New Improved Eneloop Rechargeable Battery AA & AAA

There’s a new battery in town. It’s an improved ‘best’ new rechargeable battery (AA-size & AAA-size). It’s made by the same manufacturer of the previous ‘best’ rechargeable battery (Panasonic Eneloop), who has increased their battery performance such that their new ‘Pro’ version AA & AAA now holds more energy capacity than ever before.

I have been using Panasonic Eneloop rechargeable batteries for many years in some of my electronic gadgets including flashlights, portable AM/FM Shortwave radios, 2-way handheld communications radios, and more…

The previous version of their batteries (still available) have been working out well and NONE of them have ever failed me.

I am excited that they have built on their reputation with newer battery technology, enabling a higher energy storage capacity packed inside their AA & AAA’s. I believe that the ‘trade-off’ for this extra capacity is very minimal, and I’ll explain why…

Here are some specifics, and a few thoughts on where these rechargeable batteries will shine…

 
First, here’s the Panasonic Eneloop ‘Pro’ rechargeable battery that I’m talking about:

UPDATE 2019: THESE BATTERIES ARE EVEN BETTER
2400 maH capacity
AmazonBasics AA High Capacity

UPDATE 2019: THESE BATTERIES ARE EVEN BETTER
850 maH capacity
AmazonBasics AAA High Capacity

 
Panasonic Eneloop Advanced Battery Charger

 

Why The Panasonic Pro battery is better

Better, or best, is often subjective and subject to criteria. Pertaining to rechargeable AA or AAA batteries the major criteria include storage capacity, number of recharge cycles, and charge capacity as it sits on the shelf over time.

The only criteria that the new ‘Pro’ version battery gives up a little is charge cycles, while they are advanced in capacity and charge shelf life.

 

Battery Storage Capacity

The ‘Pro’ version of the Eneloop AA and AAA are improved in their energy capacity. This is the biggest improvement and the one which makes this particular battery a great choice for applications where this may be more important (high drain devices).

(2000 mAh) Previous Eneloop AA battery

The new Pro Eneloop will store 28% more energy capacity. The first benefit that comes to mind are my flashlights (most of them use AA batteries). An increase of 28% life is pretty significant and is a tempting attribute for some of my high drain devices. Particularly for use-case scenarios where I might not always be near a battery charger (e.g. away from home, out in the field, etc..).

 

Charge Capacity Shelf Life

The Panasonic data is not exactly complete here. One specification is the 10-year charge capacity while the other is 1-year charge capacity. They list it as follows:

(70% charge – up to 10 years) Previous Eneloop AA battery
(85% charge – up to one year) Pro Eneloop AA battery

With that said, most of us who use rechargeable batteries do not have them sitting on a shelf much longer than a year without having used them and having recharged them, so the fact that one version of Eneloop will hold it for 10 years may not be too important. All of my rechargeable AA or AAA batteries are typically cycled within a year or much sooner, so the fact that the newer ‘Pro’ version will hold 85% charge up to a year is an added benefit.

 

Number Of Recharge Cycles

(2100 charge cycles) Previous Eneloop AA battery
(500 charge cycles) Pro Eneloop AA battery

The Pro Eneloop charge cycle specification is quite a bit less. However, when you think about it, how often will you actually likely recharge a given AA battery over its life?

Even if you recharge a battery once a week for its given application, that’s 52 times a year, which is a 10-year product life for the Pro version (~500 charges) !

Additionally chances are that you have a number of extra rechargeable batteries in your inventory which will further reduce the total number of times that you will charge them over time (battery rotation).

So in my opinion, 500 charge cycles seems like plenty to me…

 
CONCLUSION
I happened to come across the new Eneloop Pro version recently, and I felt compelled to let you know about it. Plus, I will be buying some for my flashlights!

Similar Posts

22 Comments

  1. Ken

    A question, if ya don’t mind, what Solar Charger would you recommend for the Eneloop’s? Either the Pro or the Older ones that I bought 32 of…. :-)

    Looking for an “all in One” charger, not one that uses separate panels.

    Thanks
    NRP

      1. And those two things are next on my prep list! To be honest, the panels have been on my list for a while I just haven’t had the funds. We’ll see if after tax time The Man will give me enough of my money back to get them.
        Ken, have you tried out the pair enough for a review?

  2. We use a lot of AA & AAA batteries with hand held devises but our new set of flashlights use “C” batteries. Question can one find “C” & “D” with this company or are they beyond the availability for recharging due to size?

