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    Lithium


    FAQs

    1. In what applications will the Rayovac 9V Lithium battery last 10 years?

    Rayovac's 9V Lithium battery will only last 10 years in ionization smoke alarms. However, Rayovac's 9V Lithium will extend the life of any 9V lithium device significantly more than a standard alkaline battery.

    2. What is an ionization smoke alarm?

    An Ionization smoke alarm uses an ionization chamber, which is an air-filled space between two electrodes, and permits a small, constant current between the electrodes. Any smoke that enters the chamber absorbs the alpha particles, which reduces the ionization and interrupts this current setting off the alarm.

    3. How do I know if I have an ionization smoke alarm?

    To determine whether you have an ionization-type or photoelectric-type smoke alarm, look at the label on the back of the alarm. If it's an ionization type there will be a statement on the label similar to the following: "This device contains 0.9 microcurie of americium." If such a statement is not on the label then you have a photoelectric alarm.

    4. What areas require a 10 year smoke alarm battery?

    In the US, Oregon state law (ORS 497.297) requires a 10 year smoke alarm battery. Michigan state law (MCL 125.1504c) requires a 5 year smoke alarm battery which can be satisfied by some alkaline batteries but they recommend a Lithium 9V battery. Louisiana state law (R.S. 40:1573 and 1581) requires a 10 year sealed lithium battery smoke detector in one or two family dwellings sold or leased after January 1st, 2011. Many other towns, cities, and municipalities also require 10 year smoke alarm batteries. Please contact your local authorizes to learn more.

    5. How long do smoke alarms last and what are the installation, maintenance, testing and replacement requirements?

    Installation
    The National Fire Protection Association recommends installing smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, making sure that there is an alarm outside every separate sleeping area. New homes are required to have a smoke alarm in every sleeping room and all smoke alarms must be interconnected.

    Maintenance
    Regular cleaning of smoke alarms can prevent false alarms caused by the buildup of dust or other contamination such as flies. Photoelectric (optical) type alarms are more susceptible to contamination due to possible interference with the light source and sensor. A vacuum cleaner can be used to clean both ionization and photoelectric alarms externally and internally.

    Testing
    Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.

    Replacement
    Smoke alarms become less reliable with time, primarily due to aging of their electronic components, as well as from dust and contamination, making them susceptible to nuisance false alarms. Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use long-life 10 year non-replaceable batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they are 10 years old, or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.

    6. Where can I purchase the Rayovac 9V Lithium Battery

    Currently Home Depot and select Walmart stores carry the Rayovac 9 volt Lithium battery. We will be expanding distribution of this new product soon.

    7. The instruction manual with my smoke alarm specifies to replace only with an Ultralife lithium battery. Is the Rayovac 9V Lithium battery an acceptable replacement? If it is, how often should I replace it?

    The Rayovac 9V Lithium will work properly in any other smoke alarm requiring the Ultralife lithium battery. Under normal use conditions, the battery should power ionization smoke alarms for up to 10 years. Please note that smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years, as they lose sensitivity over time due to age and dust.

    Also note that many smoke alarms come with recommendations to replace the battery with a specific brand of 9V battery (oftentimes Alkaline or Zinc Carbon chemistries). The Rayovac 9V Lithium is also an acceptable replacement battery in these devices and will power any ionization smoke alarm for up to 10 years.

    8. What are common 9V Battery Applications where I could use the 9V Lithium battery
    Household Products
    • Memory backup (e.g. clock radios, telephones, etc.)
    • Digital scales
    • Garage door openers
    • Photographic flash units and light meters
    • Remote controls for RC hobbies
    • Television/VCR/DVD/Stereo remote controls

    Home and Personal Safety
    • Smoke alarms
    • Baby monitors
    • Emergency exit alarms
    • Carbon monoxide alarms
    • Flood alarms
    • Gas alarms
    • Home security devices
    • Electronic entry systems
    • Wireless security keypads
    • Door/window alarms
    • Glass break detectors
    • Motion sensors
    • Sound detectors
    • Passive infrared detectors
    • Pet containment systems
    • Panic buttons
    • Package tracking transmitters
    • Stun guns
    • Personal defenders

