Sanyo Eneloop cells are no longer available in New Zealand, but the new rebranded Panasonic Eneloops are. That's not a bad thing in itself, but sadly the Eneloops available in New Zealand are made in China, not Japan. The Japanese made Eneloops look good, but the Chinese made ones appear to be no better than any other LSD batteries. They don't hold as high a voltage under load, and they don't last as many cycles.
Chinese made Eneloops – Panasonic branded – can be bought from PB
Technologies (NZ$17.93 for 4). (Link opens a product search for "eneloop".)
Japanese made AA Eneloops (US$16.16, ~NZ$23) and AAA Eneloops (US$12.33, ~$17) are available from Fasttech. (The product photos indicate they are made in Japan.)
Older Sanyo branded cells are still available from some sources, although fake Eneloops have turned
up at some shops.
Sadly Dick Smith Electronics has sold out of Eneloops and it's a great pity they didn't recognise their
value. Their replacement - a DSE-branded low self discharge cell
- are more expensive than PB Tech's Eneloops, and look like a relabeled
version of a certain brand of poor quality cell. I don't recommend them. Stick
with Eneloops or one of the other top brands. Update Dec 2010: DSE have
given up on their house brand and returned to stocking Eneloops! Not
the best prices but it's excellent that they have them again. Update Jan 2016: Dick Smith Electronics has gone into receivership and are not honouring gift cards – something I regard as theft.
Note that the second generation Eneloop is rated good
for 1,500 cycles (up from 1,000 cycles) and still having 75% of its capacity
after three years (85% after 1 year for the first version). Eneloops are widely regarded as having the lowest self discharge amongst all the low self discharge cells available.
GS Yuasa EniTime is a newer arrival on the LSD scene, but GS
Yuasa has been around for many years. DealExtreme has some GS Yuasa LSD
cells which are quite inexpensive – perhaps suspiciously so for the AAA:
AA 2,100 mAh (US$14.17, ~NZ$20) and Enitime
AAA 800 mAh (US$9.20, ~NZ$13). Users have mostly reported OK
results so they're probably genuine, although their LSD ability isn't
the best – initial self discharge (20% loss in the first month) is faster
than other LSD cells but settles down to a slower rate after a while.
Higher capacity cells with LSD properties are also available. However, there is a trade off
between capacity and other attributes. Cells with the lowest self discharge and the longest cycle lifes are around 2,000-2,100
mAh only. Higher capacity LSD cells have a higher rate of self discharge and do not last as many cycles. For example:
The Sanyo XX AA cell is rated at 2500 mAh, and to have 75% charge after 1 year and last up to 500 cycles. Compare that with the Sanyo Eneloop AA, which is rated at 2000 mAh, and to have 90% charge after 6 months or 75% charge after 3 years and last up to 1500 cycles. For ordinary day to day use I recommend the Eneloop even though it has less capacity.
Rebranded under the Panasonic label (Panasonic bought Sanyo) as the Eneloop Pro, it now claims 85% charge after 1 year.
New Zealand battery retailer Ian Jenkins at Ecobatteries sells
other brands of higher capacity cells with LSD properties, notably the Yuasa Enitime 2,500
mAh and the Maha Imedion 2,400
mAh. His own testing at a constant 1 amp discharge has shown
them to have 2,255 mAh and 2,133 mAh respectively.
High capacity NiMH cells (non-LSD)
No high capacity batteries have a particularly long service
life, and the advantages and convenience that LSD cells like Eneloops
offer along with their very long service life make them much more attractive
in my opinion. However, your own needs may mean the higher capacities
some cells offer are worth the downsides.
The Maha Powerex brand is available
in a 2,700 mAh version at a pretty good price in New Zealand from Ian
Jenkins at Ecobatteries.
They or the Sanyo 2,700 mAh are probably the best high capacity
non-LSD cells available. I recommend Eneloop XX cells instead.
I strongly recommend that people do not buy Energizer NiMH cells. They
simply don't have the quality to provide faithful service.
Primary (single use) batteries
GP Digi1 (NiZn) is now sold out from Dick Smith Electronics.
This is a great shame - they were good batteries that used the NiZn chemistry, which has a slightly higher voltage than zinc-carbon. That extra voltage was sometimes exactly what was needed.
Car alarm remote controls commonly use small 12 volt batteries:
23A, also known as A23, GP23A, MN21, V23GA, ANSI-1181A, 8LR932, 8LR23. These
last two names come from the very small alkaline button cells that are used
to make the 23A batteries; eight LR932 cells. A 23A battery has about
50-55 mAh capacity and measures 10.3 mm diameter by 28.9 mm long.