How to Select Rechargeable (Secondary) Batteries              Image credit:  Cymbet Corporation; Grainger Industrial Supply; Varta Microbattery   Rechargeable (or secondary) batteries contain active materials that can be regenerated by charging.   How Secondary Batteries Work   All batteries have positive and negative terminals, marked (+) and (-) respectively, and two corresponding electrodes.  The...
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Q & A on Rechargeable (Secondary) Batteries

We asked our users for their input on Rechargeable (Secondary) Batteries. Here are the results of 108 users familiar with Rechargeable (Secondary) Batteries.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing rechargeable battery design?
17 answers
Answers:
Many anode/cathode combinations are being evaluated, each having potentially different types of applications. improvements are developing, with the nimh being popular at this point in time.
~JAMES B., RETIRED PROCESS ENGINEER, KALKASKA, MI
Storing Power at power grids and residential, commercial & industrial Independent units. Online UPS, INVERTERS, solar and wind power plants, for power backup solutions.
~Sumir B, Free Lancer-, New Delhi, India
Mixtures of chemistry recipes -- adding nickel, MN02, silicon as substrates to existing designs appears to be most promising.
~Katherine M, Marketing/Sales, Portland, OR
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative rechargeable batteries?
14 answers
Answers:
Realistically, the big 5 battery manufacturers (Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, LG, Sanyo) show the most promise for long term success. There are other innovators, but unproven.
~Katherine M, Marketing/Sales, Portland, OR
EXIDE , SUKAM , AmTec, also there are companies which make Batt- caps which are a combination of a battery and a capacitor system used in renewable energy industry.
~Sumir B, Free Lancer-, New Delhi, India
Not easy to answer, as mostly the cell producers are not that innovative. The intelligence comes from the electronic (safety and charging).
~Engineering, Consulting, Linz, Austria
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used rechargeable batteries for?
23 answers
Answers:
Manufactured, designed, supplied, installed and maintained batteries for telecommunications, power generation and distribution, underground lighting, submarines, torpedoes, electric vehicles, forklifts, cars, railways, UPS, solar and all emergency power needs.
~Engineering, Other, Benoni, South Africa
I make a portable information display which is remotely operated and runs on batteries. And I am frequently required to re-build power tool batteries, which I normally refuse because of the cost.
~Research & Development, SYDNEY, Australia
I have used the nimh rechargable battery, for a limited time, in the following applications: solar charged animal repellers, cameras,flash lights, two-way radios, and remote controllers.
~JAMES B., RETIRED PROCESS ENGINEER, KALKASKA, MI
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that rechargeable batteries have been used for.
7 answers
Answers:
Since not having used for any non-standard uses, I cannot comment on this issue. The big thing with rechargeables is the huge money and inconvenience saving with rechargeable batteries, especially if you use many batteries for whatever.
~JAMES B., RETIRED PROCESS ENGINEER, KALKASKA, MI
Temporary ( 2-3 hrs lighting) supply, temp supply for small project testing purpose.
~Maintenance/Facilities Management, Ahmedabad, India
Can't think of any powered device that I would not consider a standard use.
~Jon C, Engineer, San Antonio, TX
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Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of rechargeable batteries?
10 answers
Answers:
Be aware of over charging and charging current .. also while charging the battery, the charger circuit should be isolated with the other parts of the circuit. Possibly a charge controller is the best option.
~Sumir B, Free Lancer-, New Delhi, India
Never leave on a charger for extended periods of time, as this can destroy the battery. (Standard rech batts). Lithium ion batteries can be and should be kept charged to give a longer life.
~Dave G, Student, Livingston County, NY
I have read of fires and explosions with batteries when not handled or charged properly.
~JAMES B., RETIRED PROCESS ENGINEER, KALKASKA, MI
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FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
15 answers
Answers:
One half of the picture is "recharging" the batteries. I spent a great deal of time researching the various chargers out there. I ended up with two chargers, the Tenergy t-9688, a universal charger that accepts aaa,aa,c,d, and 9v. i also bought the Lacrosse bc-9009, which only handles aaa and aa, but this is not only a charger, it is a reconditioner and a tester, a beautiful charger. Both chargers have all the necessary safety controls to prevent overcharge, but the Lacrosse offers many options and a complete readout for analysis and, it's easy to use.
~JAMES B., RETIRED PROCESS ENGINEER, KALKASKA, MI
If the charging time is reduced , then it would find many applications in industries, power plants, power grids, to store energy in times of low consumption and discharge in times of high consumption, effectively increasing the capacity of the power plant /grid during peak hours and hence avoiding over loading / load shedding.
~Sumir B, Free Lancer-, New Delhi, India
Extended temperature usage (low temp and high temp) with no compromise on performance; long cycle life without sacrificing capacity
~Katherine M, Marketing/Sales, Portland, OR
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Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of rechargeable batteries?
10 answers
Answers:
Use the best charge regime possible to prolong life, maintain highest capacity and avoid fire / explosion! Always fuse properly. Fit reverse charge protection diodes.
~Bob W, Design Engineer, Huddersfield, Uk
Buy quality batteries and for certain buy the right charger, without which you will ruin batteries and have difficulty charging them quickly and properly.
~JAMES B., RETIRED PROCESS ENGINEER, KALKASKA, MI
Research, research, research. The internet has a plethora of information to help anyone make a great choice based on their needs or wants.
~Dave G, Student, Livingston County, NY
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Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using rechargeable batteries?
12 answers
Answers:
Buy the higher capacity battery, e.g. 2500 mah aa, or 10000 mah d battery( large flashlight size ). Always store the nimh in the fridge with a full charge and charge them fully just before use. If stored at room temperature, self-discharge will be significant. "MAH" stands for milli-amp hours, the energy storage capacity of the battery as rated by the company and stamped on the side of the battery.
~JAMES B., RETIRED PROCESS ENGINEER, KALKASKA, MI
Consider the battery life, charging time, charging current, starting (peak) current it can supply for inductive loads should be high enough, weight of the battery should be a constraint if the battery is being employed for electrical vehicles.
~Sumir B, Free Lancer-, New Delhi, India
Buy a good charger, not something cheap. Get one that has the capability to discharge batteries completely and fully recharge afterwards, such as a charger with a battery conditioner.
~Dave G, Student, Livingston County, NY
Check the capacity (charge storage); make sure that the battery voltage will work if replacing primary cells with an approximate equivalent secondary.
~Richard S, Quality Control, Leicester, UK
Consult with an expert. Don't use off-Chinese brand unless that manufacturer is proven. KNOW THE TRANSPORTATION REQUIREMENTS.
~Katherine M, Marketing/Sales, Portland, OR
Select a battery technology that best suits the intended applications requirements.
~David P, Research & Development, Melbourne, Australia
Look at all technologies and use simplest which meets specification
~Bob W, Design Engineer, Huddersfield, Uk
Yes only buy well known reliable Brands
~Em Ayeye, Purchaser, Patterson Lakes, Australia
Do not rush in to anything.
~Jon C, Engineer, San Antonio, TX
Shop around for the quality
~Manuel D, Mechanic/maintenance, Yigo, Likiep
Confirm the level of cycle
~Olalekan A, Technical Support, Lagos, Nigeria
Don't go with Nicads
~James O, Engineering Consultant, St.Petersburg, FL


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