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Old 01-18-2012, 05:08 PM   #21
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Before the low-discharge rechargeables, it only made sense to use alkalines unless you loved constantly charging and changing batteries. Now, the newer batteries, IMO are like the best of both worlds...keeps a charge like alkalines, can be recharged like a rechargeable.

I think with the low discharge rechargebles, it's only practical to stock up on many, otherwise, you'd be still recharging often and looking for spare batteries, which defeats the purpose.

Then it comes down to which one likes more -- to invest in a lot of rechargeable batteries and charger vs stocking up on alkalines each year.

As for the cost...it's the upfront in rechargeables vs yearly for alkalines.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:18 PM   #22
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I'm not finding many uses for rechargeables, but maybe I'm behind in the technology. The things I use batteries in today are the low-discharge devices, including many that are a PITA when they fail (smoke detectors, remote controls for the garage door opener and the external keypad for the same, the flashlight in the glovebox of the car, etc.) If I buy AA alkaline batteries on sale they are $6 for 24. I'll use maybe 36 batteries a year=$9. That will fill my requirements for a year. I know they are going to work. If I use rechargeables, some will be have reduced capacities after a time (mix them with others and the whole set has a reduced life--now which one is the bad one?). For me, the hassle factor doesn't make it worthwhile.
I can understand that, because even with the low-discharge types, one does spend a bit of time recharging. Also, you will probably spend about $5 per year on current to charge them.

However, because I've been using rechargeables for years, I've prevented hundreds of depleted alkalines from going to the landfill. Yes, they are small, but for me, that factor tips the balance towards recharging.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:39 PM   #23
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Another plus about rechargables is if the do corrode, they don't do so as much as alkalines. I've never had a rechargeable corrode enough to make a device non-functional. I can't say the same for alkalines.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:47 AM   #24
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Before the low-discharge rechargeables, it only made sense to use alkalines unless you loved constantly charging and changing batteries. Now, the newer batteries, IMO are like the best of both worlds...keeps a charge like alkalines, can be recharged like a rechargeable.

...

As for the cost...it's the upfront in rechargeables vs yearly for alkalines.
It is interesting to me that they have achieved these low self-discharge rates in the rechargeables - I was not aware of that.

But it is really a moot point. In a low-discharge use, the alkalines last a year or more (I'm pretty sure some of my remotes are working fine with 3-4 YO batteries in them). So at 5x to10x the cost for Eneloops, we are talking a 5 to 20 year payback, before we buy a charger (assume you already bought that for your high-discharge products).

With a long payback, I'm betting that when you go to replace that high-discharge device, the newer ones will come with rechargeable lithiums anyhow. Your charger (if bought today), might not ever payback.

-ERD50
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:49 AM   #25
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However, because I've been using rechargeables for years, I've prevented hundreds of depleted alkalines from going to the landfill. Yes, they are small, but for me, that factor tips the balance towards recharging.
This is the key for me as well...not so much recouping the cost.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:58 AM   #26
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... However, because I've been using rechargeables for years, I've prevented hundreds of depleted alkalines from going to the landfill. Yes, they are small, but for me, that factor tips the balance towards recharging.
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This is the key for me as well...not so much recouping the cost.
But for the low discharge use - very few batteries are being thrown out each year. Is that significant, compared to the materials used in an Eneloop (which will eventually be thrown out, and the environmental impact of the charger (manufacture, use, throw out when broken/obsolete)?

I'm sure we can't answer the question, but I'm guessing the benefit is small, maybe even negative.

I can see that it would likely go in favor of the Eneloops if you have stuff that eats these batteries regularly, but I was responding to the low self-discharge comments.

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Old 01-20-2012, 09:08 AM   #27
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Yes, I see your point. I use mine in flashlights and xBox controllers for my kids - both high draws. I also use them in remote controls and clocks and other low draw items. I am a mixed bag in this case.
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:54 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by ERD50

It is interesting to me that they have achieved these low self-discharge rates in the rechargeables - I was not aware of that.

But it is really a moot point. In a low-discharge use, the alkalines last a year or more (I'm pretty sure some of my remotes are working fine with 3-4 YO batteries in them). So at 5x to10x the cost for Eneloops, we are talking a 5 to 20 year payback, before we buy a charger (assume you already bought that for your high-discharge products).

