Do you ask yourself “who buys these?” as you walk past coin batteries in a store with your batch of AAs or AAAs? These button-sized batteries are commonly known as “watch batteries” because their most common use has been in analog watches. They produce a stable, long-lasting 3V current, enough to power a watch for years. But CR 2032 batteries and their rechargeable counterparts are not only found in watches. Here are six other unexpected places where you might find a CR 2032 battery! And no, we will not be talking about places batteries shouldn’t be.
1. Computer Motherboards
Have you ever wondered how computers keep track of the date and time even though they are turned off? Or in the case of PCs, even unplugged? Well, the answer lies in a little CR 2032 battery nested in the motherboard. Its constant supply of power keeps the equivalent of an analog clock functioning 24/7. This is how time keeps running even without a power supply to your computer.
When it is plugged in or powered up, the clock runs on the laptop’s battery or the power supply, but when everything is turned off and unplugged, the 3V battery keeps the clock running. This is also why your date and time don’t reset when there is a power cut like it happens to some digital clocks and kitchen appliances.
2. Vacuum Cleaners Use a CR2032 Battery
Some small, cordless vacuum cleaners use a CR 2032 battery to power up. Larger ones tend to use either different types of batteries or a stack of 3V because they are surprisingly long-lived. You may not expect something as small as a CR 2032 in a large vacuum cleaner, but you may be surprised.
For their size, they pack a punch, and they are extremely resilient. These batteries can withstand intensive use and high temperatures, and they have a very long shelf life. In contrast, their self-discharge and rust rates are low, making them a great candidate for appliances you use less frequently, like car or tabletop vacuum cleaners.
3. Car Keys
Many car keys have a small remote attached as a keychain and depending on the model, you can use it to lock and unlock doors, set up the security alarm, open the trunk, roll-up windows, turn on the automated mirror and window defrost, and so on. These remote controls need a battery to operate, and they most likely contain a CR 2032 or another 2032 type battery because of their long life. In theory, the battery inside a car key remote should last as long as the car itself, or very nearly as much.
Even with daily use, car remotes should last about 10 years, if you look after them. This means not dropping your keys on concrete or jumping in a pool with them in your pocket. The battery may even survive this treatment, but the rest of the electrical circuits inside may not. That being said, if your car key remote starts failing all of a sudden, look into changing the battery before contacting your dealer to start the costly process of replacing the key altogether!
4. Fitness Trackers Use CR 2032 Battery
They seem to have replaced watches for both men and women. They keep track of not just date and time, but also health and healthy habits, as well as communication. But how does a smartwatch or fitness tracker do all this? It isn’t big enough to store a battery the size of a phone’s and yet it needs less frequent charging. The answer is a 3V rechargeable battery.
On the back of one of these tiny batteries, a fitness tracker can do all it has to do. It powers biometrics that keep track of your heart rate and breathing. A pedometer counts and registers how many steps you have taken overall and in the last hour. A Bluetooth emitter keeps the watch connected to your phone and supplies you with information about calls and texts. All this on approximately one charge per week. Now that is a strong battery!
5. Home Medical Devices That Run On A CR 2032 Battery
Do you have hypertension? Diabetes? Do you need to monitor any vital functions at home? Chances are one or more medical devices you have access to, like blood pressure and pulse monitors, and glucose meters is running on a CR 2032 battery. These devices are very small consumers since they get a few minutes of use daily. This means that they will not use up batteries almost at all. Instead, they will sit on a shelf for years.
With their extended shelf life and low self-discharge risk, 3V batteries are a great option for these devices. Besides, the low risk of rust means they will not damage potentially expensive medical equipment. Long-life also means the elderly and disabled, who are most likely to need these devices, don’t have to deal with changing batteries too often.
6. Children’s Toys Contain A CR 2032 Battery
As batteries go, CR 2032s are the least likely to fail unexpectedly or create trouble, making them perfect candidates for toys. They can be packed behind screws and you will only maybe need to get to them once a year. Maybe even less often. This means that if you or your kid has a telling toy or anything that lights up, it is powered by a 3V battery.
Do not be surprised if ten years later a now-old toy car still has intact lights and sirens, or if a talking teddy is still trying to tell you a story. They are not haunted by spirits, but by very good batteries! Also, if you have children, store a few CR 2032 batteries just in case they manage to dry up the one in their favorite toy.
Watch batteries are not just for watches, but you can find them in some unexpected places. What do you think is the least expected use for a CR 2032 battery? What device were you surprised to find out runs on 3V batteries? Let us know all about it in the comments section below!