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Rechargeable Battery Knowledge Base

Q1. Tell me a bit more about rechargeable batteries, how are they different from primary or throwaway batteries?

Rechargeable batteries are of the same sizes (AA, AAA, C, D, Sc and 9V) and are intended for everyday use are the throwaway or primary batteries people use. The advantage of rechargeable batteries is that they can be recharged and reused up to a thousand times and generally they greatly outperform standard everyday throwaway leading brand batteries. The fact that rechargeable batteries can be used again and again represents a massive saving over their useful life. Rechargeable NiMH batteries are also very popular simply due to the fact that they are extremely environmentally friendly. Once charged, these rechargeable batteries can be used in the same way as you would with your previously throwaway batteries of the same size.

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Q2. Why should I buy NiMH rechargeable batteries?

Better performance in driving electronics and huge money saving are the two major reasons to buy NiMH (Nickel metal Hydride) rechargeable batteries. They can be charged up to 500-1000 times and last longer than alkaline or NiCd batteries. NiMH batteries are ideally compatible with most consumer devices such as digital cameras, game boys, CD players, RC vehicles, PDA’s, portable two-way radios, flash units and many more high drain devices. One set of relatively inexpensive NiMH rechargeable batteries can save you from buying thousands if throwaway alkaline batteries.

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Q3. What are the primary advantages of NiMH batteries over Alkaline or other rechargeable batteries?

NiMH Batteries Have the Following Advantages :

  • Drive better performance with high-drain electronic devices
  • Large capacity for longer device operation. NiMH rechargeable batteries can last 2-4 times longer than alkaline throwaway batteries or NiCd rechargeable batteries
  • Long battery life, can be charged/discharged up to 500-1,000 cycles.
  • Extremely low battery cost per unit of device operation (such as every photo taken or every hour CD is played), providing very low cost of consumables for your electronics.
  • Stable performance due to flat discharge curve. NiMH battery will remain in high voltage during 80% of the usage cycle.
  • No memory effect for easy charging and usage.
  • Friendly to the Environment – no toxic chemical

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Q4. What does battery “mAh” capacity mean?

The mAh capacity rating refers to the storage capacity available for a particular battery. A battery with a capacity rating of 1800 mAh could deliver a current of 1800mA for one hour. Higher mAh ratings for the same battery type will generally mean longer run times. This does not apply when comparing different types of batteries. This means that you may not be able to predict how long your electronic device will run just by looking at the capacity rating of a battery. When powering high drain electronic devices like digital cameras, computer peripherals, or portable music players, an alkaline battery will only deliver a small fraction of its rated capacity. For example AA alkaline batteries typically have a capacity rating of over 2,500 mAh and AA NiMH batteries have rated capacities of only 1,200 to 2,000 mAh. But when it comes to actually powering an electronic device like a digital camera, the NiMH batteries will often run the device for three or four times a long. Even comparing the capacity ratings of similar types of batteries won’t often work since different manufacturers can measure battery capacity in slightly different ways. A NiMH or NiCd battery is likely to deliver much closer to its rated capacity when it’s powering high drain devices. Alkaline batteries have a high rated capacity, but they can only deliver their full capacity if the power is used slowly. This means that a NiMH battery with a rated capacity of 1200 mAh can take many more photos than an alkaline battery with a rated capacity of 2,800.

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Q5. How environmentally friendly are NiMH rechargeable batteries?

Rechargeable batteries have the greenest environmental credentials. Using rechargeable batteries reduces household waste massively. Globally, 15 billion ordinary batteries are thrown away every year, all of which end up in landfill sites. Rechargeable batteries can be reused again and again which significantly reduces the impact disposable batteries have on the environment.

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Q6. How long can a rechargeable battery last over its life?

Let's say you are currently using ordinary throwaway batteries for your portable CD player and you replace the batteries once a week. For simplicity, let’s say there are 52 weeks in a year. You can recharge your NiMH rechargeable batteries 500 times.So the NiMH rechargeable battery can last 500 recharges / 50 weeks = 10 years. That means you could still be using the same batteries you buy today in 10 years time! Chances are that once you get into rechargeable batteries you will never use a throwaway again.

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