THE COST OF BATTERY POWER


The cost of portable battery power is very expensive when compared to mains power available from a wall receptacle. The typical daily energy consumption of a household is 25 kilowatt-hour (kWh) at a cost of US $0.05 to 0.10 per kWh. In contrast, the table below shows the cost per kWh using non-rechargeable cells.

  AAA Cell AA Cell C Cell D Cell 9 Volt
Capacity (Durcell Alkaline) 1100 mAh 2500 mAh 7100mAh 14,300mAh 600mAh
Energy (single cell) 1.4 Wh 3 Wh 9 Wh 18 Wh 4.2 Wh
Cost per cell (US $) $1.25 $1.00 $1.60 $1.60 $3.10
Cost per KWh (US $) $890 $330 $1.80 $90 $730


The table below compares the cost per KWh when using various types of rechargeable batteries. The cost analysis is based on the purchase cost of the battery and number of discharge-charge cycles it can endure before replacement is necessary, but does not include the electricity needed for charging, nor does it account for the cost of purchasing and maintaining the charging equipment.

  NiCd AA Cell NiMH AA Cell SLA Typical Pack Li-ion 18650 Cell Reusable Alkaline AA Cell
Capacity 600mAh 1100mAh 200 mAh 1200 mAh 1400mAh
Battery Voltage 7.5V 7.5V 12V 7.2V 7.5V
Energy per cycle 4.5 Wh 7.5 Wh 24 Wh 8.6 Wh 6.3 Wh
Cycle life 1500 500 250 500 10
Cost per battery (ref. only) $50 $70 $50 $100 $6
Cost per KWh $7.50 $18.50 $8.50 $24.00 $95.00


1 For this calculation, 840mA is used since subsequent capacities are rated at 840mA (60% of initial capacity).

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