Thursday, November 23, 2017

Extending the Life of Alkaline Batteries

A good number of households have a huge energy suck. It eats double helpings of food, turns on every light in the house in the middle of the day, has a Wii, parks its ass in front of the television with the remote nearby, and has no problem saying,

"Hey Christy! I need new batteries for (fill in the blank)."

Batteries are in endless supply in this energy eater's mind. Electricity is a mysterious wonder that never fails. Money is limitless and as reliable as the sunrise.

It's Thanksgiving Day. Tomorrow all of us with this thing will start buying it more stuff to use for eating more energy. I'm telling you! The battery companies worship this being like a god.

Today, I decided to win one little victory over the teenager. When I was handed 4 "dead" AA batteries yesterday, it occurred to me that these should be as rechargeable as my deep cycle batteries at the cabin. I did some googling and came across two useful ways to squeeze the life out of the Energizer company.

There are a number of YouTube videos that recommend Universal Alkaline Battery Chargers. Lickity split! I bought one. I'm going to wrap it and put it under the tree for me. A good charger should work for AAA, AA, and 9V batteries. I'm highly doubtful I'll get the batteries back to full charge, but if I can recharge them for even 3 extra uses, I'll be pretty happy.

I also saw a video demonstration of someone using old batteries to power LED lights. He powered little night lights, lamps and flashlights. LED bulbs use less power, and they require less voltage to light up. Many modern devices will stop working once the battery had discharged below 1.5 volts. Usually around 1.3 volts, death of the fun will happen. LED lights don't need that much power to work. I had no idea.

As a society, we're spoiled and wasteful. We don't think twice about energy and how we get it. Many people with a reliable and good income constantly complain about "not having enough money." I admit it. I do it sometimes, too. This renewable and sustainable project of mine is not only teaching me new and interesting science, it's making me much more aware and appreciative of my resources. Everyday, I am mindful and consciously thinking about energy, where it comes from and how to respect it.

Now that I've discovered the lasing truth about alkaline batteries, I would like to give thanks for the cheapo guys out there that have figured out how to extend the life of these little energy staples.

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