With the different kinds of electronics that we all own today, the most crucial element for many products has become what their power source is. There is nothing more convenient to use to charge your camera, your blender, or even your torch than rechargeable batteries. While batteries themselves have been around for quite some time, many are making the convenient switch to rechargeable ones!
There are some reasons for this because the best thing about rechargeable kinds of batteries is that they are not single-use! These can be used again and again for quite some time! This is opposed to a single-use battery that you would have to discard once it runs out. Batteries work when the electrons travel from one end to the other till it eventually runs out of them. With rechargeable ones, this is quite different because they have a method of reversing the flow of electrons via the charger so that it replenishes the electrons within.
This is how a battery becomes recharged! When you have a piece of equipment that you are making use of daily such as your gaming console, a digital camera, or even a high tech kid’s toy, you do not want to be caught in the never-ending cycle of buying single-use batteries, throwing them out and going out to buy new ones.
That’s why it is so much nicer to switch to a rechargeable alternative. You will love this feature especially if you travel constantly or do not want to go through the trouble of having to keep buying new batteries! Today, we have for you an in-depth and excellent informational guide on how to charge rechargeable batteries! But before we get into the specifics, let’s get to know a few important facts.
Most rechargeable batteries will last for over 500 total uses! That’s quite impressive but this will vary from brand to brand and model to model. This means that if you purchase a rechargeable battery that lasts for 500 cycles or recharge, it will save you quite a few trips to the store.
One of the most important tips to remember about rechargeable batteries is that they are potentially more dangerous than normal batteries because they can become charged or even short circuits if they come in contact with other metal objects. They should be kept cool but if they go below 10 degrees, it might cause them to go haywire.
Finally, we recommend that they are kept at room temperature and never in contact to direct sunlight. Now that we have gotten the specifics of battery storage out of the way let’s take a look at some of the major benefits of opting for the rechargeable battery kind.
Benefits of rechargeable batteries
With rechargeable batteries, you are getting an infinitely better product! This is because on average these batteries will only use around 1.2 volts of power when you are using them to run your electronics. On the other hand, single-use or disposables are more likely to start at a higher voltage and then die out rather quickly. This is why most single-use batteries will perform so badly when they are dying. Ultimately, this means that when you use the rechargeable variety, you will be getting consistent and high-performance usage even if the battery is running low.
Better for the environment
This is a no brainer because, with rechargeable batteries, you are getting hundreds of times of use than when compared to disposable ones! This also means that they make use of fewer materials and use less power on average in comparison. The materials used to make these batteries are also better for the environment when compared to the single-use kind. Most rechargeable batteries are made with Nickel-metal hydride or Lithium-ion and while both are better than single-use, lithium-ion is much better when you will eventually throw it away because it decomposes easier.
This is a long term solution in our opinion because when you are buying a higher cost rechargeable battery, it might feel more expensive initially. However, when you use it around 4 to 500 times, you will automatically feel the benefits of not having to purchase new ones each time! It saves your time and your money! One back of double or triple A batteries will never last quite as long as a rechargeable one!
There are a few negatives to using rechargeable batteries as well, so we thought we should list them out!
Of course, if you are on a budget and cannot commit to the expensive rechargeable batteries, you will have a hard time. These are certainly pricier than the regular batteries and even though the long-term payout is better, it is just not an option for some people.
Another obvious disadvantage is that when you are using rechargeable batteries, if you failed to charge them during the night or on time, you will have at least an hour-long weight period in between and this can put a real damper on your work or your tasks. So, even with a high-end rechargeable battery in your possession, you might have to end up keeping a few regular ones on hand in case of emergencies.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s start our main topic on how to charge rechargeable batteries! We offer this guide with some of the most useful tips and the main motive is to charge your batteries in a manner that is efficient and safe!
1. Follow the right instructions!
We cannot place enough importance on this point! When you are recharging batteries, we always recommend that you only charge them with the charger or adapter that they came with! This is crucial because you might be looking for a short circuit or even a fire if you use a charger that cannot handle the voltage these batteries charge at!
