Rechargeable vs. Non-rechargeable Battery

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You are starting an AED Program, and you have many questions, one of which is, “wouldn’t it be more practical to have a rechargeable battery in my AED?”  Great question!  Let’s see if we can clear up some of the misconceptions about having a rechargeable battery instead of a long-life lithium non-rechargeable battery.

The non-rechargeable lithium batteries generally have a useful life of about 4 – 5 years in standby mode.  “Standby mode” is when the AED is rescue ready and the only drain on the battery is from the AED performing its daily, weekly, or monthly self test.  They’re also low maintenance (or no maintenance) when compared to rechargeable batteries.  You place the battery in the AED and it’s ready for service for the next several years.

Rechargeable batteries need to be recharged often, monthly in most cases, which leads to a shorter life span for the battery.  Replacement every 2 years is not uncommon.  Charging time for the various models can be anywhere from 2 hours to 15 hours (depending on which AED you have), and while the battery is charging it is not in the AED.  Unless you have multiple batteries, this means your AED is not in service.

Cost is nearly identical, again depending on which AED you are considering, until you add in the cost of the charging station required for the rechargeable battery.  And you may want to consider having more than one rechargeable battery, with one charging, one in service.

The rechargeable battery is more often found in the realm of the professional rescuer, where the AED is in a high usage environment, and recharging is more practical than regularly replacing a non-rechargeable battery, perhaps on a monthly basis.  Professionals also possess the diligence to ensure the batteries are being recharged regularly.  How many times have you picked up your digital camera with the rechargeable batteries, only to find the batteries have drained?

So, when choosing a battery, please consider the environment in which your AED will be deployed.  Take into account the various factors involved in maintaining your AED.  High usage means high maintenance.  Low usage, low maintenance.  It’s your decision.  Can you choose wisely, grasshopper?

Need to pick up a replacement battery? AED Superstore has both rechargeable and non-rechargeable replacement batteries for all currently FDA-cleared AEDs with fast, free shipping on orders $99 and over!

One Response to “Rechargeable vs. Non-rechargeable Battery”

February 12, 2008 at 11:56 am, ParaQuack said:

This information is good. I recommend leaving rechargables to EMS, especially since we use AEDs for nontraditional uses like patietn monitoring. Nonmedical people should go for the nonrechargables. Just my opinion.

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