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 Post subject: energizer "advanced" lithium
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:39 am 
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Location: maine
I was at the checkout, spotted the word "lithium", grabbed some, purchased two aa batteries by energizer for four dollars..
got home, no part numer visible, no "ma" number, just bragging rights on the package and a bunny with a drum. cute as a honda civic.

I threw them in the charger for 12 hours to find they are not rechargeable.

I do not recommmend.
what is up with the batteries lately. A recharge used to go a long time. Once lithium entered the realm, it is a chance for an even bigger pile of garbage...confusion.. and falsity. Like a biodegradable dumpsite that accepts everyhting.. it is a paradox. An oxymoron. A LIE. :twisted:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:08 pm 
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Location: Upper left hand corner, USA
Lithium is just an element. It doesn't mean something is or isn't rechargeable. (Look for the word rechargeable.) You were probably thinking of Lithium-Ion batteries (different chemistry).

There was a brief item recently, in Consumer Reports I believe - but can't find it off hand, that summarized the different types of battery chemistry.
(Lithium - expensive, toxic, good for certain applications but there are better choices for general use batteries.)

This isn't a bad summary:
http://michaelbluejay.com/batteries/
(just the summary - don't know anything about the batteries they are peddling.)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:43 pm 
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Location: Seattle
I like nickel metal hayride....or something like that, you can buy the generic Chinese brands off of Ebay cheap and they seem as good as the premium brand I bought at Amazon. I guess it is very important to buy a microprocessor controlled charger so as to not overcharge. MtnHermit should be around here someplace and something tells me he has valuable experience with such things. I am going to pick up a solar charger for these batteries. They have some pretty nice ones, not cheap, but they should pay for themselves in short order.

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 Post subject: Re: energizer "advanced" lithium
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
Posts: 2831
Location: USA
colm wrote:
I was at the checkout, spotted the word "lithium", grabbed some, purchased two aa batteries by energizer for four dollars..
got home, no part numer visible, no "ma" number, just bragging rights on the package and a bunny with a drum. cute as a honda civic.

I threw them in the charger for 12 hours to find they are not rechargeable.

I do not recommmend.
what is up with the batteries lately. A recharge used to go a long time. Once lithium entered the realm, it is a chance for an even bigger pile of garbage...confusion.. and falsity. Like a biodegradable dumpsite that accepts everyhting.. it is a paradox. An oxymoron. A LIE. :twisted:

No it is not a lie. They are just long lasting batteries, not rechargeable. The Energizer lithium AA batteries came standard in some remote controlled motorized blinds I purchased that I have installed in a window that is too high to reach without a ladder.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:54 pm 
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Location: Upper left hand corner, USA
Greg F. wrote:
I am going to pick up a solar charger for these batteries. They have some pretty nice ones, not cheap, but they should pay for themselves in short order.


Seems like you would need a lot of batteries and a lot of sun for a solar charger to pay for itself in short order.
Most of the solar chargers I see (e.g. in a quick look on Amazon) cost on the order of $20-30+.
Where an AC charger can be had for $10+.


At 10c / kwh, the difference would buy 100-200+ kwh.

Standard rechargeable batteries hold about 2000 to 11000 mAh (depending on size, etc.) at 1.2 volts (or 2400 to 13200 mWh)

If we assumed that the charger and battery technology together only delivered 10% efficiency. (i.e. you had to put in 10x the energy that you get out), then you would need to do on the order of 4,000 to 8,000 charges (for AA) or about 750-1,500 for high capacity D cells to break even on the extra expense of the solar charger.

(The 10% efficiency is intentionally a pessimistic assumption -
NiMH and NiCd appear to have about 66-90% efficiency [wikipeidia], and building a fairly efficient charger shouldn't be too hard (even with a 60% efficient charger, overall efficiency would be on the order of 40%+). So real number of recharges needed to break even could be a few times the estimates above.)

Of course that doesn't account for the extra time (can't recharge at night, slower on those cloudy Seattle days - does it charge as fast as AC charger), space (solar charger larger to store), etc.

Since estimates suggest that a regular PV solar panel takes a couple of years to produce enough energy to make up for the energy used to make the panel, it has seemed to me that it would be hard to use one of these solar battery chargers enough to make it a green item (rather than just greenwash).

Did I miss something?

(Of course there are undoubtedly situations where large numbers of batteries are needed where it could pay over extended period. As well as places where other power sources aren't available, in which case solar could be convenient.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:45 am 
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Location: Where I Am
Lithium disposables work well for devices like cameras when you don't have rechargeables on hand. That's if your camera is one that takes AA batteries, which is increasingly rare. (Some entry level superzooms and dSLRs still do as well as battery grips for more enthusiast dSLRs.) The lithiums will last a lot longer than your typical alkalines although they are usually more expensive. Supermarkets and department stores often throw them out for cheap since fewer people buy them.

If you want rechargeable, you can get some good off the shelf low discharge NiMH batteries these days for not much cost. They typically have less rated power, usually ~2000mAh compared to the 2500mAh+ in the standard batteries. The upside is they can hold their charge for a lot longer than the standard ones.

