Frequently asked questions about eneloop

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What`s the difference between Sanyo eneloop and Panasonic eneloop?

Sanyo started as the manufacturer of eneloop batteries in 2005. Panasonic bought Sanyo 5 years later, and in 2013 Panasonic decided to change Sanyo eneloop to Panasonic eneloop.


What does eneloop mean?

Ene= energy Loop= cycle, as going in a loop. Rechargeable energy.


What does LSD mean?

LSD stands for Low Self Discharge.
Every battery that is stored away (or not being used in a device without parasitic drain) loses their charge. This is referred to as Self discharge. Eneloop batteries use high quality materials that will decrease this rate of discharge to a minimum. The result is that they lose their charge much slower than a traditional NiMH battery.


Are there any eneloop C or D cells?

Yes, there are. But they are only available in Japan. You can however buy AA to D and AA to C spacers that will allow you to use AA batteries in D-sized applications.


What does it mean: 70% capacity left after 10 years?

Please take a look at the picture: 

As you can see some packages say 70% charge left after 10 years, and some packages say 70% capacity left after 10 years.  This can be confusing. They basically try to say the same thing.

 

Comparing this with a bucket of water: 
An AA standard eneloop battery has a capacity of 1900mAh. (Let`s compare this with a 10-liter bucket of water).
After 10 years the eneloop battery slowly loses its charge. (The water evaporates from the bucket).
There is still 70% charge left inside the battery after 10 years,  which is 70% of 1900= 1330mAh. (after 10 years there is still 7 liters of water inside the bucket, because 30% has evaporated).
You can still use 1330mAh from this battery. (You can still use the 7 liters of water).
When you charge the battery full again it is back at 1900mAh. (When you fill the bucket of water it can hold 10 liters again)

Misconception:
10 years after you fully charged the battery and left it untouched, the battery life degraded to 70% of its full potential. So even if you charge the battery, you can only charge it till 70% of its full capacity. This is not true. If you charge the battery again, it can come back to full capacity. So in case of a standard AA eneloop that means 1900mAh.

Note: The battery probably needs a refresh/break-in to revive the battery to it`s full capacity because of it`s internal resistance etc.  Also, this is only related to Eneloop batteries. Other batteries don`t have this quality structure and are very likely to have degraded capacity.


What`s the difference between the 1900 mAh and the 2000 mAh eneloop batteries?

There is no difference. 1900mAh is the Minimum capacity of a standard model, while 2000 mAh is the Typical capacity. In Japan Panasonic stopped showing Typical capacity on their packages since approximately 2013. I believe the Typical capacity is still shown on some packages in the US. Correct me if I`m wrong.


Do eneloops suffer from memory effect?

No they don`t. They do not have a memory effect. But they do have a reduction in capacity over time. I think its called Lazy effect.. or something similar. It means that they will not have full capacity after many charges. With a "refresh" cycle you will be putting them back to full capacity again.

Questions about charging? How to charge eneloops >

Where should I store my batteries? And at what temperature? 

Your best bet would be storing them in a cool, dry place. Not in a humid, very hot or wet environment. Sanyo recommended to store them around 24 degrees Celsius and not in a fridge/freezer. Panasonic says the same: do not store them in a refrigerator.


If I drop my battery, can it get damaged?

Yes, it can certainly damage the battery if dropped on a hard (for example concrete) floor. You should keep an eye on the battery when charging and see that it doesn`t get excessively hot. (Fortunately they can withstand quite a bit, so one drop to the floor is usually no big deal).


What does the orange symbol mean on a Japanese Panasonic battery? 

Japan uses 4 different symbols for their battery recycling system. NiMH has an orange recycle symbol. Take a look at the following list. You might have seen the blue Li-Ion recycle symbol on your laptop battery for example. Japan has a very good organized recycle system with lots of variations.


Which model is better, Lite, Std or Pro?

Standard:

The standard model can be used in a lot of different kinds of applications. They are robust enough to handle a very high discharge rate for example in powerful flashlights. In combination with their life cycle rating of 2100 you can`t go wrong with the standard models. They power 1900mAh minimum capacity for their AA, and 750mAh for their AAA batteries.
They are good for Flashlights, RC Toys, Cameras, Camera Flash, Radios, MP3 players and much more.

