A battery essentially comprises single or more electrochemical cells that are a source of electric power that enable appliances to work. There are different types of batteries, right from primary or disposable batteries to ones that are rechargeable (secondary batteries), which can be used multiple times.
It is better for the appliances to work from batteries because they still receive power when the electricity goes down. Further, batteries can store energy from other sources, such as wind and solar energy, and use it to power appliances when required the most.
We can see the use of batteries right from small appliances like mobile phones, laptops, hearing aids, torches, clocks, medical devices, smoke detectors, etc. to larger applications such as computer data centers and telephone exchanges. So, you may ask, “why is it better for some appliances to work from batteries?”
Why Is It Better for Some Appliances to Work from Batteries?
It is better that certain appliances such as smoke detectors, smoke alarms, medical monitoring or medical equipment and other types of emergency equipment work from batteries because in the event of some emergency—say there’s a fire and the electricity gets cut off—the medical and smoke equipment will still work because they are powered by batteries.
What Appliances Use Batteries?
The use of batteries can be traced way back to the late 1700s and today, it has become an essential part of our everyday lives. There are a wide range of battery powered appliances including:
Kitchen and Personal Appliances: Several home appliances use batteries to power them, such as salt and pepper mills, handheld mixers, blenders, hair trimmers, electric toothbrushes, electric shavers, etc.
Small Household Appliances: Right from TVs, to DVD players, stereos, air conditioners, etc. home appliances use battery-operated remote controls. Some of the other household items that are battery-powered are torches, doorbells, radios, smoke detectors, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Mobile Devices: Mobile devices such as cell phones, electronic book readers, DVD and portable music players, GPS units, etc. are all powered by rechargeable batteries.
Portable Computers: Portable computers such as tablets, pad computers and notebooks use custom rechargeable batteries and computer cordless accessories like keyboards, mice, etc. are also battery operated.
Clocks and Watches: Often wall clocks, alarm clocks and other types of clocks at home use disposable batteries. Even wristwatches usually are battery powered; however, these make use of round button batteries. These button batteries are also used in electronic devices such as calculators.
Battery-Operated Toys and Games: There are many types of toys and games available on the market that make use of disposable batteries. Even handheld video games are usually battery operated.
Cameras: Typically, digital and film cameras commonly use disposable batteries; however, some models may use rechargeable batteries. Usually, video cameras like camcorders use rechargeable or disposable batteries depending on the model of the camera.
CCTV cameras and security cameras are usually battery operated, enabling you to move them around very easily and also use them in places that do not have grid electricity.
Cordless Tools: Cordless tools are easy and convenient battery-powered options that allow you to work in worksites and other places where electric power is not easily available. Generally, battery-operated cordless tools use rechargeable batteries and include tools such as drills, chainsaws, wrenches, screwdrivers, grinders, etc.
Vehicles: Often vehicles that are battery-powered such as boats, automobiles and bikes use customized rechargeable batteries, which provide sufficient power to start the vehicles and also power the devices in the vehicles.
What Appliances Use 9-Volt Batteries?
The most common size of the battery, 9-volt batteries, which were introduced for use in transistor radios are nowadays used in a wide range of appliances including smoke detectors, smoke alarms, clocks, LCDs, phones, electronic toys, medical devices and equipment, etc.
The 9-volt battery has a capacity of around 400 mAh to 600 mAh, which essentially means that they can supply around 500 milliamps for an hour before they run out of charge.
Using a Car Battery to Power Appliances
It is possible to use your car battery to power appliances in your home in the event of a power outage. To do this, you can simply plug in a DC to AC power inverter into the 12V accessory socket in your car if you need power of 150 watts or less.
Or, for appliances requiring a power of more than 150 watts, you can connect the car battery to the appliances directly. However, you must take care that the total watts used should not be more than the total rated watts of the inverter.
What Appliances Can Be Powered Using a Car Battery?
You can power low-wattage appliances including mobile devices, LED lights, AAA and AA battery chargers and also a television by using an inverter on the battery of your car. If you plan to power low-wattage devices or lights of 150 watts or less, then you can simply start your car up once every 45 minutes to an hour for around 20 to 30 minutes to ensure that the battery is topped up.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the car battery is not a deep cycle battery and if you want to run an appliance of more than 150 watts such as a television, etc. then you must keep the car running when using the battery during the times that you’re using the appliance.
You should not use the car battery to power appliances such as microwave ovens, blow dryers, coffeemakers, etc. because they are high-wattage appliances and will end up pushing the inverter, as well as the battery beyond what they can handle, causing them to blow.
Do Movers Move Appliances?
While most movers move your appliances like refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, freezer, stove, etc. However, they do not take on the responsibility of disconnecting and reconnecting the water lines or the power to the appliances because they don’t want to take on the liability.
The onus of preparing all the appliances for moving by the movers typically falls on the homeowner, who can either do it on their own or hire a professional to do it for them. Once the appliances have been disconnected and are ready for moving, the movers will then transport the appliances to your new home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Are Batteries Useful?
Batteries are not only storehouses of energy, but they offer portable energy to power your appliances such as music players, cameras, tools, GPS, lanterns, watches, clocks, home appliances, etc. The best battery offers the perfect combination of high performance, long duration, low environmental impact while being very cost effective.
How to Choose the Right Battery?
When you are deciding on the right type of battery to power your electrical device, you need to consider the following:
Size of the Battery: Check the device and see what battery it uses. You can determine the size of the battery by taking a look at the device itself and see what battery it uses or if you’re unable to make out, then refer to the instruction manual.
Single-Use or Rechargeable Battery: Decide whether you want to use a single-charge battery or a rechargeable one. Single-use batteries are much cheaper at the outset and also have a long shelf-life. However, while rechargeable batteries may be more expensive to purchase, they can be reused again and again, making them a cost-effective option in the long run.
Battery Type: You should select the best battery for your particular device and application. And, you can do this by understanding how the batteries work and how the various types of batteries differ.
How Can You Get the Most Out of Your Battery?
Here are some tips that you can follow to get the most out of your batteries and prolong their life.
Even if the batteries you’re using are designed to withstand extreme temperatures, when exposed to too low or high temperatures, the performance of the batteries can decline.
- Avoid using batteries of different ages and brands together.
- Avoid recharging batteries of different ages, capacities and brands simultaneously.
- If you’re not using any device for a long time, then remove the batteries. This will help to prevent the draining of batteries even if the device is not being used.
- Don’t store batteries, especially single-use types in places such as garages, attics, car trunks, etc., which can become very hot.
- If any device or appliance is being powered by electricity, then remove non-rechargeable batteries from the device, which helps to prevent any drain on the power reserve.
- Avoid storing batteries in a bag, drawer, briefcase, etc., where they may be in contact with paper clips, coins and other metal objects. This can short the battery or affect its polarity.
- Avoid putting batteries into a fire or a metal container, where the heat can build up and cause the batteries to burst.