    Medical
    • Home healthcare equipment
    • Ambulatory infusion pumps
    • Blood pressure monitors
    • Blood analyzers
    • Biofeedback systems
    • Bone growth simulators
    • Wireless patient monitors
    • Digital thermometers
    • External pacemakers/programmers
    • Galvanic stimulators
    • Muscle stimulators
    • Heart/Holter monitors
    • Pediatric scales
    • TENS units
    • Pulse oximeters
    • Telemetry systems

    Wireless Communications
    • Cargo container location beacons
    • Electronic toll collection systems
    • Military training targets
    • Laser tags
    • Remote infrared mice
    • Silo transducers
    • Vehicle/vessel tracking sensors
    • Wireless remote controls
    Instrumentation
    • Bar code scanners
    • Data recorders
    • Electronic parking meters
    • Digital gauges and scales
    • Force gauges
    • Voltmeters
    • Cable route tracers
    • Capacitance meters
    • Lux meters
    • Multimeters
    • Signal tracers
    • Metal/stud detectors
    • Gas flow correctors
    • Industrial valve actuators
    • Radar Detectors
    • Anti-static strap testers
    • Wireless switches
    • Microfilm cassettes
    • Radiosonde weather balloons
    • Utilities load controllers
    • Point-of-purchase merchandisers
    • Profilometers
    • Video head testers
    • Noise cancellation equipment

    Marine/Aviation
    • Marine compasses
    • Scuba-diving computers
    • Noise canceling headphones
    • Air samplers
    • Depth finders
    • Digital barometers
    • Global positioning systems
    • Marine smoke alarms
    • Weather measurement instruments

    Music/Audio
    • Musical effects devices
    • Wireless microphones
    • Fuzz boxes
    • Wah-Wah pedals
    • Wireless preamps
    • Guitar pickups
    • Wireless transceivers
    • Wireless tuners
    • Portable music equipment
    • Metronomes
    9. We use your 9 volt lithium batteries in medical devices, but our tester is for alkaline. Is there a tester for lithium batteries so we can avoid throwing away batteries that are still good?

    Because lithium batteries, such as Rayovac's 9-volt battery, operate at a relatively constant voltage level throughout their life, and do not decline significantly in voltage until they are near end of life, it is not possible to use a battery tester to determine if a lithium battery is still good. For this reason, there are no testers available for use with lithium batteries.

    When viewing the voltage curves, you will notice that, depending on the cut-off voltage of the device that the battery is powering, (e.g., a typical device's low voltage alarm might be 7 volts) on average the lithium battery outlasts an alkaline battery by 2 times.

    Because it is not possible to use a battery tester to determine the remaining life of a lithium battery, we suggest you run some tests comparing the actual life of alkaline vs. lithium batteries in your devices. Once you determine the lithium battery life under typical usage conditions you can then implement a battery change program based upon the amount of time they have been in use. For example, if you determine in your testing that the lithium battery outlasts an alkaline battery by 3 times, and you typically change alkaline batteries once a day, you can then change the lithium batteries every 3 days. You can modify that change schedule depending on how often the devices actually go into a low battery alarm condition. In this way you will get the most value from using lithium batteries.

    10. I use your 9-volt lithium battery in musical gear but found that it has slightly larger dimensions than a conventional 9-volt battery.

    Due to the unique design of aluminum battery housing, which has less-rounded edges than alkaline batteries, the 9V Lithium battery presents a fit problem in a small number of applications. Generally, the fit problem occurs in those devices that were originally designed using the actual dimensions and shape of an alkaline battery, rather than using the maximum dimensional standards established by the American National Standards Institute. Unfortunately there is no way for us to modify the shape of our battery to fit in such devices. We are continuously looking for alternative ways to get the same amount of power into a slightly smaller housing.

    11. What are the airline transportation guidelines I should be aware of with the 9V Lithium battery?

    Following is advice from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's SafeTravel.dot.gov web site on flying with battery-powered devices:

    • Batteries pose little risk contained in the devices they power. Taking the battery out of the device does not enhance safety. To be safest, carry the device with you, not in your checked baggage. Do not remove the battery!
    • Carry your battery-powered devices or spare batteries in your carry-on baggage. In the passenger compartment, flight crews can better monitor safety conditions to prevent an incident, and can access fire extinguishers, if an incident does happen.
    • Finally, if you must carry a battery-powered device in your checked baggage, package it to prevent inadvertent activation. Cordless power tools, for instance, should be packed in a protective case, with a trigger lock engaged.

