Batteries have been around for hundreds of years, but not always as we know them today; they have been developed and improved over recent years to give us the selection we know today.

Developed over the last few decades in particular, rechargeable batteries have come a long way from their initial invention. Until 1859, all batteries were primary and could only be used once.

The first rechargeable batteries

The first rechargeable battery was created back in 1859, but technology moved on quite quickly to bring us NiCd rechargeable batteries; using nickel as the positive electrode and cadmium as the negative. However, high material costs seemed to limit its use and there was soon a requirement for a different composition in order to create a viable solution for providing power.

Cadmium was soon replaced with iron, creating the NiFe (nickel-iron) rechargeable battery. Its low energy, poor performance and high self discharge meant that this composition was not sustainable either.

For many years, NiCd rechargeable batteries were the only kind available for portable applications. During the 1990s, European environmentalists became concerned with the damage NiCd could cause when disposed of carelessly.

How Rechargeable Batteries Have Changed Over Time - 2

An alternative was developed, known as NiMH (nickel metal hydride). More environmentally friendly and not too dissimilar to NiCd. NiMH rechargeable batteries have become one of the most readily available kinds for consumer use.

Rechargeable battery packs

There are other kinds as well as the NiMH type that you may recognise. Rechargeable lithium ion (li-ion) batteries are commonly used in battery packs for mobile phones, laptops and digital cameras, however it’s worth double checking that you are buying the right kind of rechargeable battery for your needs!

Consumer rechargeable batteries for everyday use

The world of rechargeable batteries is increasingly complicated, with so many different options to choose from. Generally speaking, if you are looking for rechargeable batteries for everyday items, you will want NiMH. With a huge selection available to buy, you’ll need to decide what you need them for and how high drain the product is.

Technology is constantly evolving and improving, allowing the battery industry to bring out new and enhanced options when it comes to making your choice. Latest improvements in consumer NiMH rechargeable batteries include a low self discharge rate, which means the batteries are able to hold on to their charge for a lot longer when not in use. Some types of rechargeable batteries can retain 85% of their capacity after a year of storage, while some can retain as much as 70% of their charge after 5 years. Rechargeable batteries of this kind are usually precharged and can be used straight from the pack; this was usually only available in disposable batteries, which makes the rechargeable kind even more of an attractive choice.

Whether you are looking for very high capacity rechargeable batteries or the low self discharge option, Buy A Battery can help.