Monthly Science: Energizer CR2032 Life Time

It seems the batch of Energizer CR2032 lithium cells I bought a while ago reached the end of their shelf life:

Energizer CR2032 - short life

Energizer CR2032 – short life

In point of fact, I replaced three CR2032 cells this month, all with anomalously short lives: one month counts as a complete failure. The Energizer date code YA isn’t helpful in determining when they were manufactured or what the shelf life might be.

Admittedly, I bought that batch in late 2009, so they might have used up most of their shelf life on somebody else’s shelf. There’s no way to know.

It’s not clear one can buy known-good cells from any supplier these days, as the counterfeiters evidently get genuine holograms from the same factory as the Brand Names.

  1. #1 by madbodger on 2014-12-01 - 09:53

    “YA” means “young adult”, right? Is there any chance the markings are interfering with the contact and adding resistance?

    • #2 by Ed on 2014-12-01 - 12:11

      “young adult”

      As in, “not a young pup” and “halfway toward worn out”? Yup, I’d say that describes ’em.

      Sitting on my desk, the open-circuit voltage read 2.9 V: well down the right end of the discharge curve. After one whole month of use, it was defunct!

  2. #3 by Mike on 2015-01-01 - 16:33

    Many years ago an engineer at JPL in Pasadena CA tipped me off that the skin oil that transfers from your fingers to the narrow insulation strip between the center button and the outside rim is a fairly low resistance… He stated that he either handled the cell very carefully to not contaminate that strip, or he wore a new rubber glove while installing coin cells.

    if you handled the cells in a way that put a finger across the insulation strip that could explain the short life.

    Mike WA6ILQ

    • #4 by Ed on 2015-01-01 - 19:37

      I’m certain I’ve touched the junction while fumbling around with the cells, but several emerged DOA directly from of their sealed capsules. There’s definitely something else going wrong in there.

      Thanks for the tip; I’ll be more careful in the future!

      I should give one a generous smearing, put it on the shelf, and ask how it’s doing a year from now. Not right now, though… [sigh]

  1. Last of the Energizer CR2032 Cells | The Smell of Molten Projects in the Morning