sized alkaline battery might have an effective capacity of 3000 mAh at low drain, but at a load of 1 ampere, which is common for digital cameras, the capacity could be as little as 700 mAh. The voltage of the battery declines steadily during use, so the total usable capacity depends on the cutoff voltage of the application.

Unlike Leclanché cells, the alkaline cell delivers about as much capacity on intermittent or continuous light loads. On a heavy load, capacity is reduced on continuous discharge compared with intermittent discharge, but the reduction is less than for Leclanche cells.