Rechargeable Batteries: The 3 Types and Their Advantages

Row of Eneloop batteries in different colors - Rechargeable batteries

You don’t need to be a gadget lover or technology geek to understand the significance of cells. Many gadgets and devices that we use in our everyday life still run on batteries. This can be highly frustrating if you rely on disposable batteries—it can seem like you’re stuck in an ongoing circle of low batteries and replacement expenses.

But what if there was a way to get out of that loop? Fortunately, there is: using rechargeable batteries. Below, you’ll learn exactly what to expect from these batteries and why they’re a wiser choice than disposable ones.

Rechargeable batteries: The basics

Storage batteries contain types of electrical cells that can be charged and reused, unlike the cells of ordinary disposable ones. These batteries accumulate and store energy through the process of reversible electrochemical reactions, which allows them to endure more. Buying a set of rechargeable batteries will set you free from buying new ones for at least three years.

There are 3 main types

Rechargeable batteries can be roughly divided into three main categories. The first type is a nickel-cadmium battery, which has a relatively long average lifespan, though it offers a lower voltage than the other two types.

Unlike this type, the nickel-metal hydride has a significantly higher voltage, but it requires recharging more often.

The last category, also known as the best type, is the lithium-ion battery, and these cost more than the others. However, they also conserve more power and will last much longer between two charges than batteries within the previously mentioned categories.

They’ll save you money

Rechargeable batteries beat disposable ones right away when it comes to the average ratio of quality versus quantity. If you use them correctly, reusable batteries can charge your devices thousands of times. Although they initially cost more than disposable ones, from a long-term perspective, they’re definitely the more affordable choice.

Their environmental impact is low

The mere reusability of batteries means that they decrease the need for constant manufacturing and transportation. Rechargeable batteries consume less non-renewable resources than other batteries, which has a positive effect on the environment. Battery production includes many environmental risks, such as the use of heavy metals, toxic chemicals and corrosive materials that are often inappropriately disposed of or transported. Therefore, due to their low level of production needs, rechargeable batteries are considered an eco-friendly product.

How to choose the best brand

If you’re unfamiliar with rechargeable batteries, it can be overwhelmingly difficult to choose the type and name. Many people see searching for the “perfect” reusable batteries as a burden, as they want to be sure that they invest their money in the best possible option. Yet various tests, including ones involving the use of different brands for extended periods of time, have proven that there are no significant differences between top-quality battery brands.

For instance, the Eneloop batteries currently hold the status of the best-selling rechargeable battery product. Their properties are quite compelling, and they can be charged and reused more than 2000 times. Therefore, they reach their charging capacity only after years of being recharged. However, they have to be properly stored (at 20 degrees Celsius) to retain 70 percent of their capacity after five years.

On the other hand, if you wish to save money in exchange for just a little less output, many websites recommend Maha batteries made by Imedion. These batteries can be stored for an extended period of time while retaining close to their full charging capacity.

Buying rechargeable AAA batteries is a practice that comes with specific caveats in regard to what the market offers. Whenever you buy them, it’s best to try to find the cheapest option that still comes from a reputable manufacturer. Fortunately, any strict distinctions when it comes to quality have been erased: as AAA batteries are highly used, the quality of all the popular brands is quite similar. Generally, though, the best AAA batteries come from Japanese brands such as Duracell, Energizer or Eneloop.

Taking the market by storm

Once a rare and expensive investment, rechargeable batteries can now be found at the majority of supermarkets, online shops and supply centres. They combine various benefits such as lower costs, more efficient charging and less environmental impact. Sometimes, there are minor differences between brands, but their widespread availability only increases the level of competition between the top brands, which gradually leads to an upgraded quality of batteries overall.

Buyers who choose rechargeable batteries over disposable ones are certainly making a great choice, as this gives them the opportunity to use an affordable, environmentally friendly and frustration-free method to charge their devices.

Read more about eco-friendly products that you can use at home by visiting 5 Simple, Low-Cost Eco-Friendly Home Improvements>>

Matt is a home improvement writer working for The Cool Roofing Company in Atlanta, GA. He supports the sustainable living movement: green roofs and solar energy use.

image: Pete Slater

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