Tag: Batteries

Assault On Batteries

Baghdad BatteryI was having a discussion with Opopanax the other day – while I was busy swapping out the batteries from a remote – largely centered around the fact that there must be one battery to rule them all: one battery brand that is empirically better than all other AA-providers.

Quickly setting aside my first idea, (to buy a large sample of each type of battery and a dollar-store hand fan,) I sat down to google it.

From a 2007 article by CBS news affiliate, KDKA:

The first is a low-drain or more sustained use, which is needed for clocks, toys, and most television remotes. The second test simulated short bursts of power, or the kind you need for something like a digital camera flash.

For those short bursts of power, Consumer Reports rated the Energizer e2 Lithium battery at the top of the list. At $2.25 per battery it costs more, but tests show it is less expensive in the long-run.

For sustained use devices, testers say the alkaline batteries are the way to go.

The best of the bunch is the Kirkland AA batteries from Costco. They are .21 cents a battery and will keep your toys and other things running for a lot less than other alkaline batteries.

Fine, but what if that isn’t a deep enough discussion? What if I need more battery data?

Then I might need to head to Battery University.

Battery University is an on-line resource that provides practical battery knowledge for engineers, educators, students and battery users alike. The papers address battery chemistries, best battery choices and ways to make your battery last longer.

It’s a neat idea, and obviously a labour of love by battery geek, and President of Cadex Electronics, Isidor Buchmann. Visit to learn things like:

  Testing deep cycle lead acid batteries

  • What is the difference between Capacity and CCA?
  • Battery rapid-test methods
  • What are typical battery problems

Personally, I’ll probably just forget about this topic until my remote stops working again.

Dust In The Nuclear Wind

Astounding Cover
We live in an interesting time of guessing.

Previous to the atomic bomb, science fiction authors were trying to puzzle out how recent developments in nuclear science would effect us. For example, in 1940, Robert A. Heinlein guessed that we might turn uranium into a super weapon and dump radioactive dust on our enemies, making their territory useless (in Solution Unsatisfactory, although I believe he used the idea a couple of times) – I think he can be forgiven for not seeing the a-bomb coming, it was a year before the Manhattan Project had been created.

I believe we’re on our way towards a similar epoch, related to our current energy lust. A combination of personal electronics, and the need to collect and retain greener sources of energy, will push us into a battery\fuel cell revolution.

So – electric cars, sure, but what other opportunities do high powered batteries open up? Independently operating robots? Body-implanted computing? Jetpacks?

I suspect any guesses will appear dusty by the time the future rolls around.