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If you are in search of the very best AA battery currently available then you won’t go wrong with the latest generation of AA lithium batteries. Without going into too much technical detail, when we refer to the lithium battery we are often meaning the Lithium perchlorate battery which derives its name from the chemical used alongside the lithium that is used to create the voltage we require. It therefore goes without saying that these lithium cells are in a totally different class to any other technology that preceded the alkaline battery (such as zinc-chloride etc.) Due to the complex manufacturing and rigorous testing process that lithium batteries must go through to ensure they are safe to use and dispose of, they quite understandably cost several times more than low-end batteries that are typically seen in local stores and supermarkets and this is something that can really dissuade people from making the change from either alkaline or NiMh to lithium battery technology. As a general rule of thumb, if you wish to power a device that is expensive, that you wish to keep for a medium to long term and has a fairly high power drain then it will make sound financial and economic sense to make the investment into lithium AA batteries. B: We can do sea or air shipment for the NIMH battery with authorized MSDS and Guarantee Letter.
I was standing in line at a local electronics store the other day when I struck up a conversation with the guy ahead of me who had a basket full of battery chargers and AA rechargeable batteries.
I didn’t have the heart to ask him if he had the same typical electronic devices found in most homes, because if he did then he probably ended up spending a lot more money than he should have. I realize many people want to convert to rechargeable batteries for environmental reasons, which is fair enough. For example, it makes much more sense to use traditional alkaline batteries for low-draw devices like your wall clocks, radios, smoke detectors, programmable thermostats, and remote controls because they lose power at a much slower rate than rechargeable batteries. And because traditional alkaline batteries can hold a charge for years when not in use, they are also the better choice for items that may sit unused for long period of time, like your alarm clock back-up battery and emergency flashlights. Rechargeable batteries are really intended for moderate to high current-draw devices that get at least moderate use. In my house the only item that clearly met that criteria and, therefore, justified the added up-front costs of rechargeable batteries, was the kids’ Wii gaming system. NiMH rechargeable batteries typically perform better than NiCads and are free of toxic heavy metals. Rechargeable alkaline batteries have only two real advantages over NiMHs and NiCads: low cost and no need for special recycling.
Lithium Ion batteries have great performance and can go unused for long periods without losing their charge. A bad battery charger will prematurely age and greatly shorten the lifespan of your rechargeable batteries. More expensive battery chargers extend the life of your rechargeable batteries by properly monitoring and controlling the charging process; many also shut off when charging is complete. If you do use rechargeable batteries, be sure to keep several spare batteries ready to go at all times so you can swap them out when needed. If you do choose to swap out all of your devices with rechargeable batteries, you can spread out your initial costs by replacing only the moderate-use devices first. For info on NiMH rechargeable batteries and battery chargers, check out this article from MetaEfficient. Hopefully, the gentleman I met at the hardware store has a lot of high current-draw, frequent-use devices at his house — otherwise, he probably made a big mistake. I’ll give a short answer to both your questions, followed by a more technical explanation. Short answer to question 1: The voltage drop on rechargeable batteries is often too high to get the needed peak power from the batteries. Technical answer to 1: Alkaline batteries have very high peak current ratings and good Watt-hr numbers (capacity). As far as rechargeables not working in some devices, this can only be the case in very low current devices. The only issue is that some devices are only designed for the higher voltage of alkalines, and they don’t last very long until the voltage just craters. Also, NiCad batteries are regarded as superior to NiMH (and Lithium Ion IIRC) for low temperature applications.
Wow, there are still significant amount of people who don’t know LSD (low self discharge, which maintains 80% of the charge in a year) NiMH batteries.
Also, I guess, the main point you’re making about monetary cost would apply just as much to environmental cost? I actually just bought a Lacross BC-9009 Battery charger for $40 and 4 packs of Eneloop LSD batteries to replace my aging Energizer rechargeable setup. Once you get over the hump of buying the charger, I think it makes more economical sense to get the rechargeables. Regarding convenience, it does make since to have some disposables on hand for when your rechargeables run down and you need battery power while your are charging. I opted for chargers that take their time charging because my understanding is this is more beneficial to the lifespan of the rechargeables due to the chemical energy storing process being less aggressive and more similar to the discharging pattern (so this might be a misconception of mine). Where did you get the ridiculous figures you’re using for the cost of NiMH batteries?

