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AA vs AAA Batteries: Exploring the Key Differences

Batteries play a vital role in our lives, especially as we strive to reduce carbon emissions and embrace renewable energy. While electric cars and solar power systems may take the spotlight, let’s not forget about the smaller yet equally important applications—AA and AAA batteries. In this article, we’ll dive into the world of AA and AAA batteries, uncovering their nuances, differences, and much more.

A Brief Introduction to Batteries

Before we delve into the AA vs AAA batteries comparison, let’s take a step back and briefly understand what batteries are. Batteries are electrochemical devices that convert chemical energy into electrical energy. They consist of cells, which are the basic electrochemical units comprising electrodes (anode and cathode) and an electrolyte.

Batteries can be classified into two main types: primary and secondary. Primary batteries are non-rechargeable and have an irreversible electrochemical process. Once their chemical energy is exhausted, they need to be replaced. On the other hand, secondary batteries are rechargeable, allowing for the reversal of the electrochemical process through recharging.

Now that we have a basic understanding of batteries, let’s focus on AA and AAA batteries.

Exploring AA Batteries

AA Batteries

AA batteries are commonly found in the devices we use daily, such as wall clocks, TV remotes, wireless mice, and keyboards. The term “AA” refers to their size, as they are small cylindrical batteries with specific dimensions standardized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

The height of an AA battery ranges from 49.2mm to 50.5mm, while the diameter varies from 13.5mm to 14.5mm. AA batteries typically consist of a single cell and come in various chemistries, electrodes, and electrolytes. Regardless of the specific chemistry, all AA batteries are considered “Dry Cells” as they contain a semi-solid gel or paste electrolyte.

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AA batteries are available in both primary (non-rechargeable) and secondary (rechargeable) types. Primary AA batteries, such as Zinc-Carbon and Alkaline batteries, have a voltage of 1.5V. Secondary AA batteries, like Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) and Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries, have a voltage of 1.2V.

Unveiling AAA Batteries

AAA Batteries

AAA batteries, also known as Triple ‘A’ batteries, share similarities with AA batteries, but they are slightly smaller in size. The dimensions of a AAA battery, according to ANSI standards, range from 43.3mm to 44.5mm in height and 9.5mm to 10.5mm in diameter.

Like AA batteries, AAA batteries are available in both primary and secondary types. They have the same chemistries, electrodes, electrolytes, and voltages as AA batteries, but due to their smaller size, AAA batteries have lower energy capacity and capacity.

Differences: AA vs AAA Batteries

The most noticeable difference between AA and AAA batteries lies in their physical size. AA batteries are slightly longer and wider than AAA batteries. AA batteries have a height range of approximately 50.5mm (+0/-1.3mm) and a diameter of 14.5mm (+0/-1mm), while AAA batteries measure around 44.5mm (+0/-1mm) in height and 10.5mm (+0/-1mm) in diameter.

Despite their size difference, AA and AAA batteries share similar chemistries. However, AA batteries generally have higher energy capacity and longer runtime compared to AAA batteries. For example, AA Alkaline batteries can have a maximum capacity of 3,000mAh, whereas AAA Alkaline batteries typically have a capacity of 1,300mAh. This means that AA batteries last almost twice as long as AAA batteries under similar power draw conditions.

Due to their larger size and higher energy capacity, AA batteries are commonly used in power-hungry applications such as lighting, motor toys, and photography equipment. On the other hand, AAA batteries are often found in devices with lower power requirements, such as remote controls and game controllers.

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While AA and AAA batteries have similar chemistries, they are not interchangeable due to their physical incompatibility. AA batteries cannot be used in devices designed for AAA batteries, and vice versa. It’s crucial to check the battery compatibility with the specific application to ensure optimal performance and compatibility.


AA and AAA batteries are everyday essentials that power many devices we rely on. In this article, we’ve explored the basics of AA and AAA batteries, their types, important parameters, and key differences. While lithium-ion batteries are gaining popularity, AA and AAA batteries continue to serve various applications such as wireless mice, keyboards, remote controls, wall clocks, and multimeters.

Should you have any additional insights or questions, please feel free to share them in the comments section. We hope this guide has provided you with a better understanding of these common household batteries.

Learn more about batteries and their applications at OnSpec Electronic, Inc..

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