Your guide to rechargeable batteries

Batteries are a common household item, used in everything from the kitchen clock to the television remote. Whether you often keep spare batteries in the cupboard, or you’re always caught short, they are a necessity in order to keep your household devices powered up. What’s more, with so many devices needing different types of batteries, it’s not always easy to find the appropriate size and type.

With so many batteries being thrown away by households up and down the country, it might be time to consider switching to rechargeable batteries. After all, it cuts down on the amount of times you need to buy new batteries for your children’s toys or wireless keyboards. An eco-friendlier way of powering your favourite devices, using rechargeable batteries is a much easier way than buying new, single-use batteries all the time. So, here is your guide to rechargeable batteries, and why they are such a good choice.

The difference between single-use and rechargeable batteries

Also known as primary batteries or disposable batteries, single-use batteries have to be discarded or recycled once they go flat. Batteries like alkaline, lithium or silver oxide are common single-use types.

On the other hand, rechargeable batteries can be recharged and used hundreds of times, depending on the type. Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) are a popular type, as well as lithium ion (Li-on).

Advanced technology in rechargeable batteries

Rechargeable batteries have continued to improve over the years, and now are designed with advanced technology to make them easier to use. You will find that some batteries now come ‘precharged’. This means you can use them straight away, and they have a low self-discharge rate so they will keep their power for longer when not in use.

It will usually have some indication on the packaging whether your batteries have this kind of technology built in.

Types of rechargeable batteries

There are different capacities of rechargeable batteries, and it’s important to understand the difference. The capacity refers to the amount of energy the battery holds, and is measured in mAh. You will usually find standard capacity and high capacity options to choose from.

High capacity rechargeable batteries are ideal for high drain devices like games consoles or digital cameras. Standard rechargeable batteries are great for everyday products.

You will often find that reputable battery companies will offer specific rechargeable batteries for solar garden lights or cordless phones to help you narrow your search.

Charging your batteries

Keep your rechargeable batteries powered up by using the right battery charger. They are a must-have accessory, but with so many different ones it can be difficult to choose. A lot of battery chargers will have advanced features such as automatic cut off, protection from overcharging, or an LCD display to measure the voltage and current.

You can buy battery chargers that are specifically for one battery size, or invest in a universal one if you use multiple different types of battery.

So, whether you’re making the switch for the first time or you simply just want to make sure you’re buying the right batteries, hopefully this has given you some insight!