Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Rechargeable batteries’

Optimists have been wrong about EV adoption as predictions have been set too high. EV sales only account for around 1% in the U.S. and majority of it is Tesla model 3 in California. After seeing the 5 hour Tesla pileup at a supercharger station I’m sure a few of the owners have gotten rid of them. Of course some of them are loyal to a fault and this isn’t really good especially when EVs have a set of problems.

In Chicago there are a couple charging outlets for apartment dwellers but having 2 outlets is not good for those who want to wake up to a full charge and since some of them have time limits its going to be difficult for those who may be on vacation and want to come back to a full charge. It may be difficult for those who are thinking of buying one and worry about having access to them. Then there is the cost to install a charger for these EVs. It affects rent and will bring the rent fee up. That depends whether it effects all the residents or those who only choose to buy one, however I would be looking for an apartment that doesn’t have this extra cost as others will because who wants to pay more for rent for stuff they wont ever use.

So despite there could be a charger for an EV at one apartment, if you decide to move you may not get the ability to charge and will end up going back to gas.

And if it was as easy to have an outlet more apartments would include them for engine block heaters or battery chargers for gasoline vehicles. In my experience though, the 10 or so apartments I’ve lived at didn’t have outlets for cars. Neither I saw the 20 or 30 either. Living in the Midwest having an engine block heater would be nice and again, car companies would have made these engine block heaters standard so the vehicles are already ready to go with the cabin heater pumping out heat within a minute. But this never happened. Its only if you have access to a plug is where you are able to ask for an engine block heater and again most vehicles I seen dont have them. Its always been an option most likely an aftermarket piece that was probably more for diesel engines than gasoline. If you see a plug like an extension cord sticking out the front grill, that’s generally for an engine block heater that’s just sitting there.

So with this in mind, no.. power outlets won’t be in every parking space, nor will they exist in many apartment/condos or for street parking. Even if one apartment does add more charging spots, its only if the demand is there. It’s unlikely that will happen seeing as many will continue buying gas vehicles.

The argument is, gasoline vehicles ran into the same problems. Not enough gas stations. People didnt change over from horse and carriage overnight. Even then you just drove where there was a gas station. It was also easy to build gas stations as well due to the vast amount of places to put them. And if you needed to go somewhere where there wasn’t a gas station you took a horse. And who knows, the range on the early cars could have been all you needed. Driving more than 20 miles in may have seemed silly back then. Now people go over 500 miles on a trip. But the transition from gas to electric may take far longer or it may not happen at all. Its dependent on every parking space at home to have a charging outlet and that’s unlikely, especially when someone can come along and unplug it while you are trying to wake up to a full charge, people will do something like this and cause mayhem for many motorists. Charging an EV can take over 30 minutes and wouldn’t work when the convenience of having a 5 minute refuel time on a gas vehicle. So even if there was charging outlets at home it would still make sense to have faster recharge times which would reduce the lifespan of the batteries. Cold climates is another problem as you lose 40% of your charge due to heating the cabin and keeping the battery warm. This also doesnt work for apartment renters. Those 2 outlets will be a fight if 3 or more people want to keep their batteries charging overnight forcing the landlord to consider adding more charging stations driving up renting even higher depending on whether they make all residents pay or just the EV owners. In turn I recommend people who are looking for apartments to avoid the apartments that have charging stations as they might be paying more rent for something they’ll never use.

2019 had very lacking EV sales. There are claims that pre orders for the new Tesla truck and other EVs in the works are selling out. Seems like a selling point to me as car companies can boast about preorder sales when the product hasn’t even been completed as the sale has not been completed. That 50k or so pre orders can end up as 5k. Or it can be 100k. Pre orders is not actual sales.

Also looking at actual used EV inventories most used EVs are either EVs from 2012 or the used Teslas that is still $50k too high. Seeing how its mostly Teslas out on the road, eventually those high resale values is going to drop like a bowling ball. So while city mandates could force apartment owners to install charging outlets the demand may remain small as you can move to another city that doesnt have charging outlets available. In effect people will not gamble they will have the ability to charge everywhere. No matter what some EV enthusiasts say, there isnt charging outlets in every apartment. If you park your vehicle at home and dont see an outlet you’re not going to consider getting an EV. Even if they were to be standard it’s unlikely you’ll still consider one if you are not in the market buying one.

The government, EV enthusiasts and environmentalists all would like to force people to buy one and not let the free market decide and if it was total free market, electric vehicles wouldn’t stand a chance which is why the extreme push for them. That wont work either, not unless EVs exceed everything a gasoline vehicle can and its unlikely that will happen until the 2040s and even then there at least will be another 20 years before they would dominate roads. Unless of course we allow politicians to get in the way of allowing people to drive gas cars freely and tax free. Bottom line is the future is bleak if people get their way and force everyone onto EVs.

