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Posts Tagged ‘rechargeable batteries’

Advantages of Low Discharge Rechargeable Batteries

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

The Advantage Of Low Discharge Batteries

Low Discharge Batteries are rapidly becoming the battery of choice for many users of rechargeable batteries for several reasons:

1.  Ease of Operation.  You can use these batteries just like an alkaline. Not need to worry about getting them back on the charger after use. They remain charged in stand-by mode for up to one yr.

2.  Higher Capacity.  The newer versions now tout higher capacities that rival the standard high-capacity rechargeables. For example, our new Ansmann 9V 300 mah is a low self discharge battery that has a higher capacity of its predecessor, the standard 9V 250 mah.

3.  Higher recycles. We’ve found that the low self-discharge feature also boosts recycles. Some of this may be due to the type of device in which the battery is used. However, if the battery is not allowed to completely discharge, this reserves useable chemistry in the battery and provides maximum recycles.

Of course, if you need maximum “juice” with AA’s or AAA’s, than the Ansmann high capacity cells still make the most sense.  Certain applications such as wireless mics with a high-drain may still require a higher capacity.

Low Discharge Batteries By Ansmann

Tenergy 9V Battery Charger TN346 Review

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

They say that necessity is the mother of all invention.  All I can say is that for the last few years I have been talking with battery charger manufacturers about the need for a higher capacity 9V Battery charger that could handle multiple chemistries – both NiMH and Li-Ion rechargeable batteries.

Finally somebody listened. The Tenergy Corp has just introduced an inexpensive, 6-bay 9V battery charger that will handle both NiMH and Li-Ion cells.  We had the opportunity to perform a “hands-on” product review of the Tenergy TN346 battery charger and see how it stood up to  the charging of Ansmann NiMH 9V cells as well as  HiTech and Tenergy Li-Ion Cells.  Take a few minutes to watch the product review.

We found the charger to perform well with both chemistries. The Ansmann NiMh’s charged up to capacity on the first charge.  Both the HiTech and Tenergy Li-Ion’s required 2 or 3 intital charge cycles to bring them up to full capacity. (This is typical of new batteries, particularly Li-Ion chemistry)

As to the batteries, the “new kid on the block” the Tenergy li-Ion 9V, (rated at 500 mah,)  we found the true capacity to be closer to 350 mah  (it’s stated minimum capacity.)

The best feature of the this new charger is when you have different devices that require a variety of run-times. You can opt for the higher capacity 9V’s in Li-Ion and still use it to charge the NiMH cells of lower capacity.

An example of this would be wireless mics or in-ear monitors. Suppose you have a few units that are real power hungry and require runtimes in excess of 4 hours. You could use a Li-Ion battery and get up to 15 hours and still use the NiMH cells for your shorter run time devices.  NiMH have higher recycles value than Li-Ions so you can still get the most mileage from them and use the high capacity Li-ions for your longer run-times – without the need for separate chargers — and the possibility of charging the wrong cells in the wrong charger.

 

High Quality Rechargeable Batteries

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

What constitutes a high quality rechargeable battery? This is not as simple as some may think.  As the public becomes more aware of the “green” value of rechargeable batteries, there is a growing list of new battery brands popping up.  It  reminds me of the “natural foods” phenomenon that occurred when the major food brands were challenged about the nutritional value of their products. Suddenly, every cereal, bread, snack, etc.,  starting touting the label “all natural.”

And so it goes with the rechargeable battery industry.

Here a few ways to tell if you’re getting  high quality rechargeable batteries:

  1. Check who’s using them.  The professionals that rely on high quality rechargeables have been using the best brands for quite some time. They’ve already done the research by trial and error.  This is a good time to point out some of our high profile companies – like Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group, plus thousands of production facilities and professional photographers who all use the Ansmann batteries and chargers.  This should be a huge “hint.”
  2. Check the warranty.  Is there a performance guarantee outside the 30-day refund? (Some brands won’t even provide the 30 days!)  Professional grade rechargeable batteries will offer a two-year guarantee on the ability for a nimh rechargeable battery to hold a charge. That doesn’t mean that the battery will still be able to be charged to 100% capacity – as this will vary greatly by frequency of use and drain applied to the battery. The warranty has more to do about internal shorting of the battery and it’s ability to continue to be used for more recycles.
  3. Check the Label.  Just like everyone in the supermarket is reading the nutritional value of the foods they consume, your batteries should provide a bit of truth to “what’s inside.” Recently, the European Union forced battery manufacturers to provide the “minimum capacity” on the package of rechargeable batteries and on the battery itself.  (EU Battery Directive 2066/66/EC)   This is a step in the right direction as  you will now see the differences in what the stated “maximum capacity” is and the minimum capacity.  If it differs by more than 10%, you going to see a lot of “re-labeling” occur.  Some brands out there that have been purporting AA 2900 mah reflect a minimum capcity of 2400 mah or less!  Although this new labeling is not mandatory here in the US  (yet) the Ansmann brand is already providing both the maximum AND minimum capacities on their labels.

All though you’ve heard it before, I’ll say it again.  You get what you pay for. Competition is the battery field is fierce. This is good for consumers with one caveat: Always compare apples to apples.  In a slow economy, price is king – however – saving $1 on a 4-pack of batteries that you’ll need to replace 3-4x times sooner makes no sense at all.

3 Things You Need To Know About Rechargeable Batteries

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Part 1: Understanding Your Electronic Devices

We all use rechargeable batteries. Cell phones, digital cameras, and a host of electronic devices are prevalent in every household and business. In this three part series, we provide some important guidelines that will save money, prevent frustration and disappointment and ultimately make the most of using rechargeable batteries.

First and foremost, everything depends on what you are trying to achieve by using rechargeable batteries. How do you plan to use them? More importantly, what are the specifics of your portable electronic devices? Let’s explore some of the “need to know” rules about your electronic gear in order to effectively use rechargeable batteries.

1. Is it a high drain device? Wireless microphones, in-ear monitors, flash units, digital cameras, CD and MP3 players and other high-drain devices all work just fine with rechargeable batteries. In fact, rechargeable batteries are preferred because of their faster recovery times between power usage. For example, a photo flash unit will recycle faster using rechargeable batteries over a standard alkaline. In addition, man times, the overall strength or capacity (measured in milli-amp hours or mah) of a rechargeable battery is much higher than a standard alkaline battery. Some other examples of high-drain devices are portable fans, paintball guns and hoppers, and portable TV’s.

2. Is it a low drain device? Not many people realize that devices such as smoke detectors, wireless mouse and keyboards, video game controllers and remotes can also utilize rechargeable batteries. Personal electronics such as hair trimmers and electric toothbrushes, as well as thermostats, penlights and LED lamps can all use rechargeables. Typically, these devices do not draw a large amount of current and are used intermittently. With new advances in rechargeable technology, just about any household item that uses AA, AAA, 9V, C or D’s can be powered by a rechargeable battery.

3. Know your run-time requirements. To properly choose the right rechargeable system, you need to know the run-time requirements of your wireless devices. For example, you may need to run a wireless microphone for 2 hours or 12 hours per use. It may be used daily or once a week. A digital camera may be used professionally everyday for 4 – 6 hours or a couple hours twice a month for personal consumption.

4. Here are a few other factors to consider: How long does the device sit dormant or in stand-by? A video game controller may be used for 2 hours but only once a week. Are your electronics stationary or on-the go? Is it important to be portable when considering a charging unit? Understanding your pattern of usage and run-time requirements will help in choosing the best batteries and minimize frustration.

5. Finally, consider what you are spending a year on throw-away batteries. Is it $50 or $5000? When we switched all the Cirque du Soleil touring and resident shows over to rechargeable technology, they were spending over $1000 per week in disposable batteries. Talk about saving money! In contrast, a church or school facility may spend $250 -$1000 per year. Even most families spend an average of $150 -$200 per year. As a family, that adds up to over $10,000 in a lifetime! Have you ever thought about how you could be spending 10K instead of on throw-away batteries?

Your first step in making the switch to rechargeables is to compile a list of all your wireless gear and classify it by low-drain or high-drain and by battery size. Also jot down a note about your usage pattern for each device. You’d be surprised how many batteries you use in your facility or household.

In Part 2, we discuss the various types of rechargeable batteries – and how to choose the proper ones for each of your electronic devices.


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