    Many travelers like the convenience of readily available spare batteries. It's safe to travel with spare batteries, as long as you follow these simple spare battery tips:

    • Pack spare batteries in carry-on baggage. In the passenger compartment, flight crews can better monitor safety conditions to prevent an incident, and can access fire extinguishers, if an incident does happen.
    • Keep spare batteries in the original retail packaging, to prevent unintentional activation or short-circuiting.
    • For loose batteries, place tape across the battery's contacts to isolate terminals. Isolating terminals prevents short-circuiting.
    • If original packaging is not available, effectively insulate battery terminals by isolating spare batteries from contact with other batteries and metal. Place each battery in its own protective case, plastic bag, or package. Do not permit a loose battery to come in contact with metal objects, such as coins, keys, or jewelry.
    • Use only chargers designed for your type of batteries. If unsure about compatibility, contact the product manufacturer.
    • Take steps to prevent crushing, puncturing, or putting a high degree of pressure on the battery, as this can cause an internal short-circuit, resulting in overheating.
    • Please see the following site for more information about traveling with batteries: http://safetravel.dot.gov/whats_new_batteries.html
    12. What are the shipping guidelines I should be aware of with the 9V Lithium battery?

    Our 9V Lithium batteries contain 1.35 grams of Lithium and have an "excepted" transportation guideline. Please be aware that when shipping any Lithium product you must adhere to US DOT guidelines when shipping within the US and IATA guidelines when shipping internationally. Both these guidelines require special package labeling and have weight restrictions. Rayovac always adheres to these guidelines when shipping lithium products.

    13. What kind of inspections and tests are performed before a 9V lithium battery is shipped?

    Rayovac 9V lithium batteries are thoroughly tested throughout their production process including voltage, impedance, weight, dimensional and visual characteristics. They are manufactured in accordance with both UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards. Each battery that passes all of our in-process electrical and mechanical tests is then subjected to our final test process including electrical performance: OCV (Open Circuit Voltage), CCV (Closed Circuit Voltage), Terminal Polarity and Impedance. All batteries are also visually inspected.

    14. Why are the Rayovac Batteries brand 9V lithium batteries superior to other battery chemistries and other lithium chemistries in terms of performance and safety?

    The Rayovac 9V Lithium Batteries are constructed with a solid-cathode lithium-manganese dioxide (Li-MnO2) chemistry, which is one of the highest power and highest energy non-rechargeable chemistries available. Other lithium chemistries, including lithium-sulfur dioxide (Li-SO2) and lithium-thionyl chloride (Li-SOCl2), are constructed with liquid cathode in the gas phase under pressure, which can sometimes lead to leakage and safety problems.

    15. What is the maximum pulse current that the Rayovac 9V lithium battery can supply?

    The maximum continuous current rating for the Rayovac 9V Lithium battery is 120 mA. The maximum pulse current at room temperature is 400 mA. As a general guideline, following are the room temperature pulse capabilities of a fresh Rayovac 9V lithium battery based on a maximum 10 second pulse with a 3 minute rest period between pulses. Pulse currents in excess of 400 mA are not recommended.

    Pulse (mA)Typical Voltage (V)
    50 9.3
    100 8.9
    150 8.5
    200 8.3
    250 8.0
    300 7.8
    350 7.6
    400 7.4
    16. What is the recommended storage temperature range for the R9VL and UP9VL 9V lithium batteries?

    The specified storage temperature range for Rayovac 9V Lithium batteries is -40° C to 60° C.

    17. What should be the range of open circuit voltage (OCV) when measuring a fresh R9VL or UP9VL 9V lithium battery?

    The normal OCV range of the Rayovac 9-volt lithium batteries is between 9.6 - 9.9 volts. It is typical for an unused battery's voltage to increase gradually over time, reach as much as 9.95 volts.

    Note that OCV will fluctuate by several hundred millivolts due to the measurement method and equipment used, as well as the measurement temperature and the history of storage conditions to which the battery has been exposed before measurement.

