Tech geeks and renewable energy minded folks, read on.
I have been doing some supplemental reading for work this morning. I try to keep my renewable energy preaching under wraps, but in this day and age, it is starting to no longer become optional, so bear with me.
This is something very simple. So what’s the deal? You go to Target and you see two types of AA batteries on the shelf. You need some for your remote control or you old ass CD walkman that you still use. You see Duracell Alkaline batteries, and you see Energizer Nimh batteries. The alkaline are cheaper at first glance for instant gratification at about $2.85 for a 4 pack. But then you look at the Nimh batteries. 12 bucks for a 4 pack plus 30 bucks for a charger. Man, that seems like a lot of cost up front. The guy who is in a hurry would grab the batteries for 2.85. We have all done it, I am guilty as well. Which is a better deal?
Well… I don’t use a lot of batteries, so the payback period takes longer for me for Nimh batteries, but it’s less trips to Target when my remote stops working. Say you use 4000 Amp-hours over several years. That is 2000 alkaline batteries or a whopping $1,425. Buy your Nimh batteries once, and cycle them 2,000 times to achieve the same 4,0000 A-h. That’s about 61 bucks including the price of electricity to recharge. 61 bucks or 1425 bones. Hmmm. Tough decision. Not to mention that alkaline batteries are toxic and create a lot of waste. (Data courtesy of Gaiam Real Goods Solar Living Sourcebook)
Just some food for thought next time you’re about to buy some batteries.