NiMH comparison - 1 year test

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Hugh Johnson
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NiMH comparison - 1 year test

https://youtu.be/-jXQNY6rve8

I recall seeing the first test about a year ago. This follow up test shows capacity and self-discharge after a year of use and shelf life, respectively.

xxo
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Looks like the eneloops got beat a little by the all the rebrands: duracell, energizer, amazon basics, and laddas, when it came to low self discharge after 1 year….even got beat out by the non eneloop rebrand ROV cheapies…..so much for the theories that FDK puts some secret ingredient in eneloops that makes them self discharge less than the other cells made in the same factory with different wrappers, I guess?

AA Cycler
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Out of curiosity I went and compared his capacities after a year of use with my tests

I did not test the Rayovac and Harbor cells and the Duracell can be different…

It’s nice to see multiple tests confirming the same results…

Cheers,
AA Cycler

Cycle count tests of AA batteries - http://aacycler.com

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WalkIntoTheLight
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My oldest Eneloops are from 2006, so about 13.5 years old. I have 8 of them. I ran a capacity test on all of them just last week. They average just under 1800 mAh. New Eneloops I tested are around 1950 mAh. So, about 8% capacity loss after 13.5 years. Not bad!

The lowest one tested at 1450mAh. It was much less than all the others. So, it appears to be dying, at least for higher drain stuff. But it still works fine for lower drain.

I can’t accurately measure internal resistance, but the charger does show the old Eneloops do have significantly higher IR than new Eneloops. That appears to be the biggest issue with aging.

All 8 of those old Eneloops still appear to hold their charge fine, so low-self-discharge doesn’t seem to be affected much.

Those Eneloops have probably been cycled 200-300 times, mostly partial discharges. So, not really heavy use, but not light either.

WalkIntoTheLight
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One thing I don’t understand in that video…

At the 5:30 mark, he appears to test the voltages of his batteries after being in storage for 1 year. They all seem to be under 1.20v. WTF??? Even the Eneloops are only 1.16v after just 1 year in storage?!?

That doesn’t match with my experience at all. I find that voltages tend to settle at about 1.32v after a few months, and pretty-much stay there indefinitely. Way longer than a year!

Something isn’t right with his measurement, or he stored them mostly discharged (but that doesn’t seem to be the case from his capacity measurements). Anyone know what’s going on?

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xxo wrote:
Looks like the eneloops got beat a little by the all the rebrands: duracell, energizer, amazon basics, and laddas, when it came to low self discharge after 1 year….even got beat out by the non eneloop rebrand ROV cheapies…..so much for the theories that FDK puts some secret ingredient in eneloops that makes them self discharge less than the other cells made in the same factory with different wrappers, I guess?

Or we should finally call those FDK rebrands for what they trully are, FUJITSU, while most of the Panasonic Eneloops (apart from some for EU and North America market .. made by, again, FDK/Fujitsu) are made in China in their own factory anyway.
Panasonic does not own ex Sanyo FDK plant and the technologies, Fujitsu does.
I am wondering for how many decades we will repeat this mantra about all those batteries being eneloop repack.

xxo
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Speadge wrote:
xxo wrote:
Looks like the eneloops got beat a little by the all the rebrands: duracell, energizer, amazon basics, and laddas, when it came to low self discharge after 1 year….even got beat out by the non eneloop rebrand ROV cheapies…..so much for the theories that FDK puts some secret ingredient in eneloops that makes them self discharge less than the other cells made in the same factory with different wrappers, I guess?

Or we should finally call those FDK rebrands for what they trully are, FUJITSU, while most of the Panasonic Eneloops (apart from some for EU and North America market .. made by, again, FDK/Fujitsu) are made in China in their own factory anyway.
Panasonic does not own ex Sanyo FDK plant and the technologies, Fujitsu does.
I am wondering for how many decades we will repeat this mantra about all those batteries being eneloop repack.

True, that ^

Since Sanyo was bought by Panasonic, FDK’s Fujitsu became the primary brand and Eneloop just another re-brand.

I actually have a preference for Fujiloops over Japanese Eneloops, not so much that I think FDK makes them any better, but simply because they seem less likely to be counterfeit and I don’ have to worry about getting lower performing Chinese Eneloops should something change in Panasonic’s supply chain. Plus I can usually get Fujiloops at a lower price.

