Whether it's for simple devices such as remote controls, or high draining electronics such as digital cameras and MP3 players, rechargeable batteries are a great choice for every day uses, as they can last for years, and they will save you money and time from buying disposable batteries all the time.
There is a wide selection of rechargeable batteries that you can find out on the market today, but there are only three types of rechargeable batteries that are still worth buying, or using. They are Nickel Cadmium (NiCa/NiCd), Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), and Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) rechargeable batteries.
First a few terms to learn:
- mAh = is the amount of energy put into a battery. Therefore, 2500mAh will have more energy than 1500mAh.
- Memory Loss = The battery will “forget” the full capacity after a while and will slowly get a smaller “full” charge
- Self-Discharge = The battery will slowly lose energy when not in use.
Things you DO want:
- High mAh (the battery can store more energy)
- Little to none Memory Loss (battery will usually keep its 100% full charge or within 5% of it)
- Low-Self Discharge (the battery can keep its full charge for a couple months when not in use)
Things you DO NOT want:
- Low mAh (the battery can’t store as much energy)
- High Memory Loss (battery will lose its full charge at a fast rate)
- High-Self Discharge (the battery can keep its full charge for about a month when not in use)
Types of Rechargeable Batteries
Below are 3 mainly used rechargeable batteries in the world, Nickel Cadmium, Nickel Metal Hydride, and Lithium Ion, with the pros and cons of each battery.
NiCa/NiCd - Nickel Cadmium
Nickel Cadmium rechargeable batteries are slowly becoming replaced by newer effective rechargeable batteries, such as Nickel Metal Hydride and Lithium Ion. Nickel Cadmium is still a good choice if you need to replace disposable batteries in simple devices such as remote controls and alarm clocks.
- More difficult to damage than other batteries.
- Last longer, as in more charge/discharge cycles.
- A recommended replacement for disposable alkaline batteries.
- Is becoming out-of-date with the new and rising rechargeable batteries
- They won't last very long for high draining electronics (Cameras, MP3 players, handheld games, etc.)
- They have memory loss.
- Higher cost than alkaline disposable.
- They are very toxic.
NiMH - Nickel Metal Hydride
Nickel Metal Hydride rechargeable batteries are becoming the favorite among rechargeable batteries, as they can contain 2-3 times the capacity of Nickel Cadmium rechargeable batteries, can supply high draining electronics such as digital cameras, and are much more effective than mostly any disposable battery.
- More affordable than NiCa.
- The average NiMH battery has about 2-3 times the capacity of NiCa/NiCd.
- They can last much longer in high draining electronics than NiCa/NiCd or disposable batteries.
- They are more efficient than alkaline batteries.
- The LSD (Low Self Discharge) versions of NiMH have the lowest self discharge of all rechargeable batteries.
- The normal NiMH batteries have a High-Self-Discharge. They lose about 30% of their charge every month.
- Memory Loss
- They aren't as durable as other batteries
Li-Ion - Lithium Ion
Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries are the newest addition to the rechargeable battery market, and they are becoming one of the more popular rechargeable batteries, as they can supply the most amount of power for high draining electronics, and they also have the most energy capacity, making them the longest lasting batteries out today.
- They are great for high energy draining electronics. (Cameras, mp3 players, etc.)
- They have no memory loss.
- They have Low-Discharge rate. They slowly lose about 5% of their charge every month.
- They have the most energy capacity of rechargeable batteries.
- They lose energy capacity permanently over a long time, and there is not much to avoid that.
- They are the least durable of batteries. So treat them with care.
- The most expensive of rechargeable batteries.