Loading up on rechargeable batteries has been touted by preppers, and survivalist alike. Makes sense, the batteries run out of power, the stores are closed so you can’t run out and buy new batteries. you can simply recharge those rechargeable batteries.
Of course you are going to need a solar battery charger to charge up those rechargeable batteries. You can even make a solar battery charger if you don’t want to buy one. Below are 3 of the best batteries for emergency preparedness.
1. Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) Batteries
These batteries used to be the only type of rechargeable batteries available, NiCad batteries are harder to get now due to restrictions on poisonous cadmium that is used in their manufacturing. However, NiCad batteries are still in use for low-drain applications such as solar yard lights, remote controls, smoke detectors and emergency radios.
Overcharging Ni-Cd batteries can reduce cycle life (the number of times the battery can be charged). Smart chargers know when the battery is full and stop charging.
Dumb chargers run on a timer and will almost always overcharge or fail to fill up the battery. You can charge whenever you like, but constantly draining them completely before charging actually shortens their life but on the same hand if you don’t, NiCd batteries have been known to suffer from a “memory effect” which is when the battery remembers where it was last drained prior to recharging and from that time forward voltage drops as if the battery is going dead.
In reality there is more power left to spare but voltage will drop as if the battery is going dead, while some manufacturers dispute this claim it remains widely reported. Occasional draining down to 1.0V is okay, and even recommended (source). A good brand of NiCd batteries you may recognize is Tenergy.
2. Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries
The successors to Ni-Cd batteries, these commonly used and relatively inexpensive batteries are also the batteries that power some hybrid and electric vehicles.
They can be relied on for most applications, but older batteries which have problems with self-discharge should never be used in smoke detectors as they can suddenly run out of power and leave you unprotected (source).
Remember that NiMH batteries come in two flavors: LSD and regular. LSD is “Low Self-Discharge”, which means long shelf-life (they won’t lose much energy while sitting around unused), vs. normal NiMH’s which go dead after a few months of sitting around.
Given that, there’s not much incentive to get the normal NiMH’s, since they’re not any cheaper, and their capacity is only a little higher (2700 mAh for a normal NiMH vs. 2400 for a similarly-priced LSD NiMH).
So how do you know whether a battery is the LSD kind or not? The easiest thing is to look for the good LSD-only brands: Eneloop and Imedion. You can also look for any of the marketing “code words” that indicate LSD, such as “Pre-charged” (since normal NiMH’s always require charging before use), “Ready to Use”, or “Hybrid” (source).
3. Nickel-Zinc (NiZn) Batteries
One of the newest types of rechargeable batteries for consumers, larger nickel-zinc battery systems have been known for over 100 years.
Since 2000, development of a stabilized zinc electrode system has made this technology viable and competitive with other commercially available rechargeable battery systems. However because of their unique chemistry an voltage they require a special charger.
NiZn batteries are recommended for high-drain applications such as cameras, flashlights and outdoor equipment. The AA size NiZN batteries produce 1.6 volts which is higher than the voltage of disposable batteries as well as of NiMH batteries, which allows for better performance in motorized and light emitting equipment.
However the main manufacturer of NiZn batteries discontinued production of them so they are no longer widely available. They also reportedly suffer from reliability problems, after only a few charging cycles the batteries self discharge considerably faster (source 1 and source 2).
To see more of the best batteries for emergency preparedness view the full original article here: American Preppers Network
Video: Storing the best batteries for emergency preparedness
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