The only thing that surprises me a little about the tests in the video, is that the high capacity cells did better when it came to low self discharge and just as good if not better for low IR – which goes against a lot of chatter on the forums (usually with no real testing to back it up) that the high cap cells are not as good in these regards as the standard “eneloops”.

xxo
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WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
One thing I don’t understand in that video…

At the 5:30 mark, he appears to test the voltages of his batteries after being in storage for 1 year. They all seem to be under 1.20v. WTF??? Even the Eneloops are only 1.16v after just 1 year in storage?!?

That doesn’t match with my experience at all. I find that voltages tend to settle at about 1.32v after a few months, and pretty-much stay there indefinitely. Way longer than a year!

Something isn’t right with his measurement, or he stored them mostly discharged (but that doesn’t seem to be the case from his capacity measurements). Anyone know what’s going on?

Maybe they are Voltages under load?

MoreLumens
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WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
My oldest Eneloops are from 2006, so about 13.5 years old. I have 8 of them. I ran a capacity test on all of them just last week. They average just under 1800 mAh. New Eneloops I tested are around 1950 mAh. So, about 8% capacity loss after 13.5 years. Not bad!

The lowest one tested at 1450mAh. It was much less than all the others. So, it appears to be dying, at least for higher drain stuff. But it still works fine for lower drain.

I can’t accurately measure internal resistance, but the charger does show the old Eneloops do have significantly higher IR than new Eneloops. That appears to be the biggest issue with aging.

All 8 of those old Eneloops still appear to hold their charge fine, so low-self-discharge doesn’t seem to be affected much.

Those Eneloops have probably been cycled 200-300 times, mostly partial discharges. So, not really heavy use, but not light either.

I have too some old white Eneloops that I bought maybe 10 years ago and they are still going strong. They were even some years without any use until I got into flashlights.
Maybe I should also do some capacity test but I dont think my results would be that much different.

Fedos
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Quick question. Are rechargeable batteries worth it for low drain devices such as clocks and TV remotes and the like?

MoreLumens
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Fedos wrote:
Quick question. Are rechargeable batteries worth it for low drain devices such as clocks and TV remotes and the like?

I use my old Eneloops mainly in those kind of devices. Got some Eneloop Pros for high drain devices.

Kevin Z
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Did project farm do a refresh cycle when testing for capacity after the 1 year in storage?

WalkIntoTheLight
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Speadge wrote:
Or we should finally call those FDK rebrands for what they trully are, FUJITSU, while most of the Panasonic Eneloops (apart from some for EU and North America market .. made by, again, FDK/Fujitsu) are made in China in their own factory anyway.

AFAIK, I think it’s just the Asian market that gets the Chinese Eneloops. Every Costco order I’ve made (including last month), have been Japanese Eneloops.

But that brings up a good question: what version of Eneloops is he testing? Chinese or Japanese? Generation?

xxo wrote:
The only thing that surprises me a little about the tests in the video, is that the high capacity cells did better when it came to low self discharge and just as good if not better for low IR – which goes against a lot of chatter on the forums (usually with no real testing to back it up) that the high cap cells are not as good in these regards as the standard “eneloops”.

Yes, that makes me suspicious of his testing. There’s no way that high-capacity cells have lower self-discharge than their lower-capacity counterparts. That’s the entire point of “regular vs pros”.

xxo wrote:
WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
One thing I don’t understand in that video…

At the 5:30 mark, he appears to test the voltages of his batteries after being in storage for 1 year. They all seem to be under 1.20v. WTF??? Even the Eneloops are only 1.16v after just 1 year in storage?!?

That doesn’t match with my experience at all. I find that voltages tend to settle at about 1.32v after a few months, and pretty-much stay there indefinitely. Way longer than a year!

Something isn’t right with his measurement, or he stored them mostly discharged (but that doesn’t seem to be the case from his capacity measurements). Anyone know what’s going on?

Maybe they are Voltages under load?

Even if that’s the case, those voltages are still low, unless the load is high. But I suppose it’s possible, although it would be kind of weird for him to list voltages after storage that way. Given the amount of time and effort he put into this testing, you’d think he could measure them with a DMM.

I’m not calling his video B.S., but there’s something about his testing that we’re not being told. His capacity numbers I can believe, but not some of the other stuff. I’d like to see his results reproduced by someone else. Specifically around self-discharge, and voltages (which is definitely wrong if they’re not under load).

hank
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Quote:
I can usually get Fujiloops at a lower price.

