Do Rechargeable Lithium-Ion AA Batteries Exist?

Do rechargeable lithium-ion batteries exist in standard sizes like AA, AAA, C or D?

They do, but they don’t operate at 1.2-1.5 Volts. According to Isidor Buchmann, author of Batteries in a Portable World: A Handbook on Rechargeable Batteries for Non-Engineers, this is due to safety concerns — people might try to charge them in chargers made for other AA batteries, where they might explode. Also, because Li-ion batteries operate 3.7V per cell, rather than the 1.2 to 1.5V of most cell batteries, designing a 1.5V lithium-ion cell would be expensive.

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However, you can find good rechargeable AA Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries which perform very well. For more information, see my article on The Best Rechargeable Batteries.

There are also some lithium-ion rechargeable batteries made for high-performance flashlights and cameras, in these sizes:  18650 and CR123.

A single 18650 battery can replace two CR123A batteries, although at a lower voltage (but much higher amperage). However, the 18650 is a wider cell and will not fit into a flashlight that is designed strictly for the narrower CR123As. Most modern tactical LED lights are designed to use a single 18650 or two CR123As, but it’s best to check before buying. See our article on The Best 18650 Batteries for more information.

There are also numerous other types of lithium-ion batteries made for specific laptops and other electronics gadgets. There is currently no standard size for these lithium-ion cells.

Comments

  1. dave says

    This blog is incorrect. Rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries do exist in AAA and AA sizes. They are VERY common, are named based on their dimensions which are (AAA) 10440, and (AA) 14500 cells.

    If the author of that book suggested otherwise, the book is a joke as this isn’t something one would have to be an engineer to know, NOBODY who knows modern day batteries does not realize they do come in AA and AAA sizes.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting they are interchangeable in devices meant for alkaline or NiMH/NiCd AA or AAA cells due to the difference in voltage, but they most certainly do exist and the author of the book seems to have created a work of fiction that is probably best avoided.

  2. Anonymous says

    Some people use a 14500 and a spacer for the (rough) equivalent of x2 AAs.

    Some people reqire their electronics to take x2 14500s in parallel instead of x2 AAs in series.

  3. says

    I think it would be great if there could be a consumer usable AA and AAA li ion battery version. I find no matter how well we manage our rechargeable batteries they always end up with battery memory.

  4. says

    Hello,this is Scarlet from XND technology Co., LTD. Is there anyone who needed purchasing the rechargeable Li-ion batteries? We can supply for you with compititive price. My Skype is : batterystar

    Thanks.

  5. PatZ says

    As a matter of fact there are 1.5V Lithium-ion battery, at the positive end there is an additional ring for 3.7V/4.2V charging and the center is 1.5V output.
    It is more expensive for sure but the matter is it does exist.

  6. Jim says

    I bought 1.5V Lithium AA batteries in May 2014: ‘Energizer Ultimate Lithium’. When brand new, they read 2V. There is no ‘additional ring’ for a different voltage. Is this new information, or did they just come onto the market? And why would they not be rechargeable? Why would they burn or explode when charged? My cordless tools all run on Li-Ion, and those batteries recharge very quickly. Seems to me if you don’t overcharge them, they shouldn’t explode.

  7. says

    Time for an article update. Kentli hav released a 1.5v AA and AAA rechargeable lithium polymer battery.

    http://www.unbatteries.com/

    They overcome the recharge concerns by making the battery nipple not accept a charge at all, you buy a specially designed charger that charges using a ring contact and charges the battery at higher voltages than it outputs via the nipple.

    These cells have circuitry to reduce the voltage down to 1.5 volts and claim that the battery has a capacity of 2800ah as good as Eneloops Pros but lighter in weight.

    Biggest disadvantage is that they are expensive. For specialist applications they maybe a decent choice.

    It will be intersting to see if the price of these cells comes down and lithium ion technology progresses.

  8. Irvinong says

    Dear Sirs,

    Can anyone tell me why rechargeable AA/AAA batteries always come with voltage 1.2v and not 1.5v compared with same size normal batteries. Thank you

    Irvin

    • web master says

      While it is true that the average alkaline battery has an output of 1.5 volts when it is new, in reality, an alkaline’s lifecycle is such that it quickly drops from 1.5 to 1.0 volts before dying out. Because of this, the average output of an alkaline battery is the same as that of an NiMH rechargeable battery: about 1.2 volts. An alkaline battery really only outputs a 1.5 V voltage at the very beginning of its use. Soon after, it begins to decrease down to well below 1.2 V, bottoming out around 0.6 V.

      Most of the basic consumer electronics function normally using battery power with an output between 0.9 V and 1.5 V. However, unlike alkaline batteries, where the voltage drops quickly and gives you performance that’s well below 1.5 volts, NiMH rechargeable batteries, on the other hand, provide a steady stream of voltage from the beginning of its charge until the very end – about 1.25 V.

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