Lite:

These cells are rated for 3000 cycles (for the Japanese model) or 5000 cycles (for the Chinese model) but have a much lower capacity at 950 mAh for the AA and 550 for the AAA. Besides using them in low drain devices such as clocks, alarms, remote controls and such ,these are the only batteries recommended for DECT phones. Standard and Pro batteries are not recommended for this. Because the phones usually stand in a charging cradle with a continuous charge. LSD batteries do generally not like that, but the Lites are the only ones to consider for that kind of use.

Pro:

It`s called the High-End battery in their line-up. Featuring the highest capacity with a LSD rating for 85% in 1 year. Being a high capacity cell, they are only rated for 500 cycles.
If you need the extra power and the extra capacity these are the ones to get. Especially in multiple cell configurations. If you have 4 batteries parallel you gain the capacity of 1 extra std cell in comparison with 4 std cells parallel.
These are highly recommended for Flashlights, Camera strobes and other powerful devices.
These are NOT recommended for DECT phones or other devices with a continuous charge current.
Another thing you have to consider when buying these Pro batteries is the fact that they are just a tiny bit wider than the standard ones which may result in not fitting. This is such a tiny bit of difference that most people do not notice it. Sanyo noted that they do not fir the AA to D size spacers (NCS-TG-D).  They may have changed this with their latest Panasonic upgrade (BQ-BS1E). Be careful they are also more prone to damage the battery jacket! 


What are the rarest eneloops?

That must be the eneloop Plus. They are only available in 2 or 4 packs, and in charger sets. Besides these cells the older Sanyo Limited Editions are becoming more difficult to get, for a normal price. They tend to go for $50+ for a set of 8 batteries. D and C cells are also only available in Japan.


What are the best AA and AAA rechargeable batteries?

Eneloops! 😉


Are the blue Costco eneloops the same as white eneloops?

Yes, they are the same! Costco has its own color so to say, dark blue, blue and a few others like light green etc. Their packages are also custom made for them, they are that big of a store! Other colored eneloops available in many stores in the US like the green , orange or red eneloops are the same as the white standard models.

 

They are NOT a special edition as some sellers say they are. Just designed for a specific store/seller/market.

How can I see if my eneloops are real or fake? Are these fake? >

Why are new eneloop models in Japan usually introduced in the month of November?

This is my understanding for how much I understand it:
Reason 1. Because eneloop was first announced in November 2005, so November would be an anniversary month.

Reason 2: November is called the battery month in Japan. In 1997 this was established. When you write the number 11 in Japanese, you see: 十一 and you can guess what those symbols stand for.  And that might be the reason why eneloop was first announced in November anyhow.

So how about April then?
April is the first month of the financial year as well as the academic year. That might be the reason that they sometimes introduced new batteries in April.


Does Panasonic make 9V eneloop rechargeable batteries? 

Nor sanyo, nor Panasonic made or makes 9V eneloop batteries.


What`s the difference between an Alkaline or Zinc battery and eneloop?

About Alkaline batteries:

pros:
  • They have a higher Voltage than eneloops, being 1.5V.  Sometimes this helps to power some devices that shows Low-battery-warning with rechargeable NiMH batteries.
  • They have more energy at very low current, <0.1A For example in clocks and remote controls
  • They are widely available almost everywhere in the world
  • You don`t need to buy a charger ;).
  • Cheap
cons:
  • They can leak. Especially when stored in devices for a longer period of time. Sometimes they leak even inside the original package.
  • They produce much more waste. Besides them ending in the normal garbage, many batteries can be found on the street and ... adding to the environmental damage.
  • More expensive in comparison to recharging an eneloop even just 20 times!

About eneloop batteries:

pros:
  • Better in every other aspect.
  • They are rechargeable.
  • They can be used in colder weather.
  • They are much more powerful than Alkalines. Because of that they are better for applications in which batteries need to provide more power.
  • Eneloops don`t leak like Alkalines do.
  • They have much nicer battery jackets.
  • They are collectible.
  • They are cheaper in the long run.
  • They reduce the amount of waste compared to Alkaline throw-away-batteries.
cons:
  • Price is higher.
  • Not widely available.

 

Where can I buy Japanese eneloops?

It depends on where you live. If you are in the EU or US there are enough places to get them from. Amazon, Bestbuy, Conrad, Costco. If you are from Asia, South America, Africa, New Zealand or Australia it is more difficult, because they mainly have Chinese eneloops. You would have to buy them overseas. The best thing is directly from Japan if you really want to. Check out my Where to Buy my Eneloops page for links.

More coming soon............

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