Pointer please?

flydiver
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IMO, they absolutely are worth it. New LSD type keep their charge pretty well, AND THEY DON’T LEAK!
I’ve had way too many electronics ruined by alka-leaks.

To Air is Human, to Respire….Divine.

xxo
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hank wrote:
Quote:
I can usually get Fujiloops at a lower price.

Pointer please?

I get them when they go on sale at newegg.

xxo
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WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
But that brings up a good question: what version of Eneloops is he testing? Chinese or Japanese? Generation?

He clearly states which cells are Japanese in the vid and there are no “generations” in the way they are touted around the internet, according to Eneloop, there are only normal incremental improvements made over time.

xxo
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WalkIntoTheLight wrote:

There’s no way that high-capacity cells have lower self-discharge than their lower-capacity counterparts.

Can you link to independent tests that support this?

xxo
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WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
Even if that’s the case, those voltages are still low, unless the load is high. But I suppose it’s possible, although it would be kind of weird for him to list voltages after storage that way. Given the amount of time and effort he put into this testing, you’d think he could measure them with a DMM.

He shows the Voltage readings on his charger in the vid; if you have questions about his testing, why don’t you ask him?

Quote:
I’m not calling his video B.S., but there’s something about his testing that we’re not being told. His capacity numbers I can believe, but not some of the other stuff. I’d like to see his results reproduced by someone else. Specifically around self-discharge, and voltages (which is definitely wrong if they’re not under load).

Again, please link to the testing that refutes the “definitely wrong” results in the vids.

WalkIntoTheLight
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xxo wrote:
WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
But that brings up a good question: what version of Eneloops is he testing? Chinese or Japanese? Generation?

He clearly states which cells are Japanese in the vid and there are no “generations” in the way they are touted around the internet, according to Eneloop, there are only normal incremental improvements made over time.

There are some significant advantages in later generations:

1. Cold weather performance is improved (from -10 to -20). I verified Panasonic’s claim about that, when using 1st gen Eneloop in an outdoor weather station. In extreme cold, they wouldn’t work. I replaced with 2nd gen, and they work fine in extreme cold. So they did something to improve that.

2. Lower self-discharge.

3. More cycles (though, not as many as they claim, since they use partial cycles). Plenty of tests over on cpf to verify that.

xxo wrote:
WalkIntoTheLight wrote:

There’s no way that high-capacity cells have lower self-discharge than their lower-capacity counterparts.

Can you link to independent tests that support this?

Panasonic states that. It’s ridiculous to think that they would intentionally talk-down their own product. Other than this one dubious youtube claim that is counter to all other claims, can you link to some independent tests that shows Panasonic is lying? Why do you think Panasonic wants us to think their high-capacity cells are worse than they really are? Are they trying to get people to buy their lower-priced regular batteries, in hopes that they will make less profit?

Hugh Johnson
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I have quite a few IKEA Laddas. In Canada they’re half the price of Eneloops. A great value.

I still favor the Japanese Eneloops. I value longevity and I’ve heard so many reports of them remaining solid after 10 years of use or neglect. That’s real value.

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Take your magnifying glass with you if you buy new Duracells. The last 2 packs I got from Sams Club say made in China.

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I bought some Duracells about 5 years ago that were touted to be the same as Eneloop pro’s. They only lasted about a year before they had so much voltage sag that a discharge test at 1A only took 60 seconds Sad

Of the 8 I bought none can be charged on 5 different smart chargers (too much internal resistance) so I have to charge them on a dumb one (still good for usage in remotes, etc).

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The Amazon silvers and blacks sounded promising (I was skeptical of them without seeing test results), but when I searched just now I found that Amazon only has green AA cells. They must have discontinued the silver and black ones. And who knows if the greens are any good!

I’m glad he didn’t bother testing Tenergy Centuras. I have had awful luck with those. Threw out a third of the last batch I bought. Never again…

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WalkIntoTheLight
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Rexlion wrote:
I’m glad he didn’t bother testing Tenergy Centuras. I have had awful luck with those. Threw out a third of the last batch I bought. Never again…

Yeah, I bought some Tenergy Centura 9 volt NiMH batteries. Pure crap. They lasted about a year. The Energizer 9 volt batteries I bought at the same time lasted much longer. But even the Energizers aren’t great. I doubt I’d buy 9v NiMH batteries again. Nobody seems to make good ones. They haven’t improved the tech since the first ones I bought about 20 years ago (they didn’t last long either).