With a long payback, I'm betting that when you go to replace that high-discharge device, the newer ones will come with rechargeable lithiums anyhow. Your charger (if bought today), might not ever payback.

-ERD50
The error in that analysis is that not all uses are low current such as remotes. Our cameras need new batteries every few weeks. My handheld digital recorder needs the batteries recharged after every 6 hours of use (I recharge after every 3 hour gig).

IOW the chargers quickly pay for themselves if you have any higher current devices, so the TV remote batteries are just gravy. Also, cameras do very poorly with alkalines.

Even with the use of nimhs, I have over two pounds of used up alkalines waiting to be taken to the dump (illegal to put them in the trash here). Put your used ones in a box and you'll be surprised at how many you accumulate.

So move along, there is no irony here ("People think they are saving money/environment, but it turns out the opposite is true.").

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Old 01-20-2012, 11:25 AM   #29
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What blew me away is that my daugther went through 3 sets of new/regular Energizers in 4 days in her Innotab after Christmas. I put in new, once-recharged/topped off Eneloops in and they've lasted longer than any one (maybe 2) sets of Energizers. The device was always saying to change the Energizer batteries, yet when removed, they still tested "good". I never took the time to measure the volts remaining. With the Eneloops, I haven't had the "change battery" symbol come on, yet.

I wouldn't have really known about them until we got a Wii and I read this thread. I got mine from Amazon, but, haven't gotten the BC-700 charger, yet, just the Sanyo charger that came in the package deal.

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Old 01-20-2012, 11:38 AM   #30
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Rechargeables are great if you have kids that use flashlights (what kid doesn't like to play pretend camping in the dark). Brings back memories of when I was a young child who had a habit of dozing off leaving the flashlight on and draining the battery.

I still use non-rechargeable 9V (ten year type from Radio Shack) for my smoke detectors. For everthing else, I'm using the low discharge AA/AAAs, with the exception of a few regular D rechargeables.

I have a LC-900 charger but don't condition each battery when it needs a recharge, only when it has problem keeping a charge. Otherwise, I just recharge them, usually in my Tenergy charger or a rapid travel charger. I also have an overnight charger I got at Goodwill that can do 8 batteries at once and I like.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:21 PM   #31
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The error in that analysis is that not all uses are low current such as remotes.
There's no error T-AL, my comment was specific to low-current devices.

I agree with you that rechargeables can make good sense for higher current, high use devices, and these Eneloops sound like a good product. As I said earlier, I just don't have anything that runs through AA/AAAs quickly, those devices all have lithium rechargeables, so I don't think it would make sense for me (or people in a similar situation).

My box of 48 AA's from Costco is dated (by me) as purchased March 2010, it's still half full.

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Old 01-20-2012, 01:29 PM   #32
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One problem with the nimhs is that their top voltage is lower than that of the alkalines, so some devices start complaining that the battery is low very soon. My zoom h2 allows me to specify the battery type.
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:27 PM   #33
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Maybe it's the chargers I've used (but I've had it happen with a good Maha charger, too) --the chargers seem to overcharge/kill cells that I leave in them for a long time (by mistake). I've considered buying a charger and putting it on a wall timer so it only gets AC juice for about 10 minutes per day. I could keep my "next to use" batteries in there and be fairly confident they'd be topped up but not fried when I need them. Dumb? Unnecessary with today's better chargers?
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:13 PM   #34
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The smart chargers should automatically go to trickle charge after a battery is done.

I guess should is the important word as I owned an Energizer charger which claimed to do just that, but instead of overcharging, when I'd check on the batteries (non low discharge) after a couple of weeks, they had already self-drained out. That charger was a pain to use so I got rid of it.
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:30 PM   #35
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Maybe it's the chargers I've used (but I've had it happen with a good Maha charger, too) is that the chargers seem to overcharge/kill cells that I leave in them for a long time (by mistake). I've considered buying a charger and putting it on a wall timer so it only gets AC juice for about 10 minutes per day. I could keep my "next to use" batteries in there and be fairly confident they'd be topped up but not fried when I need them. Dumb? Unnecessary with today's better chargers?
I do this with my tractor's flooded lead acid battery. I have a timer that runs a trickle charger 1 hour a day. Seems like it would work for NiMH, as well.
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