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AAA batteries and their types

Updated on October 8, 2010


What is the difference between AA and AAA batteries? The difference is in the size and potential charging capacity. AA batteries are bigger compared to AAA. Most battery chargers have slots for both types of batteries. AAA batteries are usually used in devices that run on low power, i.e - clocks, remote controllers, small portable headlamps, mp3 players. AA batteries are usually put in devices requiring same voltage, but having a higher current draw. AA batteries have about 3 times more the capacity of AAA batteries. Battery operated toys, big torches and lanterns are the devices that require bigger AA batteries. However nowadays, when modern electronics is getting ahead of our life, devices that were designed for AA batteries are being replaced by models with AAA batteries slots. In this hub I am going to talk more about AAA batteries.
So, what are the AAA battery types?

Non-rechargeable

First af all, everybody knows that there are rechargeable batteries and non-rechargeable batteries. You use non-rechargeables only once, until they run out of power, but rechargeables can be used up to 1000 times.
If you don't use many batteries, use your electronic devices very rarely, or don't want to buy a recharger, I suggest you buy Alkaline or Oxyride batteries. They are non-rechargeable, but also inexpensive and give plenty of power for low drain devices. However standard Alkalines are not the best choice for your camera, because it's a high drain device. If you have such devices buy high drain alkalines such as Duracell Ultra, Energizer Advanced or Oxyride (aka Nickel Oxyhydroxide). Oxyride is considered to be the best disposable battery. Oxyrides last longer than alkalines and are only slightly more expensive, so they're usually your best bet if you're searching for non-rechargeable batteries.

There is another type of disposable batteries and it's Lithium batteries. They can not be recharged as well. They are toxic. There is only one great advantage comparing it to other batteries. I am talking about temperatures below freezing. Alkalines are better if you need long shelf life, but they don't work well in temperatures below zero. So, if you need batteries that last for years and are perfect for usage in extreme temperatures, then choose Lithium AAA batteries.

Rechargeable

But if you buy batteries more often, let's say - twice a week, I suggest you should consider buying rechargeable batteries and a good recharger.
    
A nickel-metal hydride cell, abbreviated NiMH, is one type of AAA rechargeable batteries. Another type is NiCD (Nickel-Cadmium). I prefer NiMH, because these batteries have 2 to 3 times the capacity of the same size NiCD and they don't suffer from memory effect. And they do not contain toxic metals, which can not be said about NiCD. But NiMH batteries can not handle the high rate of charges or discharges(over 1,5-2 amps). However, NICD are obsolete rechargeables. NiMH are great batteries, but they have a higher self-discharge rate. They could go dead after a few months even though they were not used at all. Therefore they are not suitable for such devices as emergency flashlights and smoke detectors, that require much longer working time. In conclusion, the bigest weakness of NiMH batteries is their self-discharge rate, but if you have a good charger and use them more often, I suggest you buy NiMH rechargeables.
There is also rechargeable Alkaline, that can't be recharged nearly as many times as nickel-metal hybride cell or NiCD (NIckel-Cadmium). They are considered worse batteries than NiMH and NiCD, because their capacity and power drops down every time you recharge them, but they perform well if you need a battery that puts out more voltage than a usual NiMH. Rechargeable Alkalines are better only if you need extra voltage and you use them infrequently.

That being said, I think that rechargeable NiMH batteries are the best choice if you're using them often. However Alkalines or Oxyrides are the best choice for those, who expect a long life and use their devices infrequently.

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    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      7 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      I feel like I got busted! I have been remiss. I must convert. Is there a Solar battery charger?, oh yeah I think Brunton has one! Even better! Thanks for helping me realize how I waste energy.

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