Alkaline batteries, or better known as alkaline cells are one of the most popular and common miniature power plants for a whole host of devices and applications. They are made of a collection of different cells and are usually disposable – meaning its use is limited to a single time. There are versions of rechargeable alkaline batteries out there – considered to be the more cost effective ones than simply continuing buying disposable ones; and what sets them apart is their reaction between zinc and manganese oxide (more of that later).
The reason that they are called alkaline is because of it has a single alkaline electrolyte, which is made of potassium hydroxide. These sets them apart from the old zinc and carbon batteries, which use an acidic electrolyte to do execute the same function. Alkaline batteries are considered a sort of an upgrade to the older models, and can have an energy density that is more than twice of the zinc and carbon counterparts. Their capacity really depends on many things, which can be the load of the battery (AAA, AA, etc), different size batteries have much longer and shorter energy densities. It also depends on the brand of the battery and the chemical make up. If you notice, some brands seem to last longer than others, and this is because of the way these batteries are designed and built; as well as the chemical make up of the cells itself. For appliances that require much more power, D sized batteries are used. These include high powered flashlights and stereo systems.
If you have purchased alkaline rechargeable batteries there are a few points to take note of when using them. You can extend the life of your alkaline batteries with some easy pointers and some diligence when using them. Mishandling them can cause them to run out and die in a very short period of time and in some cases, cause the catastrophic damage of the appliance that you are using. Rechargeable alkaline batteries are best when used with periodic appliances, which means things that you will be using often. They become inert and inactive very easily, especially when not used for long periods of time and the constant use will make them much more reliable and last much longer every time you charge it. Also, they are best use on low drain appliances, not those that suck up a lot of power over a short period of time. These include radios, remotes for home appliances, flashlights, portable stereos etc.
One thing you must note about these rechargeable alkaline batteries is that they are for about a few hundred cycles, only if the cycle is renewed when the battery is at 25% capacity. Recharging it when it is more than that causes a reduction in full charge cycles. In simple English, never charge your batteries when they still have a lot left to give, it spoils it. These are some of the ways you can extend the life of your batteries.