D-Cell Batteries Features and Specifications

Published on: August 3, 2022
Written by Liam Jaxon / Fact-checked by David Rowan

The  D-cell battery is the best option for those who want a more compact battery. It was invented in 1898 by the National Carbon Company. For years, D cells were known as flashlight batteries, and the US military has known this battery as BA-30 since before WWII. D-size battery packs are much larger than AAA and AA batteries. As with the C dry cells, these have a greater diameter. There are both primary and rechargeable versions of these cells available.

d-cell batteries features and specifications

High-drain applications like flashlights, automatic odorizers and paper towel dispensers use D batteries. D batteries are also used in radio receivers and other devices that need to run for long. The positive end of a D cell features a nub or bump, and the opposing end is cylindrical.

It has a wide range of terminal voltage and capacity depending on the cell chemistry. Learn more about this battery by reading the entire article. From the most basic to the most in-depth information about D-Cell batteries, features and specifications, we’ve compiled it all here.

What Is a D Cell Battery?

Typically, a D battery is referred to as a “dry cell.” These interchangeable types are used in a wide range of electrical and residential equipment. So you might be thinking, ‘are all D batteries the same?Differentiating between ‘dry cell’ batteries and the more specialized ‘wet cell’ batteries is done by using the phrase ‘dry cell.’

The shape of a D-size battery is barrel-shaped and squat. The positive contact point or terminal has a unique metal cap form in each battery. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) designated these as R20s, also known as flashlight batteries, MN1300, MX1300, LR20, R20, 13A, 13D, Type 373, BA-30, and so on. 

D-Cell Batteries Specifications

The standard size of D battery has:

  • Diameter: 33.2 mm;
  • Length: 61.5 mm;
  • Voltage: 1.5 volts;
  • Weight: Approximately 160 to 180 grams;
  • Replacement sizes: 373, FR20, R20 MN-1300, 13LF, 13A, 13D, LR20,, MX-1300, and BA-30.

D-cell Batteries Chemistries and Technical Differences

The battery’s chemistry has a considerable role when it comes to things like capacity, voltage, and output current. The following comparison table lists the most frequent chemistries:

ChemistryTypical LabelRechargeableTypical Capacity (Ah)Nominal Voltage (V)
AlkalineLR20, 13ANo (Mostly No)10-181.5
Zinc-CarbonR20, 13DNo6-81.5
NiMHHR20, B006Yes8-121.2
NiCdKR20Yes2-6          1.2
LithiumYes4-81.5(built-in DC-DC converter)
Li-SOCl2ER 34615No18-193.6
Li-FeS2No18-241.8 (1.5)

D-Cell Batteries Features 

It is critical to select long-lasting, reliable D-cell batteries. Below are some essential features that D-cell batteries deliver: 

Long Battery Life 

D batteries are appropriate for such devices due to their high current output. Depending on the brand and usage, a D battery should produce around 10,000 mAh of current (milliamps per hour). A high current consumption rate of 500mAh (milliamps per hour) would yield a battery life of roughly 14 hours.

Environmentally Safer

The sort of batteries you purchase will also impact the outcome. While alkaline batteries cannot be recharged, they are more easily disposed of than lithium batteries since they are safer for the environment.

Providing a Consistent Energy

D-cell batteries are well-known for delivering a consistent and high amount of energy. The high power output helps to keep your devices from flickering or failing. The long battery life and reliable power output also make them an excellent choice for individuals wishing to stock up on high-quality D batteries in large quantities.

D-cell Batteries Advantages

Benefits of primary batteries include:

  • It’s a good choice for scenarios where charging is impracticable (such as forest fire services, rescue missions, and war).
  • IEC 60086-compliant primary batteries power car tire pressure gauges, pacemakers for heart patients, hearing aids and wristwatches.
  • The ability to respond immediately.
  • Long shelf life.
  • Intensely concentrated power.
  • Power density and energy density are reasonable.
  • A cost-effective option.
  • Require very little or no maintenance to keep them working.
  • It’s good for the environment.

