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Thread: Eneloops - reduced capacity...

  1. #1
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    Default Eneloops - reduced capacity...

    Sanyo Eneloop is that new low-discharge technology, but it's rated at only 2,000 mAh. However Sanyo or Maha Powerex are both rated at 2700 mAh, or 30% higher - and it takes a long time for them to discharge 30% to the level of Eneloop. A month maybe, or more.

    For heavy duty equipment, cameras, flashlights, radios, the higher amps cells win, unless you need to store them for a long time.

    I've used both and the only difference is that Eneloop cuts out sooner than others at higher amps.

    Until Eneloop comes out with a similar capacity, it's not a real competitor with dominant cells.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* MrAl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    Hi there etc,

    You bring up some good points, however the bottom line is that it depends
    on how you use your cells. If you use your cells right after charging or
    within a few weeks and you use them for a long period of time then
    the higher capacity cells might be better as you say because you will
    use all the capacity right then and there. Using Eneloops in this way
    will mean less run time.
    On the other hand, if you use your device for short periods of time over
    long periods of time (like a minute or two per day over several months)
    then the Eneloops (or clones) are the way to go for sure.

    I happen to use most of my cells like the latter, where i run something for
    short periods of time or may not even use something for a week or two,
    and when i pick it up a month or two later i want some decent capacity
    left, even if it's not 2500mAh. The Eneloops work out very well for me
    (although i use the Kodak clones instead). I can use something for a
    few minutes and put it down, then three or four months later pick it
    up again and not have to recharge the cells before i use it again.
    Last edited by MrAl; 06-30-2007 at 06:41 AM.
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  3. #3
    Flashaholic zehnmm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    I originally thought the same thing too. But, I have found that some of the higher capacity cells a) do not charge all the way to their stated capacity; and 2) cannot handle higher amperage requirements, such as 5 amps, without severe voltage sag.

    For my usage, I am running an Osram 50W 64610 bulb in a Mag hotwire. I use 12 Eneloop AA's to get runtimes of about 22 min. in a 1300 torch lumen scorcher.

    While I have not tried Sanyos and Mahas, I have not experienced, so far, what you stated about the Eneloops cutting out sooner than others. In fact, my experience is the opposite: At current draw of an estimated 4.35 amps for my 50W light, the Eneloops are holding up as good or better than my CBP1650's so far.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Regards.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    I've found that with eneloop we have to charge the batteries in our camera every 3-4 months. With higher capacity we had to charge them every month. So even though the capacity is higher they don't last as long, therefore they are good for more than just storage.

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    I haven't given Hybrids the acid (GPSr) test yet, but I will tell you why I want to.

    Early on, E2500 held voltage well. I charged at least 5 pairs of batteries on the weekend. Then I use one pair a day all week. Now it's getting sketchy whether my GPSr will run all day (as it did just fine some months ago).

    Two of my Hotwire lights hold charge WAY longer than they used to, thanks to Hybrids.

    So I still intend to get more and give 'em the GPSr test!
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    I don't think Sanyo meant for the eneloops to compete with higher capacity batteries. Rather, to compete with alkaline batteries. I don't have anything that requires a higher capacity battery than the eneloop AA's and AAA's, so I ordered a bunch of them to replace my aging GP 2300's, and aging AAA's. I did order a fresh set of Sanyo 2700ma batteries in case I need them for something in the future.

    Personally I hate alkaline batteries. I seem to have bad luck with them leaking and I don't plan on buying them anymore except for C and D sizes only. I rarely need C and D size batteries.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    I got a few packs of Eneloops a while ago to test them out. I put one pack in a digital camera because I use it so rarely. It seems to work best this way. But if I expected some heavy duty usage, I would take more serious cells as a backup.

    In MiniMag 3AA, the Powerex 2700 mAh is a clear winner in terms of run time for devices like LED flashlights which run for 3-4 hours and then quit, unlike alarm clocks. Same thing in a GPS device. Same thing in a scanner radio. None of them draw that high an amperage.

    There was a test in the "Headlamps" forum about Princeton Tec Apex and there was about 1 hour difference between 2,000 mAh and 2,700 mAh. 4 hours vs. 3 hours.

    I tried putting one Eneloop in an alarm clock but then decided that an alkaline might be better for it anyway, so I can use the Eneloop in devices that prefer NiMH.

    One aspect where the Eneloop *might* be of an advantage is if takes more cycles than higher rated NiMH. I hear that the higher the capacity, the fewer cycles a cell gets. If the Eneloops get substantially more cycles than Maha Powerex, then they are truly worth it.

    Also, Maha Powerex is surprisingly slow discharging. I measured cells that have been sitting for a while and I never got a difference I could quantify.

    I am sure they will up the capacity soon, this year, making 2,00 mAh obsolete.
    Last edited by etc; 06-30-2007 at 11:46 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    To me the big appeal of Eneloops, Hybrios, etc is that they don't require all the care and attention of regular NiMH. For sure if you are always running batteries down within a week or so, you are better off with 2700 mAH Powerex or whatever.

    An example is my handheld scanner which uses 3xAA. Typically used a lot for a while then not used for a few weeks. I never seem to remember to care for the batteries when not in use. The ~year old GP 2300 mAH batteries that came with are already down to ~1600 mAH and are pretty much worn out even though they have <10 cycles on them. I replaced them with Hybrio's and so far they are holding up very well.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by etc View Post
    I got a few packs of Eneloops a while ago to test them out. I put one pack in a digital camera because I use it so rarely. It seems to work best this way. But if I expected some heavy duty usage, I would take more serious cells as a backup.

    In MiniMag 3AA, the Powerex 2700 mAh is a clear winner in terms of run time for devices like LED flashlights which run for 3-4 hours and then quit, unlike alarm clocks. Same thing in a GPS device. Same thing in a scanner radio. None of them draw that high an amperage.

    There was a test in the "Headlamps" forum about Princeton Tec Apex and there was about 1 hour difference between 2,000 mAh and 2,700 mAh. 4 hours vs. 3 hours.

    I tried putting one Eneloop in an alarm clock but then decided that an alkaline might be better for it anyway, so I can use the Eneloop in devices that prefer NiMH.

    One aspect where the Eneloop *might* be of an advantage is if takes more cycles than higher rated NiMH. I hear that the higher the capacity, the fewer cycles a cell gets. If the Eneloops get substantially more cycles than Maha Powerex, then they are truly worth it.

    Also, Maha Powerex is surprisingly slow discharging. I measured cells that have been sitting for a while and I never got a difference I could quantify.

    I am sure they will up the capacity soon, this year, making 2,00 mAh obsolete.
    Not sure I agree - for these reasons:

    1. Eneloops are a true 2000mah (or very close) - many other batteries I have tested are significantly off-spec. This seems especially true with some 2700mah batteries (many of which are nearer 2300-2500mah actual). The exception I found is Sanyo's own 2700mah. So 'freshly charged' some may only have 15-25% more capacity than Eneloops.

    2. Eneloops lose very little to self discharge - typically 15% a year compared to some NiMH which lose about 10% in the first day and certainly 15% (or a lot more) in a few weeks to a month.

    Basically if you are charging the batteries and using them right away go with high capacity NiMH (like the Sanyo 2700mah) but if you are not then the Eneloops may be better as the 'normal' NiMH will have discharged to the same capacity after a matter of days or a week etc.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* EngrPaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    Eneloops also work in very low drain applications that would not be appropriate for normal rechargeables.

    Consider wall clocks, thermometers, etc.

    I also have many infrequently used devices aroun d the house that I don't want to keep alkalines in, but I also don't want to keep changing batteries every time I want to use them. A labelmaker, portable radio, etc.

    For these applications, eneloops rock!

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* IsaacHayes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    I'd have to disagree. I have some 2600mah cells and in my digital camera they are worthless in about a week and that's using them on/off. The eneloops keep going and going and going in my camera. Same with my flashlights that use AA. My C cell flashlights I keep charged regularly though because I need the high capacity for them.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    Basically the only place for higher capacity NiMH are specifically where that higher capacity is instantly required (i.e. within a matter of days or a week of charging).

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    Oh well. I just got myself some Duracell 2650 mAh and some Sony 2500 mAh to use on some very frequently used lights - full discharge in a 24 hour period.

    I also got some Eneloops and Hybrids for those lights that may be needed 1 or more months from the last recharge.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    Eneloops essentially have provided us with a rechargeable alternative to lithium AAs. Before, we often used lithiums because of the drawbacks of other chemistries; i.e., alkaline voltage sag and leakiness, and NiMH self-discharge. Eneloops, at 1.2v, will also run in some devices that cannot handle 1.7v lithium batteries. Realize that only a few years ago, the best NiMHs we had were equal in capacity to Eneloops, but would be dead in a month. I've read that there is some evidence to suggest that the self-discharge rate of Eneloops even decreases over time. The reduced capacity of Eneloops does not bother me one bit, and it's only a matter of time before it increases as well.
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    Flashaholic* TorchBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    Dare I say it, I like Eneloops simply because they perform as they are claimed to perform. The capacity is a real capacity (indeed, in my last test a set of 4 got an average 2106mAh), unlike high capacity cells which might meet their theoretical capacity hot off the charger but in practice don't like sitting for long at all and never quite live up to expectation. Eneloops' voltage sag under heavy loads has also been observed to be less than other cells.

    Basically, Eneloops work as I expect a rechargeable battery to work.

    The 2000mAh cells will certainly not become obsolete when 2100mAh or greater Eneloops come out. (Apparently I have some already.) Do you really think a 5% difference in capacity would render the older cells obsolete? (What would you do, recycle them?) Unlike other NiMH cells, I expect first generation Eneloops will still have almost all their capacity after hundreds of cycles, unlike (most?) higher capacity cells which I expect to lose significant capacity after just a few hundred cycles - another example of not living up to expectation. Eneloops are most certainly a strong competitor to higher capacities.
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  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Quickbeam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
    I've found that with eneloop we have to charge the batteries in our camera every 3-4 months. With higher capacity we had to charge them every month. So even though the capacity is higher they don't last as long, therefore they are good for more than just storage.
    I found the exact same thing. I love the Eneloops/ROV Hybrids/Titanium Power Enduro cells (all low self-discharge). I finally feel that rechargeables are worth using. I would commonly charge up high capacity NiMH cells, use them a little and find them dead a month later...

    The only time I've seen the LS-D cells at a disadvantage to regular NiMH, is when the regular ones are used right off the charger. Even unused, I commonly had 2600 mAh Energizers with a full charge come up dead in a couple of weeks while the LS-D cells still have a full charge.

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    Last edited by Quickbeam; 06-30-2007 at 05:55 PM.
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  17. #17
    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by Quickbeam View Post
    I found the exact same thing. I love the Eneloops/ROV Hybrids/Titanium Power Enduro cells (all low self-discharge).
    Doug P.
    I agree with all of Doug's post.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    My big beef with the 2500+ mAh cells was the high failure rate of some percentage of the cells after a few months. Their self-discharge rates went sky high, and charging cutoff became hit or miss. I haven't had this problem with the Eneloops or ROV Hybrid LSD cells.

    I have noticed that the ROV Hybrid cells do operate at a slightly lower voltage than standard NiMh cells, and this fools the battery meters in some electronic devies. I don't have a feel for how the Eneloops do in this regard.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    Besides what's been already said, another reason I like Eneloops is unlike a lot of NiMH it is thin enough to fit in my narrow Ultrafire C3 battery tube.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    i recently got into the rechargeable battery arena... and personally wouldnt buy anything but a hybrid style battery... anything battery powered that i use isn't really a high drain device, i actually got a set of 2700mAh sanyo's by accident from TD and have no idea what i should put them into, other than maybe my keyboard... which definitely isn't a high drain device... and already has a set of rechargables that came out of my mouse

    here's a list of what i am using the eneloop AA and AAA for
    8 AA- canon s3 is
    2 AAA- fenix lod-ce's
    2 AAA- remotes for my trucks alarm
    4 AA- batteries for computer mice
    1 AAA- spare for my lod-ce while at work

    3 AAA-spares for when i find something else i need them for
    4 AA -spares for same reason

    the camera see's off and on use... i don't want to have to worry about the batteries being charged when i do decide to use it... or worrying if the spares are ready to go... it uses 4 AA's and i have 4 more for spares.... plus i get about 1000 non flash shots on a set of AA eneloops... where i was gettin about 400 on primary AA's... yuck

    for me.... hybrids are perfect for what i need... sure i could use some more mAh... but that will come with time
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by Crashking View Post
    i recently got into the rechargeable battery arena... and personally wouldnt buy anything but a hybrid style battery... anything battery powered that i use isn't really a high drain device, i actually got a set of 2700mAh sanyo's by accident from TD and have no idea what i should put them into, other than maybe my keyboard... which definitely isn't a high drain device... and already has a set of rechargables that came out of my mouse

    here's a list of what i am using the eneloop AA and AAA for
    8 AA- canon s3 is
    2 AAA- fenix lod-ce's
    2 AAA- remotes for my trucks alarm
    4 AA- batteries for computer mice
    1 AAA- spare for my lod-ce while at work

    3 AAA-spares for when i find something else i need them for
    4 AA -spares for same reason

    the camera see's off and on use... i don't want to have to worry about the batteries being charged when i do decide to use it... or worrying if the spares are ready to go... it uses 4 AA's and i have 4 more for spares.... plus i get about 1000 non flash shots on a set of AA eneloops... where i was gettin about 400 on primary AA's... yuck

    for me.... hybrids are perfect for what i need... sure i could use some more mAh... but that will come with time
    Using normal NiMH in a low drain device like a keyboard is about the worst thing as the self discharge rate will probably be higher than the drain from the device.

    Ideally normal NiMH devices should be used where you may want the higher capacity and will be using the device right away - i.e. mostly higher drain applications.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* BSBG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    I just built my first Mag85 and debated batteries for days. I ended up w/ the Eneloops for the positive reasons noted above - consistency, low discharge, high drain capacity. So far, so good.

    I have 3 left over (had to buy 12) that I need to find something to do with now.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* LouRoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    I have used NiMH batteries in my digital camera for the past 6 years. I take between 300-400 pictures every day and charge the batteries each night. I have had many of the NiMH batteries fail and stop holding a charge for any length of time. If I waited just one day between charging and using the batteries, the batteries would only take a few pictures. My current set is a few months old (certainly no more than 100 cycles) and if I charge the batteries on Friday night and don't use the camera until Monday morning, I cannot take a full set of pictures.

    I will not be purchasing any more NiMH rechargeable batteries. I have bought Eneloops and they will easily take the same number of pictures in my camera. Plus, I can count on them to work if the camera takes a rest for a few days.

    So even though I am one of those that uses rechargeable batteries on almost a daily basis, the advantages of Eneloops are clear to me and I think they are the best battery choice for practically everyone.

  24. #24
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    I had a couple of my older Rayovac 1800s quit early using my GPSr yesterday.

    I thought these were A-OK, but maybe I was wrong.

    I did a job yesterday for which the minimum $ I will recieve is 250 and I WILL get some more Hybrids or maybe even some Eneloops for my GPSr!!!

    The high mAh stuff just isn't cutting it in the long run...
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by barkingmad View Post
    Using normal NiMH in a low drain device like a keyboard is about the worst thing as the self discharge rate will probably be higher than the drain from the device.

    Ideally normal NiMH devices should be used where you may want the higher capacity and will be using the device right away - i.e. mostly higher drain applications.
    this i know... i already have the rechargable batteries that came out of the mouse (1700mAh AA cells) in the keyboard.... but i really don't have a use for the 2700 sanyo's yet... was just an idea that i tossed up and in a way a point that the eneloops are actually good for some applications.... guess i need to find new r/c toy to play with.... that gives me an idea actually... i think i have one that could use them....
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  26. #26
    Flashaholic* lctorana's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    Great to read that Eneloops really do have low self-discharge.

    My question is - could anyone compare the self-discharge rate to NiCd?

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by LouRoy View Post

    I will not be purchasing any more NiMH rechargeable batteries. I have bought Eneloops and they will easily take the same number of pictures in my camera. Plus, I can count on them to work if the camera takes a rest for a few days.
    Well....actually eneloops are NIMH batteries, but I do understand your statement. It will be very interesting to know how well they hold up for you since you use them a lot. I hope you will let us know after you have used them awhile.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by lctorana View Post
    My question is - could anyone compare the self-discharge rate to NiCd?
    IIRC, NiCDs lose ~10% within the first 24 hours after charging, and 10% per month after that; better than standard NiMH, but far behind Eneloop. NiCd AAs also have much lower capacity; the best I remember seeing was 1000mAh advertised, which is likely inflated. Eneloops have proven to be very close to (and often exceeding) the 2000mAh claim.
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  29. #29
    Flashaholic* lctorana's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by Martini View Post
    IIRC, NiCDs lose...
    Wow. I'm impressed.

    Now, just waiting for 5000mAh Eneloop D cells...

  30. #30
    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eneloop AA are not that good due to reduced capacity

    There are 3 AA to D adapters, then you would have a 6000mA D cell.
    Norm

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