Friday, September 07, 2007

Going green - using rechargeable batteries

This season of Jericho I decided to try and cut down on my waste of one use alkaline and lithum batteries. We would go through a bucket of batteries every couple of weeks under normal operation. The wireless transmitters, IFB receivers, sync boxes, TC slates and many other items all use 9 volt and AA batteries. So I have given it a try and I am very pleased with the results.

For 9 volt batteries, I have been using the IPower Lithium Polymer battery system. The batteries seem to last longer than your average alkaline and on par with the lithium single use battery. The accompanying chargers are called smart chargers, due to their conditioning ability of the battery. The battery is drained and charged properly to ensure a longer and more reliable life. There have been a couple of batteries that had strange behavior. Specifically, showing full charge but having absolutely no voltage when metered. When put back on the charger, they still show full charge. Then taken off the charger, they might show max voltage...or not. Apparently the internal circuitry is at fault here, and the battery is no good. I've sent back a couple. These are easy to single out, and I've replaced them. I also had one charger that was quite flakey. It would sometimes light up when a battery was placed on charge, and sometimes not. That one got swapped out too.

The AA batteries are Duracell NiMH 2650mAh batteries, and again have better performance than the comparable AA alkaline battery. The chargers are the Maha MH-C801D eight cell charger. These work very quickly and produce a lot of heat. If you try and grab a battery off the charger right as it's'll get burned. They are really hot!!

We keep 16 9 volts and 32 AA batteries in circulation. I hope to add some more Ipower 9 volts soon, to start using them in all the comteks as well. I've cut down on my disposable battery usage by at least 50% since starting this season. The results have been much better than anticipated.



aRocketgirl said...

You are apart of "Green" family, now.

I had a rechargeable battery pack that came with my Kodak digital camera that never really worked. It always "ran out" quicker than the disposable batteries. I eventually gave up on it and then tried Quantaray 2400 mAh AA rechargeables. They did better, but I still had to carry single use ones because they lost their charge at the most inconvenient times. I now just use Energizer e2 Lithiums. The Quantarays seem to work well with my MP3 player, though. They last as long as the orginals, but take longer to get fully charged.

Thanks for your comments on the behind the scenes aspects of TV. I really enjoy these.

Phillip W. Palmer said...

Thanks for the comments.

I don't post nearly as often as I should. Trying to make a better show of it.