In the age of the mobile device, we use more batteries than ever before. From our TV remotes and handheld GPS units, to mobile games, we depend on our batteries. While a lot of our devices now incorporate internal, rechargeable batteries, there are still a lot of devices that need their batteries swapped out when they die. If you use a lot of batteries, then you may find yourself trying to decide between replacing with single-use or rechargeable?
The Pros of Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable commercial batteries have been around for decades, and they still hold a great deal of market share. It’s easy to see why when you think about the benefits they offer, too. For one thing, rechargeable batteries are more environmentally friendly than single-use batteries. Not only can they be used repeatedly, but they generate less waste over the long-term. This is particularly true in the case of power-intensive devices which eat up batteries at an increased rate.
In addition to using fewer resources, rechargeable batteries also have the potential to save you money and be more convenient than single-use. When batteries die, rechargeables give you the option of simply putting back on the charger until they are back at full (or at least a functional) charge level.
The Cons of Rechargeable Batteries
There are downsides to using rechargeable batteries and reasons against their use.
One of the negatives most often cited by users is that rechargeable batteries often have a lower voltage rating than single use. This can effect a devices output and performance. Another negative is the up-front cost of rechargeable batteries. Rechargeables are not only more money than single use batteries, but the price of a quality charger may negate their value altogether depending on use.
Another potential problem with rechargeable batteries is that they can often become weak and unpredictable with age. This can lead to faster depletion and lower performance. Better quality rechargeable batteries will extend lifespan, but inevitably their performance will still decline and eventually result in the need for replacement.
When To Use Rechargeable Batteries
The best candidates for rechargeable battery’s would include high use, high draw devices that deplete standard, single use batteries in under 90 days. Devices like game remotes, toys, headsets, and wireless computer equipment would be examples of these and present the best opportunity to realize the cost benefits and convenience.
If you’re going to make the investment to use rechargeable batteries, then it’s also important to invest in a quality battery charger. While a cheap charger may get the job done in the short-term, many do not include automatic shut-off features that prevent over charging and potential damage.
Some electronics manufacturers may specifically recommended against the use of rechargeable batteries. Penny Electric always recommends consulting a device’s owner manual for recommendations on battery types to ensure the safety and proper performance.