UniEnergy Technologies Battery » Why Is There No B Battery? (Reasons & Origin Of B Battery)

Why Is There No B Battery? (Reasons & Origin Of B Battery)

If you’ve been paying keen attention, you’ve probably realized that the common batteries on our market are AA, AAA, C, and D. In that case, you might wonder why there is no B battery! In reality, there are B batteries, but they have been disappearing, particularly in the U.S. This is one of life’s trifling secrecies that comes into your mind for a split second, and then you forget and continue with your life.

What Is a B Battery Size?

There are different types of batteries with different shapes, sizes, voltages, and capacities. The B battery comprises any single-cell category that offers the plate a positive charge to discharge electrons from its filament. The b battery is also called LR12. It’s uncommonly utilized on its own as it works among a group of other batteries. They work together with A and C cells to power vacuum tubes, where A heats the filament, B for grid voltage, and C for plate voltage. Generally, B batteries are shipped with no electrodes; hence they require servicing before charging.

The B battery was produced and packed with 2.36 by 0.8464 inches (60mm by 21.5mm), giving 8350 mAh for alkaline models. They were high-voltage cells used in old tube-powered radios. The B-size batteries come in various sizes and shapes and measure 45-90 volts.

Europeans still use this type of battery in things such as flashlights or lanterns. But it’s not the norm for other parts of the world.

What’s the Origin of B batteries

What's the Origin of B batteries

During World War I, the U.S. battery makers and some government organizations collaborated to create uniform specs for various batteries that were in existence at that time. They used this criterion to create the specification:

  • The battery cell size
  • Their arrangement in cells
  • Their capacity or performance

In 1924, they partnered to create standard naming criteria for batteries and cells discussed formerly. Many individuals embraced the concept and decided to name batteries and cells using alphabets. That is, single-cell and smallest batteries were named A and then B, C, and D.

As battery technology continued to evolve and develop, different battery sizes were made. As a result, the criteria were included in the name list. Once smaller-size batteries came, they were called AA and AAA batteries. Since these types were the best size for the growing consumer electronics industry, they became popular.

The D and C size batteries had a good position in median and high drain applications. The A and medium size B-size batteries didn’t win a niche in the sector, and they even disappeared in the American markets.

The few batteries available are packed in 60mm by 21.5mm. They generate 1.5 volts and 8350 mAh for alkaline models. Furthermore, the voltage for B-size batteries has been reducing progressively over time. For example, their first voltage was 120 volts, which was reduced to 90, 67.5, then 45, 22.5, and now 1.5 volts. That’s because as the tubes become more efficient, the voltage required in B batteries is reduced.

The disappearance of B-size batteries on the market is because the large sizes didn’t get enough attention economically, especially catching users’ interest and usage. So, AA, AAA, C, and D were the most common types of batteries.

Thanks to their popularity, many cell producers continue making these types of batteries. So, these varieties are always available in many stores since they are widely used in home devices. For that reason, it becomes hard to find B batteries in many areas.

Why are there no B-size batteries

Why are there no B-size batteries

While the popularity of B-size batteries is fading, these cells are available in the field. Even though you won’t see them in most stores, they are sometimes utilized in some parts of the world for bicycle lamps and lanterns.

Lack of user demand

World war I came with different battery gadgets after numerous discussions and arguments by cell producers and government agencies. Among these types were B batteries that were abnormally big. As the technology evolved, new and small battery sizes such as AAA and AA were ideal for electronic gadgets, while C and D-size batteries performed well in large applications. The B-size batteries became unpopular since the industry standards trended towards D, C, AAA, and AA types. Since many B-size batteries are medium-sized, they lacked the market and disappeared. While there is still a specification for the B-size battery, there is no need for a size between the A battery and C.

Judging from the user end, it looks like all other battery sizes (D, C, AAA, and AA) caught the attention of many users, unlike the B batteries. B-size batteries exist and are available in all parts of the world except the U.S. Producers have continued making battery types frequently bought by users ignoring the uncommon B batteries. No company wants to make and sell products that don’t have a market, and on the other hand, no one wants to make devices that use uncommon batteries. The B batteries are vanishing because they lack a user niche to trigger their production.

Lack of practical uses

Producers used B batteries to offer a plate voltage for the radio’s vacuum tube. But, tube radios aren’t common because of improvements in technology, and the transistor designs available in the 9V batteries replaced the tube radios. For that reason, the B-size batteries lacked practical uses and started vanishing from the market.

So, you might not find B-size batteries at most local stores or hardware, but that doesn’t mean they’re out of stock. Sometimes, the batteries are found as cells that make up bigger batteries, such as a particular-purpose 6v battery equivalent to four B-sized batteries inside. Because many devices are getting rechargeable and smaller, the demand for B-sized batteries is dwindling.


You now understand why is there no B battery in your local stores. They are getting out of sight because their demand is reducing as technology advances. While you might come across some, you’ll soon experience the complete disappearance of this variety. Feel free to comment if you have any questions.

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