As a cheap and easy way of powering a range of equipment and appliances in both the home and workplace, batteries are an indispensable tool.
These days, batteries can be used to supply power for everything from cars and laptops to toys and mobile phones, but is it better to make use of standard batteries or rechargeable batteries?
As you may have guessed, the main difference between the two is that secondary batteries can be reused, whereas primary batteries are usually disposable and cannot be used again once fully discharged – which type of battery is most suitable can depend on the equipment being charged (the purpose of the battery) and your overall budget.
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of using both rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries and see which option could be better for you:
Although everyday alkaline non-rechargeable batteries may be initially cheaper to purchase than their rechargeable counterparts, you’re likely to make considerable savings by going with a rechargeable battery to power items and appliances at home or in the workplace.
This is because secondary batteries are far more durable and can be used multiple times – they’re also far more effective in low temperatures and more energy-efficient overall.
Even though rechargeable batteries are more prone to self-discharging (that is, depleting stored energy when in storage or without being connected), you’re likely to get more bang for your buck using secondary batteries when it comes to service life.
Most rechargeable battery types can be recharged for an average of 2100 cycles, which means that you’ll be able to use them efficiently over and over – in comparison, the average lifespan of alkaline and carbon zinc batteries sits at 5-10 years and 3-5 years respectively.
Generally speaking, it’s best to opt for alkaline batteries for devices that require a low current, or which don’t use too much power. If you’re looking for batteries to power items like remote controls, fire alarms, and household clocks, it may be cheaper and more efficient to go with primary alkaline batteries.
If you need a power source for more heavy-duty items, it’s probably best to go with rechargeable batteries, which generally display a more powerful starting voltage of 1.5V.
Although overall energy consumption in America is expected to fluctuate as more citizens and business owners make use of solar power, battery energy storage still plays a key role in fuelling the nation.
At present, California, Hawaii, Vermont, and Texas account for the highest shares of small-scale battery storage operations, whereas large-scale battery storage is expected to contribute 10,000 megawatts to the national grid by 2023.
Because they’re disposable and contain potentially harmful chemicals, non-rechargeable batteries are not as environmentally friendly as secondary batteries. Ensure that you stick to environmental guidelines when disposing of batteries – lead-acid batteries should never be thrown in the trash or recycling!
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