This could very well be the next big leap in
battery technology. Imagine being able to use the same rechargeable
cells in your remote controls, clocks, flashlights, digitial
cameras, GPS devices - everything that uses batteries, even
if they sit around for weeks or months between uses. These
are the new Low Self-Discharge NiMH rechargeable batteries.
These are a new breed of rechargeable batteries
that come fully charged and hold their charge for months without
use. I don't know much about them yet, but they are a new
NiMH technology that allows for very low self discharge
rates. This means that you can use them in devices that sit
around in between uses without the batteries self-discharging
away all their energy like regular rechargeables. I don't
know about you folks, but if I leave newly charged rechargeables
in a drawer for 1-2 months they're essentially dead. These
new cells are advertised to keep their charge for over a year
(only losing 15% - 20% of their charge in 1 year of non-use).
Amondotech.com has the Titanium
"Power Enduro"AA and AAA
cells, a low self-discharge cell.
I have a charged set of Titanium
"Power Enduro" AA that I have left sitting around
for a few weeks and they performed just fine, powering my
digital camera without a hitch.
Sanyo is probably one of the most well known
brands of this type of cell already. There has been a lot
of hype on the Internet about their Eneloop cells.
Found these Sanyo
Eneloop batteries at Wolf Camera
CandlePowerForums member Silverfox did some
of the Eneloop cells which includes various discharge
rates and self-discharge over time.
Rayovac is prducing a new "Hybrid"
battery in AA and AAA that I found at Walmart.
Hybrid found at Wal-Mart
Their sister company, Varta, is producing
"Ready2Use" cells (care to bet that they're
the same as the ROV Hybrids?).
Sure all of these cells have a slightly lower
mAh rating than normal NiMH cells, but what good are those
extra milliamps in the high capacity NiMH cells if they self-discharge
away in a matter of days?
So far my use of all of these cells has shown
to me that they really do hold a charge for a long time and
perform very well. I personally think they're a much better
investment for most common users of cells, bridging the gap
between traditional NiMH and alkaline cells.