Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

19
Sep

Apple Boosts Their Battery Sizes for Upcoming iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C

iphone-5sThe soon to be released iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C are going to be sporting more than just an updated OS and shiny new colors. The newest offering from Apple will be sporting a new “boosted” battery to give users longer usage.

The point of a long lasting battery has always been one of the gripes from Apple enthusiasts. While the devices themselves are very strong and robust, the battery life was always something to be desired. After prolonged use, it just seems like you could watch the battery meter go down. However, at the event held on Sept. 10th, Apple did mention something to do with the battery. But, they did not go that much into detail.

With some snooping through recent FCC filings we can see that perhaps there is going to be a little more juice under the iPhone hood. The last iPhone, the iPhone 5, included a 5.45 Whr, or 1440 mAh, battery. According to the FCC documents, the iPhone 5S will jump up to 5.96 Whr (or around 1570 mAh), while the iPhone 5C will increase to 5.73 Whr (around 1507 mAh). Of course, an FCC filing document could also be off–these aren’t publicly announced battery capacities from Apple–but the increase looks believable.

With these ratings, and what Apple did reveal at their media event, the newest iPhones yield up to 10 hours of 3G talk time (two more hours than iPhone 5), and 250 hours of standby. If this is true, then the iPhone 5S will definitely be king of the line.

iphone5sleaked-610x400

In the above picture, (courtesy of MacRumors) we can see what the reported battery may look like. There is only way to be sure, and that is to wait until Friday to pick one up ourselves.

23
Apr

Just how dangerous are generic batteries?

When shopping online for various Rechargeable Batteries, you are bound to run across some brands that are far cheaper than the quality name brands such as Vapex or Ansmann. They seem like such a great deal that you just can’t pass them up – 3000mAh AA batteries for 1/4 the price of the name brands. But what value really do you get for your money?

bty-rechargeable-1-2v-3000mah-ni-mh-aa-batteries

A user over from CandlePowerForums had the following review and opinion after purchasing some to test:

I made the sad, sad mistake of purchasing some cheap BTY brand batteries awhile back, thinking that even if they’re not as good as advertised they’d at least be somewhat close.

I got 8 AAs and 8 AAAs for some obscenely low amount, shipped from somewhere in the orient. I forget where exactly.

The AAs are advertised as “2500”.. no “mah” after that number, but the ebay listing said “2500 mah”. The AAAs have “1000,” again with no “mah” on them.

Whereas all my other Nimh AAs weigh 28-30g, these BTYs weigh in at 16g. Waaay lighter. The BTY AAAs are about 2g lighter than my other-branded AAAs. A little lighter.

So I did some testing recently on my LaCrosse and it turns out that, after a couple of chargings, the AAs have an average capacity of 450 to 500 mah. The AAAs actually have MORE capacity than the AAs… around 600 mah.

The more disturbing part is that when put on the charger, the AAs will rise up to 1.8 volts before the charger stops charging them. This happens for all of them. I don’t know why.

The item of concern is not the lower than average mAh capacity than advertised  but the excessively high voltage that was being registered. 1.8v per battery can wreak havoc on some sensitive electronic items, and possible do some irreversible damage. If a device was designed to run on 6 AA batteries, at a typical alkaline voltage of 1.5v per cell, this would give you around 9v output. It you were using these BTY brand, you could be pushing as much as 10.8v, and possibly render the device or gadget useless from excessive voltage.

Another example of a generic boost’ battery (Charge your gadgets on the go) goes the extra step to fool the purchaser – by adding sand to the inside of the battery case to give the illusion of battery weight. It is highly unlikely this company that slapped this battery together took any time to make sure that the battery would safely charge your devices as intended. All they care about is that the appearance of a initial charge passes to make a quick sale.

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So what may seem like an initial savings up front, may cost you far more than you think if these bargain cheap batteries do any damage to your expensive goods. And good luck trying to file a claim for damages, it is likely the complaints will go unanswered.