Bought some Duracell low discharge NiMH on clearance at a local store last year. Been using them in my digicam and rarely have to recharge them. They are comparable to the Sanyo Eneeloops that are very popular. Apple has got in the market too with their Apple Battery Charger. Looks interesting and not a bad price either.


On the topic of whether products pay for themselves over time and whether it is worth purchasing more efficient and so called "environmentally friendly" products in the first place (since they often initially cost more), I personally don't let that hinder me from purchasing something if I feel it will improve my overall circumstances. There's no doubt that some things take many years to recoup their costs. But why let that stop you from using it? People waste a lot on money on many aspects of their life anyway e.g. food, clothing, personal care, entertainment but few people would do a cost benefit analysis on those.

For some, "green" is more to do with the economics of the daily aspects of managing a household because of rising living (especially energy) costs rather than caring about every aspect of environmental impact. Whether that's right or not, for a lot of people, that is the case.

So, if one wanted to get a "greener" product that costs $20 more than the standard one (with the hoped for benefits that it may bring), just go ahead and get the product that you want to use instead of fussing around with a calculator. After all, to offset the costs of buying a typically fat/sugar/cholestorol filled lunch of a burger, chips/fries and soft drink you will have to jog at least 500KMs before you can break even on the cost of harming your health. Not to mention the environmental impact of farming, production, packaging, transportation, advertising, cooking time, labour... And if you didn't put the leftover packaging in the rubbish bin/trashcan, preferably a recycling one, it may end up in the ocean somewhere, destroying precious marine life. And what about the costs to society in the case of your ill health? More than the costs of a few batteries I would think.

Anyone got a calculator? I think mine needs new batteries.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:17 am 
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Location: Upper left hand corner, USA
Thanks for the tip about low discharge NiMH batteries. That has been one of the main downsides of rechargeables for us.

Shamgar wrote:
On the topic of whether products pay for themselves over time and whether it is worth purchasing more efficient and so called "environmentally friendly" products in the first place (since they often initially cost more), I personally don't let that hinder me from purchasing something if I feel it will improve my overall circumstances. There's no doubt that some things take many years to recoup their costs. But why let that stop you from using it? People waste a lot on money on many aspects of their life anyway e.g. food, clothing, personal care, entertainment but few people would do a cost benefit analysis on those.


Sure, there are lots of reasons people do things - but it pays to be clear about what the trade-offs are. If you are getting a device to save money or to reduce electricity use, or be quieter, it is well to be clear to what extent it will actually do that. (Separate marketing fluff from reality.) [If we could just trust the marketing, we wouldn't need SPCR to share experiences on what actually works to make a quiet computer, e.g..]

Actually, lots of people do cost-benefit analyses on things like food. There are plenty of advocates of eating local, eating less meat/more vegetables, etc., places like the Center for Science in the Public Interest which analyze the contents of food and point out the benefits and hazards, and places like Consumer's Reports which compare products to see how long they last, how much upkeep they take, etc. Lots of people on limited budgets, or who are health conscious, shop with care.

Shamgar wrote:
For some, "green" is more to do with the economics of the daily aspects of managing a household because of rising living (especially energy) costs rather than caring about every aspect of environmental impact. Whether that's right or not, for a lot of people, that is the case.


Which is when you need the calculator or measurement -- to see if a given investment/device really improves the economics. (Or just gives a "green" appearance to conspicuous consumption.)

Shamgar wrote:
After all, to offset the costs of buying a typically fat/sugar/cholestorol filled lunch of a burger, chips/fries and soft drink you will have to jog at least 500KMs before you can break even on the cost of harming your health.


Jogging 500km (310mi) at 5mph, a 160lb person would burn about 36,000 calories. (Based on 584 calories/hour - from Mayo web site). A triple whopper with cheese has a mere 1,230 calories - they must have some amazing burgers/etc. to pack in 30x the calories. :shock:
(Of course I suppose 160lb people probably don't eat that kind of lunch.)

Shamgar wrote:
Anyone got a calculator? I think mine needs new batteries.


Get a solar powered calculator - doesn't need batteries. ;-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:53 am 
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scdr wrote:
Thanks for the tip about low discharge NiMH batteries. That has been one of the main downsides of rechargeables for us.

Thomas Distributing is a well known supplier of specialist batteries and chargers in the US. They have a good range of low discharge NiMH. For quality "smart chargers", the Powerex Maha Chargers are well regarded.


I agree with your comments on cost benefit analyses (or perhaps more accurately, quick pocket calculator number crunching) for everyday consumption. It pays to be an informed and pragmatic consumer in these times. There are so many ripoffs, scams, false marketing and misinformation to serve shady individuals/groups and big corporations. I, for one, shall overcome.

scdr wrote:
Shamgar wrote:
After all, to offset the costs of buying a typically fat/sugar/cholestorol filled lunch of a burger, chips/fries and soft drink you will have to jog at least 500KMs before you can break even on the cost of harming your health.


