With a majority of the devices one uses on a daily basis are powered by batteries, for example, remote controls, laptops, cell phones, electric razors, toys, batteries are as much a part of the average shopper’s life as are electronics. Because of this, the cost of batteries likely makes up a sizable portion of the one’s normal budget.
Since no one enjoys unnecessary expenditure, many shoppers choose to invest in rechargeable batteries. With rechargeables, the shopper initial expense is a bit higher than with single-use batteries, but as time goes on one reaps the benefits, able to reuse the batteries for hundreds of charges. Before purchasing, however, the shopper should be well aware of the different types of rechargeable batteries, as well as which batteries are typically used with certain products (for example, lithium ion batteries are commonly used in laptops). The shopper should also be informed as to why it is important, and beneficial, to use them.
Types of Rechargeable Batteries
As with many other products, the title of each type of rechargeable battery identifies it as one of several different variation, and, before making a purchase, one should look into every option. Some types of rechargeables are best used with, or at least more commonly associated with, certain products. It is also important for shoppers to be aware of the varying shelf lives, prices, and uses for these differing rechargeable batteries. The types of rechargeable batteries here are the most common types used and sold.
Alkaline rechargeable batteries are very versatile and can be used to many devices, including toys, torches, cameras, calculators, remotes, to name a few. With a shelf life of up to five years or more, alkaline rechargeable batteries have a lower initial cost than do other rechargeables, but also come with a shorter run-time than other types. Alkalines are useful for both high- and low-drain devices.
Lithium ion rechargeable batteries are amongst the most powerful rechargeables, and do not exhibit the common memory problems that can arise from overcharging a battery, which results in power deficiency (or power memory loss). Usually abbreviated as Li-ion, these rechargeable batteries weigh less than NiMH batteries; they are also more environmentally friendly, lacking toxins such as cadmium and mercury. Though they are more expensive and require a more sophisticated charger, lithium ion rechargeables have a longer shelf life and provide a higher energy capacity than their competitors. Li-ion batteries are often used in laptops, portable power tools, portable TVs, digital cameras, cell phones, camcorders, and more.
Nickel Cadmium (NiCad)
Also used in camcorders, cell phones, and, like Li-ion batteries, laptops, nickel cadmium rechargeables are also used in other products such as electric razors. These NiCad batteries have a more limited shelf life than do Li-ion or alkaline batteries, along with a slightly lower energy capacity. Additionally, because NiCad rechargeables contain the toxin cadmium, it is important that they are properly disposed of once they lose the ability to hold a charge. Nickel cadmium rechargeable batteries are relatively inexpensive and are simple to use.
Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)
Though nickel metal hydride rechargeable batteries are more expensive than many of the other types and also require a more expensive charger, they are both environmentally friendly, because of the absence of toxins, and extremely cost-efficient. Despite the limited shelf life, NiMH rechargeables are interchangeable with disposable batteries that are the same size, and are ideal for use in devices that are used frequently and drain energy heavily. Examples of these heavy-drain products include camcorders, cell phones, cordless tools and appliances, digital cameras and flash equipment, laptops, portable power tools, and motorized remote control toys. NiMH rechargeable batteries produce the same energy as lithium ion batteries, and last longer per charge than do nickel cadmium batteries.
Uses for Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable batteries are suitable for use in any product in which one would use regular, disposable batteries. Some rechargeable batteries are specifically intended for certain products, like digital cameras, which are more energy-intensive than devices such as remotes or toys. It is important to note, however, that using rechargeable batteries in emergency items such as smoke alarms is strongly discouraged. If a rechargeable battery is fully charged but not used for a long period of time, it will self-discharge. This means that, after not being in use, the battery will lose power. In emergency equipment, this could be the difference between life and death.
Benefits of Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable batteries have the obvious benefit of being more environmentally friendly than single-use, disposable batteries. All batteries contain chemicals and compounds that are unhealthy for the environment, but using rechargeable batteries helps to cut down on battery waste. Disposable batteries are harmful to the environment because of the toxins and chemicals they contain. Rechargeables, on the other hand, can be used hundreds of times; moreover, when they finally do run out of power, users can recycle these batteries at any battery drop-off place. Because of their multiple uses, rechargeable batteries more than pay for themselves and eventually save the user money. Thus, though rechargeable batteries may cost more initially than do disposable batteries, the little extra investment during that first purchase is very worthwhile. For both environmentally conscious and budget conscious consumers, rechargeable batteries are an ideal product, and an ideal solution.
Besides the types of rechargeable batteries and their uses, shoppers should consider some additional facts about rechargeable batteries, including recharging, what to do when these batteries reach the end of their life, and more.
The length of recharging depends on the size of the battery. Some take only an hour to recharge, while others can take seven to 12 hours.
Life of a Rechargeable Battery
After the initial purchase, rechargeable batteries start working at their peak performance after two charges. In general, this is the time it takes for evening out and adjusting to use in certain products. On average, rechargeable batteries function at a satisfactory performance for 500 charges, with some promising to function for 1,000 charges or more.
Once a rechargeable battery has lost its ability to hold a charge for a significant amount of time, or if it malfunctions, then one should immediately discontinue its use and find a safe way to dispose of it. One also should bear in mind that rechargeable batteries can be recycled, and he or she can bring them to a battery recycling drop-off or sometimes to other convenient locations such as hardware or department stores.
Terms Relating to Rechargeable Batteries
Energy-to-mass ratio refers to the energy density of the battery. Memory effect (mostly seen in nickel cadmium batteries), refers to the condition of a battery apparently losing its maximum energy capacity if it is charged multiple times without first being properly discharged.
How to Buy Rechargeable Batteries on eBay
For a safe, easy, and budget-friendly way of purchasing rechargeable batteries, turn to eBay. With thousands of sellers, all monitored by feedback from previous buyers and by eBay itself, this online shopping site is easy to use and will enable you to get the exact kind of batteries you need.
eBay is especially invaluable to those who are wary of buying items from unknown sellers online, because of its special way of verifying trustworthy sellers. If you see the ‘Top-Rated Seller’ badge on a seller’s page, this means that that seller has received consistently positive feedback from previous buyers and has sold enough merchandise per month and per year to fill eBay’s quota of being a loyal, trustworthy seller. By looking for the ‘Top-Rated Seller’ badge, you can be sure to buy from someone who will deliver your purchase whole and on time.
To begin the process, go to the eBay home page. From there, you can type in several keywords to search for the product you want, even something as simple as ‘rechargeable batteries’. From there, you can narrow down your search by choosing to search by a specific brand, price, or quantity. For a more exact search, you may start by typing more specific keywords, such as ‘lithium ion rechargeable batteries’. In so doing, you can quickly and simply find your needed product within your desired price range.
Rechargeable batteries are widely considered to be an environmentally safe, convenient, often non-toxic way of saving money while still having the luxury of using all one’s favourite electronics. In addition to all the above benefits, rechargeable batteries are also a cost-effective and safe alternative to using disposable, single-use batteries. And with battery-based electronics becoming more and more common, it becomes increasingly important for shoppers to consider choosing rechargeable batteries over disposable ones. Making this decision becomes easier with platforms such as eBay, which offers a wide variety of products at reasonable prices, from trusted sellers from all over the world. With new sellers and products added hourly, eBay is a great resource for not only purchasing rechargeable batteries but also for the products for which they provide power. With all types of rechargeable batteries available on eBay, whether alkaline, NiCad, NiMH, and lithium ion, the shopper can make an informed decision about which battery he or she needs for the products he or she owns followed by an easy, secure purchase.