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AA Size Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries –Recharging and Characteristics

AA Size Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries –Recharging and Characteristics

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AA battery, also known as double a battery, is a single cylindrical cell of standard size. AA size batteries are commonly used in portable electronic devices. AA size battery consists of a single electrochemical cell that may be either rechargeable battery or non-rechargeable (single-use) battery. To manufacture these batteries several different chemistries are used. The exact capacity, terminal voltage and practical discharge rates depend on battery chemistry. AA size rechargeable batteries are available in multiple chemistries such as Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH), Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) and Lithium-ion. In this article, we’re gonna be talking about AA size rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries, which are commonly known as 14500 Li-ion batteries rather than AA.

Can You Recharge AA Size Li-Ion Batteries?

Yes, we can recharge AA size Li-ion batteries if they are rechargeable. Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are the best type of rechargeable batteries available in the market today to be used in a number of electronic devices by consumers but we cannot surely say this for AA size Lithium ion rechargeable batteries. Devices designed for AA size batteries usually only take 1.2-1.5 volts unless the manufacturer explicitly specifies, but Li-ion chemistry has a nominal voltage of 3.6 to 3.7 V. Hence it is said that it is quite dangerous to put Li-ion 14500 battery to where a AA size battery is expected. Especially, using alkaline, NiCd or NiMH battery charger to charge Li-ion 14500 battery must be avoided.

Mechanistically or technically, it is possible to construct Li-ion 14500 battery in exactly same size as AA alkaline battery. It is also not very difficult to achieve battery voltage of 1.5 volts with Li-ion 14500 battery cell, as it can be achieve by adding some kind of circuit inside the case of battery. A variant of AA Lithium ion batteries, sold by Kentli, a Chinese company, as “Kentli PH5” since 2014, has an internal buck converter to reduce the output voltage from the nominal 3.7 volts to a standard AA voltage of 1.5 volts.

This means there indeed are Lithium-ion batteries that have the same form factor i.e. size and shape as traditional AA batteries. These AA size Li-ion batteries are increasingly popular for high-drain electronics like high output LED flashlights, and often they are the ones that are being used in things like wireless rechargeable hand tools and laptop batteries. You may find six AA size Li-ion cells when you crack open a 6-cell laptop battery, and these cells are exactly the same AA size Li-ion cells that you can find on Amazon/eBay. To increase the overall voltage to meet the laptop requirements of voltage these cells are often welded together in groups.

What are the Best AA Size Rechargeable Li-Ion Batteries?

A short time ago, single-use alkaline batteries enjoyed an undoubted mastery of the AA battery market. Advancements in rechargeable battery technology turned over that dominance over the past 10 years. A 1.5 volts Li-ion battery has been made available in the market recently. Li-ion cells have a long cycle life, high energy density, and lower self-discharge rate than NiMH batteries. In simple words, they maintain a more even voltage and last longer than various other types of batteries.

Kentli’s 1.5 volts offering is an ideal choice for consumers for daily household needs. The batteries have the exact voltage as a brand-new alkaline cell and won’t overpower electronic devices that just need a stock battery. Hence it is considered one of the best AA size rechargeable Li-ion batteries.

Another one of the best AA size rechargeable Li-ion battery is the Eneloop Pro. These batteries perform much better than similar high-capacity AA sized batteries and have a high energy capacity of about 2550 mAh. We can charge them only 500 times compared to regular Eneloops that can be charged 2100 times. But most of the people don’t charge their batteries that many times. For instance, if someone charges his battery twice a week consistently, then to reach 500 charges it would take 5 years.

USB rechargeable battery offered by Sorbo is also one of the best AA size rechargeable Lithium-ion

batteries. They can be charged fully in just one hour with a single USB port. They have 1.5volts voltage and a capacity of 1200 mAh.

What are the Characteristics of AA Size Rechargeable Li-Ion Batteries?

Energy Density

Energy density is defined as the amount of energy a battery can carry in comparison to its mass or volume. It is expressed as watt-hour per kilogram. AA size rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have the highest energy density compared to other types of AA size rechargeable. This means that for the given size they can store more energy than others.

Voltage Stability

The voltage offered to power the load is undoubtedly very important. Lithium ion rechargeable batteries are known to have a high voltage compared to other rechargeable batteries. Similarly AA size rechargeable lithium ion batteriesprovide very consistent 1.5 volts that is perfect for devices designed for standard AA size cells.

Self-Discharge

AA size rechargeable Li-ion cells also have a lower self-discharge rate than other AA size rechargeable cells. This simply means that once you charge them they will remain charged for a longer time compare to other AA size rechargeable batteries.  NiCd and NiMH cells can lose about 1 to 5% of their charge in a day, even if these cells are not installed in your device as discharge rate depends on the storage temperature. AA size Li-ion rechargeables will keep most of their charge even after months of storage.

Low Maintenance

No scheduled cycling or refreshing (discharge/charge cycling) is needed to increase battery life time. Unlike NiMH, NiCd and alkaline batteries, the AA size rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries feature no memory effect to lower the capacity over time. Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries do not need costly maintenance to ensure their high performance. For instance NiCd batteries require periodic "refreshing" to ensure no memory effect happen.

Fast Charging

Rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries of AA size require very less to get fully charged especially their USB version compared to other types of AA size rechargeable batteries.

 

 

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