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Watch dead batteries power smartphones

Tue, 10/08/2013 - 2:02pm
Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor

When we speak of “reanimating the dead”, we usually don’t mean dead batteries. And we certainly don’t harness these used electrochemical cells – Frankenstein-style – into a giant, mutated power station. Yet that’s exactly what Thailand’s Vitamilk did by resurrecting a battalion of dead batteries and channeling their energy to power small electronics – or as Vitamilk boasts, “The world's first recharging station powered by dead batteries.”

Vitamilk designed this unique contraption to ... what? Gin up publicity in the most roundabout way possible? Get their name out there? Dead batteries are certainly not part of Vitamilk’s core business – as Thailand’s leading soymilk brand – and the concept is nothing revolutionary, but it’s a very cool application.

Most of you probably know that “dead” batteries retain, on average, 400 mAh of power. Cobble together 1,500 used batteries – capable of producing 150,000 mAh/hour – and you have enough power to fully charge 140 smartphones. And that’s what Vitamilk did – over the course of 2 months, the Frankensteined signboard/recharge station produced 3,328 hours of added talk time.

But why would a soymilk company delve into consumer electronics? Good question.

Vitamilk likes to tout the energizing qualities of their soybean beverage, and the company believes that “there is always power within to recharge”, so I suppose Frankensteining together 1,500 dead batteries for a recharging station isn’t too peripheral for the soymilk brand.

If nothing else, the concept makes for a very entertaining video.

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