Everything You Need to Know About Rechargeable Batteries

Published 8 years ago

Single use batteries are the type of battery that most of the world uses in their devices. This is just another name for disposable batteries. These aren’t meant to be recharged, but have to be thrown out when their charge is gone. A lot of the batteries made in the present day are single use. They aren’t environmentally friendly in the slightest, of course. You can’t expect a device that functions using the reaction between two chemicals, including an alkaline/acid, to produce any products that are “green”.

Rechargeable batteries such as Eneloop batteries, on the other hand, are exactly what their name suggests. They can be reused up to 1000 times, depending on how heavily they are used. A different set of materials is used to create them. Where typical single use batteries have alkaline, lithium and zinc components, a rechargeable battery uses Nickel Metal Hydride, Nickel Cadmium and other compounds to work.

Swappable Batteries for Most Devices

One of the biggest questions that get asked is whether a rechargeable battery can be used in place of a disposable battery in any device. This is especially true for RC units and other devices that have a high power drain. While rechargeable batteries have a higher purchase price, their cost over time allows people to save a lot of money when using them in this type of device.

In most cases, NiMH and other rechargeable batteries can definitely be used in place of their alkaline counterparts. However, there are some devices that specifically ask for single-use batteries. These are usually the devices that have multiple batteries in series. Since the voltage of a rechargeable battery is different to that of a disposable one (by a small amount), there may be hiccups in the operation of such a device.

Voltage Differences Between the Two Battery Types

There is a small difference in the voltage of a rechargeable battery when compared to that of the standard disposable unit of the same size. For a disposable battery, the voltage is usually 1.5V, whereas the rechargeable batteries have a voltage of about 1.2V in most cases.

In a normal single-use battery, the voltage is only 1.5V when it is first used. This reduces over the course of the lifetime of the battery. In its middle stages of the lifecycle, the battery usually has an output of about 1.2V. Over time, this reduces, and it usually ends with a 1.0V output or less. For a rechargeable battery, the difference is that the average voltage of 1.2V is maintained throughout the life of the battery.

Charge Your Rechargeable Battery Before Use

This is a mistake that a lot of people make. Unless specified otherwise, a rechargeable battery isn’t pre-charged in the pack. You have to stabilize the chemicals in the battery by charging it before using it for the first time. Failure to do this could result in the lifetime of the battery being shortened by a large amount. Always charge your batteries before first use.

Now that you know the basics of how batteries of the rechargeable variety work, consider using them for your daily life, based on how much power your devices consume. If you see a difference in how much you spend each month, you know that your goals have been achieved!

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