Low Power Batteries (Less than 5Ah)
Low power batteries are usually made in very large volumes and low cost is usually the most important design goal. A wide range of primary and secondary cells is available to satisfy this need. The range of Cell Chemistries employed is fairly small but the range of available Cell Packaging is very wide.
For fifty years the lowest cost, low drain applications have been powered by Primary Cells and the market is well served by a range of standard low cost Leclanché and Alkaline cells. In the last twenty years however the explosion of applications requiring cordless power such as mobile phones, power tools, laptop computers and PDAs has created a demand for Secondary Cells to supply the higher current drains and to provide the convenience of recharging that these new applications require. (It could also be said that it is the availability of new battery technologies and new Cell Chemistries which has made these applications possible.)
Cost and capacity are not the only considerations in determining the choice of battery technology. Small size is usually also an important design goal and the ergonomic design of these products determines the shape, size and weight and even the colour of the battery which can be used. These requirements have given rise to a demand for Battery Pack Designs in which standard secondary cells are incorporated into custom battery packs to satisfy particular product or market needs. Battery specification is no longer as simple as it used to be.
See also High Power Batteries