Alkaline vs Rechargeable Batteries

  • 12 Nov, 2021

Recent times have seen the battle of alkaline vs rechargeable batteries become more intense. As the world clamours for an environmentally friendly solution to the 40 million alkaline batteries that are discarded annually, this article looks at the advantages each battery type has over the other. Factually speaking, none is a perfect alternative to the other at the moment.

Rechargeable batteries have been painted as a more environmentally conscious choice, even though questions about the long-term environmental impact of disposing of them still linger. These questions and limitations have not deterred brands like duracell from investing heavily in rechargeable batteries.

Pros and Cons of Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable batteries are suitable for applications with long run times operating at a constant discharge due to their longer service life. However, the benefit or otherwise of this battery type depends on its application. For example, it is advisable to buy D batteries for rechargeable flashlights.

Duracell Rechargeable D batteries can be charged hundreds of times, and have a lifespan of up to 5 years. The alkaline version of this dry cell battery will do better in a home emergency kit in circumstances where there is a power outage.

Alkaline vs Rechargeable Batteries

For a clearer distinction, it is best that we compare and contrast the unique strengths of alkaline and rechargeable batteries. They are as follows:

  • Rechargeable batteries have a longer shelf life than alkaline batteries.
  • Alkaline batteries are better for emergencies than rechargeable batteries.
  • Alkaline batteries are better for low drain devices drawing smaller amounts of current over time.
  • The annual energy costs of rechargeable batteries outweigh alkaline batteries.
  • Alkaline batteries are cheaper than rechargeable batteries.

Making A Decision

The final decision on whether to go for alkaline vs rechargeable batteries eventually boils down to the purpose. A rechargeable battery is a better alternative for appliances with longer run times that operate at a consistent discharge. They work best with remote controls and toys.

Despite the environmental concerns, rechargeable batteries stand out. Due to their longer shelf life, they constitute less of a nuisance to the environment and our health than alkaline batteries. On the other hand, alkaline batteries are great for devices like clocks, thermometers, and smoke alarms as low battery power doesn't result in performance issues like rechargeable batteries.