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Why Don't They Make Size B Batteries – Introduction and Comparison
What is Size B Battery?
Since the invention of batteries, there have been pretty diverse types of batteries with totally different sizes, shapes, capacities, and voltages. The size B battery entails any single or group of cells that give the plate a positive charge to draw electrons from the filament. The B cell is also referred to as LR12. It is rarely used on its own; it works among a bundle of other cells. B batteries work together with the A and C batteries to power vacuum tubes; A was to heat the filament, B was for the grid voltage, and C was for the plate voltage. Type B Batteries are generally shipped without electrolytes; therefore, they need servicing before charging. They also need to be checked frequently during their life.
Origin of Size B Batteries
During World War 1, battery manufacturers and some government agencies came together to develop uniform specifications for different batteries that were available at that time. They created the specifications according to the following criteria; the sizes of the battery cells, their arrangement in batteries, their performance, and other factors. Later in 1924, they got together again to develop a standard naming system for all the cells and batteries discussed earlier. Most people adopted the proposal and agreed that the naming of the batteries was to happen using the alphabet. That is, the smallest cells and single-cell batteries as "A", then "B", then lastly "C". Smallest batteries that came along afterward were designated as "AA" and "AAA". Finally, the giant batteries commonly used were adopted as "No. 6" because of their popular name (6-inch battery).
The few size B batteries in the market are packed in sizes 21.5mm by 60mm. The packages produce 1.5 volts and 8350 mAh for the alkaline variety. Also, the voltage for the B batteries has been decreasing gradually over time. For instance, their voltage first started as 120 volts, then typically moved down to 90, 67.5, 45, 22.5, and 1.5 currently. This is because the more efficient the tubes become, the more the decrease in the amount of voltage needed in the B batteries.
Why is there No B Battery?
Even though the popularity of size B batteries is dwindling, the batteries are still available out there in the world. You will not typically see them in the stores, but they are sometimes used in some countries for lanterns and bicycle lamps. The most popular batteries are AA, AAA, C, and D; what happened to the B battery? Did they ever exist? If so, why are they not found in the market? As such, this article outlines some of the primary reasons for the decline of size B batteries.
World War 1 came along with a myriad of battery devices after many debates and arguments by various manufacturers and governments. Among them were the B sizes, which were a little bigger than A. As battery technology advances over the years, the new and smaller battery sizes like AA and AAA were perfect for electronic products while C and D flourished in larger applications. B batteries became uncommon because industry standards trended towards AA, AAA, C and D. The later the letter, the larger the battery. i.e., "A" is larger than "AA", and "D" is larger than "C". Fast forward to modern times. Since most B batteries are mid-sized, they do not have a market thus vanish. There is still a specification for the B battery, but there is practically no need for a battery size between A and C.
Judging from the consumer end, it appears that all the other battery types, i.e., AA, AAA, C, and D, really caught on commercially, unlike the B Battery. According to Mental Floss, B batteries still exist and are commercially available in all countries apart from the USA. Manufacturers have continued to produce battery types frequently purchased by customers leaving out the unpopular B Batteries. Nobody wants to manufacture and sell batteries that have no market, and at the same time, nobody wants to manufacture devices that use such rare batteries. The B batteries are fading due to the lack of a consumer niche to facilitate their production.
Manufacturers used B batteries primarily in vacuum tubes such as radios. They used the batteries to provide the plate voltage for the vacuum tube in the radios; however, tube radios are no longer common due to advancements in technology. People believe that the tube radios vanished with the B batteries. Instead, transistor designs that used the 9V battery replaced the tube radios. The B batteries, for that matter, stopped having a lot of practical uses, so they went out of the market. This may not be entirely accurate if both the ANSI standard and the vacuum tube batteries are compared.
Are B Batteries Size?
The long history of disposable dry cells outlines the sizes, shapes, and general characteristics of typical primary and secondary battery types in the household, automotive and industrial fields. Long before international standards came about, different manufacturers could designate their sizes for batteries. The current international standards that designate battery sizes include; International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Unfortunately, the designations for both IEC and ANSI do not agree, though agencies are working to solve the differences.
From the above information, there is indeed a B size cell. The complete nomenclature for a given battery states its size, chemistry, terminal arrangement, and other unique characteristics such as voltage per cell. Shapes can be a cylindrical, rectangular, camera, or button-cell. For instance, a cylindrical B battery's typical capacity (mAh) is 8350 (alkaline), and its nominal voltage is 1.5. The B battery's size is estimated as 21.5mm by 60mm. The larger the B battery is, the more capacity it has for energy storage hence a longer battery life.
You may not see B-size batteries at your local supermarkets or hardware, but that does not mean they are out of stock. The batteries are sometimes found as the cells that make up larger batteries like the particular–purpose 6-volt battery, which has close to 4 B-sized batteries inside. Since many electronic devices are getting smaller and rechargeable, there is no longer a demand for B batteries.