Simple grips can extend the life of your batteries.
We use batteries all year long, especially in the dark season. In the smoke detector it is vital that the battery is functioning, while in other situations there is no crisis if the battery has quenched. Just insert new, and you’re ready to use the item again.
Rechargeable batteries have become increasingly common, but still the alkaline batteries are dominating. These have a life span which, however, can be extended if we store and use the batteries properly. Or shorten if we use them incorrectly.
There are several conditions affecting battery life. It’s about using the right battery for the right thing. “Some electronic products suck the power out of a battery faster than Dracula,” writes the Howstuffworks website.
Another point is to save the batteries so that they lose the least possible when not in use. The reason is that all electrical products draw tiny electricity even when not in use, so-called “vampire flow”.
And then you should avoid buying batteries in stores that do not usually have batteries in their product range.
– Batteries are fresh and you buy them in stores that do not usually sell batteries, you may risk getting old batteries, “says Ola Nilsen.. no. He is a Associate Professor at the Chemical Institute at the University of Oslo.
Stores electrical energy
There are many different types of batteries. Those we consume usually come into contact with you are alkaline and nickel metal hydride (NiMH). The first is of use and throw-type, while lithium batteries can be recharged. Both operate according to the same principle, as described on the pages of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): “A battery is a device that is capable of storing electrical energy in the form of chemical energy, and converting this energy to electricity, writes the.
In essence, the battery consists of two components: electrodes / poles (anode and cathode) and an electrolyte.
– The electrolyte is a chemical medium that allows only transport of electrical charge (ions) between the cathode and the anode. This means that the electrons, which we perceive as electricity, have to go a different way, through the wires and appliances, to do a job for us, expands Ola Nilsen.
In principle, the release of the electrical energy occurs by the so-called ions moving inside the battery while electrons simultaneously move through the electrical circuit that is connected to the battery.
“This is a brilliant construction, as we can easily control the path to the electrons from one pole of the battery to the other. In principle, the reaction should only take place when the poles are connected to one another through a wire. Then we also have the opportunity to use these electrons to do a job for us, “writes Ola Nilsen on the pages of the Chemical Institute.
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The challenge with a battery is that it slowly releases itself, so-called self-discharge. This can happen in several situations and will reduce battery life. But by using and storing the battery smartly, we can extend the service life.
Ola Nilsen explains this because the electrolyte, which should initially lead only ions, also has a tinge of electrons.
– For nothing is perfect, therefore, batteries have a small self-discharge current, he expands over clicks. no.
For an unused battery, the challenge is to reduce the self-discharge to a minimum. This can be done by storing it cool.
– The small self-discharge that occurs in a battery is temperature-dependent and decreases at lower temperatures, explains Ola Nilsen.
– Therefore, keep the batteries cool.
It is also important that the batteries are stored sealed in the refrigerator, preferably in their original packaging. And in those cases where the batteries are not delivered in a package, they should be stored in a closed dry plastic box according to Ola Nilsen.. This because of the fact that they will not come into contact with moisture, as the website Wisegeek writes: “Although a refrigerator has low humidity, batteries that are not sealed in an airtight container may be exposed to moisture from other items in the refrigerator, which could destroy the electrical circuit “.
– Anything that can lead to a small short circuit of the battery will be unfortunate, Nilsen expands and explains that increasing humidity in a refrigerator, due to the fact that hot foods are put into it can result in such shorting.
– But it is not a big problem at all.
Remove the battery when not in use
On the WiseGeek website, it is recommended to remove the batteries in items that are rarely used. It is justified that most electronics draw small amounts of power even when they are switched off, so-called “vampire current”.
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– It will depend on the products how much this leak will be, explains Ola Nilsen.
– For quality appliances with a good on / off switch and corresponding electrical circuit, it will be of little importance to remove the battery because the energy loss will be very low. But it never hurts to do that.
On the other hand, Nilsen would take out the battery for the device itself.
– With older types of batteries, the so-called sincarbon types, you could risk that the battery began to leak and damage the device.
The risk is reduced with the new types of batteries that are now in sale, but it can still happen.
Straight battery for the correct device
Battery life also depends on the context in which it is used, because it does not matter which battery you plug into which device. Some batteries are designed to withstand tough use, such as in digital cameras.
– Check the back of the battery pack, which will most often indicate the intended use of the battery, explains Nilsen and exposes alkaline batteries to dry out if they are dropped too fast.
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– But even when apparently it is empty, the battery will recover if it is placed at room temperature for a while. However, the discharge is a sign that the battery is approaching the end of its life.
Rechargeable batteries must not be emptied
Rechargeable batteries are used in many contexts, but their use differs from the alkaline batteries. The rechargeable should not be dropped too far.
– If a rechargeable battery is dropped too far, it will have an impact on how many times it can be recharged, so-called cycling, “says Ola Nilsen, who also warns against recharging rechargeable batteries.
– Overload kills most rechargeable batteries.
Use the same battery type
If the equipment or device requires more than one battery, it is important to use the same type of battery with the same capacity and usage history. If one of the batteries in a series is worse than the others, this may be fully discharged during use.
– Then the other batteries could create so-called electrolysis in the discharged battery and destroy it completely. In the worst case, explosive gases can form which can cause more damage, emphasizes Ola Nilsen.
– So the recommendation from the dealers about using the same battery is not just a sales outlet to buy more batteries, but an important factor in the use of batteries.
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