(Battery Buying guide) Buying the right kind of battery lets you enjoy a balance of durability, fair cost, high performance, and low environmental impact. But to get the ideal portable storehouse of energy, you need to know what you should look for.
In this article, we’ll give you a short walkthrough of different battery options and the pros and cons of each type.
You don’t have to be so knowledgeable to get the correct battery size for your device. If your device runs on D batteries, then it’s obvious it’s the one you need.
When you buy an item that runs on batteries, look for an indication of what battery size to use or consult the instruction manual.
To know more about battery sizes, here’s a quick guide:
You’re most likely familiar with AA, AAA, C, and D batteries. The letter indicates size. So basically, the farther from the alphabet, the larger the battery size is (e.g., D batteries are bigger than C batteries). On the other hand, if you see a letter used more than once (eg. AAA), the more time it’s used, the smaller the size.
Sizing for Coin Cell
Sizing for button cell or coin cell batteries is a little bit different. These batteries include two letters and four numbers.
The first letter signifies chemical composition, while the second indicates the shape. The four numbers indicate the size: the first two are the diameter, while the second is the height.
For a CR2032 battery, C stands for lithium, while R indicates that the battery is round. The four numbers, 2032, mean that the battery has a diameter of 20mm and a height of 3.2mm.
Single-Use or Rechargeable
Another thing you need to decide when you shop for batteries is single-use or rechargeable. Single-use ones are cheaper upfront and have a good shelf life.
However, if you want something you can use again and again, rechargeable ones are the more cost-effective choice.
If you commonly shop for cylindrical batteries, like AAA, AA, C, or D batteries, you have both the option of single-use or rechargeable.
Here’s are the advantages and disadvantages:
The two main kinds of single-use are lithium and alkaline batteries. And the scenario is, if they run out of juice (energy), you’ll have to dispose of them properly.
- Cheaper upfront cost
- Low self-discharge rate for long shelf life
- Readily available
- Require disposal after discharged
- Must be disposed of properly
The two main kinds of rechargeable batteries are nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion. These are built in a way that you can recharge them up to 500 times or more.
- Produce less waste than single-use batteries
- Offer better long-term value the more you use them
- Expensive upfront cost
Do you know how alkaline batteries differ from lithium? After you’ve decided on the battery size and between single-use and rechargeable, knowing how batteries work can help you buy the right one for your application.
Common batteries have positive and negative terminals and two internal layers called electrodes, including a cathode (responsible for transporting a positive charge) and an anode (responsible for transporting a negative charge).
When you place a battery in a device, like a flashlight, the electrolyte, cathode, and anode will interact, and a chemical reaction occurs.
Ions and electrons flow through the electrolyte, exit via the negative terminal, and enable your devices to function. But over time, a battery’s internal chemicals degrade, and the interaction diminishes Battery Buying guide.
Eventually, they can’t maintain a charge and become “dead.” The chemical mixture aims to combine the four holy grails of “ideal” battery—long life, high performance, reasonable cost, and low environmental impact.
To maximize your batteries, follow these tips:
- Buy in Bulk – Besides convenience, you can avoid the problem of running out of batteries, especially during emergencies. If you’re bothered by the upfront cost of rechargeable ones, you should know how to save more with bulk D batteries or other types. You enjoy not only the discounts but also superior quality batteries at low rates than usual.
- Keep device Warm – Even those created to handle extreme conditions can experience a deteriorating performance when exposed to high or low temperatures. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll find that cold temperatures can be a big challenge for batteries. To limit the effects of the cold on battery power, try keeping your device warm.
- Avoid Simultaneous Recharge –Don’t recharge batteries of different ages, brands, or capacities together. Also, don’t use batteries of different ages or brands together in a device.
- Store Properly – Make sure NOT to store batteries, particularly single-use ones, in locations where there’s extreme heat, such as attics or garages. Hot weathermeans high temperatures, which can accelerate the corrosion inside the battery.
- Avoid Contact with Metal Objects – Don’t toss batteries in a drawer, briefcase, or wherever they may contact metal objects like coins or paper clips. This may cause a short or negatively affect a battery’s polarity.
- Never Put Into Fire – Throwing batteries into the fire can rupture and spill their contents. Also, don’t toss them in a metal container where heat can build up Battery Buying guide.
Knowing more about batteries gives you the full picture of how to boost your devices and enhance battery life. We hope this battery buying guide is able to provide you with the information you need. Happy battery shopping!