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Electrical Engineering/Matching a device with a battery


QUESTION: Hello Cleggsan,

I am trying to work out whether a particular battery will power a component. The data I have been able to find on the battery is a
Nominal Voltage: 3V
Nominal Capacity: 50MAH
Pulse Current (Max): 5mA

I want to use this to power a micro buzzer, and the data I have found on this is a
Rated voltage(Vp-p) 5V
Operating Voltage(Vp-p) 1~25V
Rated Current(mA) ≤3

This may sound like an incredibly basic question, but if the operating Voltage is 1~25V, will a 3V battery be able to power the device?
For someone who just learned about Volts and Amps recently, putting adjectives like Rated, Nominal and Operating in front of the word Voltage leaves me confused!

Best regards,

ANSWER: Nominal and rated figures are just that.  Dictionary definitions.  No technical tricks involved.

Operating voltage means it will operate over the range specified.  It may not operate exactly the same at all voltages and it may have some deficiencies but for inexpensive products you get what you get.  Since your buzzer is rated at 5v you might want to think of that is the ideal voltage to drive it. Your specs look like it might be a piezo buzzer which is an electrorestrictive device using a material that is mechanically altered when voltage is applied and hence becomes a transducer for acoustic generation of sound.

Hope this helps you get to the end of the story!

Have fun.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks Cleggsan!

It is a piezo buzzer, which I am thinking of using because it draws less current and will therefore last longer than an electromagnetic buzzer, would that be correct?
If I get a buzzer rated 3V and a battery with a nominal voltage of 3V, would it be safe to rely on it working? I have read about "self discharge" which I am wondering might affect this. Would it be safer to have a battery that is higher than 3V, or would this be unnecessary?
The buzzer gives a rated current of ≤3mA, so when I am calculating the battery life, can I use 3mA as a figure for current draw?

Thanks again,


ANSWER: You  have answered your own questions.  Have no doubts;  go ahead.

These items are very low cost so it will not be any financial burden to experiment a little so you can know what you can achieve.

It depends on the drive circuit for the piezo, but most likely the lower voltage will produce a lower sound level. The sound level output specified is probably meant to be that which is produced when the rated voltage is applied.  

You are headed the right direction. Let me know the result.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks again Cleggsan,

I will let you know the result when I have one. I will "buzz" you, ha ha.
I just have "one" more question... the buzzer is not the self drive type so it needs, from my understanding, extra circuitry. This is a whole new hill to climb for me, but I am just wondering if you could tell me before I dive into that particular endeavor, whether the fact it needs extra circuitry means the voltage requirement would in fact be higher than the 3V that the buzzer needs. Should I be planning to use a battery with a higher voltage?

Sorry to bother you with so many questions, I hope you have a good weekend!

Arigato gozaimasu

You have never told me the buzzer.  It all depends on the buzzer model and what you want to accomplish. There are many ways to drive the buzzer.  Many of them are self contained and all you need to do is connect the battery.  Some require special pulse or oscillator to drive.

Perhaps you should make contact with the supplier or manufacturer as they can give you all the information for their products.  You can probably find oodles of these little fellows at Aki Ahbara or similar electronics places throughout Japan Ginzas.


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