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What Is the Significance of Triple A Batteries?

Posted by Mike November - 10 - 2012 - Saturday

Triple A batteries, otherwise referred to as AAA, were developed originally to provide a portable power source for electronic equipment, which at the time was becoming smaller and lighter. Surprising as it may seem, the triple A battery first appeared in 1911 in the UK as U16, but was categorised as AAA on the ANSI standard in the 1980s. Ideal for low voltage application, they are typically found in remote control units for TV, audio centres , DVD players, MP3 players and digital cameras.

 What Is the Significance of Triple A Batteries?

Low current AAA batteries

The current drain in equipment which AAA batteries are typically deployed in is often small. This size of battery is ideal for the aforementioned items and, in particular, remote controls. The smaller size of AAA batteries compared to, let’s say for instance ‘D’ and ‘C’ batteries, makes them ideal for modern miniaturised electronic equipment.

 What Is the Significance of Triple A Batteries?

However, over the years, as miniaturisation of circuit boards and peripheral elements of items such as MP3 players and mobile phones have become smaller and smaller, AAA batteries have been superseded in many items.

Continuous usage

Triple A batteries do not hold their charge for long if they are in continuous use and are prone to draining quite rapidly, although this is true of larger battery sizes, too. As modern electronic equipment has become much more efficient and less harsh in current drain, many items which were designed for use with AA batteries are now being designed for triple A batteries.

AA batteries can hold about three times the charge as a triple A battery, but with improving efficiency many items such as remote keyboards and mouse pointing devices are now being designed for triple AAA. The continuing improvement in battery cell technology means triple A batteries are now capable of holding a charge for longer, making it much more cost effective to combine the two.

Continuing popularity and application

Given the continually changing environment for batteries, it is difficult to offer precise figures for distributed usage throughout the world, but certainly it is fair to say that triple A battery sales averaged out across the world amount to between 25-30 percent of total sales. Increasing sales of rechargeable nickel–metal hydride triple A batteries are eating into market share of ordinary standard alkaline cell versions.

All batteries were typically sized and categorised within different jurisdiction, but in the 1980s a move to an international standard became a clear need. However, there is still disharmony in agreement of battery type, name and size, although it is rare. Evolution and standardisation is still an ongoing process.

Different battery chemistry will dictate which the best battery for a particular application is, although, of course, the size of battery is a fixed denominator. If you have any issue with battery type and which one is best for your particular application, always consult the supplier of any equipment before you buy. If they don’t know, try buying your equipment (and batteries) from a more reliable source.

Mike is a freelance writer and blogger who a bit of a gadget groupie; with so many gadgets and things in his life, without a regular supply of AA batteries his life would probably fall apart.

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