Rechargeable batteries, also called storage batteries, secondary cells, or accu/akku, are forms of power supply that can be restored to their full charge using electrical energy. Just like their disposable counterparts, they have positive and negative terminals. They are recharged using adapter units, which are plugged into power outlets.
Types of Rechargeable Batteries
Kinds of Rechargeable Batteries include the following:
NiCd (nickel cadmium) rechargeable batteries
NiCd rechargeable batteries have the longest life cycle with over 1,500 cycles.
However, they have low energy densities compared to the other chemistries.
Cadmium, the anode element, is toxic to most life forms. It poses a threat to the environment.
NiCd rechargeable batteries are used mostly in domestic applications.
NiMH (nickel metal hydride) rechargeable batteries
NiMH batteries have a hydride-absorbing alloy for the anode instead of cadmium, making them less detrimental to the environment.
They have two or three times the capacity of NiCd rechargeable batteries.
Their volumetric energy densities are lower and self-discharge rates higher than Li-Ion rechargeable batteries.
NiMH rechargeable batteries are used in consumer electronics and hybrid vehicles.
Li-Ion (Lithium Ion) rechargeable batteries
Lithium ion rechargeable batteries provide high charge densities.
They are lightweight.
They do not suffer from the memory effect.
They are commonly used in camera phones, laptops, rechargeable MP3 players, and most portable and rechargeable digital devices.
SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) rechargeable batteries
Sealed lead acid rechargeable batteries lower energy densities than the other battery chemistries.
They are used in alarm systems, vehicles, and uninterruptible power supplies.
Choosing Rechargeable Batteries (Buying tips)
Solar power: For energy efficiency and conservation, choose a rechargeable battery that can be charged with solar energy. This type of rechargeable battery has an adapter unit with solar panels.
Performance: For long use and efficiency, choose a Li-Ion rechargeable battery. It has a higher voltage and maintains a charge longer than the other batteries.