Thanks for reading our article!  Make sure you shop at a reputable Battery supplier such as Electronics Warehouse for all your Rechargeable battery needs!

 

By Michael Nace.

21
Apr

Are rechargeable battery kiosks really a good solution?

A new start-up is trying out rechargeable battery dispensing kiosks at a local store chain. The premise is that you pay for a set of 4 batteries at a set price. Then you take the batteries home and use them until spent – then return them to the same kiosk for fully charged replacements at a discounted price.

BETTERY-Station-Swap-Station

As detailed on The Bettery website:

“Swapping batteries is simple, you just: Buy batteries at any BETTERY Swap Station, at participating retail locations.  

Take the batteries home, and use them until they are drained.

Swap the drained batteries at the BETTERY Swap Station for freshly tested and charged batteries – without the hassling with recharging at home”

This is a good concept to get consumers familiar with the use of Rechargeable Batteries, but at a fairly high cost to the individual. The cost of ‘purchasing’ a set of AA’s is near retail of the cheaper brands. When the batteries you have used are finished, you need to drive to the store that the kiosk is located at to exchange – hopefully the store is open when you want to get more batteries.

Essentially the cost to swap out batteries is 1/4 the price of the initial purchase. However after a few cycles of driving to the kiosk to swap out batteries, you may be questioning yourself why you did not simply purchase batteries and a charger outright in the first place.

The statement of “without the hassling with recharging at home.” May need to be questioned, as having to drive to a local kiosk and paying a fee every time to recharge seems like a much larger hassle in my opinion.

By Michael Nace

Skip the Kiosk and stay at home while ordering up some Rechargeables from Electronics Warehouse today!

 

14
Apr

Are Rechargeable Batteries the best form of grid reserve power?

Utilizing Wind turbines and expandable lithium-ion batteries installed in mobile storage containers, AES Energy Storage is making a profit over an easy to deploy solution. By having the rechargeable battery banks installed in semi-truck containers, they can be easily be piggybacked upon an already up and running installation to provide more backup power as needed.

Laurel Mtn Energy Storage Containers (2)

Some experts consider Lithium-ion too expensive a solution for this type of power, but AES Energy argues that it’s solution is working and exceeding customer expectations.

As documented by Technology Review talking with Chris Shelton, the president of AES Energy Storage:

At the Laurel Mountain facility in West Virginia, the batteries, supplied by A123 systems, are capable of charging or discharging at the rate of 32 megawatts for up to 15 minutes. Because it’s connected to a wind farm, the energy emissions-free. But AES Energy Storage earns money on the flexibility and stability it can provide to the local grid operator. In contrast to many fossil fuel plants, the batteries are used continuously and can respond within seconds, says Shelton. The project was also helped by a change in FERC regulations that rewards power providers on their ability to supply services quickly. “You can’t just look at the cost in dollars per kilowatt. There are so many factors that apply,” he says.

For a easy to deliver on demand solution that is also Eco-friendly, AES Energy Storage is certainly on the right track vs utilizing costly fossil fuels as an alternative. You just can’t put a cost on a zero-emissions power solution when it comes to the impact on the local environment.

By Michael Nace

 

28
Mar

grid-scale flow batteries may be a good addition to power grids

Startup EnerVault has a proposal for an economical to build grid-scale flow battery setup that emphasizes upon the use of a proprietary pump system. Flow battery design has proven to be a potential way to store power for off-hour use on today’s power grids.

This specific type of setup is ideal for fluctuating power needs, as capacity can be added as needed, separate from the power output of the grid. It also is easy to integrate into current installations, due to it’s modular design.

According to the source Technology Review:

Flow batteries use two big tanks of liquid electrolytes, which are circulated several times through a vessel where an electrochemical reaction takes place across a membrane. When connected to a load, a current is produced when electrons move from negative electrolyte to the positive. During recharge, a current is applied to reverse the reaction. Flow batteries are generally considered safe, an important issue for grid-scale batteries where thermal runaway of conventional batteries has caused fires at least two cases.

