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Panasonic Eneloop AA 1900 mAh NiMH or Pro 2500mAh rechargeable batteries

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I'm about to order some rechargeable batteries to use in my Tado TRV's. I am aware from the help article (link below) that Tado say to use "Panasonic Eneloop AA 1900 mAh NiMH rechargeable batteries (we do not recommend using any other type of rechargeable batteries)."

What type of batteries should I use in my tado° devices? How do I replace them? | Help Center

I seem to recall that the reason for suggesting the Eneloop ones was because their physical size allowed them to comfortably fit into the battery compartment without danger of sticking.

Eneloop also sell higher capacity (Pro = 2500mAh) AA batteries and I was wondering if any users have used these and, if so, can advise on their findings?

Best Answers

  • JohnWH
    Answer ✓
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    @davidlyall

    I agree that a thread listing user experiences with rechargeable batteries could be useful.

    According to the Technical Specifications (link below) of the Eneloop batteries the standard AA ones have a slightly smaller (14.35mm) diameter than the Pro ones (14.5mm).

    Link: https://www.panasonic-eneloop.eu/sites/default/files/Catalogue_eneloop_ENG_2017_DEF_LR.pdf

    With no other users reporting that they have sucessfully used the Eneloop Pro cells and given the concerns regarding cells fitting comfortably within the battery compartment of the Tado Smart radiator valves I think it's sensible for me to stick with the standard ones for now.

  • JohnWH
    Answer ✓
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    Hi,
    Yes rechargeable batteries can only be used in VA02 thermostatic heads. See this Tado article:
    https://support.tado.com/en/articles/3403608-what-type-of-batteries-should-i-use-in-my-tado-devices-how-do-i-replace-them

Answers

  • davidlyall
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    Have you compared the technical specs of the two battery models? That should give you an indication of the physical characteristics

    It might be useful to have a thread on here with rechargable battery models that users have had success with.

  • JohnWH
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    I'm about to order some rechargeable batteries to use in my Tado TRV's. I am aware from the help article (link below) that Tado say to use "Panasonic Eneloop AA 1900 mAh NiMH rechargeable batteries (we do not recommend using any other type of rechargeable batteries)."

    What type of batteries should I use in my tado° devices? How do I replace them? | Help Center

    I seem to recall that the reason for suggesting the Eneloop ones was because their physical size allowed them to comfortably fit into the battery compartment without danger of sticking.

    Eneloop also sell higher capacity (Pro = 2500mAh) AA batteries and I was wondering if any users have used these and, if so, can advise on their findings?

  • eezytiger
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    I've just taken delivery of 20 Ikea LADDA 1900 rechargeable AA batteries in preparation for the forthcoming winter season. I've seen a few comments here and YouTube comparisons which suggest they may be Eneloop 1900s in disguise, with equivalent performance and dimensions, but at significantly lower cost - £5 per pack of four.

    They're on the charger now, so far too early to comment on performance in the long term, but I tried two pairs in one of my Tado SRTs and the fit was easy peasy. Also, no problem to operate the SRT with the "ready to use" charge they came with.

    My understanding regarding other brands and capacities is that there is a question mark over physical fit. That would include the 2500 LADDAs, just like the larger Eneloops.

    By the way, although only one of my SRTs was grumbling about battery life, as I set about re-fitting them all (dismounted over summer months) I had another three start moaning about the batteries as they tried to calibrate. So don't get caught out when the time comes to fire up the heating this year.


  • FionaC
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    I've been using the eneloop's for 3 months. Had to dismount the radiator thermostat and recharge very 4 weeks. Has anyone else had this problem?

