Sunday, April 27, 2008


The Simple Dollar just did a cost calculation of rechargeable batteries vs standard AAs, using some new "Eneloops" batteries. I'd seen some adverts for these batteries previously (some advertisement with a spiel about saving the environment through R&D) and was interested. I recall trying to use rechargeables maybe 8 years back, and it was a discouraging experience. The inconvenience of charging, the quick discharge of the batteries, the batteries charge worsening from about the 10th charge onwards...

So it was quite interesting to see his evaluation of these new batteries. I think the newest things to me was the calculated cost of charging the batteries, which comes up to.. just US$0.002. Which is quite amazing.

Of course, his calculation is slightly off. This review of the Eneloops notes that Eneloops contain less charge than other NiMH rechargables, which begs the issue, whether alkaline AAs have an even higher charge. In other words, he may have to replace the Eneloops at a higher rate than his normal usage.

Of course, at less than a cent per recharge, the cost is hardly significant. And the Eneloops really seem to do well in terms of storage charge retention.. Which means
(1) You can throw a bunch of eneloops in a (cold) drawer for emergencies and bring them out to charge occasionally - like once a year.
(2) You can keep a bunch of spare eneloops around when you change batteries and not have to worry about them losing charge in between.

It also means no more sticky spoilt batteries destroying the battery contacts...

Of course, I barely use AAs anymore. The only things I actually use them for now are: (a) Xbox 360 controllers, and in this case I don't think I've replaced the batteries since I got them; (b) clocks at home; (c) guitar tuner.

Anyway - will probably go and check costs when I get home...

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