Primary (non-rechargeable) Batteries


There are many different types of primary battery available, from the cheap and cheerful consumer alkaline types, through to sophisticated and very capable specialist chemistries often based around the use of a lithium anode. Voltages of individual cells typically varies from 1.5V to nearly 4V, with cells combined in battery packs giving other voltages.

When to Use Primary Batteries

Primary batteries are typically used in applications where very long operational life is required or in situations where regular access for battery replacement is difficult. Other variants address very specialised niche applications. Some types also offer long pre use shelf life with very low self-discharge rate and. High reliability and safe operation are also features associated with this type of battery.

Temperature Effects

Primary batteries can be used over a wide temperature range if the correct type is selected. Consumer batteries typically are used in the range of -10°C to +40°C, but other types expand the range from -60°C up to +85°C. Some specialist primary batteries expand this still further with operation at temperatures approaching +200°C possible, but there are very specific conditions under which these can be used.

Due to the characteristics under load, the voltage when delivering current to equipment can drop considerably, and care needs to be taken to ensure that the voltage is maintained at a suitable level for the equipment to operate, especially if there are higher current pulsed loads applied. This is particularly noticeable if there is a requirement to operate over a wide temperature range, and it is a common mistake made in battery selection not to have considered the variability of voltage under load.

Selecting Your Primary Battery

As an example, there are over 20 lithium primary battery chemistries available on the market, many with sub variants such as high power, high energy, high temperature and so on. These also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, some industry standard and other specialist variants. This makes selecting the best battery a challenge, and is not something that can be done with a brief internet trawl.

Battery Design

The physical design of the battery can also play a significant role in the successful implementation of the selected power source. Batteries containing multiples cells are commonplace, but making sure the method of connecting cells together is often overlooked. Even when the correct type has been chosen, performance is severely compromised by poor physical design. At best this only manifests itself in unexpected poor life, but at worst can present a safety hazard.


Working with you, DM Power Solutions will identify the battery that will best fulfil your requirement. Implementing correct battery design and usage techniques early in your product development cycle will give you the best power solution possible.

To get a specialised battery design engineer working for you, saving your designers time and effort, please fill in the enquiry form on the contact page of this website.

Take the load off your mind and put it onto the battery!