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Home Forums Technical Discussion Are AA/AAA’s ever better than wired devices?

This topic contains 5 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  WrethaOffGrid 9 years, 5 months ago.

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    I currently rent and am not off the grid, but I figure this is a good place to go with this question. I’ve seen comments, even by off-griders, that approve of using AA/AAA-powered devices rather than wired devices. (Is “wired” the term for devices plugged in to an off-grid system?) Anyway, I don’t understand how this would be preferable. It seems that if a home uses solar power, it would be preferable to plug into the solar power rather than use AA/AAA batteries, even if the batteries are rechargables and one uses a solar-powered recharger. It seems like the batteries themselves would be a pointless waste, when there’s already a clean power source available. Even rechargable batteries have to be disposed of eventually. What am I missing?



    The engineering of a battery powered device requires power consumption to be kept to a minimal. This criteria becomes less important in a plug in device as a result the engineer of the device is less inclined to ensure that it consumes as little power as possible. Plug in devices also often consume power even then they are turned off, this is called phantom power consumption. The amount of phantom a plug in device varies from device to device but regardless it adds up over weeks, months, years.

    You are correct in your thinking, you just didn’t put “lazy” product designers into consideration. :)


    Am I allowed to disagree? Have we neglected how much energy is put into battery manufactured to achieve those 9V ? I could be incorrectly under the impression that battery production was a ‘beast of energy consumption’, I’ve not heard anyone question this premise in a long time. Me thinks we need some references – any suggestions? I’d like to know the truth on this one. Thanks.



    The difference is the width of your concern.

    If you are interested in the ‘global’ impact, then, yes battery production is an energy pit.

    Myself, I’m more concerned with my own survival. Since battery devices hit my pocket less than wired devices, I go battery. BUT, watch out for corded recharge stations, the ‘vampire’ electrical costs can be HUGE!!!



    You can also buy lithium ion or nicad AA/AAA/9v batteries that can charge off your solar/wind/hydro/biofuel power systems, which will reduce power consumption and also be environmentally friendly. Just be sure to dispose of them correctly.



    In your on grid as well as your off grid homes, you have to watch for phantom loads, assume that everything that is plugged in is drawing power whether or not it is turned on, including the power strips, I use lots of power strips in my off grid home, each one has an on and off switch so I can turn them off, therefore cutting all power from anything that may be plugged into the strip, BUT the strip itself had a tiny little light inside the switch, so even if nothing is plugged in, if the power strip is turned on, IT is consuming power.

    Also be aware of any wall wart, those big, clunky transformers that usually take up 2 spaces on your power strip, even if you aren’t using the item that it is plugged to, the wall wart itself can be drawing power, feel them when you aren’t using it but while it is plugged in, is it warm? That means it’s consuming power. Every little bit helps.


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