D-cell Battery Types

As previously stated, D batteries, like many other sizes, are also available in non-rechargeable and ecologically friendly rechargeable forms, as are many different sizes. A rechargeable D battery can be recharged and utilized several times instead of having to replace a depleted battery. Following are the details:

Non-Rechargeable D-cell Batteries

It is a primary battery, and it is built up of electrochemical cells, and the electrochemical process that occurs in these cells cannot be stopped. Once a non-rechargeable D battery has been emptied, it is impossible to replenish it. Standard D cell batteries have a lower capacity than rechargeable D cell batteries, which are typically more powerful. 

Lithium-ion, lithium-polymer, zinc-carbon, and lithium-iron disulphide are all possible materials for primary D cell batteries (LiFeS2). Zinc Carbon and LiFeS2 are the only two chemistries among them that are designed to be completely disposable cells.

Zinc-carbon D-cell Batteries

Zinc-Carbon D-cells have a capacity of 6000-8000 mAh and a voltage of 1.5 volts. The most popular Panasonic D-cell battery with a nominal voltage of 1.5V can power most devices.

Zinc-carbon D-cells have a 3-5 year shelf life and are affordable and reliable. Their shelf life can be reduced to 1-2 years if not stored properly. Also, due to their chemistry, they may leak over time.

Alkaline D-cells Batteries

Alkaline D-cells are slightly more expensive than zinc-carbon batteries but have a substantially larger capacity (12-18 Ah) and a 5-10 years shelf life. For everyday gadgets like flashlights, alarm clocks, remotes, and more, Energizer MAX D long-lasting batteries are the best option for you.

Some battery manufacturers claim that their D-cells have a capacity of 20+ Ah, although this is only true when the batteries are being drained at low currents (15-30 mAh). Most D-cell batteries are alkaline, and alkaline batteries have significant advantages over zinc-carbon batteries.

Lithium-thionyl Chloride (Li-socl2) D-cell Batteries

Li-SOCL2 batteries are specialized D-cell batteries. These 3.6V batteries are not compatible with 1.5V D-cell batteries. They also have a huge 18-19 Ah capacity and a 20+ year shelf life, such as,

D Cells are fresh and very reliable, ensuring long-lasting power.

But Li-SOCl2 D-cell batteries can’t deliver higher currents. Lithium-Thionyl Chloride (Li-SOCl2) D-cell batteries have a maximum continuous discharge current of 50-150 mAh. As a result, Li-SOCl2 D-cell batteries are widely utilized in electronics.

Rechargeable D Batteries

The most common rechargeable batteries are nickel-cadmium (NiCd) and nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) (NiMH). Both use nickel-metal hydroxide as an “electrolyte” (electricity-conducting substance). NiCd rechargeable D cells are marked as KR20, while NiMH rechargeable D cells are classified as HR20.

Rechargeable batteries have improved in recent years, becoming more dependable, longer-lasting, and less expensive. They are safe for the environment and maybe recharged hundreds of times. Despite this, many individuals prefer to use disposable ones because they have a longer initial shelf life. When purchasing rechargeable batteries, you will also need to acquire a rechargeable battery charger to go along with them.

Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) D-cell Batteries

These batteries contain cadmium, a heavy metal that is a major contaminant and rarely used. NiCd batteries have a memory effect, high self-discharge rate, a nominal voltage of 1.2 volts, and 2-6 Ah capacity. PKCell NiCd D Size 5000mAh flat top rechargeable batteries with tabs have a 500-1000 rechargeability range.

When properly maintained and charged with sophisticated chargers that monitor the batteries’ status, NiCd batteries can withstand several hundred charging and discharging cycles. Then again, a few NiCd D-cell batteries may deliver 50+ Amps.

Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) D-cell Batteries

NiMH D-cell batteries have a comparable output voltage of 1.2 volts as NiCd batteries. They have a larger capacity (8-12 Ah), no heavy metals like cadmium or mercury, a lower self-discharge rate, and can last up to 1000-1200 charge/discharge cycles.

