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Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Does it charge Alkaline Batteries?, 7 Jan. 2011
This is my 3rd Battery Charger and I bought it because I wanted an Alkaline Battery Charger as part of the 'Universal' deal. It has arrived and seems to suggest that it will only charge NiMh batteries? Does anyone know whether it WILL charge alkaline batteries, before I open the packaging?
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Jan 2011 11:51:54 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Jan 2011 12:44:48 GMT
G. Barry says:
I'm reposting these comments from the same reply about another charger.

Alkaline batteries are not really designed to be re-charged, and I think most people realise this. Charging Alkaline batteries in an ordinary cheap NiMh or NiCd charger can actually be unsafe as they do not stop charging at the correct point, so if left too long the alkaline batteries can start to overheat and leak. This is to do with the physical properties inside the battery, and although there are chargers out there that will charge an Alkaline battery it is not widely accepted to be safe to do so, as well as the fact that to recharge an Alkaline battery is a bit finicky. If you do manage to find a charger with a voltage regulator that can be used on alkaline batteries, it will probably be expensive and you have to charge them before they are completely depleted. Universal in the description of battery chargers always refers to the fact that you can charge different size batteries from AAA to D, as well as the the common rectangular shaped 9v batteries (as long as they are metal hydride and not alkaline).

Something else to consider is that recharging Alkaline batteries may seem to make sense as they are so much cheaper, but it is false economy because while Alkaline batteries can only be recharged about 10 to 15 times before they are irrecoverable, nickel metal hydride batteries can be recharged 500 or more times.

My advice is to keep the charger and invest in a few packs of NiMh batteries so you always have a fully charged set to hand.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2011 20:09:21 GMT
Mr Barry,
Thank you for that really helpful reply. I will take your advice and switch to NiMh batteries and scrap the remaining alkaline ones. This will be the third charger in my cupboard and at least one of them will switch between NiCd and NiMH. Do you have any thoughts on NiCd? Perhaps the supplier will swap my charger for an equivalent amount of batteries? Anyway, I will stop using Alkaline as they run out. Many thanks, Robin Whyte

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jan 2011 17:23:29 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Jan 2011 13:25:54 GMT
G. Barry says:
You hardly find NiCd batteries these days, they are very old-school! You can definitely charge NiCd batteries in a charger that advertises itself for NiMh ones though, and use NiMh batteries in a device that was originally sold holding NiCd ones.

It is very easy to return items to Amazon. Not sure how long you have kept the various chargers, but if the returns policy says you can't after a certain time then perhaps sell them on Amazon market place...

And it is true that some chargers only charge batteries in pairs, so if you have one that can charge 1 (or 3) at a time and that is important to you, then perhaps choose that one.

Its worth noting that "fast" chargers are not neccessarily the best option as they push energy into the battery at quite a high rate which shortens the overall lifespan of the battery. So instead of getting say 1,000 charge cycles on a battery, you may only get 500. This is just an example as the number of cycles you get will depend on many different factors. If you find a charger that specifies its milliamp (mA) rating as being 200mA then this is optimal to extend the lifespan for NiMh batteries. Note this is not the same thing as the mAH rating of the battery (as discussed below). This type of charger takes much longer to fully charge a battery though. You can find quite expensive chargers where you can specify the power you want to charge at, but this is usually a bit over the top for people who just want batteries to hand for everyday use!

With regards to batteries in general, they all have a milliamp hours rating (mAH). This is a measure of how much charge they hold, and can be used to calculate how quickly they will discharge on average in certain circumstances, depending on the amount of work they need to do for the device into which they have been placed. I won't go into detail here, but you can extend the use of a rechargeable battery by matching the best mAH rating of the battery to the device type, and any rating of battery can be charged in the NiMh charger. You can find a good mAH rating to match any device by doing a simple search on the internet. Generally most devices use the easily available NiMh batteries that are in the 1650 to 2000mAH range, and you should always ensure that if you're using more than one battery their mAH ratings match.

Also generally speaking, the more complex a device is the longer a higher rated battery will last relative to the work it is doing. Things like digital cameras and remote control toys will keep going for longer if the battery holds more charge, and not all brands of battery are as good as others.

NiMh batteries discharge naturally at a rate of about 1% per day at room temperature, so if your device uses more energy to process its requirements it will drain faster making a higher charge more economical. Things like cordless telephones are perfectly fine with much lower ratings of around 300 to 450 mAH because one tends to place them back into the charging cradle immediately after use.

Although rechargeable batteries are more efficient and so from a fully charged point tend to last longer in use than Alkaline batteries of a similar mAH rating, the advantage of Alkaline batteries is that when not in use they stay active for years, so there is always a use for them as a backup!

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jan 2011 23:22:31 GMT
Thank you, I will go for NiMh when I buy more batteries.
Many thanks for your help.
Robin Whyte
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