Monday, January 21, 2008

Get your Green On with Rechargeable Batteries

At one time or another most of us have tinkered with rechargeable batteries. In the past a lot of them were plagued with long charge times, memory issues in the battery where they may not have held their maximum amount of charge, and just plain expensive.

Recently, I have been using rechargeables again, and am happy to say that they seem to be working quite well... You can do you part in the "Going Green" by using them and avoid having to dispose of those old alkalines.

Not all batteries are created equal... It seems that the precharged batteries have a better life span and over the course of their life will hold more charge for a longer period of time. See the Duracell chart here.

There is a review of AA Batteries here and AAA Batteries here.

Again here is an area where not all things are created equal. There are quick chargers, portable chargers, chargers with analyzers and all in one chargers. This could be a subject in and of itself and maybe will be in a later posting, but I should say that initial research shows that the "quickest" charger is not necessarily the best charger. If you find an economical charger that has an analyzer built in, that would be a good choice. Another good alternative for location based photographers would be something like the Duracell portable charger that can plug into 110V as well as be powered by 12V cigarette light adapter and even has a USB port so you can charge USB devices (ipods, some cell phones, etc) as well.

The Green aspect
Most rechargeable batteries can re recharged 1000 times or more and therefore will assist to reduce the amount of tonnage that we put into landfills every year. Some reports say that there are in excess of 19,000 tons of batteries put thrown away every year. While I am certainly no recycling nut, the current batteries on the market coupled with some compelling charging options, it seems to make sense to give them a try.

So, all you strobist fans, load up those speedlights with some new pre-charged NiMH batteries and give them a whirl..

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