The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Power of a 1.5 V Battery

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Cutnell, John D. Third Edition Physics John Wiley & Sonsinc 1995 "A new 'D' battery has an emf of 1.5 V when a wire of negligible resistance is connected between the terminals of the battery a current of a 28 A is produced" 42 W
Duracell - Our Company 0.1–1.0 W
"D"Battery -1.5 V & 13 A 19.5 W
Technical Marketing Datasheets "D"1.5 V - 13 A 19.5 W

I was on the D train on the way to school, in the middle of my favorite song "Big Pimpin" and suddenly the batteries in my Discman died! I asked my friend next to me what was wrong with my batteries. He looked at me, with a sly self-aware smile and said:

Well, 1.5 V batteries are actually quite interesting. Thanks to Benjamin Franklin and his crazy kite experiment, we now know about the wonders of electricity. Alessandro Volta constructed the first device known to produce to continuous electricity. I don't really know the rest of the battery history, but I do know that the power of a 1.5 V battery depends on its current and service time.

The alkaline battery is used in most Duracell and Energizer batteries. The electrodes (terminal through which electric current passes between metallic and non-metallic parts of an electrical circuit) are zinc and manganese oxide, with an alkaline electrolyte (electrical current in which current is carried by charged particles rather than by free electrons).

The power of a 1.5 V battery varies with the number of hours its in service. According to the chart above, the power discharge for a 1.5 V "D"battery at approximately 210 hours is 0.1 Watts (W). At about 60 hours the power discharge is 0.25 W. At about 40 hours the power discharge is 0.5 W. At about 10 hours the power discharge is 1.0 W. More power is possible when the battery is in service for less time.

According to the problem from the textbook, the power is found to be 1.5 V · 28 A = 42 W. This example further shows that power is dependent not only on service time, but also on the current.

Etan Marciano -- 2001