Pro Elec Battery Test Results
Recently, we started carrying our own line of Pro-Elec batteries, and around the office we were wondering how they really stack up against the major brands.
We had the discharge rates and expected run-times from the data-sheets, and most major brands do publish power-curves, but those didn't really give a good head to head comparison. So we grabbed an Arduino, Data-Logger Shield, and a few packs of AA size batteries from stock and got to work.
Without further adieu, here are the results, graphed out.
What we learned
Per the graph above, we learned that while the Pro Elec battery had a lower initial voltage and it lasted longer. Great. That's simple. But there's more to it.
Because batteries are used in millions of different applications, there will be instances where having a higher initial power output will be better. We'll try to qualify some of these instances below.
Low Draw and Analog Devices
Things like remotes controls, flashlights, even projects with your Arduino (without running a motor) all would benefit from the Pro Elec batteries. Generally, these devices can operate well on a very low voltage.
High Draw and Digital Devices
For high draw and mission critical digital devices, a name brand battery may provide a longer life. It's obvious the name-brand batteries are optimized for this category of use; they all died sharply between 10 and 12 hours, once they got down to one volt. If, however, your device will operate on as little as .8 volts, our test showed the Pro Elec outperforming the competition. If your device needs closer to 1.2 volts, a name-brand cell will last longer.
*Nearly all AA battery consuming devices will say they need some multiple of 1.5V. In reality, few need the full 1.5V, as the batteries would only last ~30 minutes. Since every device is different, test your device to find out it's actual power requirement.
What we've not covered yet is the topic of value. Say your device dies once the batteries reach the one volt threshold. All of the batteries in our test died between 10 and 12 hours. Typical brand name batteries have a per-cell cost of around $1. Pro Elec AA batteries currently have a per-cell cost of around $0.25 (both based on purchasing in bulk). For your device, the Pro Elec battery is four times the value.
Read all about how we conducted our test, and how you can do the same at home using an Arduino, Data-Logger Shield and a few other odds and ends here.