Considerations When Selecting Appliances
for Off-Grid Living:
Use rechargeable batteries as much as possible in your battery operated appliances
such as flashlights, radios, etc. If you recharge the depleted cells on a sunny day,
you will be using essentially 'free' power.
Both NiCd (nickel-cadmium) and NiMh (nickel-metal-hydide) cells are useful.
NiMh cells have no 'memory' effect and can be recharged at any time
with no potential loss of capacity. NiMh cells also have a slightly higher
output voltage and tend to have higher capacity ratings for the same size
than NiCd cells.
On the other hand, NiCd cells exhibit lower self discharge and are thus best
suited for items utilized in a stand-by function. NiCd cells do need to be
periodically conditioned by being fully discharged in order to avoid a
reduction in capacity.
A high quality 'smart' charger such as those sold by
can charge both
NiCd and NiMh cells, and will properly condition, charge and maintain your