Eneloop batteries have a low self-discharge rate and they are pre-charged and usable immediately after purchase like dry cell batteries. The new eneloop battery continues this tradition by using SANYO’s original “super-lattice alloy” for negative electrode material and improvement of materials and structure, a fully-charged “new eneloop” battery can maintain approximately 75% of charged power even after 3 years, ensuring that power is available when needed. The new eneloop batteries are pre-charged in Japan by “green power” from photovoltaic generation. This means that a part of the electric power used for manufacturing (the amount equivalent used for factory pre-charging) is generated using clean, renewable solar energy.
Having invested and used reputable Powerex 2700mAh batteries for a couple of years, I’ve found their high self discharge rates to be high maintenance. For this reason, I switched to Eneloop and have found their low self discharge to not just save time but these go much further between charges thereby reducing the frequent recharging required.
At least for me anyway. I don’t know if you would consider Walkie Talkies low or high drain devices but the pair of UNIDEN radios I have,would knock out a set of freshly charged GP 1,000 mAh in no time. Fearing that it may be due to poorer quality of the GP cells, I tried Sony 1,000 mAh ones too and they too didn’t last. It gets expensive very quickly when you buy not 4 but 8 pieces with each wrong decision made. I use the radios with my associate at shoots where the venue is considerably large and where I think things would get hairy without the ability to cross-communicate effectively. I had used them at the A100 Leadership Forum in Hanoi where communication with my associate was critical to our coordination and the reliability issues I had with the GP and Sony batteries were a constant worry—my associate covered the arrival of the Prime Minister while I waited in the VIP holding room. I switched to Eneloops last year but only at the recent NBT Toyota Dinner & Dance shoot was I able to adequately test them. After 5 hours of on and off use, I’m happy to report that the battery level indicator showed full instead of low. You can imagine how happy I was to have finally found a solution. (this post was inspired by Energy Day 2010).