Eneloop

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Panasonic's fourth-generation Eneloop batteries, in AA and AAA sizes
Sanyo Eneloop battery charger

Eneloop (Japanese: エネループ?, Hepburn: Enerūpu) is a brand of 1.2-volt low self-discharge nickel–metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries and accessories developed by Sanyo (later acquired by Panasonic), introduced in 2005.[1]

Eneloop cells lose their charge much more slowly than the 0.5–4% per day lost by older-technology NiMH batteries, retaining about 85% of their charge for a year after charging.[2] This allows them to be sold precharged and ready for use, unlike older types.

Because they can replace a large number of alkaline batteries over their life cycle, they are marketed as being eco-friendly.

Sanyo was acquired by Panasonic in 2009. As part of that deal, the Japanese Eneloop factories were sold off to Fujitsu, which since then produces 2nd-generation eneloops under its brand.[3] Panasonic eneloops, starting with the 3rd generation, are made in China for some markets (including Australia). As of November 2015, Eneloop Pro are still made in Japan.

Variant description[edit]

Eneloop[edit]

A newer Panasonic Eneloop (top) and older Sanyo AA Eneloop batteries

1st generation[edit]

The original Eneloop batteries were introduced in AA and AAA size, with capacities of 2,000 mAh and 800 mAh. They could be recharged 1,000 times and held up to 75% of their charge after one year. The part number for this generation of Eneloop is HR-3UTG (AA) and HR-4UTG (AAA).

2nd generation[edit]

The second generation of Eneloop AA and AAA batteries was introduced in 2010. It endured 1,500 recharge cycles and held 85% of the charge after one year and 75% after three years.[4]

Sanyo introduced C- and D-sized Eneloop batteries with a minimum capacity of 2,700 mAh and 3,000 mAh respectively in 2009, along with a new universal charger.[5] As these sizes were only available in Japan and Singapore, Sanyo offered adapter sleeves to fit AA batteries in devices that take C or D batteries.

3rd generation[edit]

Eneloop 5th anniversary special glitter edition pack

In October 2011 the batteries were again improved to retain up to 90% of their capacity after one year, 80% after three years and 70% after five years. The batteries can be recharged up to 1,800 times, rather than the 1,500 times of the previous revision. The product numbers for these batteries are HR-3UTGB (AA) and HR-4UTGB (AAA). At the same time, the C- and D-sized Eneloop batteries' stated minimum capacities were increased to 3,000 mAh and 5,700 mAh respectively. They were available in Japan from November 2011.[6]

European models went on sale from the beginning of October 2012.[7]

4th generation[edit]

Following the acquisition of Sanyo by Panasonic, a fourth generation was introduced in April 2013. The number of charges per cell was increased from 1800 to 2100 cycles for both AA (BK-3MCC) and AAA (BK-4MCC) models.[2] In some countries the batteries are branded as Panasonic.

Eneloop Lite[edit]

1st generation[edit]

The Eneloop Lite line was released in Japan in June 2010. They addressed two downsides of alkaline and other NiMH batteries: the initial cost and the long charging time—both achieved by reducing the capacity of the battery. The batteries find suitable applications in low-drain devices such as remote control devices and alarms, where high capacity is not an issue. The AAs have 1,000 mAh of capacity, while the AAAs have 600 mAh. Due to reduction of the capacity compared to the regular Eneloop cells, the charging time is halved for the AA and reduced by 25% for the AAA. On the other hand, they can be recharged 3,000 times. The reduction in capacity also reduced the production cost, which decreased the initial investment for rechargeable batteries. They also weigh 30% less. The product numbers are HR-3UQ (AA) and HR-4UQ (AAA).[8]

2nd generation[edit]

Along with the upgrade of the regular Eneloop cells in April 2013, the Lite version was also upgraded. According to Panasonic, it can now be recharged up to 3,000 times (life cycles)[9] (model numbers BK-3LCC for the AA and BK-4LCC for the AAA battery). The upgraded batteries also retain 90% of the charge after one year like the regular Eneloop cells.

