Why are we told to store batteries in the refrigerator to preserve them even though battery life seems so poor when electronics are left out in the cold?
The thing I love about batteries is that they seem so utterly unpredictable and even nonsensical - as if to defy all logic - but once you understand their true nature, they make perfect sense. The first thing we must remember is that all batteries are little chemical power generators - as such, they are subject more to the rules of chemistry than they are electromagnetics. One of the common laws of chemistry is that reactions generally speed up when they get warm and slow down when they get cold. Such is the life of a battery. If you want to keep all those good little electrons bottled up tight inside the battery, then keep the batteries cold. The reactions which keep the electrons flowing slow down, making that little thing we call shelf life a lot longer. Remember, just because the battery isn’t hooked up to a circuit, doesn’t mean that it isn’t using up some of its capacity all the time.
Of course, this doesn’t explain why your cell phone battery or camera battery doesn’t seem to last very long when left out in the snow. The answer here lies not in the storage, but in the usage. If your phone or camera is turned off when you leave it on the ice in the middle of a Minnesota winter AND you don’t turn it on until the battery warms up, then you are golden. The problem is not with storing batteries in the cold, but rather trying to use them when they are cold. Remember when batteries are cold and they are asked to spit out a bunch of electrons, they use up a lot of their energy just trying to push the electrons out through the cold and they waste a lot of their potential. Unfortunately, once your potential is gone, it doesn’t come back.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.