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How does specific energy and specific power differ between primary and rechargeable batteries?

Primary batteries have higher specific energy (ability to hold power) than secondary batteries. The below graph compares the typical gravimetric energy densities of lead acid, NiMH, Li-ion, alkaline, and lithium primary batteries.

Specific Energy Comparison Chart

The specific power (ability to deliver power) of rechargeable batteries outperforms primary batteries. Furthermore, rechargeable batteries are much more resilient under high loads. The below graph compares the performance of primary and rechargeable batteries under light load (mild discharge) and heavy load (1C).

Specific Power Comparison Chart

Rechargeable Batteries

Lithium Ion Cylindrical

3.7v lithium ion 2-cell battery pack
  • Long Life Cycle
  • 3.7V High Operating Voltage
  • Ideal for Portable Devices
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Lithium Polymer

3.7 V li-po battery
  • UL1642 and IEC62133 certified
  • Low self-discharge rate
  • Available in any size
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Nickel Metal Hydride

Nickel Metal Hydride Battery Pack of 4 AA cells
  • Low Cost
  • Nominal Voltage of 1.2V
  • Single Cell or Multi-pack
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