Not all rechargeable batteries are the same so take our advice and never try to switch up a charger for a specific battery type that it is not meant to be sued with. This is why you should pay close attention to the instructions manual or the specifications of the product in case you are buying a new one! If the instructions specify a set time that the rechargeable batteries should be on the charger, then follow it closely to avoid any mishaps and prolong the life of your product in the process!
2. Do not overcharge!
Honestly, this is one of those mistakes that we all make from time to time! Whether it is with our phones or with our laptops. That’s why we are well aware that this may cause the battery to be worn down quicker over time. If you want to get your money’s worth with the rechargeable batteries that you buy, we recommend never to overcharge them! Keep a close eye on the battery level indicator because you want to unplug the charger as soon as it reaches full charge!
On the other hand, it is also recommended that you do not let your battery die out completely either! Be sure that it still has at least 40 to 50 percent of its charge retained after use. Of course, it might fall lower than that but if you want to prolong the battery’s life, then try to stick to this percentage.
3. Supervise the recharge!
The thing about rechargeable batteries is that they can be potentially dangerous if misused. As we mentioned in the last point, we recommend that you are somewhere close by when the battery is recharging. There are several reasons for this. For starters, it will allow you to make sure it doesn’t overcharge. Another good reason is that when you are recharging a battery and the charger or the wiring is defective, it could explode or cause a fire. You have more chances of addressing and handling the situation if you are immediately present.
4. Keep away from potentially combustible materials
As we mentioned earlier, rechargeable batteries can explode or catch on fire if they short circuit or are overcharged. However, it is also important to keep them away from other factors that might contribute to the danger. This includes direct sunlight and exposure to other metals or charged devices. When you are charging the battery, you might also want to make sure that it is placed on a non-combustible surface and is away from tissues, clothes, curtains, and other easily combustible fabrics or materials.
So, remember to keep the battery charger on a safer surface during charging. You might also want to keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of a real emergency. It is recommended to use a class D fire extinguisher that uses powder instead of water because water reacts with batteries.
5. Keep at optimum temperatures!
Another important element to keep in mind in this guide on how to charge rechargeable batteries is that batteries are best kept in average or room temperature situations. They can be dangerous when kept in extreme temperatures. Whether too high or too low, these rechargeable batteries can be affected as it will impact the battery life.
It is recommended that the perfect temperature to store batteries at is around 15 degrees to 20 degrees Celsius because this is the optimum temperature at which loss of battery power is minimized and it simultaneously helps it retain the charge for longer.
6. Never mix or match batteries!
This should be a known fact however, you would be surprised to know exactly how many times a charger has caught on fire or exploded because people mix and matched the batteries within. Do not try to charge disposable batteries within your charger and never mix alkaline batteries with rechargeable ones because this will be potentially hazardous. We also recommend that you do not try to charge any other brand batteries with a charger that doesn’t match.
Dispose of them the correct way!
Many of us feel like our interaction with our rechargeable batteries or their chargers end when we discard them by throwing them in the trash. However, in the longer run, this improper method of throwing away rechargeable batteries might prove potentially hazardous to us or those around us!
It is recommended that you always tape the ends of rechargeable batteries so that they do not short circuit or spark up when in contact with other charged items or even some metals. This can even prove to be potentially dangerous if they are charged or exposed and are dropped into a wet location. This might cause the creation of a fire as the metals react.
Always recycle your batteries!
This is a very important step in the list on how to charge rechargeable batteries. When your batteries do finally die out, do not discard them as simply as you would to your disposable alkaline variety. This is because nickel or lithium polymers need to be discarded appropriately. That method is not to rot away in a landfill. Instead, we recommend that you find an appropriate service that will take away your electronic waste and dispose of them safely and responsibly.
If you truly care about the environment then you will also want to make sure that the batteries you use can be recycled back into parts for new rechargeable batteries so always opt for a specialized battery recycler instead. It’s better for the environment as well!
In conclusion, this has been a detailed yet informative guide on how to charge rechargeable batteries the right way. You might feel tempted to slack up on the way you handle the rechargeable batteries you buy but keep in mind that one of the biggest killers and causes of accidents in the home is a misuse of these batteries and their chargers! If you take the necessary precautions, you will not only be extending the life of your battery but also your own!