I have been using the SANYO ‘eneloop’ rechargeable battery with great success, including the common AA size – a Ni-MH Low-Self-Discharge chemistry which has tremendous attributes.
Here’s more detail why the eneloop is one of the best rechargeable batteries for preparedness…
Each eneloop battery can be recharged up to 1,500 times. That is A-LOT more than much of the competition. When you think about it, it is a huge cost advantage to use this type of battery over time.
Like other batteries of similar chemistry, because it’s made of Ni-MH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) it can be recharged at any time without causing a ‘memory effect’ like older batteries.
The eneloop is a ‘low self discharge’ (LSD) rechargeable battery, which means that when it’s sitting on the shelf, it’s shelf life is very long compared to older type rechargeable batteries. Fully charged eneloop cells maintain up to 75% of their charge after three years of storage. That’s just 8% a year discharge while sitting idle without a recharge. That’s incredible for a rechargeable battery.
An important thing to know when comparing batteries is a rating labeled ‘mAh’. The (mA) stands for milliamps. The (h) stands for hour. The rating is milliamp-hours. This rating is in regards to the life of the battery, similar to the gas tank in your car. It tells you how much energy can be stored inside on a full charge. This is where many batteries differ. The higher the number, the more energy can fit inside.
The current SANYO eneloop AA battery is rated for 1900 mAh. Other brands may be less, so check the specs.
Note: When charging the eneloop battery, use a battery charger that is designed for Ni-MH. Most of them are these days, but be sure to check.
The reasons that I mention this battery as one of the best rechargeable batteries for preparedness is:
The AA size is the most common in portable radios and small LED flashlights.
Very long shelf life while idle.
Exceptional recharge cycles.