Eneloop Pro (Eneloop XX)[edit]

Sanyo Eneloop XX

1st generation[edit]

The Eneloop Pro (or XX powered by Eneloop Technology in the US, Canada, and Europe) series was introduced in 2011. At that time, no AAA version was produced.[10] They have a higher capacity than regular Eneloop cells, 2,500 mAh (min. 2,400 mAh) for AA. However, they retain only 75% of their initial charge after one year, and can only be recharged 500 times. The product numbers are HR-3UWX (AA) and HR-3UWXA (AA).[11]

2nd generation[edit]

In January 2013, Sanyo announced the second generation of Eneloop XX (model HR-3UWXB, or Panasonic BK-3HCC), along with a slight renaming. Eneloop Pro appears instead of the "Eneloop XX" brand in batteries. The new generation has a 50 mAh higher capacity (2,550 mAh nominal, 2,450 mAh minimum capacity), and the self-discharge rate was decreased (i.e. holds 85% up to one year).[12] They also introduced an AAA version of the Eneloop XX (model HR-4UWXB) boasting a nominal capacity of 950 mAh (900 mAh minimum).[13] After the acquisition by Panasonic, they were renamed Eneloop Pro (model BK-4HCC) in Europe and the Americas.[2]

Eneloop Plus[edit]

Eneloop Plus cells have a PTC thermistor built-in that cuts the power in case the batteries are overheating. This makes them especially suitable for toys and devices that generate an increased amount of heat. Other specifications are identical to the second-generation Eneloop batteries. The product number is HR-3UPT (AA), and the battery was released in Japan in December 2011.[11]

Variant comparison tables[edit]

AA size[edit]

Variant Model number prefix Release date Capacity (mAh) Max. cycles Est. lifetime cap. (Wh) Charge retention
Min. Typ. After 1 day After 1 year After 2 years After 3 years After 5 years
Ordinary NiMH battery (Sanyo NiMH 2700) HR-3UG Unknown 2,500 2,700 1,000 Unknown 80% 50% 0% 0% 0%
Eneloop 1st generation[14] HR-3UTG November 2005 1,900 2,000 1,000 2,400 Unknown 80% Unknown Unknown Unknown
Eneloop 2nd generation HR-3UTGA May 2010 1,900 2,000 1,500 3,600 Unknown 85% 80% 75% Unknown
Eneloop 3rd generation HR-3UTGB November 2011 1,900 2,000 1,800 4,320 Unknown 90% 80% 80% 70%
Eneloop 4th generation BK-3MCC (BK-3MCCE) April 2013 1,900 2,000 2,100 5,040 Unknown 90%[15] Unknown 80%[15] 75%[15]
Eneloop Lite 1st generation[16] HR-3UQ June 2010 950 1,000 2,000 2,400 Unknown 85% 80% 75% Unknown
Eneloop Lite 2nd generation BK-3LCC April 2013 950 1,000 3,000 3,600 Unknown 90% 80% 70%[9] 65%[2]
Eneloop Pro 1st generation[17][18] HR-3UWX
HR-3UWXA
July 2011
May 2012
2,400 2,500 500 1,500 Unknown 75% Unknown Unknown Unknown
Eneloop Pro 2nd generation[19] HR-3UWXB October 2012 2,450 2,550 500 1,530 Unknown 85% Unknown Unknown Unknown
Panasonic Eneloop Pro BK-3HCC April 2013 2,450 2,550 500 1,530 Unknown 85%[2] Unknown Unknown Unknown
Panasonic Eneloop Pro BK-3HCD October 2015 2,500 Unknown 500 1,530 Unknown 85% Unknown Unknown Unknown

AAA size[edit]

