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Supercharged! Which Batteries Last Longest?

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Updated on Sep 07, 2012

Grade: Elementary - Middle; Type: Physical Science

Objective:

It is a very simple experiment to find out which brand of batteries have the longest life. Also we will discover whether rechargeable batteries provide devices with a longer continuous uptime than regular alkaline batteries.

Research Questions:

  • How does a battery work?
  • What types of batteries are there? What are their compositions?
  • How much power is in each battery?

Benjamin Franklin first coined the term “battery” when he thought that the arrangement of Leyden Jars look like a “battery of cannons.” The first electric cell was actually invented by an Italian physicist named Alessandro Volta. The unit “volt”, which is used to describe battery power is named after him. He created a chemical cell which contained sulfuric acid. The chemical cell he created wasn't very safe and portable however, but as the years passed, this has obviously been upgraded into what we use today: the finger-width cells that gives power to our lives.

An AA energy cell

Materials:

  • Different brands of AA batteries- Duracell, Energizer, Rayovac, store brands, etc.
  • Digital Camera (notorious battery-eater..shortens our experimentation time!)
  • Pen/paper These materials can be found at a drug store or an electronics store.

Experimental Procedure

  1. Place your first chosen battery in the digital camera. Leave it on until it no longer has enough power to keep the camera on. Record the duration of that battery in the chart below.
  2. Repeat the above for all of your chosen batteries.
  3. Evaluate which battery held up the longest against the serious battery eater- the digital camera.
Chart
Battery Name
Duration
Notes

Terms: Voltage; electrodes; alkaline; NiMH; lithium

References:

Sofia PC is currently a college student with a deep interest in science who is aspiring to become a writer. She writes about all sorts of things across all subjects including, but not limited to; science, crafts, and fashion. She hopes to become a good writer so she can share her thoughts and experiences with the world and future generations.

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