Rechargeable Battery – Cost-Effective Sources of Power

One of the most powerful and useful innovation of modern times is indeed the rechargeable battery.

With increasing demand and use of portable devices by consumers, the need for rechargeable battery power has undergone an upsurge over the years.

Rechargeable Battery

A group of two or more secondary cells when restored to full charge by application of electrical energy is called as a rechargeable battery. These prove cost-effective in comparison to the disposable ones as they do not need constant replacement. All you need to do is keep recharging when the charge is over.

These cheap sources of power have made our life much more convenient. However, they may prove more expensive than the regular disposable ones, but they do provide financial advantage by optimum utilization of the cell.

The rate of recharging batteries has increased substantially over the years, from the times when it used to take as much as 12 to 16 hours, to the charging times of today, an hour or less to recharge it complete.

Now manufacturers are working on new models that promise to increase the life of the batteries. The lifespan depends on many factors such as

  • the chemical makeup,
  • total usage,
  • temperature,
  • humidity
  • and other environmental conditions.

Other critical factors that contribute to increased lifespan are how they maintained and the number of life cycles or discharge. The life expectancy of each type is different.

A rechargeable battery made of nickel and cadmium (NiCd) and nickel metal hydrides (NiMH) have less storage capacity, approximately half, of alkaline cells.

They tend to discharge faster and perform less efficiently at lower temperatures. However, the life of rechargeable battery depends entirely upon its usage and the power of NiCd and NiMH batteries dies out gradually.

Overcharging is yet another factor that affects life and this can result in overheating producing leakage or overflow of charge.

Rechargeable Battery Types

Many portable compact mobile devices and electronic gadgets run on stored power. Devices like laptop, cell phone, digital camera, camcorder and remote control run on different types of rechargeable batteries. These are listed below:

NiMH – Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) is the most preferred choice for cell phones, camcorders, digital cameras, and other personal electronics. Although this looks similar to nickel cadmium, it has double or triple the capacity of a nickel cadmium. It's best to not overcharge a nickel metal hydride.

NiCd – Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) costs less than a NiMH and provides the same voltage levels through the entire life. Here, they are commonly used in toys and electronic devices.

The most commonly faced problem by nickel-cadmium is the memory effect wherein hard indissoluble cadmium crystals are formed deep inside which are an unavoidable product of discharge. This effect can be avoided by allowing it to be completely discharged once every two to three weeks and then fully recharge the same.

LiION – Lithium Ion (LiION) are among the newest advances in technology. They have more capacity and prove expensive in comparison to other types available. The life of a Lithium Ion commences from the date of manufacture rather than the number of times it is charged and discharged.

Rechargeable batteries are an environmentally friendly and economically sound choice. Rechargeable batteries are available in specific shape and sizes like disposable ones, but rechargeable batteries need a specific charger to recharge. The time taken to charge the battery depends on the number of times it can be recharged, and the actual life is dependent on the type of technology used to build the battery.

With digital devices driving sales at retail, rechargeable batteries continue to reign the market.

Source by Anna Woodward

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