// Internet Duct Tape

Battery Charged or Not

Posted in Lifehacks, Technology by engtech on April 03, 2008

Lifehacks and Productivity

The problem: It’s 3am and the wireless mouse has run out of juice. Scrounging through the battery drawer shows 13 double-A’s, but none of them have a charge. Maybe they were charged at some point, but rechargeable batteries don’t hold their charge if they aren’t being used.

All rechargeable battery manufacturers love to boast about their product’s current capacity (mAh). But there is a dirty little secret that they don’t want you to hear: self-discharge rate. Simply put: a fully charged NiCd of NiMH cell will gradually lose its stored energy over time. Technical papers I have researched typically put the self-discharge rate at 10-20% per month for NiCd cells, and 20-30% per month for NiMH cells. This kind of self-discharge rate is usually acceptable in applications such as digital cameras. via: Jeff

The solution: A social website for keeping track of:

  • how many batteries you have charged
  • which brands you use
  • which devices used charged batteries
  • when you last changed the batteries
  • Collect stats will recommend the best batteries available in your area
  • Monetized by referrer micropayments from all the battery sales

It can even have a local component for finding people who have the same interest in rechargeable batteries as you!

I kid! I kid! Contrary to popular belief, web apps aren’t the solution to every problem.

What you need is two queues of batteries, one for charged batteries and one for uncharged. The charged pile should stay mostly empty — you want some charged batteries for when you need them, but you don’t want them to stay there for months losing their charge.


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16 Responses

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  1. Kuya Jhay said, on April 03, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    This is neat! Is it a common response to look for a web app that solves most of everyday problems? ;)

  2. Adrian Rosebrock said, on April 04, 2008 at 12:06 am

    Hm, how about a web 2.0 website to track when you leave your desk to head to the bathroom? The social networking web is endless!

  3. Andy Davies said, on April 04, 2008 at 3:13 am

    What you need is some Hybrio batteries – http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/hybrio.htm

    They’re rechargeable but hold their charge longer than normal rechargeables.


  4. hitesh sahni said, on April 04, 2008 at 11:01 am

    I think you leaked out the idea of a whole new web 2.0 startup. I website to keep track of your rechargeable electronics and batteries.

    Hats off to your innovative thoughts.

  5. Vaibhav said, on April 05, 2008 at 6:01 am

    This is the one thing that keeps me from switching over completely to rechargeable batteries… but the guilt associated with using non-rechargeable batteries (for environmental reasons) keep pushing me towards adopting rechargeable batteries…

  6. // Internet Duct Tape said, on April 06, 2008 at 11:22 am

    […] Battery Charged or Not […]

  7. Ged said, on April 06, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Several vendors have followed Sanyo’s example with Eneloops, and produced low self-discharge NiMHs. They are just brilliant – the shelf life is over a year! Yes, the rated capacity is “only” 2000 MAh, but who cares – the actual capacity of a “2600” MAh cell after a few months in storage is about zero.

    Get some low self-dischage cells, a good charger, and never buy AAs again!

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  9. James said, on August 11, 2008 at 1:55 am

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