Exactly how much electricity does a battery charger use and is it worth upgrading to a solar version which costs nothing to run? These days we all have plenty of gadgets and and remote control units that use standard AA, AAA or 9 volt batteries. Single use batteries have risen dramatically in price and we all know that it is cheaper in the long run to invest in the rechargeable versions that can be re-used over 1000 times. However recharging can take up to 10 hours so perhaps that is using up a lot of electricity. To answer the question “How much electricity does a battery charger use”, the Meany Goat carried out a series of tests to find out…read on to discover the answers!
Battery Charger Tests:
After searching around the house the MeanyGoat found three different battery chargers to test. Each unit was tested using the same 2000mAh AA size Ni/mH batteries….
Standard Uniross charger that can re-charge up to 8 AA or AAA size batteries. Charges at 1.2v and 120mA
2.3 Watts Consumption
Energizer plug in battery charger that can only charge two AA or AA batteries at once. Charges at 1.4v and 200mA
2.4 Watts consumption
GP Powerbank plug in charger similar to the Energizer but half the cost. Charges at 1.4v and 200mA
2.2 Watts consumption
How much electricity does a battery charger use? The answer is actually very little, and although three completely different kinds of charger were tested all the results were very similar.
How Much Does a Battery Charger Cost to Run?
OK so a mains powered battery charger uses very little electricity…but it does stay plugged in for ages and we do charge up a lot of batteries each year. Lets multiply the values up and calculate an annual running cost.
Imagine we charged the two batteries for 10 hours each time and re-charged them 100 times during the year.
Taking the highest consumption from the Energizer charger we get.
2.4 Watts x 10 Hours x 100 = 2400
Divide by 1000 to get 2.4 Units of Electricity per Year
In France that costs around 0.09€ a unit so the annual cost is less than 18 cents!
So once you have invested in a charger and rechargeable batteries which can be re-used over 1000 times then they cost you almost nothing to run
Is it Worth Upgrading to a Solar Battery Charger?
If you already have a decent battery charger then you will only be using a few cents of electricity a year to re-charge all your batteries so it will probably not be worthwhile buying a new rinky dinky solar version on cost grounds. However, solar versions do have some advantages that need to be taken into consideration:
Modern solar battery chargers work well in low light conditions so are reliable all year round
They use no mains electricity at all so you will help save the planet even if you don’t save a lot of money
They are really great for camping or trekking holidays so you can recharge the batteries for your GPS for example while you are out and about
Small and portable they easily fit in a rucksack
Some have special adapters to allow them to be used to recharge mobile phones
Here is a portable solar battery charger….
Working really well on a cloudy day….
Look After Your Batteries:
How much electricity does a battery charger use? Not a lot, but you do need to look after your batteries so that you can re-use them 1000 times!
Always look after your rechargeable batteries carefully so that you get the maximum number of recharge cycles out of them. Modern Ni/MH rechargeable batteries have no memory effect so can safely be topped up even if they are not completely run down. However, leaving them in a charger for too long can damage them and reduce the life so it is always best to get a charger that turns off at the end of the charge cycle.
A simple low cost battery charge checker is always a good investment to verify the state of any battery….rechargeable or normal!
Take a Frugal Tip from the Meany Goat and get your batteries sorted out. Trade up to rechargeable batteries and you will save a plenty of money over the years since the recharge costs virtually nothing each time. If you go camping or hiking then a solar charger is a good option to think about!