Charge all your Battery Types with the ReZap Battery Doctor – even Alkaline Batteries
Given the overly high price of good alkaline batteries, I switched to rechargeable NiCd and NiMH batteries long ago. They work quite well, but the voltage is 1.2 volts instead of the 1.5 volts that some devices expect, causing some devices to function incorrectly or to give false battery readings. Another drawback is that they lose charge spontaneously – even when not in use they’re empty after about a month. This means that you can’t use them for devices that need to operate for a longer time, such as a clock, or that need to be working when you only occasionally need them, such as a flashlight or photo camera. This Battery Doctor from ReZap seems to bring the best of both worlds, allowing you to use disposable 1.5 V alkaline batteries – which retain their charge – and still recharge them when empty, saving you money.
Most of the alkaline batteries mention on their packaging: “Connect correctly. Do not recharge.” I’m sure that’s how the manufacturers want us to use them. When they’re empty, just throw them away and buy new ones. But in the end that’s a bad thing, both for your wallet and for the environment. In the United States alone, an estimated 350 million Alkaline batteries are sold every year and end up in a landfill (or hopefully in a recycling plant). Worldwide, estimations mention about 1,000,000 tons of yearly toxic battery waste.
It’s tempting to try to recharge expensive alkaline batteries, but I can imagine that there’s effectively a risk of explosion or fire when you do it incorrectly, i.e., using a charger that’s not made for the job. They’re not designed to be rechargeable batteries, but they can be recharged, albeit not as often as purpose-made rechargeables (about 10 times compared to about 1000 times, in theory). If everybody would recharge theirs ten times, that would mean a reduction of 90%, or 315 million batteries less to dispose of annually in the U.S.alone.
ReZap claim to have made a charger that is truly designed to charge almost any type of battery, including standard alkaline batteries, which if true, means it deserves the title ecological or “green” product. To achieve this, the charger is completely microprocessor controlled and uses AlkalineMaxTM technology. When you insert batteries to charge them, each battery is individually analyzed – the charger detects what type of battery it is and what its condition is. It then applies the proper charging method to each of the inserted batteries, continuously monitoring the charging process and signaling when the charging is complete. This means that, as a user, you don’t have to do anything. You can insert a mix of batteries and you don’t need to configure any settings – the charger auto-detects everything and gets the job done.
As you may have gathered, the device charges not only alkaline batteries but also standard NiCd and NiMH rechargeable batteries, and some other types mentioned in the summary below.
- Charges standard alkaline (up to 15 times), Rechargeable Alkaline Manganese (RAM, up to 25 times), Titanium (up to 15 times), NiCd (up to 1000 times), and NiMH (up to 600 times) batteries
- Each battery is individually analyzed and charged
- 1 to 4 of D, C, AA, AAA, AAAA, N, Prismatic,
- 1 of 9V AND 2 of D, C, AA, AAA, AAAA, N, Prismatic
- 1 of 6V AND 3 of D, C, AA, AAA, AAAA, N, Prismatic
- Protection against overheating, polarity reversal, short circuit, faulty batteries, overcharge, and so on
- Built-in battery tester.
It’s probably advisable to test one type of alkaline battery and stick to that type if the charging works well. It’s possible that not all types behave in the same way.
- If you need NiMh batteries anyhow, for instance because they can deliver higher currents, you can check out the USB cell from Moixa, you even don't need a charger anymore then.
- On the other hand, the Sanyo eneloop or Panasonic Infinium batteries do require a charger, but they offer the advantage that they don't self-discharge
Other Rechargeable Battery solutions on Clever & Easy