Powered by Batteries
Batteries power a wide variety of the items we use everyday for work and play. We use them to power our cameras, cell phones, laptops, MP3 players, and more.
Types of Batteries
When shopping for batteries, you will find that you have many options. There are several types of batteries, each with advantages and disadvantages. Learning about the various options can help you decide the best type of battery to buy for your power needs.
Batteries come in two basic types, either disposable or rechargeable. Within each of these basic types, there are a variety of battery options as well.
- Disposable Batteries, also known as single-use or primary batteries, have one power cycle and must be replaced when drained. Options include alkaline, zinc-silver, lithium, carbon-zinc, and zinc air.
- Rechargeable Batteries, also known as secondary batteries, can be recharged and reused. Options include NiCa/NiCd - Nickel Cadmium, NiMH - Nickel Metal Hydride, Li-Ion - Lithium Ion, and SLA - Sealed Lead Acid.
What battery should I get?
We recommend rechargeable batteries. Rechargeable batteries are great for electronics and save you money from buying disposable batteries. They also have a relatively long power life. For example, they can usually power a new digital camera for a couple days before having to recharge them.
If you decide to buy rechargeable batteries, you are going to have to find out what type of rechargeable battery you want. This often depends on what you are going to use it for and how much you want to consider spending.
If you want good reliable batteries that you can use for anything without having to worry as much about getting new rechargeable batteries, than NiMH batteries are what you want. They can supply the need for most electronics, are able to keep their full charge pretty high. And, if you get the Low Self-Discharge NiMH batteries, they will stay at a high charge for a long time even when not in use.
If performance and not money is not the primary issue, than get the Lithium Ion. They are the best on the market right now, but they need to be replaced every few years. They have slow discharge, allowing them to keep a near full charge when not in use. They are also able to last longer in power draining electronics like Cameras with Flash than NiMH or NiCa.
What battery charger should I get?
If you buy rechargeable batteries, you will also need a battery charger.
There are a couple things you should look for when choosing a battery charger.
- Make sure it’s a smart charger. This means it won’t overcharge and will stop charging when it’s fully charged.
- Make sure it takes a couple of hours for a full charge. The 15 minute chargers overheat the batteries and slowly lower the full charge capacity of batteries. Basically, the slower it takes to charge the battery the better it is for the battery.
- Make sure it supports the capacity of your battery. For example, some chargers can’t charge 2700mAh.
If you want a really good charger that takes the most care of your batteries full charge, then get one that discharges the battery. This means it takes all the charge out, then it charges the battery. This solves the memory loss problem that can occur in batteries.