The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa recently instructed Duracell to withdraw advertising stating its batteries “last up to 10-times longer”, as the claim was unsubstantiated.
The ruling raised the question as to how long Duracell batteries last compared to “standard” batteries, and which batteries last the longest.
While putting batteries in a torch and leaving it on until they run flat is a valid test, MyBroadband selected a more robust testing methodology – a computerised battery analyser (CBA).
The CBA uses a PC to accurately test batteries, providing a detailed analysis of the results.
For the test, we used the CBA HR, which is designed to test small cells and batteries.
The CBA HR is capable of testing batteries at load currents from 1mA to 1,000mA, (10 watt maximum), in increments of 1mA.
We put a high load on the batteries being tested, and tested the time it took for a 1.5V AA battery to drop below 1.1V, at a discharge rate of 500mA.
The 1.1V limit – when a battery is considered “flat” – was selected based on the suggested test limit for 1.5V alkaline batteries.
We purchased new batteries from all the prominent brands, and put them to the test using our CBA HR test bench.
The results showed that the Energizer Max battery lasted the longest in the test, while an Eveready Gold battery had the shortest life span.
It should be noted that the consistent 500mA discharge rate is considered very high, and lower discharge rates or different testing conditions may yield different results.
The table below shows the discharge rate, in minutes, of the AA batteries we tested.
|AA Battery Test|
|Battery||Price per battery||Time on 500mA|
|Philips Long Life||R6.00||00:06:03|
|Duracell Plus Power||R19.00||00:50:01|
|Eveready Platinum Plus||R17.00||00:54:56|
|Duracell Ultra Power||R20.00||01:03:08|
The best bang for your buck
The table below shows “minutes per rand”, which provides an indication of the value which consumers receive from the batteries.
|AA Battery Test|
|Battery||Price per battery||Time on 500mA||Minutes per rand|
|Philips Long Life||R6.00||00:06:03||00:01:00|
|Duracell Plus Power||R19.00||00:50:01||00:02:38|
|Duracell Ultra Power||R20.00||01:03:08||00:03:09|
|Eveready Platinum Plus||R17.00||00:54:56||00:03:14|
The charts below show the test data for each of the AA batteries tested.