6 Lesser-Known Battery Facts

Power up your battery knowledge


Batteries are everywhere, and they are responsible for powering a huge number of essential everyday devices. Most of us don’t give them a second thought, but if you take a moment to delve deeper you will find a huge number of fun and fascinating facts about batteries. We went on the hunt for some surprising and lesser-known battery facts read on below to discover more.

Image source: Spark Museum, Britannica

Battery History - Batteries Have Been Around Longer Than You Think

The first electric battery invented was way back in 1799 by an Italian inventor, Alessandro Volta. Unlike batteries of today, these were made of alternating copper and zinc discs, separated by pieces of cardboard or cloth soaked in vinegar or salt water. These were known as Voltaic piles; about the size of a modern-day toaster, they could generate a weak current. These paved the way for modern-day batteries proving that electricity could be generated chemically.

Potato Battery - Batteries Made From Food

Believe it or not, you can make a battery from ingredients in your very own fridge! According to livescience.com, the best foods to use are fruits & vegetables that have high levels of potassium or sodium. Potatoes and Gherkins are good examples, along with lemons and can power light bulbs! Find out how to make your own potato-powered battery!

Most Durable Battery – Batteries Can Go ON And ON

Unlike the aforementioned potato battery, modern batteries have no best-before date, and although battery capacities dwindle over time, they can release energy for an incredible length of time. Oxford University is home to a battery-powered bell that has been ringing for 180 years! Estimates state that the bell has rung at least 10 billion times and the battery powering it has been dubbed the “World’s Most Durable Battery” according to the Guinness Book of Records. Impressive! It is unknown what the battery is made of, but researchers are letting it run down before taking it apart to find out.

Battery Chemicals Can Fertilise Land

That’s right! Batteries are thought to just contain harmful ingredients that are bad for the environment. However, consumer batteries contain zinc and manganese dioxide which have a positive effect on soil fertility. When disposed of correctly, batteries break down into various salts of zinc and manganese, which act as micro-nutrients, which help plants produce chlorophyll, vital for green and healthy plants. This also increases the effectiveness of soil fertilization essentially boosting crop growth too.

AA Battery – The Most Popular Type of Battery

Double A batteries, commonly known as, "AA", is a small but powerful type of battery that is typically used in small electronics such as wall clocks, remote controls, handheld kitchen gadgets, and grooming gadgets. Since it's an alkaline battery it naturally provides long-lasting power, making it a much more dependable battery than other types.

The First Rechargeable Battery Invented In 1859

French physicist Gaston Plante invented the lead acid cell, which is still used in cars today, paving the way for the creation of NiMh, NiCd batteries and lithium-ion batteries too. Needless to say, at GP we have a lot to thank Gaston for, without him, we wouldn’t be here today with our very own range of Recyko Charge 10 batteries.

Feeling inspired to restock on some portable power, explore the GP Batteries range for all your portable energy solutions.

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