Back in the days, when rechargeable batteries were not so popular and advanced, we would choose standard primary cell batteries without hesitation. But now, with the advancement of battery technology, there are more options available to the public. Rechargeable batteries are the new trend for saving our environment. Should we give up primary batteries and turn to rechargeable counterparts from now on?
Nothing is absolute, and the same goes for batteries. Before answering the question, let's learn some background knowledge about the differences between primary cell and rechargeable batteries.
Primary batteries, which are non-rechargeable, also known as, single-use batteries. The primary battery is also referred to as a dry cell. They can be mainly divided into three types: zinc-carbon battery, zinc chloride battery, and alkaline battery. Both zinc-carbon battery and zinc chloride battery are no match for alkaline battery regarding better performance. In present day, alkaline primary cells are gradually taking the place of the other two types of primary cells in everyday life.
Primary batteries feature high performance, strong power, effective leak-proof seals, long-lasting durability, and extra-long shelf life. They’ve been the solid choice for many households over the decades.
Secondary or rechargeable batteries can be divided into three categories in today's market –NiCad type, NiMH type, and Lithium-ion type. Li-ion ones stand out with high charge density, long life, increased charge cycles, faster charging time, low self-discharge, lightweight and better performance upon extreme temperature.
Which battery is right for you, Alkaline or Rechargeable? Both Alkaline batteries and Li-ion rechargeable batteries have their advantages depending upon the situation.
In most cases, families are used to traditional alkaline batteries. Why? On the one hand, Alkaline is cheaper (compared to rechargeable ones), more affordable, and available everywhere. They simply meet all the needs of daily household electronic devices. Able to be stored for up to 10 years, they’re perfect for emergency power supply. During its shelf life, you can change and use the battery right out of the box. On the other hand, for many household devices such as low-drain ones like the wall clocks, radios, smoke detectors, programmable thermostats, and remote controls, they’re “satisfied” with what Alkaline batteries can supply.
As one of the fastest-growing rechargeable battery products on the market, Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are equipped with stronger power, the ability to recharge, and are more cost-efficient in the long run. Most importantly, they create less environmental waste by recharging one thousand times instead of using one thousand alkaline batteries. Constant voltage and heavy current of TENAVOLTS make them perfect to power up high-drain devices like game controllers, flashlights, toys, RC cars, medical devices. Despite all the advantages, the only disadvantage of rechargeable Li-ion batteries is the initial price (much higher than the alkaline ones due to the material and advanced new technologies). They do pay for themselves after just a couple of cycles, which would be much more cost-effective than you thought.
Back to the question, should we give up alkaline batteries and turn to rechargeable counterparts from now on? The answer is NO. It depends on your specific needs and applied devices. There is no need to use rechargeable batteries on low-drain devices, and alkaline ones provide enough power to keep them functioning. But for high-drain devices requiring strong power and constant voltage, rechargeable Li-ion batteries are more suitable and reliable to ensure your gaming experience goes smoothly and your RC cars run fast. The wisest choice would be to store both of them at home in case of need.