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QUESTION: Life span of rechargeable batteries

Widder, SASS #59054

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I have a nice Streamlight flash lite that operates on 2 rechargeable batteries.

PLUS, an AirSoft rifle that operates on rechargeable batteries.


Is there a particular 'life span' to rechargeable batteries?

Or a better question would be..... just how many times can rechargeable batteries be recharged

to be considered 'full power'?






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Consumer Reports says 500 to 1,000 times depending on type and brand.  It should say on the packaging how many cycles.

Rechargeable batteries are best suited for something that draws a large amount of power over a short time. “You get the economic and environmental benefits of rechargeables a lot faster in high-consumption devices, like the remote control for your kid’s toy car that eats up AA or AAA batteries,” Whitehurst says. While children’s toys tend to be some of the biggest battery hogs, the same applies to devices like wireless computer mice.

Single-use disposable batteries, on the other hand, are better for products that have a low energy pull over a prolonged period of time and are replaced infrequently, such as smoke detectors or your TV’s remote control. Single-use batteries are also better for any emergency supplies you may be keeping on hand, like flashlights. “Regular batteries are designed to hold their charge for extended periods so that they’re ready when you need them to be ready,” Whitehurst says.

When shopping for rechargeable batteries, there are a couple of key things to remember. First, rechargeables have a shelf life of about 5 years and can be recharged roughly 500–1,000 times, depending on brand and usage. That means you’ll probably need to buy fewer of them than you do when purchasing single-use batteries. Second, make sure you buy a charger that can accommodate all of the various sizes you’ll be using."

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There has to be more to it than cycles. The batteries in my hunting radios are 3 years old. They have been charged at the beginning of each season, so 3 times and weren't dead. They looked charged at the beginning of this season, but thru em on the chargers as every year. They went dead in both radios within seconds of calling back to the house on the second day. So 3- 4 charges max and never run dead. I've never had rechargeable batteries last more than a few years, with the exception of our land line phones which are about a decade old and you can still talk for about 3 hours before the warning beeps. Panasonic brand AAAs

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Heat is the enemy of all electronics, including batteries.

Apple recommend the iPhone be kept between 20 and 80% charge, no higher, no lower.

Slow charging generates the least amount of heat.
I have a standard Apple charger connected to their induction charger.
I love the concept, and the stand it is mounted in, but it does generate substantial heat in the phone body.
I suspect this is a combination of both induction charging and a rapid charging rate.

I charge the iPhone using the USB port on my desktop machine.
This is by far the slowest / lowest heat charging method.
If I need a faster charge, I use the Apple charger and cable directly, then make sure I don't charge above 80%.

NiCAD batteries are also a lower voltage than standard cells.
1.2v compared to 1.5 or higher.

I buy batteries in bulk from Harbor Freight (now on sale), and no longer bother with NiCAD types.

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It really depends on the materials the batteries are made of and the quality. 
I have a Dewalt drill driver that both the batteries died within a year of purchase…right after the warranty was up. I bought some cheap Chi-Com knockoffs from Amazon to get me through a project and I still have this batteries going on 4 years now. 
I do not use them often but they always work when I do. 
Another reason batteries fail is temperature cycling. If batteries are exposed to freezing temps for extended periods they lose usable life fairly quickly. The same goes for excessive heat. 
I reallly haven’t figured out the Lithium-Ion batteries most companies use in their products. So far I am very happy with them. 

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in the case of my boat battery's i was told the starting one was good for heavy load [to start the motor] and recharge during use - generally good for three years or so , the deep cycle trolling unit was better if fully charged and used in continuous draw till near dead then recharged ...that way it didnt take a 'set' , i generally got three years or so on those too , 


my flashlights have been a very different story , the maglite i keep in the glovebox of the truck seems to last about three years - dont use it hardly ever , the maglites i use regularly dont last so long ...the one i use near every day eats up one set about every three months , but my rechargeable we use walking the dog has been going strong three years and shows no signs of giving up , again we fully discharge before recharging it 

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The Li-ion battery in a Bose bluetooth portable speaker that I have had for 10 plus years just got replaced.  I used it at least 3-4 times a week for most of 10 years.  about half the time it was on the charger when in use.  Li-ion batteries have the longest cycle life of any commercial chemistry batteries.  The number of cycles depends on the depth of discharge.  As others have stated cell temperature is another important variable.  Another advantage of Li_ion batteries is charge density and efficiency, ampere hours output vs. ampere hours input.

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