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  1. #1
    bvy
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    Fast Battery Corrosion

    I mentioned this in another thread, but it's a more general question than the thread suggests, so here goes...

    Under what conditions would a brand new battery become corroded in just three months' time? Here's what happened: I modified a Polaroid 450 Land Camera to take two AAA batteries. It was a pretty straightforward fix: I connected the two wires to a brand new battery holder and installed two AAA batteries. I tested the camera, took some shots, everything worked fine. Fast forward three months: The camera failed when I went to use it, and upon looking at the batteries, I noticed that one battery (not the other) is completely corroded.

    Any ideas? Thanks.
    Last edited by bvy; 07-07-2014 at 05:01 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    AgX
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    Have you checked the state of charge of the uncorroded one?

    My first guess would be a continuous discharge.

    But I also saw a single battery still sealed in the blister leaking whereas the others in the package were still OK.

  3. #3
    bsdunek's Avatar
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    Like you, AgX, I have seen cells with corrosion in the package. I was buying some 675 hearing aid cells for my Nikion a while back, and most of the packages in the drug store showed some corrosion. I showed this to the clerk, but he just said " they must be OK, they're still within the date". Look before you buy, and you'll at least reduce the chance.
    Bruce

    Moma don't take my Kodachrome away!
    Oops, Kodak just did!
    For all practical purposes, they've taken Kodak away.


    BruceCSdunekPhotography.zenfolio.com

  4. #4
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    Some basic laws of electronics: Voltage in series, the way most if not all cameras are connected, adds while current is limited to the weakest cell. If you connect a 1.5V 600mAh battery in series with a 1.5V 800mAh battery the voltage of the pair will be 3+V but the max current capacity will be 600mAh.
    Voltage in parallel is equal to the voltage of a single cell, current adds. Connect the same 2 batteries in parallel and the voltage will be 1.5V but the max current capacity will be 1400mAh.
    Take any electronic device that uses multiple batteries and has quit functioning due to weak batteries and one of the two in a 2 cell device will be .25V to .5V lower than the other, in 3 or more cell configurations one or more of the batteries will be lower in voltage. The weakest batteries are closest to the negative terminal.

    Possible causes of premature failure in package is an internal failure of one of the cells or chemical components of the battery, or a current path in the packaging such as moisture that provided a high current path for that battery.

    If you take a fresh AA or AAA battery and put a piece of wire across its terminals the wire will become so hot it will burn your fingers in a few seconds and if the wire is left connected the battery will explode from internal heat.

    Now, your camera: are the batteries within the current rating of the camera, does the camera require more current than the batteries are rated for?
    Is the camera pulling too much current due to a faulty component? Use an amp meter to test it.
    Last edited by shutterfinger; 07-07-2014 at 09:32 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5

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    If you are planning to use batteries in parrallel then you should use diodes to avoid the weaker drawing power from the stronger...

  6. #6
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Could be the brand of battery. I've gotten some lousy batteries that all corroded quickly, literally in less than two months. And a Radio Shack battery exploded inside a Mag-lite and ruined it.
    I've not had a problem with the big names.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  7. #7
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    The more I deal with these 'button' batteries the more I think that heat is the most egregious factor here. I store such batteries in the freezer, in plastic sandwich bags, carefully separated with tape across their terminals to prevent 'shorting'. I am tired of having 'new' batteries go bad when stored without such 'tape' protection and did not realize how easy these 'annoyances' can short out in no time. But, in hot environments these batteries can go bad really fast: they can begin to 'bloat' and can discharge without seeming provocation. 'Cold' and 'covering' have become my sensible reaction to prevent this.

    Having said this, I buy them at a dollar store (four for one dollar). I know that 'brand name' batteries are built better but if cared for in the way I describe, even the cheap ones should be more cost effective. - David Lyga

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    The more I deal with these 'button' batteries the more I think that heat is the most egregious factor here. I store such batteries in the freezer, in plastic sandwich bags, carefully separated with tape across their terminals to prevent 'shorting'. I am tired of having 'new' batteries go bad when stored without such 'tape' protection and did not realize how easy these 'annoyances' can short out in no time. But, in hot environments these batteries can go bad really fast: they can begin to 'bloat' and can discharge without seeming provocation. 'Cold' and 'covering' have become my sensible reaction to prevent this.

    Having said this, I buy them at a dollar store (four for one dollar). I know that 'brand name' batteries are built better but if cared for in the way I describe, even the cheap ones should be more cost effective. - David Lyga
    This (according to an Eveready tech some years ago when I was looking for the best way to store my stash of mercury cells) is a very bad idea.
    If anything in the cell freezes or crystallises due to low temperature it can swell enough to damage the seal, and you'll get a leaker.
    Don't store cells below freezing. Prolonged use of the device containing the cells in subfreezing temperatures can cause the same problem; all cell chemistries are vulnerable.

  9. #9
    AgX
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    That was an ignorant technician.

    If you use your equipment in strong winter the batteries are stored and used below freezing too.
    All cells contain a lot of salts, reducing freezing point.


    Current cells are stated by the maunfacturer to function down to -30°C, even -40°C depending on type and drain.

    Lowest permissable storage temperature would be even lower.
    Last edited by AgX; 07-08-2014 at 01:50 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    Honestly, E. von Hoegh, I beg to differ. I have NEVER had problems with frozen cells thawing and performing well. Interesting what you say, but I would like corroboration from others with your facts. Maybe we will have more input here. - David Lyga

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