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April 17, 2023

Discharge tests of CR123A lithium manganese dioxide batteries

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Testing CR123A (CR17335) batteries at high current rates


1. New Batteries were purchased from a retailer to make sure they are fresh.

2. This test is not to compare batteries for normal operation, they are designed for low current draw and these tests are for high current draw. This information is to help design engineers know what to expect when the batteries are used under these circumstances.

3. The performance rankings may be different for low current applications.

4. Note that for most applications these discharge currents are extreme, at lower discharge currents you will get much higher voltages and longer run times.
Thanks to David Vanhorn from ESI for supplying these data.
Summary of tests, see discharge curves below    
Size Brand Code used in Graph Termination voltage used in test Rated AH Amp-Hours at 100 mA Discharge rate Amp-Hours at 700 mA Discharge rate Amp-hours at 1500 mA Discharge Rate Amp-Hours at 2200 mA Discharge Rate
CR123A (CR17335) Autec AU 1.6 Volts 1.5 0.616 0.688 0.439* 0.625
CR123A (CR17335) Duracell DC 1.6 Volts 1.5   1.239 0.632* 0.730
CR123A (CR17335) Energizer EI 1.6 Volts 1.5   1.21 0.655* 0.700
CR123A (CR17335) Maxell MX 1.6 Volts 1.5   1.10 0.466* 0.543
CR123A (CR17335) Panasonic PS 1.6 Volts 1.5   1.26 0.692* 0.692
CR123A (CR17335) Powerizer PW 1.6 Volts 1.5   0.88 0.499* 0.502
CR123A (CR17335) PowPower PP 1.6 Volts 1.5   1.04 0.801* 0.817
CR123A (CR17335) Sanyo SY 1.6 Volts 1.5   1.08 0.487* 0.557
CR123A (CR17335) Tenergy TE 1.6 Volts 1.3   0.90 0.488* 0.626
* The 1500 mAH tests terminated when the voltage reached 2 volts, not 1.6 volts
CR123A cells discharged at 700 mA Here are the CR123A discharge curves at 0.7 Amps. If you need more than 2.6 volts to run your circuit, these won't be useful at 700 mA.  
CR123 cells discharged at 1.5Amps At 1.5 amps the curves are still pretty flat, but run around 2.3 volts on average.

CR123A cells discharged at 2.2 amps At 2.2 amps the AU comes back to life, since these are non-rechargeable cells we can't go back and test the same cell.  

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