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Reviews : Rechargeable Battery
What follows is my foray into this stuff. I wrote this page with the intent that it can help readers such as yourself learn. Given all the battery using devices that are around nowadays, I decided to look into rechargeable batteries. Two reasons for this. The first group of reasons are the environmental ones. The processes and materials used to make batteries involve some pretty nasty stuff. The second reason is that rechareable batteries will actually save you money in the long run.
What about the cost of recharging the batteries? The cost of the electricity to recharge the batteries is at least the same amount of driving to Walmart to pick up batteries.
Here's my real world notes as to the costs. I'm only listing AA/AAA batteries as that was my needs. First, I'll list a non-rechargeable battery cost from Walmart as a baseline. Second, I'll list my two travels through battery charging. Below are the numbers that I came up with.
Energizer brand batteries from Walmart
Notes: Energizer is a well-known brand. Their warranty is for 7 years on their batteries. They also state the batteries have a shelf life of 7 years.
Rechargeable Batteries from Jameco
Notes: Universal Fast Battery Charger from Dantona Industries (Part No. CHG-6P) I bought this in October 2006 from JamecoThis will work for a while. I had it plugged into a surge strip. Plugged it in one evening to charge some batteries. It refused to come on. I didn't hear anything pop. Nor did I smell anything. It just would not come on no matter which outlet I plugged it in to. This was in Feburary 2007. In their defense, Jameco does offer a money back guarantee for the first 30 days, and a 90 day warranty. The Dantona CHG-6P lasted 5 months. I paid around $20 for it, so what could I expect right? I won't be purchasing any more Dantona products.
Maha brand Rechargeable Batteries from Thomas distributing
Notes: As the Dantona charger died, I still had a need for a battery recharger. I bought a MAHA MH-C801D Battery Charger from Thomas distributing. It was more expensive at $69.97. It is a faster recharger. There's a slow setting where you can charge batteries over the course of two hours. The only two negatives I noticed are these. First, I don't think it's been UL listed. Second, on the Rapid setting, the batteries are almost too hot to even touch after recharging. The slow setting had no such problem. If it lasts 250 times, that's $0.27988 a charge The above order came with some plastic carrying cases. These are useful. The Maha "AA" came with a 5 Year Warranty. I'm not too sure why or how one files a warranty claim on batteries. However, if the manufacturer offers that, then legally that's an obligation. I take it to mean their batteries are good for 5 years.
How long do these last? The Thompsen website advertises "# MAHA Rechargeable Batteries have a very High life curve. Can be recharged from 500 up to 1000 times!"
Let's say 250 charges here.
Cost savings using the above numbers:
Regular Batteries from Walmart AAA $0.4435 * 250 = 110.875
Jameco AAA ($3.475 each + 69.97) = 73.445
Thomas Distributing AAA ($2.735 + 69.97) = 72.705
$110.875 - 73.445 = 37.43
For one my mp3 player which uses 1 "AAA" battery, I'm saving $37.43 in battery replacements over the course of four years. If that doesn't sound like much, consider this as well. That $37 was just for the one battery. When I got the charger I also got other batteries to cover the other electronics such as cameras, calculators, remotes and a small penlight. All told it was about 11 batteries. Usage being equal, that's $370 in savings. This cuts down on the amount of toxic stuff going into landfills because of me. Energizer does offer both rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries.
My Conclusion Buy rechargeables and use them. Save money and keep nasty stuff out of landfills.