Save money choosing the right batteries
for your equipment
The last thing you think of. However, you can save money by
picking the right batteries for your equipment. There are two
main types to choose from:
Alkaline batteries are much longer lasting than ‘heavy-duty’ zinc carbon batteries and have longer shelf lives. They provide
good all round performance and can be split into two groups:
Premium alkaline - used for high-tech devices and provide 20%
more power than standard alkaline batteries
Standard alkaline - ideal for everyday household devices such
as remote controls and smoke alarms and provide dependable
Lithium batteries provide excellent performance in high-drain
devices such as digital cameras or MP3 players,
lasting up to seven times longer than standard alkaline. They are the best
performing of all the disposable
batteries, and work well at
If you buy batteries at least once every six months for a
particular device, then you should consider switching to
Rechargeable batteries save you money and, in certain applications, out-perform disposable batteries. They cost about
twice as much but you will recoup your money back hundreds
of times over many years. All rechargeable batteries sold in Maplin can be recharged up to 500 times. Unlike alkaline
batteries, where the voltage drops quickly, rechargeable
batteries are more constant.
Good value for money and offer adequate performance inq
middle-drain appliances such as radios and torches.
suffer from ‘memory effect’. (See below).
|Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH)
The best choice for intensive high-drain usage. High-capacity
NiMH rechargeable batteries last up to four times longer on
one charge than alkaline batteries in a digital camera and
don’t suffer from ‘memory effect’.
They offer much longer run-times and are better for the
environment. NiMH batteries are, however, not suitable for
standby applications such as smoke alarms.
|What is memory effect?
Batteries need to be ‘exercised’. If you to continually use
and recharge only half a battery, the unused half of the
battery ‘muscle’ would eventually waste away, leaving
you with only half the battery power. It is advisable to
run these batteries flat before recharging to maintain
|Alkaline batteries are 1.5V, rechargable cells are 1.2V. Does this matter?
|Hybrid NiMH (Hybrio)
The latest generation of rechargeable battery batteries
offer all the advantages of rechargeable whilst
performing like alkaline batteries. They come charged up
and ready to use out of the pack and hold their charge
for much longer than ordinary NiMH batteries. They are
much better for low-drain uses such as remote controls
and clocks than any other rechargeable battery.
An alkaline battery is only 1.5V before it's first used. Once used, the voltage drops quickly to well below 1.2V. It finally drops to around 0.6V. Most equipment will operate on anything between 0.9V and 1.5V. Unlike alkaline batteries, where the voltage drops quickly, rechargable batteries offer a more constant voltage around 1.25V throughout their life.
|Choosing a charger
The three main types of charger and how long they take to
Manual charger: 8 - 16 hours
Great value for money, they are the slowest and cheapest
type. It is up to the user to manually shut off the charger.
Timer charger: 5 - 8 hours
Mid-range chargers with the added convenience of a timer
control. Will charge for a set period then shut off.
Intelligent charger: 15mins - 5 hours
The quickest available. The charger constantly senses the
batteries until they are fully charged and then shuts off
Disposal: Make sure you dispose of your batteries in a