A battery is a device made up of one or more electrochemical cells with external connections that allow you to electrical power devices. In this guide, we will include the different types of rechargeable batteries, as well as alkaline batteries, which are not rechargeable.
Rechargeable batteries are available in different forms and sizes and vary from button cells to megawatt operations connected to stabilize the electricity distribution networks.
The combinations of electrodes and electrolytes of different materials give an increase to varying types of batteries. Right below we had listed out the best rechargeable batteries.
How to Choose Rechargeable Batteries?
As with power banks, it is also important to consider their capacity when evaluating rechargeable batteries. This affects the hours that the batteries will be usable before having to recharge them again. Our advice is to buy models that can guarantee a capacity of at least 1500 mAh.
Operation and Components
Despite the rather simple and linear appearance of rechargeable batteries, behind them lies a remarkable theoretical basis, the result of a mix of notions of physics, chemistry, and electrical engineering.
To understand precisely their structure and the system that governs them, it is essential to know how they work. These are accessories that, through a chemical process, generate voltage and electric current.
It is called oxidation-reduction and, apart from the complex name, it is nothing more than an exchange of electrons between two materials, which allows the production of electric current.
This process of creating electricity occurs when the right voltage or potential difference between two points, expressed in Volt (V), occurs.
The direct consequence is the generation of direct current, with a constant movement of electrons from one point to another until reaching total equilibrium, i.e., the moment when the rechargeable battery discharges.
From the first zinc and copper prototype made by Alessandro Volta in the late 1700s to today, a large variety of these accessories, also called galvanic cells, have been placed on the market.
The chemical origin and the power generation process, however, remained an element of continuity. Everything is based, in essence, on the following components:
- A point with high electrical potential called the anode and identified with the sign “-“
- A low electrical potential point called a cathode and identified with the “+” sign.
- A substance called electrolyte with the function of activation (closed circuit) and suspension (open circuit) of the passage of electrons (oxidation-reduction);
- Two electric poles through which the electric current passes if the circuit is closed
- A rigid or soft plastic collection case when multiple cells are grouped.
The individual materials that allow the oxidation and reduction processes, known as semi-reactions, are commonly classified in electrochemistry under the name of “electroactive species.”
There are on the market dozens of specimens of rechargeable batteries, and as many different sizes and formats. This is because the type of energy absorption required, as well as the variable size of the electronic accessories, requires extreme versatility of the individual components.
The capacity and nominal voltage of each rechargeable battery vary according to the model, the format, and the chemical composition of which it is made, which explains the reason for the immense variety of solutions on the market.
Rechargeable mini batteries, for example, can range from 1.2 V to 1.5 V for lithium batteries. The same goes for the milliampere that measures the electrical capacity of the various specimens.
An important note concerns the rechargeable batteries in mh to be soldered. There are two assembly systems, each involving a different variation of voltage or current.
To increase the voltage for the number of cells present, it will be necessary to assemble the rechargeable batteries to be soldered in series.
This means connecting the opposite poles of the individual cells. To obtain the opposite result (double amperage and same voltage), the connection between rechargeable batteries with so-called solder must be made between poles of the same sign, or in parallel.
Standard and Environmental Compatibility
The technical provisions and the requirements are regulated by two international bodies, one based in Europe for the member countries of the Community and one with a global character.
This allowed a slow but progressive standardization of the terminology, which today is classified into:
- Common names such as, for example, stylus, torch, mini style, etc.
- IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) name
- Name ANSI (American National Standards Institute)
To give an example with alkaline rechargeable aaa batteries, their IEC code is LR03, while the ANSI code is 24A. While European legislation identifies them as NiMH rechargeable batteries with the name HR06, ANSI defines them with the initials 1.2H2.
It is, therefore, not convenient to pay too much attention to the terminology, as it could cause considerable confusion. What is important is that any model on the market must, by law, indicate chemical composition, dimensions, rules of use, and physical characteristics.
The prescriptions, however, do not end there. These electronic accessories are composed of polluting materials, each in its way. Copper, cadmium, chromium, lithium: each substance contains heavy metals and other elements dangerous for the environment.
Mercury-based versions, for example, had such a harmful environmental impact that they were completely removed from the market.
One of the great advantages that AAA rechargeable batteries and all the other formats present has undoubtedly been greater attention to their environmental impact.
The fact that they are reusable hundreds or thousands of times makes them, in most cases, an investment made to last a lifetime. This, therefore, justifies the fact that their economic value is greater than normal ones.
Like standard batteries, lead, nickel, and lithium rechargeable batteries are subject to separate waste collection management in Italy. This process must comply with the procedures and specifications defined by the Combat (Mandatory Consortium for Exhausted Lead Batteries and Leaded Waste).
Being designed to facilitate in all respects the portability and durability of many electronic tools, their use does not require particular additional components.
However, there is a great variety of reusable battery chargers, which are distinguished from each other by the capacity of pieces to be refilled, speed, and format compatibility.
In principle, these battery chargers are specifically designed to bring only one type of cell back to the maximum electric charge. There are tailor-made solutions, especially for the stylus, even up to the rechargeable 9v battery.
Each recognizable by the shape of the container compartment in which to insert the discharged batteries. The common examples are those for aaa and aa rechargeable batteries, as they are the most widely used formats.
In any case, there is no shortage of compatible proposals for batteries of different sizes, as well as the capacity of the charging slots, which normally varies from two to eight compartments. They can work:
- With power supply
- In sunlight
- Via USB socket
- Electromagnetic induction
There is an additional accessory that can be very useful always to guarantee excellent performance. It is an instrument called “discharge,” which has the function of bringing the rechargeable batteries to total discharge, eliminating any trace of residual voltage without, however, exceeding the minimum charge threshold required.
The discharger is perfect for rechargeable NiMH batteries but, above all, for NiCd, which undergoes more than any other specimen, the now known “memory effect,” due to the progressive enlargement of the cadmium crystals.
That NiMH, however, owes this problem to the nickel hydroxide crystal whose electrode, over time, loses more and more electrical potential.
Thanks to this additional accessory, the batteries will always be discharged in depth before receiving new energy. Rechargeable lithium solder or standard batteries are the only ones that do not suffer from the lazy battery effect.
Care and Maintenance
Once the right size of rechargeable batteries suitable for the intended use has been selected, a few small precautions will be enough to keep it in good health. Designed to be very easy to manage, they need a few simple attention to ensure long life.
Rechargeable 1 2v solder batteries, as well as normal ones, can be damaged if left attached to the power supply even when full charge is reached. For this reason, it is necessary to have chargers equipped with timers, capable of interrupting the electric current after recharging.
Alternatively, just remember to unplug the socket at the end of the charge. In addition to this aspect, it is essential to consider some additional tips:
- Use rechargeable AAA batteries or any other size between 0 ° and 45 ° to avoid damage.
- Do not use old and new batteries together.
- If you do not use it for more than 20 days, remove the rechargeable batteries from the device.
- Store rechargeable batteries that are not in use at 50% battery: never leave them completely on the ground or with a full charge
Finally, before each use or power supply, it is always recommended to check that their external surface is free of damage, openings, and swellings. Using them in suboptimal conditions could be dangerous.