Alkaline disposable batteries represents a huge quantity of electrical waste. This represents a threat for the natural environment, because of the metals and chemicals contained in a battery. In addition the manufacturing of disposable batteries increase the pollution related to ore extraction. Furthermore, some batteries are thrown away with enough stored energy to be used once more. The environmental impact of disposable batteries is indeed big. Therefore, a better way it use them is necessary to reduce their footprint.
Like any other batteries, alkaline batteries can be recharged or at least regenerate. But problems occur at high currents, indeed the formation of crystals leads to the short of the internal electrode. Pulsed current has been proven to be efficient to reduce the size of this crystals, and so the probability of short, while regenerating the batteries at acceptable level,
Here, the Tapas board will be used as a pulse, low power, high efficiency regenerator. The three-phase output will allow to charge three batteries in parallel and monitor their current and voltage. Different waveforms will be used and measurement performed to see the influence on the regeneration of the battery. These measurements will be plotted on a Raspberry Pi and kept in a Database to allow comparison of batteries from different suppliers.
The benefits of this project are the following one:
- high efficiency, low power pulsed regenerator for disposable batteries.
- database with measurement regarding the regeneration of batteries from several suppliers.
- This project is also the opportunity to use GaN transistors at very low power and measure the outcomes.
Past personal projects related to the problematic:
- DC/DC converter to charge a smartphone with almost used disposable batteries. Principle of work was to empty completely the battery into the smartphone battery. The overall efficiency of the system is low.
- Use of an open source regenerator. The use of linear regulator decreases the efficiency of the prototype.