Properly testing the performance of household batteries is a complex exercise, as use in everyday life must be simulated. However, the media and consumer protection organizations test batteries to compare different brands and draw conclusions based on the performance of these batteries. Often, these tests are done simply by putting the batteries in a device and letting it run continuously, but the results can be wrong and misleading.
For household alkaline batteries, the correct test methods and performance are officially described in the standard (IEC 60086) which also sets out a variety of discharge tests. These application tests simulate their daily electrical use by a regular consumer and are frequently updated to conform to the latest trends.
There are several key principles in the testing process:
- Testing several batteries (8) of the same make and type
- Intermittent testing, ie no continuous operation of a device
- Testing batteries in several application tests
- The actual conditions of the test environment are important
Intermittent battery testing
It is important to know that all usage tests have an intermittent and not continuous depletion profile, in line with the classic pattern of battery use by consumers. This difference is very important, as intermittent leakage allows the battery to regenerate and increase the discharge efficiency and capacity. The regeneration efficiency is based on several elements, including the battery formula, and significant differences can be measured between different brands and types of batteries.
Multiple application tests
In addition, testing a battery depletion profile provides a selective picture of its total discharge performance. Currently, for a single type of battery, the official requirements include up to six different application tests. This tests the use of batteries in low, medium and high power devices. High-performance batteries with low depletion do not perform well in tests involving high depletion and vice versa.
Standard conditions when testing downloads
Storage of batteries before discharge tests and their actual performance must be performed under well-defined conditions.
In particular, temperature is a very important issue in tests involving battery depletion. Low temperature fluctuations of 2 ° C can have a significant impact on battery performance. Controlling relative humidity is important to avoid the effects of condensation on it.
Finally, battery age should also be considered, as this can have a relatively large impact on test results.