For me, Honda and Toyota gas vehicles are proven. They’re not broken and last forever on the orginal drivetrain (usually, anyways) so I dont see any need to replace them with batteries.

Read Full Post »

In one of my older posts, Nickel Metal Hydride batteries and chargers! I mentioned about some good rechargeable batteries and chargers. I have noticed that there’s still stores packed with alkalines. Some places like Amazon you could buy them in bulk for up to 5,000 batteries! That’s a lot of batteries!

Now I get why some people still use throwaway batteries, they get lost, stolen or you forget about them and you cant charge them anymore. Is that really that big of a concern though these days though?

Some guys happen to like the rechargeables though…

I remember when I first got into using rechargeable Ni-Cads they had some AAs that I used in a walkman for a period of time. I got maybe a year or 2 out of those batteries before they stopped working correctly but they managed to save me some money. I don’t really recall seeing replacements, as I thought they just came with the charger and you’d have to buy another charger to get the batteries so my collection of rechargeables were quite low.

Yes, over time they did stop working right and I went back to alkalines for a period and then I got some new Rayovac Nickel-Metal Hydride cells that worked quite well for awhile anyways. I got maybe 3 or 4 years out of those before they stopped working so I just quit using those. Got a friend into them as well since we both liked to listen to the same music. But again for awhile i went back to alkalines but I didnt really use them that often. It was until in 2005 I started using them again since Duracell and Energizer had them and they even sold the batteries separately. I still have working AAA Energizers and AA Duracells that gets used in string lights or those Duracell LED flashlights. I use a few in my noice canceling headphones still. And these are the batteries that lose their charge over a course of a month or 2. If they dont get used much they wont work as well either.

When those batteries were not working in a USB charging device I decided to check out what they had and found Eneloops. I also got into using more sophisticated chargers such as the Power Ex C9000 mentioned in the other blog, I posted in the beginning of this article. Because, well I like to get what I can out of these batteries.

The simplest and cheapest way to get into recharge AAs and AAAs is to buy the Panasonic/Eneloop charger that comes with 4 AA batteries. Find a device you use most often and use the Eneloop batteries right out of the package and you’ll see they work like regular alkalines (unless your device is weird and requires the higher voltage) when you need to recharge them keep a set of alkalines handy or if it’s a 2 AA or 1 AA you can cycle out the 4 AA Eneloops you have. This is a great way of starting out and you’ll see the savings within 4 or 5 recharge cycles.  I’m going to list a few problems people might have with rechargeables..

1. They’re more expensive than alkalines.

Yes they are, but after 2-6 cycles depending on what brand of batteries you get you might see savings sooner. Keep using them and you’ll see the benefits.

2. They don’t last as long and they won’t charge.

Most alkaline AA cells have over 3,000mAh but most of the time you can only get half that amount. It depends on your device but it may cut off before you use up all the energy out of your rechargeables. Don’t give up if it doesnt work well in one of your devices. That may require a higher voltage where your rechargeable batteries may not function as well. More devices these days are more rechargeable friendly and can operate on that 1.2v battery. You have to try a different device. Most flashlights will work on rechargeable batteries. That’s the easy way of seeing if your batteries are faulty.

Additionally you can always pick up a multimeter. If its 1.23v or higher you should be ok. If it charges normally in your Panasonic/Eneloop charger then it passed the internal resistance check and should be working well. If you are using a different charger than the ones I’ve mentioned there is no guarantee they’ll charge your batteries adequately.

If they appear to be charged and wont work well in your device, always try a different device such as a flashlight. Get a Fenix, Coast or Maglite. I’ve used rechargeables in those lights and they work well. The 1 AA or AAA lights are good to where you can check the batteries individually. A multimeter however is the best way to check voltage. Also check the contacts. If you are using a battery where the wrapper is blocking the negative terminals on some devices they wont work. I never seen any issues using Eneloops though.

Also, sometimes you just end up with a bad batch of batteries. It happens, sometimes the charger isn’t working correctly. You will have to contact the manufacturer or just get it exchanged where you bought them. Just make sure not to tell them you’re using a different charger. Don’t mention the charger you are using. If they ask for the model number, tell them you don’t have it with you, you are calling from work or you are out somewhere. If you are buying Eneloops and have the charger then it’s as easy as getting the batteries replaced.

