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Stressed Shell Battery

Stop letting the damn things just lay there - put 'em to work
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You see stressed components in a lot of stuff - older tractors stressed the tranny case, modern motorcycles will use the engine as a stressed component of the frame, there are other examples but these are the first off the top of my head.

Batteries in all kinds of stuff are given a neat little box or frame to rest in. The box itself is supported and protected.

Considering how much of a modern automotive battery is recycled, can it be that much harder to reuse the shell, too? And if we're going to take that step, can't we just make the shell tough enough to bolt the battery directly to the car and skip the support tray?

Another idea: in R/C cars, the battery has its own tray, but if the shell of the battery were just a little more robust, the battery itself could much of the chassis' backbone, adding strength and reducing weight.

Mostly this idea is about completely changing the concept of consumer batteries - if it were more of a structural element, more robust, there would be more incentive (I hope) to recycle and reuse them, rather than treat them as consumables to be used once and discarded.

elhigh, Mar 26 2008


       This would be good in, for instance, an airframe; but it would be awkward in vehicles, giving manufacturers even more control of aftermarket spares. Easy enough to go to your local parts supplier and get a "12V 45AHr" battery, but make it too model specific and you can be sure that the price will go up.   

       This only makes sense if the component can be a relatively simple swap out (secondary cells don't have an indefinite life, rather dependant on service history), unless the battery has a similar planned lifetime to the overall vehicle.
8th of 7, Mar 26 2008

       Interesting notion, but in the case of replaceable batteries (the most common form of consumer battery), you're talking about adding more material to the part you throw away for the sake of saving a little weight on the device that you retain.
Alterother, Mar 26 2008

       'Bolt, 3/8"x24 thread, 2 1/2 inch long, 9/16" hex head (+), 1.5v, 2700mAh, alkaline'
lurch, Mar 27 2008

       This is certainly worth considering for electric or hybrid cars, where the battery weight is considerable and high density. Being able to use the battery as part of the chassis would save space and lower the centre of gravy, even if they were just put inside the tubular floor frame.
marklar, Mar 27 2008

       My goal is to make the battery too valuable to throw away. There's a $5 "core charge" on new car batts around here, but that's not enough - a lot of folks will just toss them, bury them in their garbage that's picked up by the automated trucks, or toss them into dumpsters. I know that's illegal, but that's the mindset: if they're done using it, then it must be trash.   

       [lurch] - that's not far from what I'm talking about. Distributed, multi-functional capacity.
elhigh, Mar 27 2008


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