Rechargeable and Non-Rechargeable Batteries: The Pros and Cons

Rechargeable and Non-Rechargeable Batteries: The Pros and Cons

Auth Anushka Agarwal | May 27,2020

Over the last fifty years, there has been quite a development in the products powered by batteries and their applications. The number of products that use AAA or AA rechargeable batteries has increased, however, this is not the battery evolution commenced. Right from electric cars to other motorized vehicles, there is numerous usage of batteries in the coming future, particularly, lithium-ion batteries and lead-acid batteries. Today, we know about the limited uses of such batteries as digital cameras, laptops, and other electronic devices. However, in the coming time, the uses and the product list adding batteries to their composition will increase.

However, one of the biggest pertaining questions is, does this mean that the market for alkaline batteries is completely overtaken by AA or AAA rechargeable batteries?

Well, alkaline batteries were the earliest inventions in battery technology. They have been a part of consumer purchase for a very long time and still continues to be a top choice in certain genres. Some devices, especially those that draw very little power, are still powered by disposable alkaline batteries. It’s not like that these devices cannot be charged with rechargeable batteries, however, their rate of power consumption is very low. This means such devices can work on rechargeable batteries for years and years. In such devices, it is better to use alkaline batteries since it supports power needs.

The different types of batteries

As a consumer, you must be aware of the AA and AAA variants. However, the other types of batteries available include C and D size versions. With different types of applications, different sizes of batteries are required. AAA is the smallest battery size and D is the largest one.

Then, there are other types of batteries available like lithium-ion batteries, mostly used in laptops and smartphones, and the lead-acid batteries that are being tested for applications in the car.

The main factors to consider when choosing a battery variant

Choosing the right battery requires some considerations. As a buyer, you need to consider the following factors to determine the type of battery you need for your devices.

Battery price:

Rechargeable batteries are more expensive than alkaline ones. Well, initially.

An alkaline battery lasts for 3-6 months. A rechargeable battery can last for 2-3 years. Let’s suppose, the cost of buying a pair of alkaline is 50 bucks. Compared to the 6X cost of alkaline batteries for at least 3 years, the total cost is 300 bucks. A rechargeable battery costs less than that and can work for a very long time. Also, the e-waste generated by the disposed of alkaline batteries can cause land and water pollution.

Having a lower initial cash outlay makes it one of the reasons that consumers choose to purchase disposable batteries. But in the long run, the batteries that you can recharge are significantly more cost-effective than buying hundreds of pairs of non-rechargeable batteries. Battery types like lithium-ion batteries have proven their efficiency, especially in consumer electronics.

Battery life:

Initially, disposable batteries last longer than rechargeable batteries, making them a better purchasing decision at first glance. But, always remember, that these batteries are called disposable for a good reason, they simply cannot be recharged. Once they die, they are gone and there is nothing you can do about it. However, when it comes to rechargeable batteries, they last much longer as you can recharge them again and again. Smartcell batteries offer a recharging cycle of 1200 times, the highest ever offered in any rechargeable battery variant. You’ll not have to re-purchase the batteries for quite some time.

Then, rechargeable batteries are the best?

Well, not always. Consider the application first.

Although the above points somehow reflect on the positive aspects of rechargeable batteries, it is important that you look for the application before you buy them.

For example, non-rechargeable batteries are a perfect solution for low drain products. Since low drain devices use the power of a very volume, they can be kept for a longer time. Devices like smoke detectors, remote controls, and wall clocks are some examples perfect for disposable alkaline batteries.

Rechargeable batteries are an ideal choice for electronic gadgets that drain a lot of energy. Since these batteries can be recharged, you will get good riddance from the hassles of constantly purchasing the new batteries. lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are commonly used to power portable consumer electronics; hence they are a better choice for such devices. There is, therefore, a good return on your investment.

For Rechargeable and Non-Rechargeable Batteries Comprehensive Overview, Refer Table Below.

Characteristics Rechargeable Batteries Non Rechargeable Batteries
Usage after Complete Discharge Can be reused Cannot be reused
Cost High Cost-effective
Types of Batteryzinc-carbon, and alkaline batteries lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, and lithium-ion batteries
Output Voltage 3.0 Volt 1.5 Volt
Useful for Digital camera, Clock, Remote Control, Toy, GPS,Torch, Radio, Audio Players. Clock, Remote Control, Torch, Wall clock.  
Recharge Cycle Rechargeable up to 1200 times Cannot be recharged
Estimated Shelf Life 10 to 15 Years from the Manufacturing date 5 to 10 Years from the Manufacturing date
Leakage No Leakage No Leakage
Power-density High Low
Battery Size AAA, AA, C, or D AAA, AA, C, or D

Wrapping it Up

There are pros and cons to buying any type of battery. Just like any other electronic item, a battery is also a machine, and it is common for machines to suffer some damage with time. However, decipher the application of your batteries before you buy the most suitable variant.

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