Battery Recommendations

Across our battery powered device range, we have devices that utilize a variety of battery sizes and chemistries, as displayed in the table below. As of 2020 the current device line-up is

Table 1:

DeviceInput Voltage RangeBattery SizeAlkalineLiFeS2LTCRecommended Batteries
Oyster2 (Cellular)5-16V3 x AA
YesYesEnergizer Ultimate Lithium L91 or
certain LTCs
Oyster Sigfox4-6V3 x AAYesYes
Energizer Ultimate Lithium L91
Oyster LoRaWAN4-6V3 x AAYesYes
Energizer Ultimate Lithium L91
Yabby GPS (Cellular)4-6V3 x AAA
Yes
Energizer Ultimate Lithium L92
Yabby Wi-Fi
(Cellular)
4-6V3 x AAA
Yes
Energizer Ultimate Lithium L92
Yabby LoRaWAN4-6V3 x AAAYesYes
Energizer Ultimate Lithium L92
Remora2 (Cellular)5-16V2 x D

YesCertain LTCs
Falcon (Cellular)5-16V3 x AA
Or line power

YesYesEnergizer Ultimate Lithium L91 or
certain LTCs
Eagle (Cellular)5-16V4 x C
Or line power
Yes
YesPanasonic Industrial Alkaline or LTCs
Guppy LoRaWAN2-3.62 x AAAYesYes
(recommended)

Energizer Ultimate Lithium L92
Guppy Bluetooth2-3.6V2 x AAAYesYes
(recommended)

Energizer Ultimate Lithium L92
SensorNode Bluetooth4-6V3 x AAYesYes
(recommended)

Energizer Ultimate Lithium L91
SensorNode LoRaWAN4-6V3 x AA
Or line power
YesYes
(recommended)

Energizer Ultimate Lithium L91
SensorData LoRaWAN4-6V4 x C
Or line power
Yes

Panasonic Industrial Alkaline


Recommendations:

1. Fresh Batteries
It has been shown that batteries deteriorate over time. Make sure that the batteries that you are buying are as fresh as possible. You can usually check the batch manufacture date or the expiry date on the battery to get an idea.

2. Test
Ideally each battery should be tested using a battery tester before being installed.

3. Size
You would think every battery is exactly the same size. But they can vary slightly and affect the fit of the battery in the device. It is important to check the fit of your batteries in the device's battery holder.


Common Battery Concepts

For more information about batteries, head to Battery University - this is an excellent resource providing to the point information about various battery types.

Temperature Tolerance

Most batteries will perform the best at room temperature. It is why most of the time their capacity (and other characteristics) will be specified at room temperature (25 or 27°C ). All batteries will specify an operating temperature range (which they can be safely used within) - i.e. -20°C to + 60°C. However in general exposing batteries to excessively high or low temperatures at the edge of this range for extended periods will lead to reduced life. 

Self Discharge

All batteries, when sitting around unused will slowly degrade and lose capacity. This is referred to as 'self-discharge'  and is expressed in % per year. Batteries have a limited shelf life and as such the freshest possible batteries should be used where possible. 


Battery Chemistries

Our devices support a variety of battery chemistries - which may be used in our devices. Each has it's pros and cons, summarized below.

Table 2:

ChemistryAlkalineLithium Iron Disulfide (LiFeS2)Lithium Thionyl Chloride (LTC)
Voltage1.5V per cell1.5V per cell3.7V per cell
CapacityLowGoodHigh
Self Discharge6% per year at 25°C3% per year at 25°C1% per year at 25°C
CostLowEconomicalHigh
ShippingEasiestRestrictions apply - Dangerous GoodsRestrictions apply - Dangerous Goods
Typical Operating Temp0 to +60°C-40°C to +60°C (Energizer)-55°C to +85°C
AvailabilityReadily available consumer productReadily available consumer productIndustrial
Available SizesAAA, AA, C, DAAA, AAAA, C, D

Alkaline

Alkaline batteries are low cost, readily available and will work in the products indicated in Table 1. They will not perform well in the other devices, and should not be used. For devices that will also accept LiFeS2 batteries, we recommend that this type is used instead for longer battery life. 

Lithium Iron Disulfide (LiFeS2)

We have seen excellent results with Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries. Such batteries are readily available at any supermarket or hardware store, so they are easy to source and replace as necessary. Operating temperature range is good for most applications. These are an excellent choice, particularly when testing devices - as ordering and freighting LTC batteries can be more complicated than simply purchasing LiFeS2 batteries from a local store. 