3. My family tosses these rechargeable batteries in the garbage.

Its inevitable. They’re AA or AAA batteries. Some people are used to toss these batteries into the garbage. The easiest way is to stop tossing out alkalines and get a bin to put them in. If your family does this then chances are they’ll do the same for rechargeables. If not, leaving notes on the devices or by the trash cans to not toss out batteries may be needed. If that doesn’t work then you’ll simply have to take the batteries out period and they’ll have to ask to use them. At least they’ll be charged ready to go.

Here are some other tips to get you started.

1. Avoid buying large quantities of rechargeables for your first time. There isnt any need to replace all 60 of your devices with rechargeables. There is the problem of alkalines ruining devices so if this is a common problem for you, buy a set of these EBL batteries.

16 Pack EBL AA 2300mAh Rechargeable batteries
12 Pack EBL AAA 800mAh Rechargeable batteries

They are a little too much for beginners and they may not work as good for you as they do for me but there are positive reviews for these batteries and I haven’t ran into many issues with them. The AAAs are a better deal where you could use them in an AAA to AA adapter. They sell those on Amazon as well. The batteries should work fine in the Panasonic/Eneloop charger as well. No need to charge them for first usage either. Just stick them in your devices and use them. One thing to note, the low drain devices such as a clock or tv remote they wont get much use. So to avoid premature death I suggest they get charged at least once every 6 months but you can do every 3 months. Just swap them out for another set.

They seem to be low self discharge but I’d buy the lower capacity cells just to be sure. Eventually though I suggest to replace every device with Eneloops.

2. No need to drain them fully before recharging. Just dont recharge them constantly. You can use them until the device starts showing signs of the battery dying or as I mentioned earlier, every 3-6 months. Also once they do show signs of being near death, quit using them until they are recharged again. Excessive draining of the cells can cause a waste of cycle usage and the cells can reverse charge or overdrain which can make the batteries permanently weak and potentially die.

3. The only reason for using higher capacity cells is for additional run time. If it’s not critical to get an extra 5 minutes of run time get the lower capacity cells. 1900mAh AA Eneloop batteries and the 750mAh AAA Eneloops are just fine for any device. You get more charge cycles and less battery waste.

4. Rechargeable nickel metal batteries can be recycled at most any place. Check your department or hardware stores. I have noticed its more difficult to recycle alkalines then rechargeables, as I’ve seen they have recycling in some stores. Usually I toss out the non working batteries in a container but I dont have many dead rechargeables yet.

Overall I hope this will encourage people to buy rechargeables again, if not for the environment but for your wallet and hopefully less stores will be selling 60 alkaline battery packs. I know some like businesses may be hard set in using alkalines, I know my job uses them but I put rechargeables in my lights so I dont use their alkalines. I’ve had people say that I dont need to use mine and I should use the company’s batteries but well, my light, my rules..  I dont use alkalines anymore. Theres no point when it costs less than a penny to recharge a pair of AA batteries.

Also, I forgot to add here are the best rechargeables you might get including some that are ok. In both AA and AAA size.

01. The best!

Eneloops 1900mAh/750mAh, Fujitsu; white, 2100 charge cycles – Made in Japan

02. Good

Eneloop Pro 2450mAh/900mAh, Fujitsu; black, 500 charge cycles – Made in Japan
Duracell; 300-500 charge cycles – Made in Japan
Energizer; 300-500 charge cycles – Made in Japan
Amazonbasics; same as white or black Eneloops may be made in China (not verified if same or similar quality as Japan)

03. Ok (may be Chinese and of lesser quality)

Tenergy is in the middle of the road as I haven’t tried their AA/AAA cells but I got 2 9V cells with their charger that so far has been running strong.
EBL, Goal Zero, Sunlabz, Rayovac, and some other brands I don’t have names for currently. Avoid AA batteries that claim higher than 2900mAh capacity and AAA higher than 1100mAh capacity. I haven’t tested the AAA EBLs 1100 mAh cells but the AA 2800mAh cells they have got came in around 2600mAh I think. I dont recall.

The La Crosse cells are terrible and haven’t been upgraded from the older high self discharge Nickel Metal batteries. I currently have a set of AAs and AAAs that come with their BC-1000 charger, they are ok but I wouldn’t buy them regularly. Avoid Enercell and RadioShack batteries, they don’t last long in storage.

Maha/Power Ex chargers tend to be the best or the Panasonic/Eneloop charger. La Crosse chargers are not bad but do not have the internal resistance check that the Eneloop or Power Ex C9000 charger has. I have not tried any other charger and the Sky RC 3000 charger doesn’t keep the batteries secure enough for me.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: