What's happened to Eneloop build quality?

zeally

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
22
A few years ago, I bought some AA size Eneloop Pro batteries to use in a Eagtac flashlight

I only used and recharged each one maybe 50 to 100 times, probably closer to 50

Then a few weeks ago, I tried to recharge one in a Maha charger and was told no, it's charge voltage is too high and the battery is faulty

Then a few days ago, half of the top of another battery came off inside the flashlight, and I only saw after opening the light

I don't even know if it's safe to put in a charger now

Is this normal for Eneloop Pro batteries? To just fall apart after a few uses or go bad?

Has this happened to anyone else?
 

fulee9999

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
524
not really, but also AA and AAA were never designed to run such high drain devices that we use them for nowadays, like flashlights that over pull them
surprisingly Elzetta out of all the places even explicitly calls out other manufacturers for going over the designed drain of primaries
 

Stress_Test

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
1,031
My experience was that the lifetime of the Pro versions isn't nearly as good as the standard white-wrapper 2000 mAh originals.

I bought an 8-pack of Pros in 2015, and after 5 years, a smart-charger wouldn't charge them any more (gave the fault warning flash). I definitely wasn't putting them through heavy use either, so it's not like they were used hard.

I can charge them in an older charger, but then they still can't deliver the amperage that a healthy cell should. I test them in a single AA light, where a cell should show about 1.8A draw on max. The 5 year old Pros were only delivering something like 1.1A I think.

This happened to all eight in the pack, so not an isolated failure. Just seems to be the trade-off for the higher capacity. And frankly, given the cost of the Pro version, I questioned the value of these for a casual user like myself. If you were using high-drain AA devices every day and really needed the extra capacity, then ok. But this time I bought an 8-pack of original 2000 mAh Eneloops instead. Just couldn't justify the extra cost.

For what it's worth, I've got white-wrap Eneloops that are 10 years old and still charge up normally in a smart charger, and deliver 1.8 amps. I've read other posts on CPF with similar anecdotes about the durability of the 2000 mAh versions, so that seems to be fairly typical.
 

fulee9999

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
524
Just seems to be the trade-off for the higher capacity.
this is my understanding as well, even eneloop themselves describe them in the following manner:
Eneloop Pro: High capacity for devices with medium to high energy requirements
Eneloop (white): Universal use: Low self-discharge for frequent use

So I'd imagine the pro is better at storing power ( lower self-discharge ) and handling higher current, while for day-to-day use the normal ( white eneloop ) are better.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
2,842
The regular Eneloops have the lower self discharge, not the pros. The regular Eneloops were rated to hold 70% of their charge at 10 years and had 2100 charges. Eneloops Pros are rated to hold 85% of their charge after 1 year with 500 charges. The only reason to get the Pros is if you need that extra 500 or so mAh per charge. Heat destroys batteries. That includes fast charging, fast discharging, and leaving them somewhere very hot. If your cells are dying early, take a look at how you’re treating them. The regular Eneloops can take a lot more abuse than the Pros can before dying.
 

bykfixer

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
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Aug 9, 2015
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16,818
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My own little Idaho
I've had good fortune with eneloop pro cells. I remember reading a few years back how the pro version did not hold up as well. I've not had that issue. Now, I don't have very many AA or aaa size and only use AA in direct drive, high drain lights for the additional "bright" time versus the regular kind. The aaa are for a pocket rocket light that burns through an ultimate lithium quickly.
 
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