Tech & Science Are Expensive Batteries Better Than Cheap Batteries?

01:36  13 january  2018
01:36  13 january  2018 Source:   Lifehacker Australia

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Clearly, these cheaper batteries are not nearly as good as the more expensive ones. Ok, but what about the total energy? How does this answer the question? Well , there is a bit more to batteries than just the energy stored in it. It depends on what you are using it for.

a close up of a bottle© iStock

In 2017, I went through more batteries than I care to admit. I bought batteries for my headphones, batteries for my TV remotes, batteries for my Xbox controller and for some reason, batteries for a portable radio that I don't even use. I usually go for the expensive stuff but do I have to?

Probably not.

Some incredibly astute investigative work over at Wired takes a deep dive into the 'quality' of cheap, dollar store batteries and compares them with two of the most well-known battery manufacturers - Energizer and Duracell.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the more expensive batteries, the Duracell and Energizer, were shown to have greater power, more energy and last longer than the cheaper dollar store batteries. However, the real gold lies in the notion that the expensive batteries are not worth the extra cost.

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Why does an energizer battery last longer than a Panasonic Battery ? The main reason one battery will last longer than another is It's been my experience that sometimes, the lesser expensive battery will provide the best performance in the long run. Does expensive or cheap batteries last longer?

If you buy the cheaper batteries , you’re paying a little bit now and then you’ll pay a little bit later. It’s thinking more short-term. If you buy the more expensive batteries , you pay more up front but they last longer. But are name-brand alkalines better than generic?

Rhett Allain suggests that when you are buying batteries, you are really just buying energy and thus, you can quantify the 'money-energy' density of the battery: The energy divided by the cost per battery.

When you analyse the three brands side-by-side, it becomes clear that the money-energy density is very similar. The more expensive batteries have more power, sure, but for the same amount of money you get more batteries in the dollar-store pack. There is one issue though: the cheaper batteries also have a lower voltage, so Allain cautions that some devices may not work as well - or nearly as long - as they would on the Energizer or Duracell batteries.

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The batteries are 8x more expensive than those of Lidl, the cheapest brand. All tested batteries were Alkaline AA, had a voltage of 1.5V but none of the batteries showed the capacity on the package. One person even argued that more expensive batteries resulted in better audio quality.

Buying expensive batteries by brand name and always expecting them to be better then cheaper brands is like buying a more expensive hi fi speaker Exide and Diehard have lasted equally as long for us (6-8 years on average) The Optima batteries are a different type than the regular lead acid

In Australia, a survey by Canstar Blue of consumer satisfaction with batteries in 2017 showed that Duracell was rated the best, but that ALDI Activ Energy batteries were considered the best value for money. If we look at the price for Duracell AA batteries at somewhere like Officeworks where a 16 pack is $21.99 ($1.37 each) and compare to the ALDI batteres, where in the past they have had 20 packs go for as little as $7 (0.35c each), there is a clear discrepancy in how much you might have to dole out for your energy.

Bottom line? It's not always worth going for the more expensive batteries if you're just looking for a quick fix. Those dollar store batteries will likely work just fine.


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