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Old Feb 10, 2010, 5:18 PM   #1
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Default Used AA lithium battery with reversed polarity

I recently dug through my storage cabinet and pulled out my old Nikon Coolpix 950 camera so I could "play" with it a little. It's been unused for the past several years. Of course the batteries were dead. They are the primary lithium type AA (Energizer Photo-lithium L91 with expiration date of 2012). Out of curiosity, I measured the voltages on each of the four batteries. Three of them measured well below 1 volt (.63, .87, .40 volts) as expected. The forth measured -1.4 volts. That's right, it measured a negative value with the side of the battery marked (+) being negative relative to the (-) side. I rechecked it multiple times. One thing I did notice is that if I kept the voltmeter on the battery, the voltage kept dropping -1.4....-1.39.....-1.38.... etc.

I didn't think that these batteries could develop a reverse polarity such as I measured. Could someone satisfy my curiosity and explain what is going on here? What battery chemistry is involved? Thanks.
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Old Feb 11, 2010, 9:28 PM   #2
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I don't know the chemistry involved but have seen it occur. If you check the current output, you will find it is nil. This appears to be just a 'phantom charge'.

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