  • wateroakley
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    Has anyone else had this problem?

    nope. Had issues with one a Tado trv that used a lot of battery, nothing else.

    kr, H

  • Kissarmy
    edited November 2022
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    I have Eneloop Pro 2500mAh batteries in 14 SRTs. No problem with fit or performance so far but I have only had them a month. My house has a thick centre wall and the furthest SRTs were eating batteries. With rechargeables this doesnt really matter as long as there are 2batteries in the charger ready to swap out.
  • FionaC
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    I get over a year in the SRTs from non-rechargeable Energiser batteries. Only using the one-set of rechargeables so far but if I expand them out it will become once or twice a week. Replacing and recharging so often will drive me crazy over the winter.

  • eezytiger
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    My Ikea 1900 mAh LADDA rechargeable batteries were fitted to eight rads in September this year. So far, as at 8th November, one set have already given a battery warning, but I suspect it was a "cry wolf" as the charge seemed fine. Nonetheless I replaced them with another freshly charged set and no more grumbles. Maybe that one SRT has a lower tolerance for voltage drop. Maybe one of the batteries in that set is a little sub par in performance. Hard to know for sure.

    Not a peep from the other rads. Of course, it's only been about six weeks of heating season up till now, but I have used Eneloops in one or two rads before the switch to the (much cheaper) LADDAs and they seemed to last well enough. Don't ask how many months - I did not make notes - but long enough not to irritate me. In fact, once fitted, I'm not sure that any needed a recharge before I made the wholesale swap to LADDAs.

  • can you only use rechargeable batteries on the newer radiator thermostats?

  • FionaC
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    @Ervcrt100 just checked the support which says:

    For the VA01 Smart Radiator Thermostat use two fresh AA alkaline batteries (LR6).

    For the VA02 Smart Radiator Thermostat (available since 2019) and the Smart Radiator Thermostat Basic you can either use:

    • two fresh AA alkaline batteries (LR6) or
    • Two Panasonic Eneloop AA 1900 mAh NiMH rechargeable batteries (we do not recommend using any other type of rechargeable batteries).

    Problem solved! The thermostat with eneloops in it is "VA01....". Most of my thermostats are "VA3..." - does anyone know if that means they are actually VA02? How can I find out?

  • My recently acquired knobs all have a healthy mix of serial numbers starting with VA0, 1, 2 and 3, so I doubt you can tell directly from the leading digits of the serial numbers. When you use the unofficial python stuff to query the webAPI, one of the items returned is 'deviceType': 'VA02', for all of them in my case. Probably it also has this info on the device itself, but I'm not going to take one off to check, that is left as an exercise for tge reader..
  • The device Model number is printed near the pairing button.
  • eezytiger
    eezytiger ✭✭✭
    edited December 2022
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    A small update on my IKEA LADDA experience. I've now had four SRTs whine about battery condition in under for months.

    The first set to go, I simply recharged without thought. I've no idea of the actual charge state when Tado complained.

    The next couple of sets reported low battery within 30 minutes of each other. Both sets only took a small recharge - about 15% of capacity to refill. i.e. They were still at 85% when Tado complained.

    The fourth set gave the warning a few days ago. Based on the experience of others on the forum I ignored the message.

    So, I think that the LADDA 1900 batteries are completely fine to use, but Tado might have some work to do on the battery alerts. There's a bit of "cry wolf" going on.

  • jamese8
    jamese8 ✭✭✭
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    So in essence seems to me there are 3 design issues with the radiator thermostat in connection with battery use that I have discovered. Pretty major I think and im mulling getting rid of them 

    1 - vertical mounting seems to be an issue in that the temp sensor is directly above the flow pipe, so tends to go through process of turning on and turning off. Could be wrong. If this is the case, it would lead to more battery use. Reading more suggest they really should have a separate sensor, but thats prohibitive as need to be tado ($$) at present - perhaps that will change eventually when communication protocols between devices are updated. (You can see how uptake of Matter is a whole big thing coming up )

    2 - battery compartment size. Some say this is the reason only alkaline or Panasonic eneloop. Well thats a pretty stupid mistake to make! It is SO basic. So not only do they not fit, but also they wedge in so contact is not made with the contact on closing the compartment.

