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Rechargeable Batteries vs. Non-Rechargeable Batteries

Posted by Michael Wenger on

Rechargeable vs non-rechargeable batteries

Rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries have many of the same properties, with a few minor differences. Before 1859, there were no rechargeable batteries. The popular lead-acid battery was the first rechargeable battery, and was the first of its kind. We still use lead-acid batteries in our cars today.

The original lead-acid battery paved the way for the extremely popular sealed lead-acid batteries used in thousands of applications; ranging from golf carts to powered wheelchairs. These lead-acid batteries are now vibration resistant, and properly maintained batteries will hold their charge for a very long time.

Rechargeable batteries are all around us. They have come very far in the last fifty years. Our cars are powered by rechargeable batteries using an incredibly efficient alternator system. Our laptop computers and cell phones use some of the most advanced rechargeable batteries available today.

The most common debate between rechargeable vs non-rechargeable batteries is within the alkaline battery space. The most popular consumer batteries, AA, AAA, C, and D, are all classified as alkaline batteries. Consumers often debate which batteries are the correct choice, but there are two main things to consider about the two.

Rechargeable Batteries

  • More expensive initial price
  • Can often be charged hundreds of times before replacement

Non-rechargeable Batteries

  • Cheaper initial price
  • Initial charge lasts longer than rechargeable batteries

The attributes of rechargeable alkaline batteries make them attractive for use in toys, wireless video game controllers, and noise-cancelling headphones. Since these devices tend rain battery life relatively quickly, a rechargeable battery would be desirable.

Because non-rechargeable batteries last longer on a single charge than non-rechargeable batteries, they are ideal for use in products that need to be low-maintenance and long-lasting. The most popular uses for non-rechargeable batteries are low-power devices such as smoke detectors and remote controls. Using rechargeable batteries for these devices would not be cost effective, as non-rechargeable batteries in smoke detectors can last several years. Your batteries could often times outlast rechargeable battery technology.

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