High-drain NiMH batteries have a lower capacity, while low-drain NiMH batteries have a larger capacity. For example, 

EBL Ni-MH D Cells Rechargeable Battery has no memory effect, can be recharged and used at any time, and contains a high-quality cell. The typical NiMH D-cell capacity is 10 Ah, and modern Ni-MH batteries surpass NiCd batteries in practically every manner, making them the favored battery chemistry for rechargeable D-cells.

D-cell Batteries: Our Recommendation

There are a variety of D-cell batteries available on the market . ‘s We’ve compiled a list of some of the most well-known brands.

ModelsBrands Cell Composition Voltage Unit Count
Panasonic D-cell batteries PanasonicZinc1.5 V2.0 Count
Energizer Max D BatteriesEnergizerAlkaline1.5 V8.0 Count
EBL D Cells Rechargeable BatteriesEBLNi-MH1.2 V8.0 Count
Hitrends D Cell BatteriesHITRENDSNi-MH / NI-CD1.5 V2.0 Count
Bonai D Rechargeable BatteriesBONAINi-MH1.2 V8.0 Count
Interstate Batteries D CellInterstateAlkaline1.5 V12.0 Count


What’s the Difference Between C and D Batteries?

D-cell batteries are bigger than C-cell batteries to hold more energy. So they will endure longer. The C battery has up to 8,000 mAh, whereas the D battery has 17,000 mAh.

What Can I Use D Cell Batteries for?

Rechargeable and non-rechargeable D cells are available on the market, and the cell’s chemistry determines the voltage and capacity at the battery’s terminal. Large torches, radio receivers, transmitters, and other equipment that need to run for a long time generally employ D cells.

What Is the Average Battery Life of a D-cell Battery?

In normal conditions, primary D batteries last 36 hours and 3 minutes. They last about 2-3 years before they stop charging, and batteries last up to ten years.

How to Store D-cell Batteries?

To avoid leaks, always store D-cell batteries at ambient temperature in a dry atmosphere. Also, a colder temperature increases battery life; however, this is not universal. Avoid storing them at high temperatures.

What is the Chemical Composition of a D-Cell Battery?

A D-Cell battery typically contains a zinc-carbon chemical composition. This means it consists of an anode (positive terminal) made of zinc, a cathode (negative terminal) made of carbon, and an electrolyte made of an alkaline solution (typically potassium hydroxide).

What Is the Capacity of a D-Cell Battery?

Depending on the type and other factors, the exact number can vary, but a typical D-cell battery can generate 10,000 mAh of current (milliamps per hour). An amp is one-thousandth of a milliampere, the most often used unit of electrical charge.

Are D-Cell Batteries Available in Different Sizes?

Yes, D-cell batteries are available in different sizes. The most common sizes are AA, AAA, C, D, and 9-volt.

Final Verdict

A Primary D-cell battery is a big cylindrical disposable cell used for infrequent power applications. These cells can be utilized for a high or low drain. I hope you are already familiar with the features, characteristics, and top D-cell batteries to consider. These batteries are reasonably priced and user-friendly.

It is advisable to choose alkaline D-cell batteries from well-known brands because of their stable output voltage of 1.5V and good capacity.

Featured image credit: Amazon.com

Rate this post

About This Writer

liam jaxon author pic

Hi, I am responsible for the 'Homeowners Power Solutions' category. My name is Liam Jaxon and a licensed technician with 7 years of experience in vehicle batteries, electrical gadgets, and home appliances. My working experience in different residential & light commercial electrical sectors and the automobile industry helped to acquire vast knowledge in this industry.

Hi, I am responsible for the 'Homeowners Power Solutions' category. My name is Liam Jaxon and a licensed technician with 7 years of experience in vehicle batteries, electrical gadgets, and home appliances. My working experience in different residential & light commercial electrical sectors and the automobile industry helped to acquire vast knowledge in this industry.

Leave a Comment