Don’t want to go through a ton of disposable batteries to power your digital camera, console controller, flashlight, wireless microphone, children’s toys, or other items? If so, then what you need to feed your devices are rechargeable batteries! Most devices call for AA batteries. Rechargeable batteries like these can be used again and again, conserving space and budget while also cutting back on waste. There are a number of different types which are ideal for different purposes. In this article, we will help you to choose the perfect AA rechargeable batteries for your needs.
But first, here is our comparison table for the top-selling highly rated rechargeable AA batteries for sale on Amazon.com.
|Panasonic Eneloop AAA|
Still not sure what type of rechargeable AA batteries you need to buy? Read on to learn all about the different types and important features and considerations.
What is a Rechargeable AA Battery?
A rechargeable AA battery is exactly what you think it is going by the name—it is a AA size battery which you can charge again and again so that you can use it over and over.
There are a number of different types of rechargeable AA batteries
Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH)
These are ideal for high-drain devices which are used continuously.
These “hybrid” batteries are also best for high-drain devices.
Nickel Cadmium (NiCd)
Use these for power tools and two-way radios. These are also good for devices which are being operated at high temperatures.
These are excellent for sensitive electronics such as digital cameras, camcorders, notebook computers, and mobile devices.
While these are good for some devices, they can only be recharged a few times and they are pricey, so they are not very popular.
These can only be charged a few times before they need to be replaced, but they are ideal for very small devices. They are extra lightweight.
How Does a Rechargeable AA Battery Work?
Rechargeable AA batteries go in your device just like standard single-use AA batteries. After their charge is used up, you remove them and you put them in a recharging station which you plug into the wall. You wait a few hours for the batteries to recharge, then you put them back in your device and use them again.
Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Rechargeable AA Battery
What types of devices do you need to power?
This will determine in large part which type of rechargeable batteries you need to buy. For example, if you want to power a digital camera and get peak performance, you should buy lithium batteries. Otherwise you could end up with scan-lines and other distortions in your photos.
Where will you use the devices?
If you will use your batteries in especially hot or cold locations (while on a vacation at a ski resort for example), you should make sure you buy batteries which are built to operate even in extreme temperatures.
Features and Add-Ons to Look For When Shopping for a Rechargeable AA Battery
Look for a high capacity in your batteries, optimally 2000mAh or higher. This is how much power each battery can hold.
High recharge cycle
This refers to how many times you can recharge the batteries before you have to replace them outright. Five hundred times is a good minimum, but you will find batteries which can be recharged for 2,000 or more times. If you do the math, you can figure out exactly how long a recharge cycle will last you. Often you can go years before you have to replace your batteries.
Low self-discharge rate
The self-discharge rate tells you how much of a battery’s charge can be maintained if it goes unused in storage for a certain period of time (usually a year). Something around 60-80% is good.
No memory effect
This has to do with whether you can recharge a battery fully if it is partially discharged. In the past, rechargeable batteries had what was known as a “memory effect” where they could only be recharged up to full capacity if they were completely discharged first. Now many modern batteries lack this effect, which is a good thing. You can always charge them up to full without using up the partial charge first.
If you will use your rechargeable batteries in hot or cold conditions, look for batteries built to withstand extreme temperatures.
Some rechargeable batteries undeniably yield better performance than others. You can recognize the quality especially when you are using a digital camera. Poor quality batteries result in poor quality photos. High-quality batteries result in crisp, distortion-free photos. This is true even with the same type of battery; not all lithium batteries are equal, for example.
As you can see, the world of rechargeable AA batteries is a little more complex than it may appear at first glance—but now you know everything you need to in order to make the right purchase. Scroll back up to our comparison chart to shop!