Cars aren’t the only thing making the switch from gas to electricity. From lawnmowers to entire power plants, the gas engine is being replaced by batteries for a more efficient way of powering items.
Let’s examine why some items run better with batteries before looking at the numerous items being redesigned to work on electricity.
Batteries and the use of electricity represents a better solution for many things over combustion engines. Electrical items provide the same mobility as traditional tools, but they’re quieter, produce less heat and tend to be more efficient in their usage of energy than their fossil fuel-burning counterparts.
Depending upon where you live, the use of electricity in place of gasoline may be more convenient and cheaper. You only need to plug the battery in to the wall to recharge it, which means that there’s no reason to run to the gas station.
You now have a general idea as to why electricity can work better, which makes it possible to understand the practical use of batteries in place of gasoline.
Let’s examine some of the battery powered items that were formerly powered by combustion.
The most common designs for gas-powered leaf blowers have them sucking in air through the sides to cool the engine before forcing it out the front. This 90-degree turn brings a significant amount of waste into the equation due to the heightened amount of air resistance experienced.
Battery powered leaf blowers, due to the decreased amount of heat produced during their operation, don’t require this. They can use the most efficient path for air to travel, which is straight from the back to the front, which means that they require less energy to operate.
Most trimmers employed in edging lawns are bulky or burdensome. Gas lawn trimmers are heavy, while electric trimmers tend to enjoy less mobility without miles of extension cord.
Lawn trimmers that work on batteries enjoy the unique advantage of being up to 28-percent lighter than their gas-powered counterparts. Because they use batteries, you can charge them and use them until they run dry. This can make yard work easier than ever before.
If you’ve ever tried to start a gas-powered chainsaw, you’ve likely found that it takes several tries before the motor fires up.
Battery powered chainsaws can start on the first press of the button. When they incorporate the use of lithium-ion batteries, they can continue to run long enough to trim branches and cut down several trees.
Gas-powered lawn mowers are loud, dangerous and tend to become less reliable as they age. This means that you have to deal with costly maintenance of the combustion system, while still needing to maintain the actual parts of the mower responsible for trimming your grass.
Electric lawn mowers circumvent a number of these problems. Because they operate on batteries, they can go anywhere. With enough capacity in their batteries, they can handle large, rugged lawns while adding significantly less noise pollution. Your neighbors may not even hear you mow with one.
Solar energy is free and produces markedly less greenhouse emissions than combustion engines. Their only problem is that these systems only produce energy while the sun is visible.
To circumvent this and to replace things like diesel generators, batteries are being used to store electricity until it needs to be used. This enables a cleaner, quieter and more efficient way to produce electricity.
The largest consumer of gas and other combustibles are the things used to produce electricity: power plants. They share the same pitfalls that tools using combustion engines do, but they apply to a much larger scale.
Combustion plants work in such a way that they produce a certain amount of electricity based on the amount of fuel put in to them. This requires utility companies to constantly monitor and regulate how much energy gets produced to reduce waste.
Smart electricity companies are scaling back on their power plants to use large batteries in their stead. This allows their plants to run continuously, which in turn allows for less electricity to be wasted.
People are growing increasingly reliant on their smartphones and other technology to navigate the world. However, these sleek pieces of engineering become nothing more than bricks when they do not have sufficient power. Below are five of the best solutions in the form of portable chargers for this common nuisance.
This is one of the best portable chargers that can be used to store files on the go, as well as for charging a phone or other portable devices. It is 1.9 ounces, making it small enough to conveniently store in a pocket or backpack for emergency power and file storage when necessary. It has a 1,200 mAh battery, which, for comparison, is able to power 85% of an iPhone 5. The PowerStick II can be plugged right into a USB port to gain power or to provide power to a phone, meaning that no cables are needed to be used, reducing the amount of clutter that a person needs to carry around. It also remains highly affordable at a mere $49.
The Tylt Energi 5K portable chargers come with space inside of them that can be used to store its own cords. The cords that it requires are a micro-USB cord and a Lightning cord. The capacity of this battery is 5,200 mAh, more than enough energy to power several different devices for an extended period of time. These portable chargers cost $90 each.
This is one of the most powerful portable chargers that is available on the market. It has 7,500 mAh and can be used to charge a number of different devices. It’s main capability, however, is to provide a high enough burst of energy that it will be able to jump start a car. This battery is able to be recharged by sticking it into the cigarette lighter part of a car that is usually located near the front. In order to use this battery, a person will need to have jump starter cables. This portable charger costs $130, but well worth the cost as it tends to be a much more convenient option than finding a helpful hand when you find yourself stuck with a dead car battery.
This portable charger consists of a two battery unit that is fully swappable with one another. The smaller one has a capacity of 3,000 mAh, which is more than enough to power a regular smartphone for a decent period of time and result in it being fully charged. The larger of the two batteries has a capacity of 12,000 mAh and can be used to fully charge a tablet, which tends to require and use a great deal more power. This portable charger starts at around $40. This product is best for those who need to charge multiple different devices at the same time, usually while they are travelling.
This universal portable power pack with charger and battery provides 4 to 5 charges of instant back-up power. It can be used with many devices including Sony PSP, Blackberry, and other mini USB powered devices. The device accepts existing USB cables to power, but also offers tip packages that support LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, Palm Treo, and more. It has an output voltage of 5V and amperage of 2400mAh. It’s smaller than an iPhone, which makes it incredibly portable and lightweight.
Batteries are an essential component to each of your vehicles. These devices power both the electronics and the starting systems of your car, boat or motor home. While everyday vehicles can recharge their batteries through the vehicle’s alternator, vehicles that aren’t used regularly require special charging and maintenance equipment to keep their batteries charged and ready for service.
Most large batteries are built on lead-acid designs; each individual cell consists of lead plates submerged in an acidic solution, also known as the electrolyte. As batteries discharge, the lead plates react with the electrolyte, creating an electric current. When you apply an electric current to these types of batteries, however, the chemical reaction reverses itself. By reversing the chemical reaction, your batteries will return to their fully charged state, ready to power your electrical systems once again.
Although the reaction between the lead and the electrolytes is accelerated when devices draw power from batteries, this reaction occurs even when you’re not using your batteries. This is known as self-discharge; if your batteries are left uncharged for months, they may be dead when you need to use them. In addition, if your batteries are allowed to self-discharge without being recharged, the electrolytes may form hard crystals on the plates inside of your batteries in a process known as sulfation. These crystals are resistant to electric charges, and their presence impairs the ability of your batteries to hold a charge. If your batteries will be stored for a long time, you will need to use a charger to keep them ready to use and prevent sulfation. However, you can’t simply place your batteries on a charger and ignore them for months. Overcharging your batteries is a risky operation; in addition to simply dying, overcharged batteries can present a real hazard.
Fortunately, you can maintain your batteries safely with the use of specialized chargers called battery maintainers. Using one of these devices is ideal when your batteries will be unused for a lengthy amount of time. Unlike chargers, which are designed to charge your batteries completely, maintainers are designed to supply a small trickle of electricity to your batteries over a long period of time. This trickle charge is enough to counteract self-discharge, but not so large that it threatens to overcharge your batteries. By using a maintainer, you’ll be able to extend the life of your batteries; when properly maintained, batteries can last for more than five years. Without proper maintenance, however, batteries may fail in less than two years.
If you own a boat, motor home or other vehicle that doesn’t get used much, you owe it to yourself to invest in a battery maintainer. These devices will protect you from the dangers of overcharged batteries, ensure that your vehicles are always ready to be used, and keep you from spending a fortune on new batteries.