Battery technologies usually used for IoT compared

As it is a recurrent question to find the right battery for an IoT design, I decided to write a post about this topic. I’m not claiming to be an expert of this and I’ll not give insight on this. The purpose is to list the different technology existing with the main characteristics to be able to use the best fitting technologies quickly.

This post is presenting a table of the different battery’s technologies available with the main characteristics. These characteristics are global one regarding the technology. Each of the battery vendor can have specific specifications a bit different. You will need to take a look on datasheets details.


In this post I’m going to list different batteries technologies and main characteristics allowing a quick comparison and choice. For this I’ll be based my comparison on AA size batteries also named 14500. This way the comparison between battery technology will be fair. For type of battery not existing in this format, I’ll do my best to find one having the same equivalent volume.

The post will be split into two parts due to the table size and for a better readability. The first part will address non rechargeable cells and the second part will compare rechargeable batteries.

All the information above are informative, potentially incomplete and false. If you have information to improve this post, the comments are open and welcome. Use these information at your own risk. Please verify all of them with your battery supplier documentation.

As noticed as comment, the battery documentation usually presenting capacity with a stable load all over the time. The Iot specificity is to have really long period with a couple of uA at sleep followed by a high pic of energy during transmission. This is have a large impact (positive as negative) on the battery capacity. I’ll soon publish an post on the OTII tool explaining how to get the real battery profile and capacity for your IoT project.

Non rechargeable (Primary) batteries

AA / 14500 size or equivalent



Zn-MnO2 Li-FeS2 Li-MnO2 Zn-Cl2
Name Lithium Thionyl Alcaline Lithium Lithium Manganese Saline
Voltage 3,6V 1,5V 1,5V 3V 1,5V
Capacity 2250mAh 2960mAh 2900mAh 2000mAh 1220mAh
  8,1W 4,4W 4,3W 6W 1,8W
Price 4€ 1€ 4€ 8€ 0,2€
Max current 50mA > 1A 2A


> 1A
Temp Range -55°C +85°C

-10°C     +50°C

-20°C +60°C -30°C  +75°C +10°C +25°C
Risk ? low ? low low
Environment ? ? ? ? ?
leak current 1% / y 3-5% / y 1% / y < 1% / y 5-10% / y


Rechargeable (secondary) batteries

AA / 14500 size or equivalent

Type Li-Ion Li-Po Li-FePo4 NiMh NiZn NiCd
Name Lithium Ion Lithium Polymere Lithium Fer Phosphate NiMh NiZn Nickel Cadnium
Voltage 3,7V 3,7V 3,2V 1,2V 1,6V 1,2V
Capacity 1500mAh 1800mAh 600mAh 2700mAh 1500mAh 1000mAh
  5,5W 6,6W 1,9W 3,2W 2,4W 1,2W
Price 3,5€ 5€ 5€ 2,5€ 3,5€ 2€
Max Current >1A >1A 120mA – >1A 500mAh >1A 1A
Temp Range -20°C +60°C

-10°C +60°C

-10°C +60°C -10°C +50°C -20°C +65°C -20°C +60°C
Risk Fire / Explosion Fire Warming ? ? ?
Environment – – – – – – + ? ? – –
Leak current 5%/m 3% / m 1% / m 10 %  / m 20% /m 20% / m
Cycles 500 500 2000 1500 1000 2000

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2 Responses to Battery technologies usually used for IoT compared

  1. jmb says:

    IT might be worth taking a look at Zinc / Air cells.

    • Paul says:

      If you have some reference of Zinc-Air we can really use on IoT, I’ll be pleased to add them. Actually I only found button cells with really small capacity. Difficult to compare them.

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