    Thanks for the update on Eneloop, finally purchased the charging unit plus the extra batteries original version. We use a lot of AAA for the smaller flashlights &hand held devises.

    1. There are adapters available to turn an AA into a C and or a D. They can be had on ebay pretty cheap. Obviously, they won’t have the same capacity as a true C or D though. I’ve been using some for about a year now with great success.

  3. I bought some of the eneloop 2000mAh (Panasonic BK series) because of strength and can still charge 2100 times. Also, just upgraded to ANSMANN Energy 16 charger and am well satisfied.

  4. Hello Ken, I am assuming that the previous version of the Eneloop charger will not work with the Pro batteries?

    1. @Bluecatmatt, You know what happens when you assume…

      There’s no difference in the charging requirements. Any ‘smart’ charger (most of them today are ‘smart’) capable of charging NiMH will be fine. The new Pro batteries will just take a little longer to charge.

  5. Has anyone come across a decent 9-volt rechargeable battery? I’m not liking the reviews of the ones I’ve been checking out. Since regular 9-volt batteries are getting ridiculous in price I really want to move to rechargeables.

    1. @Peanut Gallery; There are “battery packs” available (Amazon) so that you can build your own 9v battery using eneloop batteries. Add a 9v connector, if it doesn’t already come with the battery pack, and just connect to the connector that you used to attach the commercial 9v battery. I doubt that the new battery pack will fit in the same location, but with a little impromptu fitting you may still be able to fit it into the appliance (as long as you aren’t in love with the existing case.) Duct tape may be needed. LOL. Be aware that the eneloops are a little different voltage from regular run of the mill alkaline batteries, so that when you add up the voltages in series, you don’t over-power your toy, radio, etc. Loclyokel.

      1. Thanks loclyokel, but I can’t seem to find this item. Would you have a link per chance?

        1. Hey Peanut Gallery, Something like this is what you might use. If the voltages on your batteries add up to more voltage than what your 9v provides you have the option of leaving out one battery and just putting a jumper wire of some type between the 2 points on the empty battery slot so that the voltage is not interrupted. I haven’t tried this yet, but I dont have any 9v powered stuff. One big plus to this type of configuration is that it provides WAY more stored battery power. your 9v gizmo should last a whole lot longer on one charge of the batteries.

          Battery Holder for (6) AA with Standard Snap Connector

          If you don’t want to carve up your radio or whatever to get the batteries stored inside of it, you can find this kind of thing built flat with a cover built into it and just velcro it to the back of your radio, etc. This particular one that I have listed even comes with a 9v connector built in so all you have to do is connect the battery wires from the radio to the new battery holder. Good luck. Loclyokel

          1. @Peanut Gallery; Upon further research, I’m seeing that while regular alkaline batteries are giving a 1.5v reading across the terminals, the newer batteries like the eneloops I believe give a 1.2v reading.

            You may need to think about getting the variation of the battery holder I listed above for the 8 batteries.

            Battery Holder for (8) AA with Standard Snap Connector

            Again if you add up the voltages, 8 of the eneloops would give you about 9.6v and may be too much for your device. If you left one out and used 7 batteries in the eight battery holder you would get 8.4v and place a small jumper wire across the empty slot. It all depends on your device requirements and is a choice you would have to make. I would make a guess that most any device made for 9v would work at 8.4v but some are more sensitive. YMMV. Loclyokel

  6. I will suggest that dropping from 2100 to 500 recharge cycles is a very big deal.

    While Ken’s example is fine for a normal world, if the grid goes down and economy collapses, one may be depending on batteries for everything everyday. One could easily be recharging batteries every day or two. So going from the previous eneloop batteries to the pro version means one went from batteries that might serve them for 7-8 years or more to batteries that may crap out in under two years. That might be a big deal surviving TEOTWAWKI.

  7. I noticed that Costco is carrying the previous version now. The price was pretty good, are they worth the buy or should I get the new Pro version?

  8. @ Don, I have a pile of the older ones an I’m extremely happy with them. Personally I’m going to stay with the older ones.

    NRP

  9. Ken, Whats your thoughts on the new Amazon Basics rechargeable AA battery. Appears it has a 2400mah battery vs the Enloop which has a 2000mah battery.

Leave a Reply

>>COMMENT POLICY
>>USE OPEN FORUM for Off-Topic conversation

Name* use an alias