Sunday, July 21, 2019

Lithium Batteries

If you have many electronics or flashlights around the house and have been using alkaline batteries in them, you no doubt have experienced leaks. If you catch the leak soon enough you can generally clean out the device and restore it to service, but if the leaks goes undiscovered for too long there's a good chance your device will get ruined.

In my experience, Energizer alkaline are somewhat better than Duracell when it comes to leaking. However, other folks report the opposite. You pays your money and you makes your choice.

This is one reason I keep a spare can of CRC Quick Dry Electrical Contact Cleaner around the house.

However, you can prevent having to deal with the leaks by switching to a different battery chemistry, namely either NiMH rechargeable or lithium cells. In the past week I've changed out the batteries in several important flashlights, headlamps, and my Garmin 62stc GPS with Energizer lithium AA and AAA cells. I've bought some from Amazon and some from Battery Junction.

These devices don't see heavy use but when I need them, I need them. The lithium cells have a long shelf life -- advertised as up to 20 years, and don't leak. They also handle low temperatures better, which makes them a good choice for flashlights or headlamps that are kept in vehicles.

I've also decided to replace the Ziploc bags I've been using to carry my spare batteries with these plastic containers. They should protect the batteries better against impacts and short circuits.

From what I've read Panasonic Eneloops seem to be the gold standard in rechargeable AAs and AAAs. However, I haven't tried them out yet. I'd appreciate any feedback on them.

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