AA Batteries: rechargeables or disposables best for me?

Started Apr 24, 2014 | Questions thread
Michael Fryd
Michael Fryd Forum Pro • Posts: 13,220
Re: AA Batteries: rechargeables or disposables best for me?

SkiAddict1 wrote:


1. Rechargeables, once purchased, are essentially free, however:

  • I don't know enough about their "shelf" life (= how long a charge lasts), especially when exposed to temperature extremes.
  • I also wonder about recharging a battery which has simply been sitting there doing nothing since the last charge - I know laptop batteries have a longer total life when cycled regularly as opposed to treating the machine like a desktop computer. I wonder if the total life of the rechargeables will be similarly reduced if I don't pre-drain them before recharging. Rechargeables are more expensive than disposables, so I want them to last as long as possible, since the original aim is to save money.
  • A further concern is that I assume the "shelf" life declines with age, and how would I know when that started happening and to what extent? I have a voltmeter, but would it tell me anything useful on this score?

2. Disposable alkalines, replaced once a year, ought to work just fine, but that would add to the cost of the overall system and again, the original aim is to save money.


For your needs traditional Alkaline batteries will save you money, and work much better.

I am assuming this is a camera that only gets used in emergency situations.  The rest of the time it spends sitting in a hot (or cold) car.

The Canon A1400 uses two AA batteries.  A 20 Pack of AA batteries is $10 from Amazon.  Assuming you replace the batteries every year, that's a 10 year supply.

A 4 pack of Eneloop batteries will tun you about $15 on Amazon.  Unused, the Eneloops will lose about 85% of their charge over the course of a year.  Possibly more if left in a hot car.

With either Eneloops or Alkalines, you need to pay attention about once a year to recharge or replace the batteries.   Alkalines have a lower upfront cost ($10 vs. $15).  Alkalines also afford you the option of buying over time (no need to blow $10 up front on a 10 year supply).

If you are looking to maximize availability and minimize cost, then traditional alkaline batteries seem like the best solution for your particular situation.

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