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All About Batteries, Part 1: Introduction

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Max The Magnificent
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I'm guessing Atomic is out
Max The Magnificent   12/4/2013 3:57:21 PM
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Hi Ivan -- I'm guessing that you've ruled Atomic batteries out as a power source for my robot -- I'm very much looking forward to reading your future columns on this topic

David Ashton
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Voltages?
David Ashton   12/4/2013 4:20:01 PM
Hi Ivan and welcome

It would be nice if your list had the base voltage of each type, eg 2V for Lead-Acid, 1.2 for NiCd, etc.   Since that has some impact on the choice of a battery, maybe you'll cover that later, though??

eetcowie
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Re: Voltages?
eetcowie   12/4/2013 5:07:20 PM
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Yes, I did plan on listing the per-cell voltages. Thank you for reminding me.

Max The Magnificent
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Big Ben
Max The Magnificent   12/4/2013 5:57:55 PM
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I just read that Benjamin Franklin first coined the term "battery" in 1748 to describe an array of charged glass plates.

Max The Magnificent
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A pile of...
Max The Magnificent   12/4/2013 5:59:16 PM
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Alessandro Volta's battery was called the "Voltaic Pile" -- it was constructed of alternating discs of zinc and copper with pieces of cardboard soaked in brine between the metals.

betajet
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Baghdad Battery
betajet   12/4/2013 6:34:48 PM
Batteries may have existed 1000 or more year before Volta: see Wikipedia's History of the Battery.  If this was the case, it's hard to see why such a useful technology disappeared for so long.  Perhaps it was banned by religious forces claiming it was the work of the devil -- or a scientific threat to religion.  More likely there was a huge patent dispute which completely halted the Progress of Science and useful Arts :-)

David Ashton
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Re: Baghdad Battery
David Ashton   12/4/2013 7:10:30 PM
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@Betajet...  "it's hard to see why such a useful technology disappeared for so long"

It's because they didn't have cellphones and Ipods in those days :-)

 

chrisnfolsom
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Re: Baghdad Battery
chrisnfolsom   12/5/2013 5:31:13 AM
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Useful for what to whome?  That was the midevil period though so anything "strange" might have branded you a witch..  without Generators to charge batteries you couldn't do much - and we didn't have generators until 1873, but wow things cascaded quickly once we had power generation.

I am very interested in this subject and wish today's products would be made compatible with rechargable lithium cells running at 3.7v and normal alkalines at 1.5v so we could start having AAA, AA, 9V (3.7x3), etc pure lithium cells.  I know it might be somewhat tricky, but it would be nice to get rid of heavy, single use, low power density alkaline land fille batteries for good.  With the speed we replace electronics these day's it wouldn't take long.

Brakeshoe
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Zinc-air cells
Brakeshoe   12/5/2013 11:38:58 AM
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As a hearing aid engineer (and one of 8.5 million users) I'm particularly interested in zinc-air technology, specifically with humidity. One engineer I know calls it a fuel cell, but nstead of pumping in O2 it extracts it out of the air.

Devad
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Have you considered the question: When is it time to discard a battery ?
Devad   12/5/2013 12:06:37 PM
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This is mainly for non-rechargables (acctually it could apply to rechargable too).  Is there a standard load voltage drop vs load that's used to indicate the internal battery resistance is to high for practical use ?  Digital cameras tend to be very picky about power supply.   I've taken digitial camera batteries deemed BAD by the camera and used them succesfully in other less picky electronics. ( I wouldn't suggest using them in a  pace maker).    This begs the question: Are we discarding nearly good batteries ? Maybe recycling usefull batteries or worse sending them to the land fill.  

 

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