Average Li-Ion/NiMH Lifetime?
Can anyone tell me what to expect as far as average lifetimes of Lithium Ions (point-and-shoot ones) vs. NiMH? (in other words, how long they can be used before they won't recharge anymore)
I know every battery is different, but is there a rough expected lifetime? For example, is the average Li-Ion expected to last several years? And how does NiMH compare in regard to average lifetime?
PS: again, I know very well that each battery is different, but what would you expect an average battery to last if your life depended on spitting out a number? I'm just trying to figure out what to expect from lifetimes between the two batteries.
Last edited by Dario D.; 03-10-2007 at 01:22 AM.
I came across this in my quest for batteries. It may help.
Ah, thanks. I bumped into this very helpful link when browsing that discussion, which more than answered my questions about lifetime:
I have no opinion yet on batteries, which is why I was looking for info. The site had very much useful, informed statistics and actual industry insight. Apparently the guy is a battery engineer who has done close work on batteries at several digital camera companies, and had much to say about the mis-information regarding NiMH vs. Lithium Ion that apparently spreads from forum trolls with personal agendas. He cited many reasons Lithium-Ion is better, which seemed valid to me, also considering that all opposition that I've read so far in the great battery debate has just been trolls who spread "junk science" as he calls it.
Halfway down the page, he starts to get into the advantages of NiMH over Li-Ion, and goes over them well. Hit CTRL+F and paste in:
Disadvantages of Li-Ion Batteries/Advantages of NiMH Batteries
Here are a couple examples I found on that page:
Last edited by Dario D.; 03-10-2007 at 05:48 PM.
I read through some of that site and there is a lot of good info, but IMHO, the guy has his own agenda with Li-ions, and he's really no better or worse than the NiMh "trolls," which perhaps, I've admitted become. I've been a long user of rechargeables, NiCad, Li-ion and NiMh and have nearly completely converted back to NiMh AAs for my assortment of electronic toys. I am much happier, with less worries about running out of power.
Originally Posted by Dario D.
For background, my toys, all of which I carry when I travel, include:
- Garmin 60CSx handheld GPS (AA)
- IRiver MP3 (AA)
- Canon A710IS (AA)
- Inova X1 tactical flashlight (AA)
- Blackberry 7250 (Li-ion, but have AA charger for it )
- Nintendo DS (Li-ion)
Let me start off by saying that nothing can match Li-ions for power to weight or power to size ratios, period. When Li-ion technology becomes mainstream, affordable, and available in AAs, I'm there. Until then, I've grown to despise the proprietary nature of Li-ion packs and am very happy with versatility of quality AAs (Sanyo 2700s for high use days, and Eneloops for lower use weeks), despite the their lower efficiency.
Here's some of the practical points that that guy neglected to mention:
- For any critical item, you must always carry a back-up battery. I usually carry *one* set of back-up AAs for my *four* AA devices, since this one set (2AAs) can feed any of the 4 devices. If more than one device runs dead on me at the same time, I can usually get Alkalines from a store, and even if I can't find a store, I can always cannibalized off another device based upon my priorities at the time. These options simply don't exist if they were Li-ion based, I'd have to carry *four* back-ups for the *four* devices.... and then I still only have one back-up, with no option to cannibalize.
- Consider the phrase "critical" for second... in the deep woods, a GPS can be consider critical (and perhaps the flashlight)... there are reasons you won't find many LI - based handheld GPS's or flashlights around.
- The fact remains, that despite needing to carry a back-up, if you plan properly, you shouldn't be needing it very often. That becomes a problem for Li-ion since keeping a LI charged at 100% and not using it, will deteriorate a LI. Even if you take the extra "maintenance" to cycle them, one is always sitting idle at 100%.
- Cycling NMH is much easier since a single queue can feed multiple devices, not the one-to-one relationship you get with LI and it's back-ups.
- Then, of course, LI's never like to be completely discharged either. So you need to top them off more frequently which hurts lower maintenance argument. Conversely, it is good for NMH to completely discharge occasionally, so you're more willing to run them down to empty (and you have back-ups), thereby getting full use out of one charge.
- Despite LI's greater efficiency, they tend to be much smaller and as a result, don't last long. For example, compare my camera to its competitors on the # of shots table. All the NMH's lasts long than all the LI (penalty, though is size and weight).
- Then there's traveling with AC adapters. I carry one AA charger for all my AA based device and an additional AC adapter for each LI based item. Some of the LI adaptors don't work overseas (120V max) so I have bring a stepdown converter too. Your Li-ion advocated says there's a universal charger that can charge any LI. However, the few "universal" chargers I tried, never work as well as the manufacturers OEM.... eg I have and "energi" AA charger for LI and it does charge my cellphone (blackberry), but it definitely objects (weird blinking/flashing lights).
- I camp (backpack and kayak)... and can't get to any electrical outlet.. I can easily cover a weeks trip with AAs (lithium, alkaline or NMH) but can't say the same for LI-based items.
- When NMHs start to go bad, I cycle them to lower demand devices (eg MP3 player) or my kids toys... when LI go bad, I suffer poor performance until I buy a new one and can only trash the old one.
- This is a good site: http://www.batteryuniversity.com/index.htm
There's more, but you get the idea... sorry for the long rant... but I'm a NiMh TROLL