However the initial cost is still considered fairly high compared to other more economical solutions, such as pumped Hydro and compressed air storage methods, so more research will need to be done.

By Michael Nace

21
Mar

Ice Racer beats own record running Vapex batteries

As reported from the Wattsup-power Blog:

Jonas Gustavsson just broke broke his previous record! With a recent switch to Vapex branded rechargeable batteries, he was able to increase from 16.6kw to 18kw, with an average speed during the kilometer run of 154kmh.

 

The Vapex batteries held a higher constant voltage and delivered more power and RPM to the motor than his previous batteries, as well as holding a higher average of 3.55v/cell. The previous years batteries that were utilized were FlightTech 50C 5000 that only held 50v and were also much warmer. Jonas stated that the Vapex were barely warm after a race. Excessive heat in a battery under discharge shows indication of the battery struggling to keep up with the current draw placed upon it.

The only things that Jonas did on the Propster racer for this year was to upgrade the batteries to Vapex 30C 15s3p 5000mAh instead of 50C FlightTech 5000 15s3p. You read that correctly, a lower amperage rated battery outperformed a higher rated pack!

Extra capacitors were also wired to the speed controller, so there is no doubt that the Vapex batteries helped him to get the higher power and speed level to beat his own record. Jonas has made good PR in Swedish motorsport magazines, Swedish TV, on YouTube and on Facebook with this unique prop powered racer and the speed he has been able to squeeze out of his setup.

Did you know that Electronics Warehouse is the leading online retailer in Australia for Vapex rechargeable batteries?
 
By Michael Nace

16
Jan

Sanyo Eneloop Battery Chargers Underperform Despite Price & Prestige

Sanyo Eneloop is the undisputed leader in rechargeable batteries, but their battery chargers leave something to be desired. Find out why opting for another battery charger brand to charge your Eneloops might be the way to go.

Anyone who is savvy on rechargeable batteries knows that Sanyo Eneloop is the undisputed king. While Energizer manages to muscle its way into large retail chains with its own line of rechargeable batteries, serious techies know that Sanyo Eneloop offers the highest quality and performance. Over the past year or so, Sanyo has sought to capitalise on its well established reputation by expanding its product base and offering new gadgets that leverage their rechargeable battery technology.

With all of this being said, why does it seem as though Sanyo Eneloop’s battery chargers leave something to be desired?

Taking a look at the Sanyo Eneloop battery chargers that are sold in Australia, we’ve found several key weaknesses in their design that should give consumers some pause before buying them: Continue reading ‘Sanyo Eneloop Battery Chargers Underperform Despite Price & Prestige’

02
Oct

Apple’s Smart Battery Charger Isn’t All That Smart

For a similar price, Energizer, Sanyo Eneloop, and Vapex offer smart battery chargers that offer superior functionality.

Many tech-related blogs and online news sources have already weighed in on the Apple battery charger (ourselves included). All in all, very little was agreed upon in the media regarding the advent of Apple becoming a peddler of NiMH rechargeable battery technology: Apple detractors derided the company for apparently re-branding Sanyo Eneloop rechargeable batteries, while others lauded the Apple battery charger as the first truly “green” battery charger on the market. Given the polarizing effect that Apple products have on the tech market, you’re not bound to find much consensus on anything Steve Jobs rolls out, even if it is as lowly as a battery charger.

That being said, Apple’s claim about their charger being a “smart battery charger” needs to be challenged a bit, and compared with what constitutes a smart battery charger currently on the market today.

There’s no doubt that Apple’s marketing department has sought to characterise their battery charger as a “smart” charger. One of their sub-heads on the battery charger page is none other than “The smarter way to charge.” Citing features such as having the lowest “vampire draw” of any other battery charger on the market and the ability to maximise a rechargeable battery’s lifespan, Apple concludes that these features make the Apple battery charger a “smart” charger.

Continue reading ‘Apple’s Smart Battery Charger Isn’t All That Smart’




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