    18. Can I connect two Rayovac 9V lithium batteries in parallel in order to double the available capacity for my application? Is it necessary to use protection diodes and/or series resistors to balance the current drain between the batteries?

    When connecting two 9-volt batteries in parallel, to prevent reverse current flow we recommend adding a separate protection diode (such as a 1N91) to each battery so that either may discharge into your application, but neither may charge the other. The fundamental disadvantage of using blocking diodes is the inherent voltage drop (0.7 - 1.0V), resulting in a lower available voltage to operate the device. To minimize voltage loss, some circuits use a Schottky diode, which reduce the voltage drop to typically less than 0.5V. We do not recommend using a resistor in series with each battery to help balance the current drain.

    19. Does Rayovac's 9V battery provide a safety feature which will prevent a short circuit from resulting in thermal runaway within a cell, and/or venting?

    Rayovac's 9-volt battery is designed for safe operation under a wide range of usage and environmental conditions. A key design feature is the use of Safety Shutdown Separator.

    Rayovac's 9-volt battery is constructed using a safety shutdown separator, which upon either an internal or external short circuit, or current overload condition, will prevent thermal runaway within the cell. The cell electrodes, consisting of a lithium anode and manganese dioxide cathode, are separated by a safety shutdown separator, which is a microporous tri-layer membrane with a single layer of polyethylene membrane between two layers of polypropylene membrane. When a cell is overloaded or short circuited, the polyethylene membrane layer melts upon reaching a temperature of 134° C, significantly reducing ion flow (i.e., current). The reduction in current permits the cell to accept a short circuit or overload condition and shutdown without venting. The safety shutdown is a non-reversible process; once the cell has shutdown it is no longer usable.

    20. I recently purchased a 9-volt Rayovac lithium battery. While out of the packaging and in my pocket for 1 to 2 hours it got very warm, almost too hot to handle. Is this common & what causes it?

    The likely cause of the overheated battery was something metallic that may have been in your pocket, such as loose change or keys, which came in contact with both of the terminals at the top of the battery. During such an occurence, while the battery may become hot, as you experienced, it contains a built-in safety shutdown feature which gradually shuts off the flow of current inside the battery. However, the battery will still get very hot.

    Because the battery safety shutdown feature becomes activated due to the short circuiting of the terminals, the battery can no longer be used and should be replaced with a new one. We recommend that, to prevent short circuiting of the terminals and possible overheating, you not place batteries of any kind in a pocket or purse, where they might come into
    21. Can lithium batteries be used in a intrinsically safe circuit? Would a current limiting device be needed?

    Lithium batteries can be used in intrinsically safe circuits in some cases. A current limiting device may or may not be necessary depending on the device. The battery itself is usually not rated as being intrinsically safe but is tested as part of the entire device. One example where a Rayovac 9-volt lithium battery is being used in an intrinsically safe device is a Personal Alert Safety System (PASS) carried by firefighters, sometimes called a "fireman down alarm."

    22. What can I expect for a self-discharge rate of your lithium-manganese dioxide batteries? Is the self-discharge mechanism in play when when the battery is in use?

    Lithium-manganese dioxide batteries do not exhibit an actual self-discharge mechanism due to the physical separation of the lithium anode and manganese-dioxide cathode. What does occur, however, is a very gradual degradation of the chemistry over time, which can be equated to self-discharge from a capacity loss perspective. In that regard, you can expect a capacity loss of approximately 1.5% per year for our batteries. This loss occurs both in storage and in use.

    23. Will old 9V lithium batteries leak if left in the product instead of discarded?

    As a general rule, batteries, including lithium, should not be left in a product once the battery is discharged. The 9 V lithium batteries from Rayovac are hermetically sealed and the chance of leakage is quite small.

    24. We would like to use this battery in desert conditions. What is the performance of the R9VL and UP9VL batteries at 80°C versus one running at 25°C?

