Rechargeable batteries have been around for awhile and you probably didn’t know how often you use them. If you drive or own a car, you have been using a rechargeable battery. The car battery is a rechargeable battery that has been around for a long time.
Chemistry and technology has now advanced and rechargeable batteries are now so much better than they used to be. Batteries come in all kinds of devices and tolls that they are a common sight on the job for many people. You can even find them in your home in many things that it has become a common use item.
Flashlights are one of the best things to have around the house that contains rechargeable batteries. A simple one that plugs into the wall and you just grab it, turn it on and then to get a fresh charge plug it back in. There are so many tools now that use this technology that a whole market has been cropping up in hardware and tools for them.
A rechargeable battery is very different than one that is not, but not in ways that you can see. The chemicals and such inside the battery is what makes the difference. A regular battery that is not meant to be recharged but can be, but it is risking a burst battery and ruined charger if you attempt this. The batteries that are meant to be recharged are made of different things and are built to withstand the heat of putting current through the battery many times whereas a common battery is not.
The batteries I am talking about in the next section are the Nimh batteries or nickel metal hydride. They are the newest type of batteries available and what everyone is turning to because of their fast recharge times.
Batteries for recharging are rated by amperage in milliwatts per hour or mAh. The higher the number the better the battery is for high drain devices. A high drain device is something that has a motor or flash or other device that draws more current than just a plain electronic circuit. A plain electronic circuit would be something like a cell phone or game bay. They use very little current form a battery compared to something like a camera that has a motor in it or a flash.
The flash is a high drain device in a camera and a camera usually has some type of motor in it that also drains the batteries even more. Drills and tools have to have their own special batteries because the ones that are for camera and such are not high enough in current to handle the motors in them. That is why they make a special battery in a case for those types of items. Even a camcorder has a bit higher drain than the digital camera, that is why they usually have their own special batteries, not just AA or AAA type.
Rechargeable battery technology has made so many improvements that we are now seeing batteries that can withstand a quick charge that will recharge the battery in fifteen minutes. This is very handy for toys or cameras that you use often and want a quick recharge instead of having to wait overnight.
Many different brands have their own times for recharging and most try to stay the same as the competition. The longer charges usually will not be told in hours, just that it will be charged after the light goes out. The quick charge ones will tell you in hours or minutes how long, 3 hours, one hour, thirty or fifteen minutes.
The technology behind the battery is mostly chemistry, we have a better understanding of materials and making the batteries out of a combination of them so that they can take the higher heats of a quick charge before they start to break down and become unusable as a battery.
Energizer has one hour, thirty minute, fifteen minute, several hour and car chargers. The thirty minute charger you may not be able to find today, it was not on the market for very long, with a simple change in the charger they made it down to the fifteen minute charger and stopped manufacturing the thirty minute one.
The several hour chargers come in a couple of different styles, for use with different batteries and combinations of batteries by what you prefer to have for your own use. The car charger is handy to have if you find yourself continually wanting to recharge batteries while on the road.
The batteries cost about ten dollars for four of the AA and AAA, for two of the C or D size, or one of the 9 volt square sizes. All the companies have a different cost for theirs but I have found that the energizer has the better technology in batteries. I base this on personal use and nothing else.
Rayovac has a new one they call the IC3 that is very similar to the Energizer, but is a bit newer. They will cost a few dollars more for the charger and the batteries from my comparisons. They have all the same sizes as the others and are about the same for the typical available current ratings.
Duracell also has a charger for their batteries but only have the AA and AAA size of batteries. Theirs is about the same price as the others but if you have the other sizes of batteries that you want in rechargeable you would be wise to stay with all the same brand of batteries for all the different sizes.
All three companies are making great leaps forward with new technologies and have been coming out with new types and materials for their batteries. But for now the best new thing on the market for batteries is the Nihm and the newest lithium ion battery. They differ in the materials they are made of and they charge differently.
The lithium ion batteries are not rechargeable though. The nicad batteries of days gone by have seen better days, they are not as good nor efficient in the smaller devices such as digital cameras and handheld remotes, but still have their place in the larger things like tools.
Nicad batteries will be around some more until the chemists find a better battery that takes the current and heat of larger motors and devices.
Today for your small devices that have a high drain, the nickel metal; hydride batteries or Nihm are the way to go, with the prices being close to the same the best choice is which charger and size batteries best fit your needs.
Energizer seems to have the most types of chargers out there and they have come to be one of the bigger companies in the battery business.
I use the energizer line of batteries just because the one at the store that I was at had one on sale. I was looking for a new battery charger for all those things I have the AA batteries for and there was one on sale. I am glad I went with them, they have now come out with a quick charger for the same batteries and I can use both chargers when I want to.
One word of caution when using batteries and chargers, you should not use different brands in different chargers. The batteries for each company are designed for their own chargers and not others. The characteristics for each battery are a little different and they should be used with their brands charger.
Using rechargeable batteries just makes sense these days with how many devices we have that require batteries.
The same types of batteries with each company are about the same, the biggest difference is in the size of the batteries and the chargers you use with them.