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I recently went through considerable trouble to find and buy Fujitsu’s – glad I did after seeing these results.

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SIGShooter wrote:
I bought some Duracells about 5 years ago that were touted to be the same as Eneloop pro’s. They only lasted about a year before they had so much voltage sag that a discharge test at 1A only took 60 seconds Sad

Of the 8 I bought none can be charged on 5 different smart chargers (too much internal resistance) so I have to charge them on a dumb one (still good for usage in remotes, etc).


My experience was bad with them also.
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Eneloop AA Markings:
BK-3MCC (produced in Japan)= no additional letter, Japan market only
BK-3MCCA (produced in Japan) = North American market and China
BK-3MCCE (produced in Japan)= European market/Russian market
BK-3MCCE* (produced in China)= South American market, Southeast Asian market, Australian market/New Zealand market.

They also have a manufacture date pressed into the wrapper.

My Sanyo XX 12-06-L1 purchased in South Korea average capacity 2400mAh

MY Eneloop Pro 15-06-L3 purchased in South Korea average capacity 2575mAh

MY Eneloop(white)19-03-L7 purchased in US average capacity 1900mAh

AFAIK there are no Eneloop Pro made in China

The BK-3MCCE code is the same in different regions, even though one is sourced from China, and the other is from Japan

When Eneloops with an E at the end of the code are purchased in Europe or Russia from authorized resellers, they will be sourced from Japan

****The regular capacity AA Eneloop is also produced in red,blue,green and brown wrapper and was sold in the Asian market at a price premium just for the color.

never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

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Fedos wrote:
Quick question. Are rechargeable batteries worth it for low drain devices such as clocks and TV remotes and the like?

I used to always say “no” to this question and I still use alkalines in traditional “movement” clocks because I want them to run for very long periods of time without hassle. However, I now use NiMH cells in all my TV remotes and many similar devices simply because I have old cells lying around that aren’t good for much else.

Even at half-capacity, a set of old LSD cells still lasts for 6+ months in my thermostat (this won’t be true for most people as my stat now just displays the temperature). I also put rechargeables in all the children’s toys, though most of the nieces and nephews are getting too old for them.

With the move to low-self-discharge chemistries, I consider NiMH cells to be preferable for all but the lowest drain applications. Alkalines still work well in wall clocks and I still use them for smoke detectors (I write the date on the cells and change them annually and yes, I’m aware of the recommendations), but today’s NiMH will work in practically every application.

In fact, non-rechargeable lithium batteries are usually superior in the few remaining applications where alkalines are still preferred over NiMH. Modern alkalines are quite good, but a lithium cell will last longer in a smoke detector (but this increases the risk of forgetting to change them!) and a NiMH cell will eventually pay for itself when used in a TV remote.

One thing that I will state emphatically is that it’s nearly criminal that China has brought Heavy-Duty cells back into our marketplace and consumer acceptance. I was so happy when these useless cells disappeared from the U.S. market in the 90’s and even happier when NiMH began to become more common in the 00’s, but now my family members have all abandoned their NiMH cells and chargers and are now buying Heavy-Duty batteries in bulk packs from the dollar stores Facepalm Crying Angry .

They go through them by the dozens and this feels like returning to the Stone Age.

RobAllen

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leftdisconnected][quote=Fedos wrote:
In fact, non-rechargeable lithium batteries are usually superior in the few remaining applications where alkalines are still preferred over NiMH. Modern alkalines are quite good, but a lithium cell will last longer in a smoke detector (but this increases the risk of forgetting to change them!) and a NiMH cell will eventually pay for itself when used in a TV remote.

One thing that I will state emphatically is that it’s nearly criminal that China has brought Heavy-Duty cells back into our marketplace and consumer acceptance. I was so happy when these useless cells disappeared from the U.S. market in the 90’s and even happier when NiMH began to become more common in the 00’s, but now my family members have all abandoned their NiMH cells and chargers and are now buying Heavy-Duty batteries in bulk packs from the dollar stores Facepalm Crying Angry .

They go through them by the dozens and this feels like returning to the Stone Age.

Those fire detectors are only place where I still use 9V alkalines. Well other use is Garrett Pro Pointer because there just doesnt seem to be good enough 9V NiMH’s, or is there?
Well I really dont have 9V charger either right now or that much use until spring and summer is here again.

Never really liked alkalines, single use and useless after that. Really hating this “throw-away society” and single-use items in general.

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