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Choose the right smoke alarm battery

[fa icon="calendar"] 10-Mar-2021 15:49:00 / by Rob Brown

Rob Brown

'Dead batteries caused 24% of all smoke alarm failures in 2015', which means that Fire Protection Groups and Fire Departments must be cautious when it comes to battery selection.  Many factors must be considered, from high performance to longevity.

Ultralife design and manufacture two main types of non-rechargeable battery that are suitable for smoke detectors; 3V CR123As and Lithium 9V.  Below are ten ways that Ultralife's cells are tailored to serve fire protection applications:

1)  Industry Experience

Since Ultralife Corporation was founded, the company has manufactured 9V cells for use in smoke alarms.  This technical expertise was then used to develop the CR123A range.

  CR123A  
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Ultralife has produced more than four types of CR123A cell for many years but the line-up is continually expanding to meet growing demand.

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More than 100 million Ultralife 9V batteries have been sold during approx. 30 years of manufacturing.

2)  Innovative Mechanical Design

Ultralife undertake continuous research and development to improve battery design, which – in turn – enhances performance.

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The CR123A crimp seal 2/3A cell was designed to be lightweight with stable output voltages, meeting the needs of many next-gen devices, such as those used in home automation.

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Originally constructed using cylindrical cells in a square formation, Ultralife’s engineers realized this wasted vital space, so developed today’s thin cell version as a pouch with square cells.

3)  Consumer Replaceable

Many smoke detectors come supplied with a battery from the manufacturer that is often not consumer replaceable, which is why both the CR123A and Lithium 9V have a long service life, similar to the lifetime of the product.  However, for smoke detectors that allow batteries to be changed by the end user, Ultralife ensure that the CR123A and Lithium 9V are suitable replacements.

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Some of the CR123As offered by Ultralife are manufactured in China, making them a lower cost solution for retail applications (the UB123A will be made in the US).

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Ultralife’s 9V measures the same size as a standard alkaline battery, meeting ANSI Alkaline 1604 specifications.

4)  Shelf Life

To allow Ultralife’s batteries to be stored as back-ups, an excellent storage life is offered.

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Ultralife's China-made CR123A can be stored for up to 10 years.

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Tests have shown that the 9V can be stored for more than ten years without compromising performance.

5)  Service Life

Choosing a battery with a long service life means that the smoke alarm should not need changing as frequently, giving added peace of mind.

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The CR17335 has a battery life higher than 10 years, depending on the application.

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In most ionization-type smoke detectors, the 9V has an operational life of up to 10 years.

6)  Wide Temperature Range

As smoke detectors may be required for use in hot and cold environments; the battery’s ability to perform in varied temperatures is vital.

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The CR123A crimp seal 2/3A cell has an operating temperature range of -20 to +70°C and a storage temperature range of -20 to +45°C.

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Lithium 9V’s operating temperature range is between -20 and 60°C, with a storage temperature range of -40 to 60°C.

7)  Safety Features

In addition to being able to perform in a variety of temperatures, Ultralife batteries are protected against reasonable and foreseeable misuse.

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Among the safety features is a Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) safety device to limit current during short circuit conditions.

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Safety measures include a shutdown separator internal to each of the three cells and a Polymer Positive Temperature Coefficient (PPTC).

8)  High Performance

When the smoke detector is triggered, it needs to be relied upon to perform effectively.

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The CR123A crimp seal 2/3A cell has a low self-discharge rate, maximizing its reliability in devices where power failure is not an option.

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Whilst the competition offers Lithium 9V products with 800mAh of capacity, Ultralife offer 1200mAh or 50% more energy.

9)  Certified

Do not just take our word for it that the batteries deliver to a high standard.  Both the CR123A and 9V have been pre-qualified to internationally recognized standards.

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Certifications include UL 1642, UN 38.3 and IEC 60086-4 (for battery specific specifications, please refer to the relevant technical datasheet).

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Pre-qualified to meet UN 38.3, UL 2054, UL 217 and IEC 60086-4.

10)  Suitable for Other Applications

Providing better value for money, customers who buy Ultralife batteries can also use them in a wide range of additional applications.

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Many portable products can be powered with this battery, such as digital video cameras, portable lights, security systems, ELTs, handheld electronics and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

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Lithium 9V is suitable for use in rugged handheld devices, telematics, instrumentation equipment, ELTs, security sensors, metering systems, wearable Medtech and much more.

 

These are just ten of the reasons that Ultralife CR123A and Lithium 9V batteries are highly suited for use in smoke alarms and other devices.  If you are a member of a Fire Protection Group or work for a Fire Department and would like any further information, please

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Topics: Safety and security industry insight

Rob Brown

Written by Rob Brown

Marketing Executive with over 10 years' experience.