Are NiMH Rechargeable Batteries the Best To Invest In?

There are lots of different types of rechargeable batteries on the market today, making it confusing to know which one is the best. This guide will help you to discover what will work best for your own rechargeable battery needs.

Although rechargeable batteries have been around for quite some time now, it is only over the past decade that their popularity has gone mainstream. From popular brands like Sanyo Eneloop and Energizer to a wide range of generic brands, more and more people are turning to rechargeable batteries for their cost-effectiveness and eco-friendly nature.

But if you’re looking to invest in rechargeable batteries for the first time, how can you tell which ones are the best ones in quality and performance? While NiMH rechargeable batteries are most definitely the most popular type on the market today, there are actually quite a few different rechargeable battery chemistries. The following guide will give you all the information you need to find out if NiMH rechargeable batteries are indeed the best choice.

Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) rechargeable batteries – usually pronounced “ni-cad” – were one of the first viable rechargeable battery designs and have been around for decades. While some products, such as solar powered outdoor lights, sometimes come equipped with NiCd batteries, by and large they are fast becoming obsolete, since the Cadmium used in their design is toxic to the environment.

Nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries are by far the most popular rechargeable battery design on the market today for consumers. The first versions of NiMH rechargeable batteries had issues with rapid discharge rates, the new designs, such as the ones popularised by Sanyo Eneloop, have greatly reduced the discharge rate. While there are some new rechargeable battery technologies on the horizon that could someday replace NiMH rechargeable batteries, they still remain the most reliable and cost-effective option for consumers today.

NiMH rechargeable batteries feature a very low self discharge rate, meaning that you can charge them any time, store them until needed, and then use them when it is convenient for you. They also have lower internal resistance, meaning higher voltage reaching equipment that uses high current (such as digital cameras).

Low Self Discharge (LSD) (NiMH) use the same chemistry as standard NiMH rechargeable batteries, but come fully charged in their packaging. This means that you can use them right out of the pack without having to charge them first. This is because they lose very little charge from the time they leave the factory to the time you take them off the shelf, retaining 70% of their capacity over 12 months, compared to standard NiMH rechargeable batteries, which lose about 1% per day. These low self discharge, ready-to-use rechargeable batteries are best suited for low drain devices such as remote controls and transistor radios.

One disadvantage of the Instants over normal NiMH cells is lower capacity. For the AA size, the Vapex Instant rechargeable battery brand claims a capacity of 2300mAh. Normal NiMH AAs are available with capacities of up to 2900mAh these days, but when you consider self discharge rate, such NiMH cells stored for about 30 days will drop to 2000mAh.

Lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion) are fast becoming the rechargeable battery technology of the future. Finding their way into high profile gadgets such as the iPad and iPhone, Li-ions are now coming in consumer-sized batteries as well and have excellent shelf life, meaning that their charge will not reduce when not being used. However, Li-ions are more expensive than other types of rechargeable batteries on the market today, and because of the new technology surrounding them ,it is still hard to tell if they will be a viable contender against NiMH rechargeable batteries in the near future.

Li-ions are a good choice for occasionally used emergency devices or high-drain devices like portable televisions, digital cameras, laptops, and cell phones.

Regardless of which type rechargeable battery you choose, you can be assured that you will get years of use out of your rechargeable batteries, making them an obvious choice for people who have serious battery needs.

Thanks for reading our article! If you’re looking to purchase Sanyo Eneloop or another brand of NiMH rechargeable batteries, the Electronics Warehouse is a leading online Australian retailer of rechargeable batteries, offering the best prices, service, and selection. Use promo code EWBLOG for 10% off your order, plus FREE shipping Australia-wide, just for reading this article! Take a look at what we have to offer!

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