    3- apparently the specific type of battery. eg Panasonic eneloop 1900mAh is important. Perhaps tado help are confusing the issue, and it's really about SIZE not TYPE, and its other issues that are causing battery failure. Perhaps it's both. But they need to be clear. 

    I am fed up with constantly replacing batteries, and if solution is not forthcoming they are going to be returned a faulty.

  • shaakunthala
    edited February 2023
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    While trying to find more information on this, I came across the following accepted suggestion, where Tado has explained why Panasonic.

    So far my experience:

    1. I've used IKEA LADDA 2450 mAH on one of my TRVs. It works fine.
    2. Today I changed batteries of another. It did its "cry wolf" thing. But after removing and re-inserting batteries one more time, it worked fine. Also, one of the batteries got stuck in the battery compartment, but I was able to pull it out with a finger.

    I think this is why Tado doesn't recommend other types of batteries. By observing their "very diligent" documentation style I can imagine that they don't want to recommend inserting fingers or tweezers into the battery compartment in case things go wrong.

    Also, thinking this hypothesis out loud - What if VERY cheap non-standard battery types tend to heat up (event) at mechanically idle current and thus cause reading error? (I don't think anybody will do that though :) )

    In conclusion, I will continue using the pool of IKEA LADDA 2450 mAH batteries which I have already stockpiled.

  • PaulEd
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    Hi @Kissarmy, How gave you been getting on with the Eneloop Pros since? How often are you charging? I am also considering this battery and would be great to hear how thing's are going?

  • decoy
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    Im testing the Pro variety now as the standards showed poorer performance,

    Will report back when they need replacing

  • decoy
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    Well, Im getting alerts to replace them now, after a month, so not great.

    But I have also noticed the Tado alerts are not always accurate, so will leave them in there for a bit longer

  • @PaulEd Sorry for the late reply. I'm happy to report that the Pro 2500 batteries are performing well. I have only had to swap out 3 sets over the last 3 months and they are radiators that are at the limits of good reception. This is a very good thing as I work away a lot and my wife does not like changing the batteries. I would have no problem recommending them.
  • SteveJH
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     How can I check if I have VA02 or VA01 Smart Radiator Thermostats?

    ·      The easiest way is to check the current firmware version. If the firmware version is 70.x or higher. If this is the case, you have the VA02 hardware revision and you can start using Eneloop 2000 NiMh rechargeable batteries.

    ·      The next way to check is to look at the sticker on the inside of the device, it will state either VA01 or VA02 under "Modell".

  • I started to get alerts from the radiator thermostats furthest from my bridge (thick brick walls between them) after only a few weeks. I panicked and bought the 'approved' eneloop 1900 batteries to avoid falling foul of any warranty. Tado support simply kept repeating that battery as the only one to use when I asked about the Pro (or Lithium) ones, without explanation.

    I have come to the conclusion that the alerts are false. I've since ignored their notifications to change more (and not started to use my stock of re-chargables) and everything seems to be continuing fine... Thinking about the alerts, I assume that it's based on the at-rest voltage and it's not always accurate. Somehow they have to detect the difference between NiMh and Alkaline (1,2V vs 1.5V) and, maybe, that's the defining property for rechargeable type and capacity? Lithiums would be 1.5V but their voltage is likely to remain stable until near the very end, meaning that a drop-off would not be measured until it's too late to report low state of charge. On the other hand the battery state may be a function of the signal strength received by the bridge(?)

    I could cope with a once-a-season replacement regime but my hasty choice of eneloop was to overcome the need to buy fresh batteries so frequently. I'd suggest that simply keeping an eye on those valves that are flagged as 'failing' might see you through a season without changing them after all.

  • I just inserted Energizer ones. Think they were 2300 mAh.

    They fit fine and a so far ok.

    I did first try some cheap ones I’ve had off Amazon (“Peak Power” 2600 mAh) which I use elsewhere in the home
    But these appear to be too “fat”.

    Energizer ones are fine size wise. Time will tell how they perform.