Problem: The capacity of batteries such as the typical AA alkaline battery is expressed in units of milliamp-hours (mAh). An "AA" alkaline battery yields a nominal capacity of 2850 mAh.The starting voltage of a fresh alkaline battery is 1.55 V . The voltage decreases during discharge and is 0.85 V when the battery has delivered its rated capacity. If we assume that the voltage declines linearly as current is withdrawn, estimate the total maximum electrical work the battery could perform during discharge.

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We are asked to estimate the total maximum electrical work the given battery could perform during discharge.

The different types of batteries are:


a) dry-cell battery: also called as galvanic electric cell or alkaline battery and the one used for common flashlights.


b) lithium-ion battery: a rechargeable battery that is used for home electronics.


c) lead-acid storage battery: used for cars and automobiles.


d) NiCad battery: contains nickel and cadmium; originally used for the flashlight and is rechargeable. However, Cd is toxic and the battery is hard to dispose of.


e) fuel cell: usually used as back-up power in commercial, industrial, or residential areas.


To solve this problem, we shall follow these steps:

Step 1: Determine the maximum capacity delivered when 1.55 V are used up.

Step 2: Convert the obtained maximum capacity from mAh to C (i.e. a unit of charge).

Step 3: Determine the electrical work in Joules (J). 


The given battery is an alkaline battery

We are given:

capacity=2850 mAh

starting voltage = 1.55 V

depleted voltage = 0.85 V

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Problem Details

The capacity of batteries such as the typical AA alkaline battery is expressed in units of milliamp-hours (mAh). An "AA" alkaline battery yields a nominal capacity of 2850 mAh.

The starting voltage of a fresh alkaline battery is 1.55 V . The voltage decreases during discharge and is 0.85 V when the battery has delivered its rated capacity. If we assume that the voltage declines linearly as current is withdrawn, estimate the total maximum electrical work the battery could perform during discharge.