Best AA Rechargeable Battery

April 6, 2016, by Ken Jorgustin

aa-rechargeable-battery

I have been using the Panasonic ‘eneloop’ rechargeable battery with great success, including the common AA size – a Ni-MH Low-Self-Discharge chemistry, making it one of the best.

One of the best AA rechargeable batteries is the Panasonic eneloop, and here are the reasons why it’s a good choice for preparedness.

UPDATED:

 

Reasons why the eneloop AA size battery is one of the best

 

Number of recharge cycles

The latest technology design of the eneloop battery enables them to be recharged up to 2,100 times.

When you factor in the cost of constantly replacing new batteries, the cost savings are enormous over time, again making it one of the best choices.

A more technical explanation as to their extraordinary large number of recharge cycles:

Improvements to the conductive surface layer of the active (positive) electrode material (made primarily from nickel-metal hydride) produce greater conductivity and durability. Limiting the degradation of the conductive layer increases the number of times that the eneloop battery can be recharged. ..up to 2100 times.
-from the manufacturer

 

There’s no ‘memory effect’

Each battery can be recharged when fully, or partially drained, and there’s no ‘memory effect’.

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 type rechargeable batteries.

 

Long Storage Life (shelf life)

The eneloop rechargeable Ni-MH battery is a ‘low self discharge’ (LSD) battery, which means that when it’s sitting on the shelf after having been fully charged, it’s shelf life (holding a charge over time) is very long compared to older type rechargeable batteries.

Fully charged eneloop battery cells maintain 70% of their charge for up to 10 years (when not in use and stored properly).

 

High Capacity

An important thing to know when comparing batteries is their capacity rating, labeled ‘mAh’. The (mA) stands for milliamps. The (h) stands for hour. The rating is milliamp-hours. This rating (capacity), is analogous to the size of the gas tank in your car. The rating represents how much energy can be stored inside the battery for a full charge. This is where many batteries tend to differ. The higher the number, the more energy can fit inside.

The current Panasonic eneloop AA battery is rated for 2000 mAh.

 

Temperature Performance

Most all batteries perform poorly when they’re cold. However the eneloop reportedly performs well in cold temperatures while delivering exceptional performance down to –4 degree Fahrenheit.

 

Battery Charger for the eneloop battery

Note: When charging the eneloop battery, be sure to use a ‘smart’ battery charger designed for Ni-MH. Most of them are these days, but be sure to check.

This is the charger that I’ve been using for many years. I like it because it will recharge 8 batteries at once, and it also does ‘D’ batteries:

Maha PowerEx MH-C808M Professional Charger for 8 AA/AAA/C/D NiMH/NiCD Batteries

 

Conclusion

The AA size battery is the most common consumer size used in portable radios, LED flashlights, and much more. The reasons that I believe this battery to be one of the best rechargeable batteries are:

1. High number of recharge cycles (2100)
2. No ‘memory effect’
3. Low self-discharge (long shelf life, 10 yrs.)
4. High capacity (2000 mAH)
5. Good low-temperature performance (to -4F)

Plus, it has the best overall reviews.

Eneloop AA Rechargeable Battery

Note: In case you were wondering, they’re made in Japan.
Note: I have been using these for many years, and couldn’t be more pleased.