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Simple liquid-fuelled eco batteries from Armenia

 Wednesday 22 February 2017
Photo: Mediamax
Photo: TSD
Photo: Mediamax
Photo: TSD

How to find a source of energy if you get into an emergency situation – this is the problem that scientists from Technology and Science Dynamics (TSD) were trying to solve as they invented a battery that produces energy from simple and biological liquids. Banks.am talked to the group of the inventors, trying to figure out how the exclusive battery works and what perspectives they have.

First experiments

How can you charge your phone while far from any source of energy or get light when, for instance, you’re in woods? On the quest to find the answers, young scientists from Mergelyan Club began simple experiments to get energy from simple liquids.

“We developed electrodes, trying first salt water, then tea and coffee. After that we tried “tan” (fermented milk with water), rain water, tears, saliva and children’s urine. We had positive results in all tests,” told Victoria Raisyan, a young scientist from TSD.

The team members note they were particularly delighted to see good results in the urine test, as it will allow getting energy in any situation, even if you don’t have any simple liquids.

The young scientists’ experiments drew attention of Technology and Science Dynamics, which provided preliminary funding for the project, equipping the team with necessary materials and devices and a place where they could perform the tests.

Silver medal in Estonia

“In summer of 2016 we applied for Climate Launchpad contest where we won the national stage on September 9. In October we went to Estonia and presented our project there,” told a team member Hripsime Mkrtchyan.

Around 1000 teams from different countries took part in the contest in Estonia. The eco battery project became the so-called “silver medalist” by making it on top 15.

Service life

As of the moment, preliminary estimations state the recharged battery can work for up to 8 hours. Its service life is supposed to be from 6 months to one year, and once it expires, the battery won’t harm the environment thanks to eco components.

Nevertheless, the members of the science team say that like with any device, the battery’s “capacity” depends on the way of utilization: careless use can shorten the battery’s life.

The principle of the battery’s work is simple: it opens, receives the liquid and closes, then you can turn it on and charge. After that it needs to be cleaned and dried.

Competitive advantages

The young scientists made a research in the global market and found out that although some liquid-fuelled batteries exist already, they aren’t flexible and have shorter service life.

“Our battery has an important competitive advantage – it’s elastic, flexible and lightweight, it can work on several liquids at once. If we develop it further, we could make it in a belt form which can be carried anywhere. Or we could make flexible phones that would need flexible chargers,” Hripsime Mkrtchyan said.

Production perspectives

As of now, the eco battery is in the research and development stage. We don’t mass produce it yet, and it is unavailable on the market. The battery’s power is enough to charge a children’s toy. It’s very important for the team to pursue that particular direction, as the battery’s eco quality is especially significant for the toys. On the other hand, they intend to perfect the battery until it can be used in phones, tablets and devices demanding bigger power supply.

Although the preliminary tests of the project are financed by TSD, mass production will require significant funding.

The team intends to hold a fundraising campaign once they patent their idea.

“The raw materials aren’t costly, but we’ll need certain equipment for production, which is rather expensive,” Victoria said.

The young scientists estimate they’ll prepare the alpha prototype in one year if they receive funding. While they search for investments though, there is a concern someone else might develop the idea before them.

Victoria Andreasyan

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