Rechargeable Batteries : Use them or you're silly (stupid)

Rechargeable Batteries + Thumbs Up = Smart

As the amount of electronics in my home climbs my need for AA and AAA batteries climbs as well (some of our more frivolous battery eaters: wireless electronic grill thermometer and electronic meat thermometer,  trivia game for the PS3 that needs 2 AA's per wireless buzzer, wireless mouse - 2 of them, etc.)  .  Until wireless electricity is a reality in our homes, rechargeable batteries are the best way to save money while saving the environment from toxic batteries entering the waste stream.  And as you have figured out by now I don't like waste, and I especially dont like discarding potentially toxic material which is why the rechargeable batteries I do recycle I take to an electronic recycler.

If you're still purchasing the regular old one-time use batteries I have on question for you:  Why?  Why are you throwing your hard earned money away after 300 hrs (give or take) of watching TV and the battery hogging remote.

Rechargeable batteries are truly a no-brainer.  Yes, rechargeable batteries require you to *gasp* actually make the effort to charge your batteries after your done with them, but I think you can handle that little piece once I show you how much money these little puppies will save you!

The "rechargeable battery calculator" below compares money spent on rechargeable batteries vs. the regular old "pump and dump" batteries ( I made that term up.   Watch out Energizer Bunny.)  As you can see, you save TONS of money by buying rechargeable batteries vs. the standard kind.

For the comparison I am using the Duracell Value Charger With 4AA Pre Charged Rechargeable Nimh Batteries (which I own and use) and your standard one-time use batteries.  The costs I use in the calculator are straight from the Amazon pages.  Feel free to edit these costs based on what you can buy your battery/charger for.

Duracell claims that the batteries can be "charged hundreds of times" but for the calculations below I was conservative and just used 96 times for battery usage.  One "use" equals the draining of one battery.  Therefore "96 uses" equals using 96 batteries 1 time, 1 battery 96 times, 4 batteries 24 times, etc.   The cells in blue are for you to edit based on your scenario.  The electricity usage values of the battery (left side of calculator) were taken off a rechargeable Duracell AA.

So there you have it.  In the case above you would save almost $100 dollars just by using rechargeable batteries!  I only compared 96 uses, but many people will use many more than that, and the savings will only get better.  Not only that, you are also helping your local environment.  Seriously, it's time you bought a battery charger!

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Thats changes. Recent rechargable batteries LSD (low self discharge) are build with better materials and can sustain more abuse from inproper charger. And cheap battery chargers are main reason for rechargablle batteries to fail. These chargers don have any logic built in - they just push the eletricity in - even if batteries are already full. This is why is good to use a charger with logic ( so called smart charger - they constanly monitor energy level and when they detect a optimum level aka DELKA PEAK they cutt off electricity). There are more reason for rechargable batteries to fail, but inproper charger is the biggest. New generations ( you will see them labeled a "Ready to use" - Sony Eneloop and GP Recyko+ are made from better materials and can sustain more abuse. But if you use LSD batteries in proper way and with intilligent charger you shuld see al least 400 cycles before drop of capacity. Good source of practical knowledge is candlelight forum - he has many practical test.
Rechargeable AA battery shoot out : Image with graphic results :
Can you mention your favorite charger?
We are fans of rechargeables. But not all are created equal. We found that the Rayovac "Hybrids" seem to hold charges the longest. Perhaps folks can share their experience of which are the better batteries in terms of the amount of time to charge, the amount of time they can hold a charge, etc. We also check amazon for the occasional sales that bring the prices way down. Since Amazon has free shipping with purchases over $25 (?) we sometimes buy batteries to get us over the threshold for free shipping.
You missed the main reason to recycle old rechargeable batteries - they are very toxic! Cadmium (in Nickel Cadmium batteries) is deadly, as is Lithium (Used in some high capacity AA batteries). They do not belong in the landfill. Single use batteries are not really toxic and alkaline batteries can be disposed of (relatively) safely. There is a web site that helps you to find drop-off locations for recycling old rechargeable batteries. I believe that all Radio Shack stores will accept them - just hand them to the store clerk. I've been recycling everything from cell phone batteries to small lead acid batteries from emergency lights -- and of course all the AA and AAA that I wear out eventually in yard lights etc. Enter your zip code to find a drop-off location nearby:
Nice discussion, but one thing I don't see is the battery capacity. "Uses" is really the total power used (mAh). In this case, for the rechargeables - 96xmAh. For the standard battery, it will be ?xmAh. The power capacity of the standard is not given, therefore we cannot determine how many will be used. The batteries may also have different discharge profiles - the voltage curve (decreasing with use) may limit how long the battery is usable ("use"). It may not be a problem for a flashlight, but a serious problem for some electronics that are voltage sensitive.

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