For years the majority of people when buying rechargeable batteries/chargers they have solely focused on charge times, basically if it wasn’t under 30 minutes for a full charge it wasn’t worth getting. However this was all rubbish fed to you by Duracell (& other brands).
The massive problem with these quick chargers is they ruin batteries, they heat the batteries up which isn’t great for them, they often charge multiple batteries at the same time (& same charge rate) so you end up with one full battery and one nowhere near full, over time this gets worse and worse until you end up with one battery that is useless and one that is just about ok.
Although expensive compared to simple fast chargers, these more professional chargers (http://10ws.co/1W8PPc2 or http://amzn.to/1FXXGzE) will take AA and AAA batteries and charge any number from 1 to 4 but most importantly you’re in full control (allowing you to discharge/refresh/charge at variable speeds etc) & it will alert you to any older/dodgy batteries. For those who don’t know much about batteries just plug them in and the unit will charge EACH battery to the best possible % to keep the battery healthy and lasting for as long as possible.
It saves a lot of hassle in the long run and is also cost effective as most rechargeable batteries are good for as many as 2,100 charges!
The actual cost difference over 5 years
For ease of calculations lets pretend all the batteries we use are AA batteries, some will be AAA which are very similar price wise.
4 x TV remotes (8 X AA batteries) – replace/recharge twice per year
3 x LED sensor lights (16 x AA batteries) – replace/recharge 6 year a year
1 x Light Switch (2 x AA batteries) – replace/recharge once a year
2 x Camera Flashes (8 x AA batteries) – replace/recharge 12 sets per year
1 x Laser Tape Measure (2 x AA batteries) – replace/recharge roughly once a year
1 x Wireless Mouse (2 x AA Batteries) – replace/recharge 12 sets per year
2 x Wireless Keyboard (4 x AA batteries) – replace/recharge 12 sets a year
2 x Bike lights (4 x AA batteries) – replace/recharge roughly once a year
1 x Electronic Whisk (2 x AA batteries) – replace/recharge twice per year
1 x Motion Sensor Spray (4 x AA batteries) – replace/recharge roughly 6 times a year
1 x Remote Control Plane/Car controller (4 x AA batteries) – replace/recharge 4 times a year
4 x various toys/gadgets etc (8 x AA batteries) – replace/recharge roughly 6 times a year
Total of 64 batteries but I will round it up to 70 for other things I’ve probably forgotten + future devices etc.
I will then factor in the amount of times they need replacing each year and we get the eye-watering total of 398 batteries! I appreciate my example isn’t for your average person with things like Camera Flashes etc, but it could easily be a family with 2 kids and tons of toys etc.
I will split the amount of batteries by 2 and get 35 x of the Amazon £1.37 (for low power devices) & 35 x Eneloop £1.93 (for higher powered devices).
Giving a total spend of £115.57 on rechargeable batteries (up front cost) + £31.99 for the charger = £147.56
+ the amount it would cost to charge up 70 batteries multiple times to get 398 uses
A battery charger like ours uses 0.02 kilowatt-hours per AA battery. 0.02kWh x 398 = 7.96kWh per year and we get charged 11.57p per kWh by our energy supplier
So to charge 398 batteries it would cost £0.92, however all the 70 batteries arrive fully charged so it’s actually just £0.76 to charge the batteries for their first year.
To compare we would buy 70 x Duracell Plus Power Batteries at a total cost of £28.28 and then buy 328 x Duracell Plus Power Batteries at £132.51
Giving a grand total of £160.79 on Duracell batteries per year.
|Cost of batteries + charger||Cost to recharge||Cost of batteries||Cost of replacement batteries|
|First Year||£147.56||£0.76||First Year||£28.28||£132.51|
|Second Year||£0.00||£0.92||Second Year||£28.28||£132.51|
|Third Year||£0.00||£0.92||Third Year||£28.28||£132.51|
|Fourth Year||£0.00||£0.92||Fourth Year||£28.28||£132.51|
|Fifth Year||£0.00||£0.92||Fifth Year||£28.28||£132.51|
|Total (for 5 years)||£152||Total (for 5 years)||£803.95|
So in the first 12 months the Duracell is cheaper but soon after the 13th month the rechargeable becomes the cheaper option! After 5 years you would have saved £651.95
Notes: Some non-rechargeable batteries will outperform rechargeable batteries (i.e. power output last longer) so let’s pretend you use 50% less non-rechargeable over those 5 years (which is a ridiculous statement) you’re still saving £249 by buying rechargeable.=
Price increases for energy are likely to increase over those periods as well but even with energy prices being quadrupled in this calculation + the above 50% less rule, that is still a saving of £236.66!
What batteries should I buy?
We use http://amzn.to/1FWVPKO & http://amzn.to/1HjsvMS – both are very similar in spec, however the main difference is the amount of times they can be recharged, Amazon ones have a max of 1000 charges vs Eneloop at around 2100 charges. For things like clocks, remote controls etc we would use the Amazon ones (as those devices don’t use much power) however for kids toys, lights, speakers etc we would use the Eneloops as they use more power so will need to be recharged more often.
It is also a great idea to pick up one of these battery testers > http://amzn.to/1MIg2ns
“I’ve used rechargeable batteries before and they never seem to last as long as normal batteries”
Correct there is two reasons why this WAS the case:
A) you used a crap charger which almost ruins batteries instantly
B) You used a NON LSD battery. A LSD battery is something fairly new, basically it doesn’t lose charge over time, most can hold 80% charge up to a year and some go up to 5 years!
So ensure you buy LSD rechargeable batteries like http://amzn.to/1FWVPKO & http://amzn.to/1HjsvMS
Why not just use cheap normal batteries?
They suck, they generally don’t last very long. Often leak if they get left for long periods of time. You end up throwing them away pretty soon after buying.
Why not just spend more on Duracell batteries (or similar branded batteries)?
They’re expensive. They do last a long time (generally)
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