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Thread: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

  1. #1

    Default Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    Though a casual user by CPF standards, I'm a longtime rechargeable fan and I'm sold on Eneloops as the best rechargeables ever. I had a very pleasant finding this weekend and wanted to share it with the forum.

    Saturday, I decided to refresh/ analyze some Eneloop AAA's and AA's I've had since May of '08. I have two sets of AAA's I use weekly around the year in a Princeton EOS for a couple of hours per week and three sets of AAs for general use - flashlights, portable radios, etc.

    I put the batteries in my Maha charger for a refresh and I was absolutely astonished to find the AAA's showed a capacity of ~825 MAh (rated 800) and the AA's showed ~1945 MAh / 2000 rating after nearly two years of use.

    I've been using rechargeables since the eighties and I've tried a bunch of brands over the years. I'll pick up a half dozen of whatever the hot brand du jour is - Sanyos, Panasonics, Powerex, etc. but they never seem to live up to my expectations; capacity fades quickly or they won't hold a charge after a year or so.

    It always seems when I need a fresh battery, my rechargeable let me down. (Though I'm not a hardcore user by CPF standards - I bought only one new light in the past year - I do take care of my cells.)

    For me, the Eneloops do exactly what I want and when I need them to.

    What I'm learning is that consistency and reliability are much more important to me than who wins the ultimate capacity shoot-out. A battery may have great specs on paper but when I pull the battery out to use and find it has self discharged or the cells are no longer matched, who cares.

    I think Eneloop has the right formula; perhaps they don't have the highest capacity but you can count on them when you need them and they will perform as promised. That's a winning formula for me.

    Though I hope there's no need to buy any replacements soon, if anyone asks my opinion, I point them straight to the Eneloop rack.
    Last edited by TheWalkman; 02-23-2010 at 08:22 AM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic bthrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    +1 on the eneloops, I agree 100%, I also like very much the NiZn from PowerGenix

    Brian

  3. #3

    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    I have four Powerex Imedion AA's (2100mah rated) that I purchased Feb 11, 2008. I have used/abused them weekly charging in a dumb charger the first year and maha 401fs 2nd year. I just got a maha c9000 in late Dec. and ran a BI cycle:

    I1: 2116 (Impedance Check Voltage = 1.50)
    I2: 2104 (ICV = 1.59)
    I3: 2138 (ICV = 1.53)
    I4: 2136 (ICV = 1.51)
    Last edited by noisebeam; 02-23-2010 at 04:46 PM.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    Amazon has a great deal on them too. You get 8 AAs and 2 AAAs along with a charger and a few C and D adapter shells. All for around 30 bucks. Its how I got started with them.

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    Flashaholic* 45/70's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    I have four Powerex Imedion AA's (2100mah rated) that I purchased Feb 11, 2008. I have used/abused them weekly charging in a dumb charger the first year and maha 401fs 2nd year. I just got a maha c9000 in late Dec. and ran a BI cycle:

    I1: 2116 (Impedance Check Voltage = 1.50)
    I2: 2104 (ICV = 1.59)
    I3: 2138 (ICV = 1.53)
    I4: 2136 (ICV = 1.51)
    First let me say that I don't really have anything against Imedions or the other "clones". They have actually been shown to provide a bit more capacity at lower current drain levels. Where the eneloop difference shows up, is when the cells are discharged at a higher rate than the 0.2C standard. If you were to discharge your Imedions at a 1C rate, and then compare that to two year old eneloop's, discharged at that same 1C rate, therein would lie the difference between the two.

    Dave

  6. #6

    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    OK, interesting. I use these nearly exclusively in LED flashlight (L2d) What is the current draw there, probably quite a bit higher than 200, but less than 1000.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* computernut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    After a few years of using Energizer rechargeables with flashlights and R/C transmitters, I finally gave up and replaced them all with Duraloops. Sure the Energizers were cheaper and had more 'capacity' I was constantly having bad cells and having to throw them out.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* 45/70's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    OK, interesting. I use these nearly exclusively in LED flashlight (L2d) What is the current draw there, probably quite a bit higher than 200, but less than 1000.

    Well, in a 2xAA light, the boost circuit is fairly efficient, but I'd rather imagine that your L2D is pulling at least 1A from the cells at the highest level, probably a bit more.

    The loads of most of my applications run 2-3A, as with AA lights for example, I use primarily single cell versions. I use them mostly at max output, but do run them at lower levels sometimes, so I figure the average is around 2A.

    A while back someone did a comparison of various LSD cells. One thing that stood out between the eneloops and other LSD cells, was that after 100-150 cycles there was an appreciable drop in capacity of the competitors, compared to the eneloops. The eneloops, as I remember, didn't show this drop until ~250 cycles. It is also significant to note, that eneloops have a slight voltage under load advantage over other LSD cells, as well. This also remained apparent in the cycling tests.

    Again, I have nothing against Imedions. I have considered buying some, as sometimes their (or "others") "bang for the buck" ratio is a bit higher. For my applications though (which include other high current drain devices, in addition to flashlights), where I'm pushing the cells harder, I consider the slight advantage of the eneloops to be worthwhile.

    Dave

  9. #9

    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    For what it's worth I have nothing for or against Imedion or Eneloop. When I bought the Imedions it was what was available in LSD at a decent price and at the time didn't even know about cpf and that people even tested batteries to the extent that is done here. (I should have known better )

    A few weeks ago I just bought four AAA Eneloop (all started between 785-801mah for new out box using c9000 burn in cycle) and when I need more AA LSD will likely buy Eneloop.

    The other batteries I just bought were some Sanyo 2700's - wanting capacity over all (assuming?) longest run time in the L2d. Holding charge doesn't help me as I start with fresh charged and use light until the batteries are dead.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Erasmus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    Eneloops are great batteries indeed. The only drawback I recently discovered, is that they can suffer in low temperatures. I recently moved to Sweden and with temps between -20 and -30 centigrades they seem to run out pretty fast. I guess other NiMH's will have the same problem though.
    Yeehaw!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    Quote Originally Posted by Erasmus View Post
    Eneloops are great batteries indeed. The only drawback I recently discovered, is that they can suffer in low temperatures. I recently moved to Sweden and with temps between -20 and -30 centigrades they seem to run out pretty fast. I guess other NiMH's will have the same problem though.
    I can't fault Eneloops for that; at those temperatures my internal batteries don't last as long as they once did either! Brrrrrr!

    Here's to a hot cocoa for you, Erasmus!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    Eneloops are the best

  13. #13
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    Quote Originally Posted by Erasmus View Post
    Eneloops are great batteries indeed. The only drawback I recently discovered, is that they can suffer in low temperatures. I recently moved to Sweden and with temps between -20 and -30 centigrades they seem to run out pretty fast. I guess other NiMH's will have the same problem though.
    I'm curious if you have discovered a NiMH battery that works better than Eneloops in cold weather? I've not tried any battery in -20 to -30 C, and (like you) wonder if any would actually perform that cold? I have used batteries in cold weather (say 25deg F) and find the Eneloops actually a bit better than other brands. Of the brands I've tried in the cold, the Imedions mentioned in a previous post are by far the worst.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Turbo DV8's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    Quote Originally Posted by Navin_R_Johnson View Post
    I'm curious if you have discovered a NiMH battery that works better than Eneloops in cold weather?
    I wonder how NiZn compares to Eneloops in the cold?

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    Flashaholic WDG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWalkman View Post
    I put the batteries in my Maha charger for a refresh and I was absolutely astonished to find the AAA's showed a capacity of ~825 MAh (rated 800) and the AA's showed ~1945 MAh / 2000 rating after nearly two years of use.
    The numbers I get pretty much match yours, for Eneloop cells I bought in both 2007 and 2008. I am absolutely sold on Eneloops, too! IIRC, SilverFox did a comparison test somewhere around here that had Eneloops withstanding up to a 10 amp load.


  16. #16
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    Quote Originally Posted by 45/70 View Post
    Well, in a 2xAA light, the boost circuit is fairly efficient, but I'd rather imagine that your L2D is pulling at least 1A from the cells at the highest level, probably a bit more.

    The loads of most of my applications run 2-3A, as with AA lights for example, I use primarily single cell versions. I use them mostly at max output, but do run them at lower levels sometimes, so I figure the average is around 2A.

    A while back someone did a comparison of various LSD cells. One thing that stood out between the eneloops and other LSD cells, was that after 100-150 cycles there was an appreciable drop in capacity of the competitors, compared to the eneloops. The eneloops, as I remember, didn't show this drop until ~250 cycles. It is also significant to note, that eneloops have a slight voltage under load advantage over other LSD cells, as well. This also remained apparent in the cycling tests.
    Do you remember where those tests on performance after many cycles/cycle lifetime were? I've been looking for the past hour or so but can't find them :-(

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* 45/70's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    Quote Originally Posted by Nil Einne View Post
    Do you remember where those tests on performance after many cycles/cycle lifetime were? I've been looking for the past hour or so but can't find them :-(
    Nil, all I can tell you is that I'm about 90% certain that it was SilverFox that did such a test here on CPF. I've also seen similar results on a camera, or photography site. Which one? Sorry, I'm not going to be able to help you there, as it was some time ago.

    If I have time, I'll try to find Tom's thread. I've been really busy here the past few days though, so I'm not going to promise anything.

    Dave

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* was.lost.but.now.found's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    Quote Originally Posted by Nil Einne View Post
    Do you remember where those tests on performance after many cycles/cycle lifetime were? I've been looking for the past hour or so but can't find them :-(
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ad.php?t=79302

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* 45/70's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    Thanks, was!

    That familiar thread does show the current under load advantage of the eneloops. The thread I'm thinking about however, was more a comparison of LSD cells and their measured performance over many cycles though.

    Dave

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    Flashaholic* fishinfool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery Soapbox - I'm Sold on Eneloops

    Diamonds......oops Eneloops are Forever!
    Fenix TK40/LD10/L2D/E01/NiteCore D10/SolarForce L2m & L2/Icon Rogue 1/Quark AA² Tactical/Aurora SH-034/SKYRAY S-R5/UltraFire WF-504B/iTP A3 EOS/TrustFire XP-EF23 & F20/Akoray K-106/Romisen RC-A5 & RC-N3 II/Tank007 E07/LunaPower Lumahunter.

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