Rechargeable Battery Experiment

Discussion in 'Game Trail Cameras & Camcorders' started by mcdenney, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. mcdenney

    mcdenney 12 pointer

    Dec 16, 2002
    Wildcat Country, USA.
    I just thought I would pass along some information to some of you regarding my recent experiment with Energizer NiMH Rechargeable batteries. I thought this might be of benefit if considering a purchase of these for use with Game Camera's. I purchased several rechargeable batteries last fall and began using them in select game cameras. I purchased several D's, C's and AA rechargeable batteries in hopes of lowering the cost on batteries used in my game camera addiction. I did some side by side comparions versus regular alkaline as well. After a couple months of experimenting I have found out a few things about Energizer rechargeable batteries.

    First, all NiMH batteries lose their charge when not in use at a rate of about 1.5% per day. Compared to a normal alkaline battery which is almost nothing. I would notice that when installing a newly charged battery that it would not show full charge after not using it a few days. It would basically lose complete charge over time, even more so on cold days.

    Second, NiMH batteries have varying mAh (milli-amp-hour) ratings which indicate the power capacity of the battery. The higher the capacity, the longer the battery will last between charges. The ones I used all had approximately 2500 mAh per charge. Which is comparable in charge to that of a normal AA Alkaline battery. This means that the capacity of a rechargeable C & D battery only holds bascially a AA's worth of charge. This was very evident when comparing the larger size battery performance versus a alkaline battery. Just for reference the Mah rating for a C or D alkaline battery is roughly 10 times that, somewhere in the 20-25,000 Mah range. Therefore the performance is much better on the alkaline side the larger the battery you use when comparing to rechargeables. Again, this was very noticeable when installing newly charged batteries and the charge indicator would never show full charge. Cold weather also seemed to even further complicate his lower performance.

    In the end, I will be returning most if not all of these batteries due to poor performance when compared to an alkaline battery. I am considering keeping a few AA batteries as performance lose is not that drastic versus the larger sizes. I knew going in that the comparison would not favor the rechargeables but I wanted to see if the rechargeables would be "acceptable" for my pattern of use. They were not especially on the larger sized batteries. Again, I just thought I would pass this along for those which are interested.
  2. Marmot_Militia

    Marmot_Militia 6 pointer

    Aug 31, 2005
    Excellent; thanks for your time


    What about saving the environment, global warming and your carbon footprint? Don't these mean anything to you?? LOL.

    Seriously, though, isn't it funny that everything that is "good" for us ends up costing more than it should, and working worse than it should?

  3. rick243

    rick243 10 pointer

    Oct 16, 2005
    SouthEast Ky

    I use the AA 2500's in the homebrew cams. Alkalines don't perform very well in these. The AA rechargeables hold up pretty good for a few weeks in moderate weather. When the weather turns cold they don't work very well. The best AA is the e2 lithium throw-away. $$$$ cha-ching
  4. mcdenney

    mcdenney 12 pointer

    Dec 16, 2002
    Wildcat Country, USA.
    Yeah, it means that when they look at my carbon footprint they will say, man this guy was a real dummy for trying to use those rechargeable batteries as they don't work anything like the hybrid/alkaline ones! LOL

    Maybe someday they will figure out something better. Of course it will probably have Mercury or some other more deadly chemical in it which will cause some huge environmental issue should it leak or anything. Oh well! I tried!
  5. CSS archer

    CSS archer BBBC Members

    Dec 13, 2001
    Central KY
    I like using AA NIMH rechargeables in my cams, they outlast alkaline, even in cold. I have no problem getting 300 pics and a month in winter out of 2 AA in a P41 homebrew.

    A good price on rechargeables can be found at
  6. rcb216

    rcb216 12 pointer

    Sep 25, 2005
    Robertson Co.
    Archer I used the Kodak rechargables in my p41 and after three weeks and 400 pics had 1/2 to 3/4 battery life left on them.I have no clue what mah they were rated but I do know that they lasted a lot longer the duracell AA did. I also had a rechargeable 6 volt for my moultrie and it would be flat after one week of use, and very few pic's, but I think that was my junkie camera.
  7. quackrstackr

    quackrstackr Welcome to Fantasy Island Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    The Island
    Those Energizer rechargeables stink.

    I bought a bunch of their highest mAh AA's to run in my solar charged landscape lighting (and a digital camera) when the generic rechargeables that came in them finally went belly up.

    The first thing that I noticed was the burn time of my lights was nowhere near what they were with the generics. My lights used to burn all night, they did well to hit 3 1/2 hours after installing the new Energizers. The second thing that I have noticed is that the functional charge/discharge cycle life of these expensive batteries is not even half of what the generics lasted. I got 3 years out of the generics, after a year with the new batteries, my lights only burn for about an hour and a half now before discharged and I have already replaced half of the Engergizers again because they started failing to take a charge.

    They discharge about 3 times faster in my digital camera than regular alkaline also.

    I won't buy any more of them.
  8. lymanl3

    lymanl3 10 pointer

    Dec 7, 2004
    Lafayette IN
    Theres tons of experiments that have been done on homebrew sites. Yes the rechargeables do leak potential energy day by day...but they do perform well.

  9. mcdenney

    mcdenney 12 pointer

    Dec 16, 2002
    Wildcat Country, USA.
    Yep, as stated I experienced the exact same thing as you. I tried them in Sony's as well as Kodak digital cameras and both were horrible. The only thing I have found were they might be useable in is a small flash light that requires AA's and use time is very minimal. I'm curious though in CSS's and Lyman's comments as to why the big difference. Of course I suspect you use primarily AA's which are certainly better than the larger sizes. However, I can take DuraCell's and put them in my game camera and get 2000+ pics or a couple months of life out of them. I easily got less than half that with Rechargeables before they were gone, somewhere in the 600 pics range. I use C's and D's in my game camera's. But when using them in my personal digital camera's they were not as effective as regular batteries.
  10. nwest

    nwest 12 pointer

    Ths Godfather has spoken...:D
  11. Crockett

    Crockett 6 pointer

    Aug 22, 2006
    Standard non-rechargeable AA batters are also 1.5 volts starting out where as the rechargeable kind contain 1.2 volts max.

    power = Voltage * current

    If you have something that uses 4 AA batteries and for ease of the exercise assume 1A (which is quite high) is the current draw.

    P = 4(1.5) * 1 = 6 watts for standard battery
    P = 4(1.2) * 1 = 4.8 watts for rechargeable battery.

    There are some electronics that won't even work properly when used with rechargeable batteries.

    I use rechargeable batteries in electronics that aren't critical, get a lot of use, and also don't have a high current draw E.g. my kids toys.
  12. im-back

    im-back 10 pointer

    Oct 8, 2005
    none ya county

    I have these as well and they have worked twice as long as the Energizer's in my camera. Cant wait to see how they perform in the trail cams.

Share This Page