All portable electronic devices need some form of portable power and Batteries are a power source which are portable. It’s a match made in heaven!
They come in all shapes, sizes, voltages, etc, each designed for a specific application.
There are certain electronic devices like car key fobs, calculators, wrist watches, etc, which will require much smaller sized batteries.
Coin cell batteries are a type of battery that is used for these smaller devices. One of the most popular coin cell batteries is the CR battery.
The CR battery has many different versions and it can get confusing when trying to choose the right one for a particular device.
So, is a CR2450 and CR2032 interchangeable? No, the CR2450 and CR2032 are not interchangeable because the batteries have different dimensions and the battery holder of an electronic device might not be able to accommodate both.
However, there are some instances where the manufacturer of the device will include a special battery holder that can accommodate both the CR2450 and CR2032 batteries (in this case they are interchangeable as both batteries share the same voltage).
So, it really comes down to whether the battery holder of the device can accommodate both kinds of battery.
This article shall take a deeper look at the CR2450 and CR2032 batteries to better understand the question at hand.
Deeper look at CR2450 and CR2032 batteries
To understand if a CR2450 and CR2032 are interchangeable we will first need to learn about CR type batteries.
So let’s take a look!
Deeper look at CR type batteries
Our world is filled with electronic devices that make our lives easier, and nowadays a lot of them are portable. This means they will require some form of portable power.
This is where the battery plays a vital role! It provides these devices with a voltage and current to ensure that they operate as they should.
These portable devices come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and voltage and current ratings. Unfortunately there isn’t a universal battery that is used across all types of devices.
Types of battery
As just stated, batteries come in a variety of shapes, sizes, chemical compositions, voltage and current ratings, to be able to accommodate different types of devices.
Below are some of the most common types of battery available which can fall into two categories; Primary (non-rechargeable) and Secondary (rechargeable).
- C & D
Each type of battery above can come in a variety of different chemical compositions.
The CR battery
A CR battery is a primary (non-rechargeable) coin/button cell battery. They are termed coin or button cell batteries due to the fact that they resemble, well, a coin or button.
This type of battery is commonly used in smaller electronics such as;
- Wrist watches
- Car key fobs
- Digital vernier callipers
- Keychain LED flashlights
- Handheld medical devices (digital thermometers)
- Garage door openers
- Pet collars
This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are many other devices but you get the jist.
What do the letters and numbers on the CR battery represent?
So, we have CR2450, and CR2032. But, what do the letters and numbers represent?
These letters, and numbers are crucial in selecting the right coin cell battery for the job (more so the numbers).
Let’s take a look at what they mean.
The first letter, ‘C’, represents the chemical composition of the battery. In this case it is made up of Chromium (however, while that was the earlier composition, CR batteries can be made with various different compositions, with Lithium being the most common).
Next, the letter ‘R’, tells us the shape of the battery, which is round.
The next two numbers in the sequence (in this instance ‘2’ and ‘0’), provide us information about the diameter of the coin in millimetres. So, this particular battery has a diameter of 20mm.
Finally, the last two digits ‘3’ and ‘2’, indicate the height of the batter in millimetres. But, to acquire the height first take the number and divide it by 10.
So, 32 divided by 10 will give us a height of 3.2mm.
CR2450 and CR2032 battery voltage and current capacity ratings
There are two other important characteristics when it comes to selecting the right battery for a particular electronic device;
- Current capacity
All electrical and electronic devices require a voltage to operate. Without voltage the device might as well be a paper weight.
The CR2450 and CR2032 both share the same voltage of 3 volts.
The next characteristic is current capacity which is defined by the total amount of charge that a battery is capable of storing (much like how much water a bottle is capable of storing, if water represents the current).
Larger batteries have their current capacities shown in Amp-Hours (Ah), while smaller batteries (like CR coin cell batteries), have their capacities given in Milli-Amp-Hours (mAh).
The current capacity of the CR2450 is 620mAh, while the CR2032 has a current capacity of 230mAh.
Are CR2450 and CR2032 interchangeable?
So, are the CR2450 and CR2032 interchangeable? No, the CR2450 and CR2032 are not interchangeable.
But, don’t both the batteries share the same voltage? Isn’t that the most important characteristic when choosing the right battery for the job?
When selecting the right battery, you will also need to consider the dimensions of the battery. While they share the same voltage, both batteries have different dimensions.
The CR2450 battery has a diameter of 24mm and a height of 5mm, while the CR2032 has a diameter of 20mm and a height of 3.2mm.
Battery holders in electronic devices are designed to accommodate one specific size of battery.
So, a CR2032 will not fit in a CR2450’s battery holder as it will be too small and the CR2450 will not fit into a CR2032’s battery holder as it will be too big.
What scenario would the CR2450 and CR2032 be interchangeable?
As you just saw, the issue isn’t the voltage of the batteries that do not make them interchangeable, but rather their dimensions and the battery holders designed for them.
Is there a scenario however, where the batteries could be interchangeable?
If the battery holder was designed in a way to accept both batteries then yes, the CR2450 and CR2032 can be interchangeable.
However, this won’t always be possible.
Which is the better option if the CR2450 and CR2032 are interchangeable?
In the scenario that a battery holder could accept both types of battery, which is the better option?
As both batteries share the same voltage, and chemical composition, the only difference between the two is their current capacities.
Due to this, the CR2450 would be a better option as it has a higher current capacity which means it would last much longer than the CR2032.
To calculate how long a battery will last, you divide its current capacity by the amount of continuous current draw of the electronic device in question.
Let’s take a look at both batteries if we used them to power a LED that drew a continuous current of 10mA.
- The CR2032 would last for 230mAh / 10mA = 23 hours
- The CR2450 would last for 620mAh / 10mA = 62 hours
The CR2450 would last a whopping 39 more hours than the CR2032, making it the better choice.
What other batteries are interchangeable with the CR2450 and CR2032 batteries ?
The CR batteries are one specific type of coin cell battery. They are a generic brand which are produced by various different manufacturers.
However, there is another famous brand that exists, that are pretty much identical when it comes to creating coin cell batteries.
This brand is Duracell.
Duracell has a set of coin cell batteries that is very similar to the set of CR batteries.
If you are looking for a battery that is interchangeable with the CR2450, duracell has a battery of the exact same dimensions which is the DL2450.
While the CR2032 is interchangeable with the DL2032.
The naming convention is the same as the CR batteries, where the first two numbers represent the diameter of the battery, and the last two digits represent the height.
The first two letters, ‘DL’ just represent an acronym of the company, Duracell.
Also, a heads up, Duracell isn’t the only other type of coin cell battery available apart from CR batteries. There will be other companies that produce coin cell batteries of similar sizes.
The naming convention of all batteries will be the same. The last four digits of the name are the important information that you will need if you want to find replacements for the CR2450 and CR2032.
How to distinguish between a CR2450 and CR2032 battery
Distinguishing between the CR2450 and CR2032 is not a daunting task as the two batteries are noticeably different due to their physical dimensions.
However, if you want to be certain that you are using the right battery, there are a couple of methods you can utilise.
The first method is labelling. Lucky for you and me, manufacturers inscribe important information on the battery which can include things like;
- The name of the manufacturer
- Type of battery (eg. CR2032)
- Voltage of the battery
- Where the battery is made
So, you will easily be able to tell if a battery is either a CR2450 or CR2032 by simply reading what is written on it.
Or, if for some reason there is no label, or the label has been worn out due to unforeseen circumstances, you can use a measuring tool like a ruler, or vernier calliper to measure the diameter and height of the battery which will give you an indication of what battery it is.