A new device is set to give any disposable battery - from AAA to D - eight times its usual lifespan by keeping its voltage boosted to just above what most appliances consider 'dead'. Developed by US-based start-up, Batteroo, the so-called 'Batteriser' is a stainless steel sleeve that you can clip onto any battery, and because it's just 0.1 mm thick, it can fit into any kind of device, including TV remotes, torches, bluetooth keyboards, and console controllers.
The idea behind the Batteriser is that a new alkaline battery will be able to generate 1.5 Volts for some time, but as soon as its voltage drops to 1.4 Volts or below, most devices write it off as dead. This means that when we're throwing out what we think are spent batteries, we're throwing out something that still has 80 percent of its energy left inside. And that's where this new voltage booster technology comes into play.
"The Batteriser has boost circuitry that will boost the voltage from 0.6 volts to 1.5 volts and will maintain voltage at 1.5 - which is a brand new battery," one of the team behind the invention, electrical engineer Bob Roohparvar, told Jon Phillips at PCWorld.
While this technology behind the Batteriser voltage booster has been around for many years, the difference here is that Roohparvar and his team have managed to shrink it down enough so it will fit inside any battery compartment you throw at it. "The key is we've been able to miniaturise the boost circuit to a point that no one else has been able to achieve," Roohparvar said.
Testing the performance of the Batteriser is easy - Roohparvar just needs to take some 'dead' batteries with a 1.3-Volt output, and slot them into a Bluetooth keyboard. Naturally, the keyboard doesn't recognise these batteries as functional, and will not operate. The batteries are then fitted with Batteriser sleeves to boost the voltage back to 1.5 Volts, slotted back inside the Bluetooth keyboard, and "Voila: The Mac reported the battery level at 100 percent," Phillips reports.
"We tested the Batteriser sleeve in our lab and we confirmed that the Batteriser taps into 80 percent of energy that is usually thrown away," said physicist Kiumars Parvin from San Jose State University, who was asked to independently verify the results.
Roohparvar says the Batteriser will also work with rechargeable batteries that have slipped to a 1.2-Volt output, and will be sold in packs of four for $10. They're planning on having them on the market by September this year, and will launch a crowd-funding Indiegogo campaign later this month.
It's the kind of technology that just might put a dent in the 15 billion batteries that end up in landfill around the world each year, so hopefully we'll see these helpful little devices in stores soon.