I go through batteries like crazy and it just doesn’t make financial sense for me to buy alkaline.
Even in low draw applications these rechargeable batteries will still be working long after I throw away 4 sets of alkalines (equal cost wise). I feel I need to correct one area you have commented on, and that’s the proper cell choice for LED flashlights.
Most flashlight hobbyists (and yes, there is such a thing) favor LSD NiMH cells for use in high power lights.
By the way, it is a fair comparison if the person buying the batteries (me) wants the convenience of always having fresh batteries available as replacements when the other batteries run down.
BTW, I can get a package of 36 AA Duracel alkaline batteries at Costco for 40 cents a battery. This article might be correct for old NiMH cells, but the conclusion is very wrong once cells like Sanyo Eneloop are considered.
I strongly implore readers to get a pack of Eneloops and a charger and stop filling the garbage with alkaline AAs. Great info, but as in the case of car ownership (not very cost-effective if public transport is available) once the decision has been made to purchase a good charger the equation changes, and that should be explored. I do a fair amount of photography and in flash units rechargeables (NiCads esp.) make more sense economically.
That being said, about the only other things I do use the rechargeables in is a wireless keyboard and some wireless speakers. What about all those normal batteries that end up in landfills – did you add that to your costing? I agree on buying a good charger, though you can get a good charger for $25 (on sale or at Amazon) that will 1. A typical AA lithium battery will outperform even the highest grade and respected brands of alkaline battery by a massive margin and will even greatly outperform the highest milliamp-hour rated NiMH best rechargeable batteries.
If on the other hand the item you wish to power is a low end, cheap device or perhaps a toy from the Far East, it is very unlikely that you will be able to justify the increased cost to yourself. Before the discharged capacity drops to end of life, NIMH battery cycle life can reach 800-1000 cycles. It turns out he had decided to replace all of the batteries in his house with the rechargeable kind.
That is a perfect example of a high-use device where rechargeable batteries will save you a lot of money in the long run. But a set of eight good rechargeable AA batteries (five for the mouse and keyboard plus three spares) would set me back roughly $24. Generally speaking, NiMH is the best all-around choice for most rechargeable battery applications. Otherwise, their long-term performance and recharge characteristics make these batteries a poor choice. The big drawback is their price; not only are lithium ion batteries much more expensive than other types of rechargeable batteries, but they also require a special charger.
Cheap chargers work too quickly, thereby heating the batteries, which damages them over time.
This is good for LED flashlights, which normally pulse the LEDs on and off at a high rate to get the brightness and avoid droop.
Shame the rechargable alkaline systems never got anywhere – I guess the 20 or so charges that you get out of them was not enough to swing most people to them. Manufacturers still develop devices that do not make proper use of rechargeable batteries and that?s plain wrong. Choosing the slow chargers, however, required some convincing of myself, because recharging cycles of 1hr only just sound very convenient.
I use NiMH in everything except the smoke detectors and I’ve only purchased one package of batteries in the last few years. They may employ PWM at lower intensity levels, but on high they must be considered high-current, high-drain devices. They can deliver the high current required, have low self-discharge rates for storage purposes, and perform better at low temperatures than alkalines.
They self discharge only 15% per year, which means they are completely suitable for all but the lowest current applications.
Since I already have a sophisticated, multi-battery charger, my criteria for deciding what to use rechargeables in negates the cost of the charger. As I replace the batteries before failure on a yearly cycle, I’m not sure how long NiMH cells would last, but the bother and possible risk are not worth it, IMHO. They will be ready when you pick up the digital camera or flashlight after three months or a year since the last time you used it and you can take more pictures or shine the light longer than with alkalines.

This is because items such as toys tend to be used infrequently, do not consume a lot of battery power (i.e.
That’s because the batteries of low current-draw devices are typically changed so infrequently that the payback period for equivalent rechargeable batteries would be too far long to justify the investment! Add in the cost of the charger (a good one can run upwards of $40) and you can see that the payback period on the rechargeable batteries becomes a real issue. As an added bonus, most NiMH battery charger systems can accommodate NiCad batteries too (although the opposite is not true). Use them for rarely-used or high-drain devices like laptop computers, digital cameras, cell phones or portable televisions.
Kids’ toys that have motors require high starting current and, therefore, alkaline are best for those applications too. Devices should be designed in a way that they work perfect on rechargeables but can accept Alkaline batteries should you need to. I’ve got Logitec Harmony remotes which will burn through a set of 4 alkalines in less than 60 days.
As long as you get 3 or 4 uses out of each battery the cost is justified except for low drain+constant use items like a wall clock. Many modern high-brightness LEDs demand more than 1 amp of current in flashlight applications, and will run at a significantly lower brightness if alkalines are used.
NiMH cells also have a flatter discharge curve than alkaline cells, and can provide a form of regulated output in LED lights that do not use a regulation circuit. Before these cells, NiMH were unusable in most cases because after you charged them, and they sat for a while, you couldn’t be sure they were still full.
Remember, rechargeable batteries eventually go bad too, so you’ll need your batteries and charger to last at least until the payback period is reached if you want to recoup your costs in a reasonable amount of time. It also means that, although the open circuit voltage of alkaline batteries is higher than NiMH (1.5 vs 1.2), the voltage under a high current load is actually higher with NiMH batteries! The form factor of the rechargeables (and their Alkaline replacements) may not be perfect, but at least it is standardized.
The alkalines they sell run about 80 cents each when purchased in the large packages, or about $1 each when purchased in smaller quantity.
I have so many more devices that can use rechargeable batteries – cameras, tv remote controls, xbox and wii controllers, rc toys. Additionally, NiMH cells have the benefit of not leaking over time and potentially ruining an expensive light. If you get them on sale, you can stretch the 3-month cycle you talk about to 6-9 months and still be economical.
It would probably be cheaper to replace the batteries in a toy such as a light-up music playing elephant for example, with cheap alkaline batteries a couple of times before the toy breaks than to buy something like Energizer AA lithium batteries. In addition, NiMH batteries supply a more or less constant 1.2 volts as the battery is discharged, while the voltage of an alkaline battery drops with use.
But most devices designed for alkalines are actually designed to run on as little as 1.0 volts (since the voltage of alkalines tends to drop so sharply with use). Just after 1 year you are ahead on batteries) also the rechargeable last much longer than one year. Flashlights, video-game controllers, digital cameras, and more are all on Eneloops and work great.
This is because in all honesty the battery will probably outlive the toy and you would end up throwing the toy and batteries away before the batteries were exhausted. Unless I use something every day, the only time it has batteries in it is when it’s in use.
It seems like you would use it for 3 years (and even then might replace it with another one that also uses batteries) and for the second 18 months the rechargeables are free.
Once they die out on me, I?ll switch to the next best technology out there then ? and probably buy two new suitable charges again.
The NiMH cells still maintained decent voltage until they had a sudden voltage and internal resistance drop. I also want to second another point someone brought up here: The more devices one uses that employ standardized rechargeable batteries, the less significant the charger costs become.

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