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View Full Version : Where can I get a 20 year battery?



Loopy Byteloose
09-20-2011, 10:42 AM
That's right, I want a battery that will hold its charge and provide continuous service over a period of 20 years.

Why so? I went to Microchip to review some information about their cheapest PICs and they claim that some of them can run for 20 years on one battery. That sounds excellent, but as I recall, the chemical nature of batteries is that they have a shelf-life with a complete charge that is far, far less that 20 years. And in many cases, they chemically fail in 3-5 years to be of any further use.

Lithium batteries are great for fast recharge, but don't hold a charge very long. And lithium may last longer than the 5 years, but I don't know a battery maker out there that really wants to sell anyone a battery that doesn't require replacement far more frequently than 20 years. After all, waiting for the next sale could be quite a bit dire. (And I think the space program uses fuel cells, not batteries.)

Gadgetman
09-20-2011, 12:42 PM
You want an 'atomic battery'...
Horrendously low output, but they keep on delivering it for year after year after year after...

But mostly, the '20 year on a battery' is marketing-speak for 'this thing uses very little power and we don't really know how batteries work or dare to ask the geeks that know since they're going to tease us'...

Fxc2hh
09-20-2011, 12:47 PM
That's right, I want a battery that will hold its charge and provide continuous service over a period of 20 years.

Why so? I went to Microchip to review some information about their cheapest PICs and they claim that some of them can run for 20 years on one battery. That sounds excellent, but as I recall, the chemical nature of batteries is that they have a shelf-life with a complete charge that is far, far less that 20 years. And in many cases, they chemically fail in 3-5 years to be of any further use.

The coin cell in our computers have probably lasted the longest. They have enough of a spark in them to keep the bios in the computer.

We made our own batteries in science class in the 9th grade. We had a jar, strips of lead, purified water and wires and they had a special battery charger with a fuse. I think a less corrosive battery like a gel battery might last longer but that is my personal untested opinion. You need to have materials that last. For example, Liquid plumber is stored in a bottle but not in a can and it is safe long term to be used in PCV piping but my plumber says its not safe to be used in metal. If it was safe for your pipes then why isn't liquid plumber stored in a can?

My wife recently bought a Ben 10 flashlight at Toys R US and the back of it said something like "do not use rechargeable or alkaline batteries in this flashlight". The funny thing is there are AA batteries that are 1.2 volts and AA batteries at 1.5 volts and I found some AA batteries that are for non high drain devices, they were 97 cents for four and I found them at Wallmart.

prof_braino
09-20-2011, 01:01 PM
Around here there are 9 volt lithium (non-rechargable) batteries for smoke detectors that claim ten year service life. Regular 9 volt batteries can last 3 years in smole detectors (sometimes I forget to change them every year, but Ihave not completed the ten year test on the new smoke detector batteries.

ctwardell
09-20-2011, 01:10 PM
"THE 20-YEAR BATTERY IS AVAILABLE": http://www.tadiranbatteries.de/pdf/10TDittrich_mi.pdf

C.W.

Loopy Byteloose
09-20-2011, 01:27 PM
I am a bit surprisedthat there are 20 year batteries available now. I thought this was something akin to the Mean Time Between Failure nonsense, where the manufacturer claims something like 150 years when nobody can verify the results and the technology will likely be obsolete in 10 years.

Fxc2hh
09-20-2011, 01:50 PM
Around here there are 9 volt lithium (non-rechargable) batteries for smoke detectors that claim ten year service life. Regular 9 volt batteries can last 3 years in smole detectors (sometimes I forget to change them every year, but Ihave not completed the ten year test on the new smoke detector batteries.

While we're on this subject, has anyone tried using rechargeable lithium batteries in smoke detectors? I've been weighing the safety of this idea. I don't really know.

RDL2004
09-20-2011, 02:03 PM
I have a Red Lion Controls hour-meter that was purchased for a project in 1992, but never used. It has a 3 volt "non-replaceable lithium battery" and claims "Nominal battery life is 10 years."

It is still running.

Tor
09-20-2011, 04:22 PM
My digital wristwatch was still running after 10 years when I broke the glass and bought a replacement. The battery was supposed to last 7 years. I found the old watch on a shelf at least a year later and it was still running even then. For all I know it could be still be functional, but I have no idea where I put it.

-Tor

Zap-o
09-20-2011, 08:32 PM
How about a Nano Battery?

Here is a battery that last up to a few lifetimes. Its using the electrowetting principle.

http://mphasetech.com/

Peter KG6LSE
09-22-2011, 05:59 AM
36 AH !!!
http://www.all-battery.com/primarylithiumthionylchloridebatteryddsize36v36ahe r341270-ultrahighcapacitycell.aspx

I may get one just casue it would never die in my TV remote ..

bsnut
09-22-2011, 07:56 AM
Lead Acid filled batteries can last at least for 20 years if you maintained them right. I maintain these type of batteries for Uncle Sam are part of a large UPS system that backs up power for computer rooms.

Remember this, it doesn't matter what type of batteries you have, its all in how you maintain, charge and amp draw on these will determined how long these batteries last.

Spiral_72
09-23-2011, 01:36 PM
Button cells can. I have a LCD counter (touch the wires to increment) that has been working for at lest 16yrs..... when I got it, it was in junk box somewhere. It's a sealed box, no power switch.

Cluso99
09-23-2011, 11:34 PM
Back in the 80s Dallas & Mostek produced modular SRAMs with an integrated battery on top. They looked like a large black box on top of the 28 pins. Specs said 10 year life. I used these in units to hold the code. After 5 years they ALL started to fail. Why??? They mostly were not using the power to retain the memory on the sram because the units were left powered all the time and only lost power on a power fail.

I had over 100 units spread all over Australia when they started failing. Fortunately they were all at the end of stat muxes over leased phone lines for data comms to minicomputers. I did at least have boot code in an eeprom so fortunately was able to re-download the code from a central site as each failed due to a power failure. Ultimately they were recycled and I burnt the code into eeprom as the code had now been stable for a few years and no updates were now anticipated.

So, it doesn't matter what the specs say, reality is the proof.

Now there are other possible failures, apart from product obsolescence. Some capacitors (or batches of capacitors) have been found to have short lives, but usually only after they have been in the field for some time. The newest chips pushing the latest geometries are supposed to suffer from metal migration because they are now so fine. They are supposedly only guaranteed to last 10 years! (source IIRC: Chips broadcast at the UPExx - one before last).

Maybe a supercap that can be recharged without damage may be a possible alternative though you would need to check its life expectancy.