Jogging 500km (310mi) at 5mph, a 160lb person would burn about 36,000 calories. (Based on 584 calories/hour - from Mayo web site). A triple whopper with cheese has a mere 1,230 calories - they must have some amazing burgers/etc. to pack in 30x the calories. :shock:
(Of course I suppose 160lb people probably don't eat that kind of lunch.)

36,000 calories? Is that all? Talk about running oneself into the ground.

scdr wrote:
Shamgar wrote:
Anyone got a calculator? I think mine needs new batteries.


Get a solar powered calculator - doesn't need batteries. ;-)

What about the calculator in Windows? (Wish I had Windows 7 now... its calculator looks better than XP's!) I use that quite often when researching computer parts and doing the sums for them. Amazing how things add up so quickly. Probably why most PC users are "budget users" in one way or another. Though there are components for which I would necessarily be willing to pay more e.g. monitor, (ergonomic) input devices.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 6:51 am
Posts: 372
Location: Seattle
scdr wrote:
Greg F. wrote:
I am going to pick up a solar charger for these batteries. They have some pretty nice ones, not cheap, but they should pay for themselves in short order.


Seems like you would need a lot of batteries and a lot of sun for a solar charger to pay for itself in short order.
Most of the solar chargers I see (e.g. in a quick look on Amazon) cost on the order of $20-30+.
Where an AC charger can be had for $10+.


At 10c / kwh, the difference would buy 100-200+ kwh.

Standard rechargeable batteries hold about 2000 to 11000 mAh (depending on size, etc.) at 1.2 volts (or 2400 to 13200 mWh)

If we assumed that the charger and battery technology together only delivered 10% efficiency. (i.e. you had to put in 10x the energy that you get out), then you would need to do on the order of 4,000 to 8,000 charges (for AA) or about 750-1,500 for high capacity D cells to break even on the extra expense of the solar charger.

(The 10% efficiency is intentionally a pessimistic assumption -
NiMH and NiCd appear to have about 66-90% efficiency [wikipeidia], and building a fairly efficient charger shouldn't be too hard (even with a 60% efficient charger, overall efficiency would be on the order of 40%+). So real number of recharges needed to break even could be a few times the estimates above.)

Of course that doesn't account for the extra time (can't recharge at night, slower on those cloudy Seattle days - does it charge as fast as AC charger), space (solar charger larger to store), etc.

Since estimates suggest that a regular PV solar panel takes a couple of years to produce enough energy to make up for the energy used to make the panel, it has seemed to me that it would be hard to use one of these solar battery chargers enough to make it a green item (rather than just greenwash).

Did I miss something?

(Of course there are undoubtedly situations where large numbers of batteries are needed where it could pay over extended period. As well as places where other power sources aren't available, in which case solar could be convenient.)



"Did I miss something?" Well, yes and no, I didn't mention that 1) I am off the grid so a/c is no option 2) while I state "Seattle" it is just the nearest big city. I live in a rural area of Washington State's desert, east of the Cascade Mountains. Solar is much more viable here than Seattle's maritime climate. I use a lot of batteries. Among other things I use this:

http://www.bottlehead.com/store.php?crn ... how_detail

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:05 am 
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.. Why are you off the grid?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:59 pm 
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Location: Seattle
Monkeh16 wrote:
.. Why are you off the grid?


Because the cost of bringing power back into my property is $15,000.00. I wish I had an electrical hookup as I think the monthly cost would be well worth it. They do seem to ask for biannual increases of about 17%, though, so I don't know how affordable it will be in the future. But then, everything goes up, including the propane I use so...whatever.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:42 pm 
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Greg F. wrote:
Well, yes and no, I didn't mention that 1) I am off the grid so a/c is no option 2) while I state "Seattle" it is just the nearest big city. I live in a rural area of Washington State's desert, east of the Cascade Mountains. Solar is much more viable here than Seattle's maritime climate. I use a lot of batteries.


In that case PV charging obviously makes sense.
I am a little curious why go for a separate solar charger - assuming you already have a PV system? Are there particular advantages to that over using something that would charge batteries off your main PV panels?

Was not my intention to pick on Seattle. Evidently solar can be viable even in Seattle, but certainly eastern Washington would be a whole lot easier.

My calculation was spurred mostly by curiosity since I see these solar chargers touted as green. (And annoyance at a couple of the "Green" ... for "Dummies" books I read recently -- annoying for their misleading coverage of the subject.) However I haven't seen anybody analyzing the payback. I suspect most people who get such things are neither off grid, nor using them enough to repay either the financial or the environmental costs.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:44 pm 
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Greg F. wrote:
Monkeh16 wrote:
.. Why are you off the grid?


Because the cost of bringing power back into my property is $15,000.00. I wish I had an electrical hookup as I think the monthly cost would be well worth it. They do seem to ask for biannual increases of about 17%, though, so I don't know how affordable it will be in the future. But then, everything goes up, including the propane I use so...whatever.


Ahhh, you're really out in the middle of nowhere. Copper is expensive. :)


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