Ever notice how rechargeable batteries seem weak and barely hold a charge? Mike Adams, a blogger for Natural News made an interesting discovery about his Energizer Rechargeable “D” batteries. The “stated capacity of the battery is just 2500 mAh – the same capacity as typical AA batteries.” So if they seem weak, it’s because they are weak.
But let’s give Energizer the benefit of the doubt: perhaps there are technical reasons that reasons that rechargeables are weaker. In fact, at 1800 mAh, Rayovac D batteries are even weaker than Energizers.
But that can’t be it. A number of rechargeable D batteries are available online at comparable costs with up to 10,000 mAh.
Adams discovered that if you take the Energizer “D” battery apart, you’ll find a surprise:
The Energizer “D” battery is actually just a cheap plastic shell surrounding a much smaller, low-capacity battery similar in size and capacity to an “AA” battery.
Batteries with the higher capacity are, unsurprisingly, significantly heavier than the Energizers.
A rep for Energizer responded:
All Energizer NiMH batteries have the mAh capacity rating on the label. There is no deception concerning the battery capacity and the D size designation only represents the batteries physical dimensions. We have found that most D size devices will work satisfactorily with the Energizer NiMH batteries and the rechargeability of the product is the true advantage of this chemistry.
D size rechargeable batteries have historically used a smaller internal unit cell. The main driving force behind this design is to keep the battery affordable to the average consumer. High capacity rechargeable batteries are more expensive than our standard rechargeable D size battery due to the increased volume of materials needed. In addition, they require a higher capacity charger to deliver acceptable recharging times which are also more expensive. Our research indicates that the high upfront cost for high capacity rechargeable batteries and special charger would discourage many users from trying these batteries.
Clearly a high capacity D size NiMH battery would be beneficial in certain applications but we have found that the market for this type of battery is minimal due to overall cost. Energizer will continue to evaluate this market and look for a cost effective opportunity for higher capacity NiMH batteries.
In other words, Energizer did the research and found that a stronger D battery would be less profitable. (It’s worth noting that Energizer rechargeable D batteries cost roughly 50% more than Energizer AA’s. Not misleading, huh?)
For his part, Adams sees this ploy as a concerted effort by battery manufacturers to dampen consumer interest in the rechargeable market, thus maintaining profits from a lucrative throwaway product. But whether you buy into the planned obsolescence theory or not, it’s probably a good idea to shop around for your rechargeables, and to compare stated capacities.
Energizer “D” Battery Exposed [Natural News] (Thanks to Jamie Hodges!)