Lithium Thionyl Chloride (LTC)

These are an industrial batteries which have very high capacity and temperate tolerance. They are the only option for the Remora2, and can be used on the Oyster2, Falcon and Eagle. 

The drawbacks to LTC batteries are that they can be more expensive and are hard to freight as they cannot travel by air and must be shipped or travelled by road, despite these drawbacks, given the dependence of the device on the performance of the batteries, LTCs are the best option to provide long battery life and dependable device functionality. They are the choice for devices in harsh environments where the best performance is required. Temperatures can easily exceed 60°C if devices are installed inside a vehicle, in a shipping container etc. The additional cost per battery can easily offset the cost of replacing batteries more frequently in many situations, making LTCs the best choice.


Device Specific Battery Recommendations

Not all batteries are create equal - particularly for LTC batteries. LTC batteries often come in two variants:

  • Bobbin Type - These are built for the maximum lifetime, but can only supply low pulse-current. 
  • Spiral Type 'M-Type' - Do not last quite as long, but are capable of supplying higher current in short bursts (higher pulse current). In general this type should be used.


Our device modems and GPS modules will draw relatively high current for short periods of time, so any LTC batteries selected must be able to supply the stated peak currents. Check the product datasheet against the peak current values given below. Additionally it is worth testing any new battery models - they don't always perform as well as the data sheet would suggest!

Broadly speaking, we require M-Type, high power version nearly every time in the AA size. The 'High Capacity' versions typically don't come close to meeting the required pulse current spec.
In the D Size, some Bobbins are often OK - check against the values in the tables per device. If in doubt - check with your DM Support Team

Oyster2 and Falcon

The Oyster2 and Falcon will accept either LiFeS2 or LTC batteries. LiFeS2 batteries are easier to source if extended temperature tolerance is not required - and in the AA form both chemistries offer comparable battery life. So LiFeS2 is a good option for many cases. In this scenario use Energizer Ultimate Lithium L91.

If extended temperature tolerance is required, LTC batteries are the best option. Your DM branch may supply LTC batteries - or they can be sourced from a local supplier (best to help with freight as they cannot travel by air)

Oyster2:
Table 3. Oyster2 Peak Current Draw. Ensure the max pulse current stated on the datasheet is at least the values below.

Device  

Battery Type

Peak Current (approx., @3V per cell for LTCs and @1.5V for LiFeSO2)

Oyster2 4G Cat-M1/Nb-IoT

LiFeSO2

500mA

Oyster2 4G Cat-M1/Nb-IoT

LTC

250mA

Oyster2 2G

LiFeSO2

1800mA

Oyster2 2G

LTC

900mA

 

Falcon:

Table 4. Falcon Peak Current Draw. Ensure the max pulse current stated on the datasheet is at least the values below.

Device

Battery Type

Peak Current (approx, @3V per cell for LTCs and @1.5V for LiFeSO2)

Falcon 4G Cat-M1/Nb-IoT

LiFeSO2

800mA

Falcon 4G Cat-M1/Nb-IoT

LTC

400mA

Falcon 2G

LiFeSO2

2A

Falcon 2G

LTC

1A

 

Where Do I Buy Them?

 


Remora2

The Remora2 requires at least 5V to operate. So 2 x 1.5V Alkaline D cells will not power the device. LiFeS2 batteries are not available in D size - so this leaves LTCs. 



Table 5. Remora2 Peak Current Draw

Device

Battery Type

Peak Current (approx. - worst case @3V per cell)

Remora2 4G Cat-M1/Nb-IoT

LTC

400mA

Remora2 2G

LTC

1300mA

 

Where do I buy them?


Eagle

The Eagle uses 4 x C Cell batteries, and its input voltage range supports both 4 x 1.5V Alkaline Cells and 4 x 3.7V LTC cells. LiFeS2 batteries are not available in this size. Table 6. Eagle Peak Current Draw

Device    Battery TypePeak Current (approx, @3V per cell for LTCs and @1.5V for LiFeSO2)
Eagle 4G Cat-M1/Nb-IoTLTC300mA
Eagle 4G Cat-M1/Nb-IoTAlkaline650mA
Eagle 2GLTC800mA
Eagle 2GAlkaline1600mA

Suggested Batteries:

Alkaline: Panasonic LR14XW Industrial type
Lithium Thionyl Chloride: SAFT LSH14 - for extreme temperatures and high capacity, can be expensive


SensorData LoRaWAN

The SensorData LoRaWAN can only be fitted with Alkaline batteries. We recommend Panasonic LR14XW. 'Industrial' alkaline batteries are best.


Master Instruments

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