A simple, cheap device could extend disposable battery life eight-fold; it suits all batteries from AAA to D and it works by keeping its voltage boosted to just above what most appliances consider ‘dead’.
The technology was developed by US-based start-up, Batteroo and it’s called a ‘Batteriser’. It basically comprises of a very thin stainless steel sleeve (0.1 mm) that you can clip onto any battery; it’s so small that you can include it to all modern appliances, including remote controls, wireless keyboards, sensors and console controllers.
The physics behind it is not very complicated, but the idea is very creative. When we use an alkaline battery, it generates 1.5 Volts for some time, but as soon as it’s no longer able to maintain that voltage, devices write it off as dead – except it’s not. It still has over 80% power inside, but it just can’t keep the voltage up, so essentially, we’re throwing away perfectly good batteries. This is where Batteriser enters the stage.
“The Batteriser has boost circuitry that will boost the voltage from 0.6 volts to 1.5 volts and will maintain voltage at 1.5 – which is a brand new battery,” one of the team behind the invention, electrical engineer Bob Roohparvar, told Jon Phillips at PCWorld.
So they developed the sleeve, and then they tested it. They inserted batteries that went up to 1.3 volts into devices, and the devices didn’t work. But with the sleeve, the voltage was boosted back up to 1.5 volts, and it worked!
“We tested the Batteriser sleeve in our lab and we confirmed that the Batteriser taps into 80 percent of energy that is usually thrown away,” said physicist Kiumars Parvin from San Jose State University, who was asked to independently verify the results.
The technology will work for both one-time and rechargeable batteries, and will be sold in packs of four for $10. They’re planning on having them on the market by September this year and they’re already working on a crowdfunding project on IndieGoGo. It’s definitely one of the most promising projects I’ve seen lately. If it works properly, then it has the potential to save a lot of batteries – and a lot of money.