    From the standpoint of performance hours, or runtime, at 80°C the R9VL and UP9VL batteries will provide the same or slightly more capacity than it would when running at 25°C. However, 80°C is 20°C above the maximum rated operating temperature, which we do not recommend. The result of this elevated operating temperature is the potential leakage of small amounts (generally droplets) of electrolyte and/or permeation of electrolyte solvent through the plastic surfaces of the battery, which will cause reduced performance over time. Extended exposure to elevated temperature can also result in battery swelling, which, depending on the size of the device's battery compartment, may make it difficult to remove the battery.From the standpoint of performance hours, or runtime, at 80°C the R9VL and UP9VL batteries will provide the same or slightly more capacity than it would when running at 25°C. However, 80°C is 20°C above the maximum rated operating temperature, which we do not recommend. The result of this elevated operating temperature is the potential leakage of small amounts (generally droplets) of electrolyte and/or permeation of electrolyte solvent through the plastic surfaces of the battery, which will cause reduced performance over time. Extended exposure to elevated temperature can also result in battery swelling, which, depending on the size of the device's battery compartment, may make it difficult to remove the battery.

    25. We would like to use the Rayovac 9V lithium battery in a water alarm. Since the product may become submerged in water, possibly short circuiting the battery, is it safe or it could that cause an explosion or other safety problem?

    The Rayovac 9V Lithium battery is constructed using a safety shutdown separator, which significantly reduces current flow to a safe level in the event of a short circuit or high rate discharge condition, preventing overheating or explosion.

    The battery will not explode if it is accidentally submerged in water. While this should be avoided when possible, accidental submersion in water could result in battery terminal corrosion and an eventual discharge condition. The battery should, of course, be removed from the water as soon as possible.

    Long periods of water submersion could degrade the battery's performance as a result of moisture penetration through the battery's plastic surfaces over time.

    26. I need to purchase at least a dozen 1.5 and 3 volt batteries for a home security system. The system manufacturer suggests we purchase the replacement batteries from him, at about $8.50 ea., because of the long life afforded. I have decided to purchase the batteries at a local store. My question is, how much better, in terms of life expectancy, is the best battery offered compared to a lithium battery?

    Lithium batteries will last longer than any other battery types, including alkaline and general purpose (lowest cost) batteries. For example, Rayovac's 9-volt lithium battery will last for 10 years in an ionization-type smoke alarm (the most common type), compared to about 3 to 5 years for an alkaline battery and just 1 year for a general purpose battery. In a photoelectric smoke alarm the lithium battery will last anywhere from 3 to 7 years vs. about a year for alkaline. Depending on the specific device, the same approximate ratio holds true for other security devices such as door/window transmitters, infrared motion detectors and glass break detectors. It is generally a good idea to follow the manufacturer's battery recommendations.

    27. I installed Rayovac 9V lithium batteries in my AT&T model 8520 smoke alarms, and the batteries lasted only two years and three months. Is this normal since your batteries have a 10-year life warranty?

    Rayovac's 9-volt lithium batteries are warranted for 10 years of operation only in Ionization-type smoke alarms. Commercial alarms, such as the 8520, are Photoelectric, which operate with a significantly higher current drain, and we do not provide a minimum battery life warranty for those types of alarms. The expected battery life in the AT&T 8520 alarm ranges from 18 to 24 months, as compared to 12 months or less with alkaline batteries.

    28. The Rayovac 9-volt battery in my Kidde Nighthawk model KN-COPP-3 carbon monoxide detector died after 5 years. Is this normal? Shouldn't the battery last for 10 years?

    The KN-COPP-3 carbon monoxide (CO) detector is an AC powered device and the 9-volt battery is intended to supply a short-term backup during a power outage. According to the detector owner's manual, in the event of a power outage, the (alkaline) battery will continue operating the alarm for at least 20 hours. Rayovac's 9V lithium battery will last for up to five times longer, or about 100 hours in the event of a power outage. It will not last for 10 years in this device. Our 10 year life warranty is for battery use in ionization smoke alarms, and does not apply to CO detectors.

    According to the KN-COPP-3 owner's manual it is recommended that the (alkaline) battery is replaced at least every six months. When using our lithium battery, that replacement time can be extended by up to 5 times, or approximately every 2.5 years. At 5 years, your battery lasted about twice as long as expected.

    Additionally, the detector is designed to last for 7 years of operation under AC power, at which time it will provide an alert indicating that it should be replaced.

    29. Still have questions?
    Contact our consumer services group