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Charge Drainer

Get the most out of batteries
  (+8, -1)
(+8, -1)
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This device will completely drain any battery that is placed in it. This is useful for getting the last bit of energy from otherwise useless cells. It can also drain rechargeable batteries so that they can retain their full capacity. (This is based on my having heard that rechargeables that are recharged before they're drained do not charge fully).

The energy drained thus could be used to charge other batteries, or maybe feed right back into some household device.

centauri, Jan 15 2001

The Joule Thief http://www.emanator.../bigclive/joule.htm
[coprocephalous, Jan 13 2010]

Novel ad campaign squeezes extra life out of dead batteries http://www.gizmag.c...ies-vitamilk/29210/
[xaviergisz, Sep 28 2013]

fun with a series of depleted batteries https://www.youtube...watch?v=8hwLHdBTQ7s
[xaviergisz, Jun 01 2014]

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       First, note that it takes vastly more power to charge a battery than the battery is able to give while discharging. It would take ten fully charged batteries to recharge a single discharged battery... so this isn't likely to save on power consumption very much.   

       Second, the so-called "memory effect" you are referring to (which requires you to discharge a rechargeable battery all the way before recharging) only applies to NiCad and other old-technology batteries. Newer LiIon and NiMH batteries suffer no such problems and are generally kept "topped off" by a trickle-charging system (just like your car battery).
egnor, Jan 16 2001

       Centauri's idea is not 'kill batteries', they do that pretty well on their own. It was 'consolidate the remaining charge into one battery'...
StarChaser, Jan 20 2001

       while disposable batteries are used, their voltage is decreasing. we call them "dead" when they dont have enough voltage left for the device we want to you them in. but they still do have some voltage, just a fraction of a volt, but often a large fraction.   

       as long as you stack them in series, the fractions add up to 1.5v pretty quickly. as a kid i always stacked them to power my radio shack 150-in-1. years later i saw a hill tribe doing the same thing in a more memorable way:   

       i know a bunch of guerillas in the jungle in northern thailand. they live in the jungle and dont have much (fighting against the military dictatorship in burma). batteries are heavy and expensive. they take every last electron out of batteries before tossing them. i saw a long bamboo pole, the diameter of a D battery, filled with same, with the two leads powering a 9v radio.
gnormal, Feb 05 2001

       An educational kids toy !]
that would behave in a tamagochi like manner, could take advantage of the situation.
The children would have to find batteries near death on a regular cycle to feed an electronic critter. Failing to feed it, or overfeeding it with an underused battery, would result in a display of, malcontent, malnutrition, sickness or death.
If properly used, the toys would become necklaces of series of batteries, and the LCD critters would dance and sing or display songs and messages about responsible energy use and eco-conservation.
The critters might be able to upload information so teachers could analyse the caregiving capabilities of their students
Hopefully the toy would encourage the kids to take more care of their of batteries and make them aware of the energy crisis. In the more likely event, it will encourage them to spend minutes spinning the wheels of their Teeco minisuper Bot in the air for the sole purpose of harvesting a fresh set of dead batteries to feed their ailing critter.

       Any body guess how many wattHours of grid electricity I used to write this, in thousands of dead batteries?
it sobad, Oct 06 2003

       Had this idea this morning, or similar. It would increase the longevity of your mobile phone's battery by draining it before recharging. How to drain the power? I'm thinking a computer solving unsolvable algorithms in its spare time.   

theleopard, Feb 21 2008

       This could be very useful if it was just a built-in feature of certain battery chargers. They would first drain the battery, then charge it from empty, ensuring maximum "charge memory" or whatever that effect is called. It would, of course, take longer than a normal charger, but that would by why the feature would only be built into some chargers and not all.
Joolin, Jan 13 2010

       re [xaviergisz]'s link: "It can hold up to 1,500 batteries, which translates to about 150,000 mAh of power", which translates to about 225 Wh of energy, which translates to about 3 cents.   

       Which is also the problem with this idea: the energy in small batteries is of very low value; the value is in having a compact and portable energy store.   

       ^ I remember chargers that did exactly that, in the late '90s. It was a very good idea. Some recent Li ion chargers claim to do similar fancy things - such as detect the charge state of the battery and give it exactly what it needs for longevity and so forth.
spidermother, Sep 29 2013

       //i know a bunch of guerillas in the jungle in northern thailand//   

       Did anyone notice that comment slipping by?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 05 2014


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