Variant Model number prefix Release date Capacity (mAh) Max. cycles Est. lifetime cap. (Wh) Charge retention
Min. Typ. After 1 day After 1 year After 2 years After 3 years After 5 years
Ordinary NiMH battery (Sanyo NiMH 1000) HR-4U Unknown 930 1,000 Unknown Unknown 80% 50% 0% 0% 0%
Eneloop 1st generation HR-4UTG November 2005 750 800 1,000 960 Unknown 80% Unknown Unknown Unknown
Eneloop 2nd generation HR-4UTGA May 2010 750 800 1,500 1,440 Unknown 85% 80% 75% Unknown
Eneloop 3rd generation HR-4UTGB November 2011 750 800 1,800 1,728 Unknown 90% 80% 80% 70%
Eneloop 4th generation BK-4MCC (BK-4MCCE) April 2013 750 800 2,100 2,016 Unknown 90%[20] Unknown 80%[20] 75%[20]
Eneloop Lite 1st generation[21] HR-4UQ June 2010 500 600 2,000 1,440 Unknown 85% 80% 75% Unknown
Eneloop Lite 2nd generation BK-4LCC April 2013 500 600 3,000 2,160 Unknown 90% 80% 70%[9] 65%[2]
Eneloop Pro 2nd generation[13][22] HR-4UWXB October 2012 900 950 500 570 Unknown 85% Unknown Unknown Unknown
Panasonic Eneloop Pro BK-4HCC April 2013 900 950 500 570 Unknown 85%[2] Unknown Unknown Unknown
Panasonic Eneloop Pro XX BK-4HCD October 2015 930 950 500 570 Unknown 85%[2] Unknown Unknown Unknown

References[edit]

  1. ^ "What's Eneloop?". Panasonic-Eneloop.eu. Panasonic. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Product Lineup". Panasonic.net. Panasonic. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  3. ^ Daisuke Wakabayashi (5 November 2009). "Panasonic Is Cleared to Make Sanyo Offer". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2 October 2016. 
  4. ^ Sanyo Announces New "eneloop" Rechargeable Batteries – Industry No. 1 Rechargeable Batteries – Rechargeable up to "Approx. 1,500 times", Factory Pre-charged using Solar Power.
  5. ^ Sanyo Energy Unveils New Eco-Friendly Products To The Singapore Market.
  6. ^ "Sanyo New Eneloop Batteries Remains Capacity Longer – Fully-recharged new eneloop keeps approx. 70% power after 5 years of storage" (PDF). Sanyo. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  7. ^ Sanyo introduces new eneloop with 1800 life cycles to European market – Longer capacity with added life span: new eneloop keeps up to 70% of power after 5 years of storage.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Sanyo Adds "Eneloop Lite" to "Eneloop" Rechargeable Battery Family" (PDF). Sanyo Electric Co. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c "Eneloop Lite". Panasonic-Eneloop.eu. Panasonic. Archived from the original on 7 December 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Overview: All Eneloop batteries 2005-2017". 
  11. ^ a b "Sanyo's Eneloop Series Expands with New-Type Batteries" (PDF). Sanyo. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  12. ^ New Eneloop XX with Higher Capacity and Improved Low Self-Discharge.
  13. ^ a b "Sanyo's Eneloop Lite Datasheet" (PDF). Sanyo Electric Co. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  14. ^ "Sanyo Presents 'Eneloop': A New Battery in place of Dry Cell Battery for the 21st Century" (PDF). Sanyo. Retrieved 19 June 2006. 
  15. ^ a b c "AA 4-Pack". Panasonic.net. Sanyo. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  16. ^ "Sanyo's Eneloop Lite datasheet" (PDF). Sanyo. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 October 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  17. ^ "Sanyo's Eneloop Series Expands with New-Type Batteries" (PDF). Sanyo. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  18. ^ "Announcement HR-3UWXA" (PDF). Sanyo. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  19. ^ "Eneloop Pro 2012 models" (PDF). Sanyo. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  20. ^ a b c "AAA 4-Pack". Panasonic.net. Sanyo. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  21. ^ "Sanyo's Eneloop Lite datasheet" (PDF). Sanyo. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 October 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  22. ^ "Eneloop Pro 2012 models" (PDF). Sanyo. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 

External links[edit]