Hybrid (LSD) NiMH Batteries Compared

Sanyo/Panasonic Eneloop Cells

Receiving a set of NiCad batteries as a 10 year old (for use in a ‘Knight Rider’ RC car – how awesome was that?!) started a lifelong obsession with rechargeable cells.  My interest in batteries started even earlier than this, after being given random lengths of wire, torch bulbs and supposedly dead C cells to ‘play’ with.  Well, it kept me quiet 🙂

Maha/Powerex Smart Charger

Some 35 years later and I’m still doing much the same, only with NiMH cells and a Maha MH-C9000 intelligent charger/analyser.

Recently, I’ve switched to so called ‘hybrid’ or Low Self Discharge (LSD) cells as whilst the capacities are lower, I find the low self discharge rate to be more beneficial in the long term.

All cells are new and run through a charge (0.5C) and discharge (500mA) cycle, the average capacity of 4 cells recorded. Capacities are expected to marginally improve over several cycles.

Edit: Some have pointed out that I should a) be testing remaining capacity after 6 or 12 months and b) my tests are not the IEC standard.  Firstly, I’m not so interested in specific rates of self discharge (these tests are available elsewhere online).  Secondly, I find the standard IEC test (0.1C charge, 0.2C discharge, from memory) entirely unrealistic for my typical workloads such as amateur radio, DSLR, etc.  My 500mA discharge rate was chosen as a reasonable average figure for my typical use.

AA Hybrid

BrandTypeRated mAhMeasured mAh
SanyoEneloop Pro (black)24002386
SanyoEneloop (white)19001858
EnergizerACCU Recharge Extreme23002075
7 Day ShopGood To Go21502220
VartaRecharge Accu26002570

AAA Hybrid

BrandTypeRated mAhMeasured mAh
SaynoEneloop (white)750726
EnergizerACCU Recharge Extreme800742

This post will be updated as further brands/types are tested.

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2 Responses to Hybrid (LSD) NiMH Batteries Compared

  1. Nick Rapson says:

    Wow, those Tesco hybrids are dire, aren’t they?

    Question, though. Why are the capacities expected to improve over cycles?

  2. m0spn says:

    I’ve re-tested a set of four Tesco Hybrids and the results are much more in line with expectations; I have no idea what happened the first time! The results in the table above have been updated to reflect the new result.

    Also, I can’t find a technical explanation but it often seems that battery capacity will increase after the first few cycles. I assume it’s because the batteries have been idle in their packaging for months (potentially years?) and a few cycles has a positive effect on the battery chemistry. However, I’m no chemist and my google-fu is currently failing me 🙁

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