Eneloop - A Better Battery

A year ago I learned about Sanyo Eneloop batteries and bought a starter pack. Eneloops are now my prefered battery for most uses.

Eneloops are improved Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries with these key benefits:

  • Hold a charge longer (low self discharge)
  • Can be recharged more times
  • Better low temperature performance
  • Can be used right out of the package (pre-charged)
The most important feature of Eneloops for me is how long they hold a charge - they seem more like Alkaline batteries in this regard. I have lots of NiMH batteries and they work well for many uses, but for devices I use sporadically I was often frustrated to find the NiMH batteries had lost their charge between the last use. For digital cameras I have to recharge the NiMH batteries once a month, even if I don't take many pictures. The Eneloops can often go 2 months or more. The Eneloops also work great in my GPS - I don't use it often, but when I do the Eneloops usually have enough charge for the job, whereas most times the NiMH batteries are dead. So even though Eneloops have less rated capacity than current NiMH batteries (2000 mAh versus 2700 mAh), the lower rate of self discharge (95% charge after 6 months for Eneloop versus 75% or worse for NiMH) means I get more use out of the Eneloops and fewer times finding dead batteries.

The Eneloops charge just fine in my NiMH battery charger. If you don't already have a charger there are bundles with a charger, and even a USB charger.

As my NiMH batteries wear out I've been replacing them with Eneloops. I have both AA and AAA Eneloops. Other companies make batteries like Eneloops: Rayovac Hybrid, Kodak Pre-Charged, and Duracell Pre Charged. I like the distinct white package of the Eneloop so I don't mistake them for Alkalines or standard NiMHs.

I bought my starter pack at Costco (I think they still stock them). Eneloops can be hard to find around town, but are widely available for purchase on-line (Amazon has them).

I still use a lot of non-rechargeable Alkaline batteries. They last a long time and work great in devices that don't use much power or are seldom used, like remotes, emergency lights, toys, etc.

Occasionally I use some lithium non-rechargeable batteries (expensive!) when I need maximum run-time and/or best performance in low temperatures.


1 comment:

bjchild said...

Thanks for the review. I've been annoyed with the way my batteries lose their charge so quickly. Have to give these a try.