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Difference Between NiMH and mAH Batteries

NiMH vs mAH Batteries

Rechargeable batteries have become an excellent an economical alternative to using standard single use batteries. Along with the new type of batteries come slightly less familiar terms like NiMH and mAH; so let’s see how the differ from each other and what is their importance. NiMH stands for Nickel Metal Hydride, and it is basically the composition of the battery or the materials that are used for its parts. There are also other types of batteries like NiCd, Li-ion, Lead-Acid, and many more. In contrast, mAH stands for milliampere-hour or the rating for the amount of current that you can expect to draw for a given amount of time. A single type of battery can come in different mAH capacities; typical values for AA batteries are 1000mAH, 2000mAH, and 2400mAH.

The type of battery, like NiMH, determines the battery’s characteristics and how it performs. For example, NiMH batteries are preferred over NiCD batteries because they typically have a higher energy density, which translates to longer run times. It is also preferred because it does not suffer from the memory effect. The mAH rating of a battery is just about capacity. A 2400mAH NiMH battery would not have any other advantage over a 1000mAH NiMH battery aside from the fact that it will last a lot longer.

An area where you should be concerned is the charger that you would use with your batteries. Different types of batteries are charged in different manners, so it is not advisable to use a NiCd battery charger to charge NiMH batteries and vice versa. You should always see to it that you have the right kind of charger for your battery. In this regard also, mAH is not a major concern since chargers are capable of charging any battery capacity. Something you need to pay attention to though is pairing batteries together. Most chargers charge batteries in pairs because they are also commonly used in pairs. It is advisable that you keep batteries pairings constant so that they both are always in the same state. Avoid pairing batteries that do not have the same capacity (1000mAH with a 2400mAH) as this will result in one battery being spent faster than the other one and can lead to damage.

Summary:

NiMH is a type of battery while mAH is the current rating for the battery
NiMH dictates a battery’s characteristics while mAH dictates how long it will last
NiMH batteries should be charged with a NiMH battery charger


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1 Comment

  1. Can a 2600mAH battery be used safely in a camera that recommends an 2500mAH battery. Does the 2600 charge last longer?

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