Batteries were first created in the 1800s, and continue to be a common source of power today. The principle by which batteries work is simple. A chemical reaction within the battery creates an electrical between the battery and the powered device, thus giving the device enough power that it can function. Often used in portable electronic devices such as children’s toys, small flashlights, and cameras, AA batteries are the most popular, regularly-sized battery in the world.
To get the most out of their batteries, buyers should understand how batteries function. In addition, buyers should also be aware of the differences between the two the two primary types of batteries (i.e. disposable and rechargeable). Below, readers will also find tips to help them keep their batteries fresher longer and to properly change out batteries when necessary. Finally, buyers need to know how and where to buy high quality AA batteries at a good price, to keep their electronic gadgets working without costing them an arm and a leg.
Disposable (Single Use) Batteries
Just as the name conveys, disposable (or single use) batteries are thrown away after being used. Buyers often choose disposable batteries because the initial cost is much lower than when buying rechargeable batteries. The two main types of disposable batteries are 1) alkaline and 2) lithium. The sections below discuss each type in detail.
Disposable Alkaline Batteries
Alkaline batteries are a type of dry cell. They consist of an anode and a cathode. Electrical current flows into the anode, a positively charged electrode, from the outside. Current flows out of the battery from the negatively charged cathode. The battery’s power is created from the chemical reactions between these. Also, within the dry cell is an alkaline electrolyte, which gradually lessens the corrosion of the battery itself. Disposable alkaline AA batteries are best suited for devices that are not used on a daily basis or that do not drain the batteries quickly.
Disposable Lithium Batteries
Lithium batteries are also dry cells. They have a lithium metal or lithium-based compound as the anode and a manganese dioxide as the cathode. Between the two is a layer of lithium salt in an organic solvent. On the base rests a current collector made of carbon. Just as with alkaline batteries, the electrical current flows into the battery through the anode and out through the cathode, with the battery’s power being generated from the chemical reactions between these two. Lithium disposable batteries last a long time and are perfect for devices that require long life and low electrical demands, such as remote controls and clocks. Further, lithium disposable batteries perform well in harsh climates or extreme temperatures.
To understand how a rechargeable battery functions, one must know a bit about oxidation. Metal within a battery goes through the chemical oxidation process, and as it does, it gives off electrons, which flow outward in the form of electricity. Once the metal has oxidised completely, the battery loses power and dies. However, a battery recharger causes the opposite reaction, allowing the oxidation to happen over and over again as the battery powers an object. The most common problem users experience when repeatedly discharging and recharging a battery is that outside of the battery begins to deteriorate; however, new models with stronger shells are always being developed.
As with disposable batteries, the two main types of rechargeable batteries are alkaline and lithium ion. These are each discussed below.
Rechargeable Alkaline AA Batteries
Rechargeable alkaline AA batteries are perfect for use in 1.5 volt devices that are not used on a daily basis or that do not drain the batteries quickly. Rechargeable alkaline batteries charge fast and hold their charge, since they take in a high amount of energy and output a low amount of energy. Alkaline AA batteries are appropriate in some cases for high drain items, because the batteries can be charged from any AC outlet once they are depleted. Electronic devices and kids’ toys are common devices that work well with rechargeable alkaline AA batteries.
Rechargeable Lithium Ion AA Batteries
Lithium ion batteries are long-lasting, and once used up, can be recharged from any power outlet. They have a higher energy density than other types of rechargeable batteries, which means that for their size and weight, they can store a lot of energy. Once charged, lithium-ion batteries retain their charge for a longer time than other types of rechargeable batteries. Due to their sturdy structure, lithium ion batteries can be used with devices that require a lot power for a long time, such as mechanical equipment.
Tips for Keeping Batteries Fresh
Whether choosing disposable or rechargeable batteries, there are a few tips buyers should follow to keep their batteries working better, longer.
- Do not keep batteries in a device that will not be used for a long time. Over time, batteries self-discharge, and the discharge rate increases when left in a device. Instead, take the batteries out and store them in a cool, dry place.
- Keep unused batteries in a temperate, dry container. Buyers who store their batteries in a specially made battery case should buy two cases, one for brand-new, unused batteries, and another for batteries that have been used and removed or recharged.
- Keep batteries that have been used with one another together. Avoid inserting an old or recharged battery into the same device with a new battery. This forces the older battery to work harder, and can damage both the batteries and the device.
- As soon as they are finished recharging, remove rechargeable batteries from the charger. Leaving charged batteries plugged in exposes them to a continual charge that actually reduces their charge rate, making them wear out more quickly.
- To ensure that rechargeable batteries maintain the same, even charge rate, use them in the same device they were in before recharging. This makes it easier to keep track of their functioning.
It is important to properly install AA batteries in a device to keep the device functioning as it should. Do not put the batteries in upside down or mix different brands. This can result in the device not working. Depending on the battery compartment, consumers may need a flathead or Phillips screwdriver to open it. To install batteries into a device, follow the steps below.
Locate the battery compartment and open it
Take out the old batteries; if they are disposable, dispose or recycle according to local ordinances; if rechargeable, place into the charger at the same time to ensure they charge evenly
Insert new AA batteries; make sure the positive end of the battery lines up with the plus sign symbol, and the negative end of the battery lines up with the minus sign symbol; if there are no symbols evident, the negative end of a device is usually coiled and looks like a spring
Replace the battery compartment cover
Changing batteries is easy if the installation process is followed correctly. Users who find their device does not work after installing new batteries should make sure the batteries are oriented properly, and that they are properly charged.
Buying AA Batteries on eBay
Once you have determined what kinds of AA batteries you want, check out eBay for a large selection. All types and brands of AA batteries are available from sellers all over the world on eBay. Using eBay to purchase batteries can save you time and money.
Searching for AA Batteries on eBay
One of the easiest ways to begin a search on eBay is to type in exactly what you are looking for in the search box on eBay’s home page. For example, enter the phrase "AA batteries". Such a search should return many listings for you to browse. To narrow down the results, choose one of the category filters on the sidebar. To conduct a search for specific items, type in more specific, descriptive keywords. This should return only items that are relevant to your needs. For a more refined search, use the Advanced Search feature.
Buy AA Batteries on eBay with Confidence
Buyers reap many benefits when they choose to shop online at eBay. First, signing up for an account is easy. Second, there are an almost endless number of listings for sale, all in one spot. Third, the eBay partnership with PayPal allows users to protect their personal financial information and saves time when completing a transaction. This lets buyers and sellers conveniently shop and sell, all from the comfort of their homes.
AA batteries are the world’s most popular batteries, and there are a vast number of selections to choose from. Therefore, consumers should understand a bit about what types of AA batteries are available as well as how they function in different devices. Further, buyers should keep in mind the above tips to keep their batteries fresh for a longer time. Knowing how to install batteries properly is also important.
When ready to purchase AA batteries, shoppers should check out eBay. eBay boasts a huge selection of AA batteries of every brand, as well as other battery sizes and accessories. Buying from one of the many sellers on eBay affords shoppers with a convenient and enjoyable experience.