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The Complete Guide to C Batteries

When endeavouring to electrify portable devices that consume power at a medium to high rate, such as torches, radios and walkie-talkies, you may have been advised to use ‘C batteries’. This, in turn, could beg the question: what are C batteries?

With this in-depth guide, we can answer this question and many others about this commonly used type of dry cell battery.

An Overview of C Batteries

Even just the term ‘C batteries’ could bring AA, AAA and D batteries to your mind — and like these examples, C batteries are not only cylindrical but also intended to operate with minimal internal moisture. However, C batteries are larger than AA and AAA batteries while smaller than D batteries.

Each C battery is 1.97 inches (50mm) long and 1.03 inches (26.2mm) in diameter. C batteries can be sourced in either ‘disposable’ or ‘rechargeable’ form and used for charging a wide range of devices — including cameras, toys, intruder alarms and musical instruments.

C batteries are sometimes referred to as ‘R14’ or ‘C LR14’ batteries, having been designated as such by the major electrical standards body the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

How Do ‘Standard’ and ‘Rechargeable’ C Batteries Differ?

The way that ‘standard’ C batteries work is largely self-explanatory; once they are fitted correctly in the device, they can power it until finally running out of energy and need to be replaced. Conversely, the rechargeable kind can be repeatedly replenished with energy.

As the latter batteries can be recharged hundreds of times before replacement, they make it easier for appliances to be used in an eco-conscious fashion.

What is the Voltage of a C Battery?

C batteries can differ significantly in their voltages. When you consult the product listing for a given C battery, you will see a ‘nominal’ voltage which is supposed to represent the battery’s capacity in ideal conditions. In practice, though, the conditions in which the battery operates can rarely be ideal.

Non-rechargeable C batteries are often offered in the nominal voltages of 1.5V, 3V and 3.6V (with ‘V’ standing for ‘volts’ in each case). Standard rechargeable C batteries in NZ come with a nominal voltage of 1.2V.

So what are the C batteries’ voltages listed on the Scott Electrical website? As our exact stock is subject to change, we advise that you look at the website to see which types of C batteries we would be able to supply to your electrical services business.