How does a battery work?
What is the difference between voltage, current, capacity and power?
A battery is made up of three parts:
• Negative side (called an anode)
• Positive side (called a cathode) and
• An electrolyte (most often a liquid)placed between the anode and the cathode
When in physical contact, the anode reacts spontaneously with the cathode. In a battery though, the two elements are separated by the electrolyte. This reaction only needs an electrical contact between the two sides of the battery to occur. Therefore as we place the battery into our device, this energy is released as electrons moving through the circuit from the anode to the cathode: electricity to power our device!
As an example, our Alkaline batteries are composed of the following elements: Zinc as an anode, which reacts with Manganese oxide as a cathode, with a aqueous alkaline solution as the separating electrolyte.
What was the first battery created?
Electricity is commonly seen as the movement of electrons.
Voltage is defined by how much energy each electron has as it moves. The voltage of a battery is defined by the elements in the positive and negative side (cathode and anode). For example, Zinc/Manganese oxide in our alkaline batteries gives us a voltage of 1.5V.
Current is expressed in Amps (A). It quantifies how many electrons are flowing per second.
The capacity of a battery defines how much total energy is stored in each battery.
The power output of a battery is how much energy a battery can give at a given time. This is a very important factor as it defines what you should use the battery for. High drain devices (such as cameras) require a high power output battery (such as our Ultra range batteries). Low drain devices (such as remote controls or clocks) only need a small amount of power to function.
The first battery was created by Alessandro Volta in 1800. It was prompted by the discovery of “animal electricity” which Luigi Galvani made when he placed two different metals in a frog leg and noticed the leg twitched. As Alessandro Volta believed that the leg contraction was due to the metals and not the animal nature, he proved such by creating the first battery: a column of alternating disks of Zinc (anode) and copper (cathode) separated by a cloth soaked in brine (the electrolyte). This battery was called the Voltaic pile.
Which batteries can I place to recharge?
What happens if I mistakenly place a non-rechargeable battery to charge?
Only recharge batteries clearly labelled as rechargeable.
The non-rechargeable batteries are clearly indicated with a “do not recharge” logo
Charging a non-rechargeable battery can lead to leakage or rupture of the battery damaging your equipment.
Why shouldn’t I open a battery at home?
You shouldn’t attempt to open or dismantle a battery at home. Attempting to open one in your home will risk exposing yourself to chemicals which can lead to personal injury and/or fire.
Can I place a new battery in a device along with used batteries?
We recommend you always change a set of batteries at the same time with all unused and of the same type batteries. Not doing so can cause your batteries to be over discharged, this can cause battery leakage.
Can I mix different kind or brand of batteries to improve the overall performance?
No, using different kind or brand of batteries in the same device shouldn’t be done. Not only will this not improve the performance, but can cause rupture or leakage of your batteries.
How do I assemble my batteries into my device?
Carefully place your batteries following carefully the (+) and (-) directives on the battery and your device. If you do not place all the batteries in correctly, the device may still work. However this would cause one of the batteries to work against the other batteries. This causes you to both lose energy and can cause leakage and rupture of your battery.
Can I place a battery in the fire?
Never place a battery in a fire. It could rupture or explode, causing safety risk.
How should I store my batteries? Would keeping them in the fridge give them a better performance?
We recommend storing your batteries in a dry place at room temperature. It isn’t necessary to refrigerate your batteries. Be aware that cold temperatures can cause the chemical process powering the battery to slow down. Therefore the device won’t necessarily run at full performance rate (for example: your flashlight may not shine as bright as usual). Avoid also high temperatures as that will degrade the battery.
How should I proceed to recharge my batteries?
Only recharge batteries intended to be recharged such as Kodak’s NiMH batteries. Be careful to follow the charging instructions of the charger. Badly placing one of the batteries in the charger can cause an over discharge of a battery and cause a leak or rupture. In the same way as when you use the batteries, you shouldn’t attempt to charge batteries of different types at the same time in the same charger.
I changed country and even with an adaptor my Kodak battery charger isn’t working properly. Did it break?
Kodak’s battery chargers are designed for electric grid systems at 110V and 220V. They are not interchangeable. Therefore a battery charger from Europe working for 220V shall not work in the US where a 110 V charger is required.
Is there a limit for the rechargeability of the NiMH batteries?
NiMH batteries can be recharged hundreds of times without losing capacity.
What is the “memory effect” on rechargeable batteries?
Some rechargeable batteries will lose in storage capacity with time and need to be recharged only when fully discharged. We call this the “memory effect”. This is NOT the case for our NiMH batteries. These can be placed to recharge without fully discharging them first without losing any of the batteries capabilities.
My batteries are rechargeable batteries, and yet they warm up as I put them to charge. Is this normal?
Yes this is perfectly normal. When the battery recharges, this provokes the opposite chemical reaction to when it discharges, this dissipates heat as a side product.
I placed a battery in my pocket and it started warming up. Is this normal?
No, this isn’t normal. A battery which isn’t in an electronic circuit shouldn’t react. However a loose battery in your pocket can be short-circuited by metallic objects, such as keys or loose change. This would provoke a rapid discharge of the battery and it would heat.
I found a battery in a device having ruptured. It seems like liquid and white crystals have formed on the surfaces around it. What should I do?
Can I use rechargeable batteries in any household appliance?
In the unlikely event of a rupture or a leak, isolate the
device such that the leak doesn’t come into contact with yourself or any
sensitive goods. Please keep the device and batteries unchanged as we may need
you to send these to us if we need to investigate the matter further. Clean all
other contaminated surfaces with water and soap. If contact with the eyes
occurs, rinse with water for 15 minutes and seek medical assistance.
Yes, the properties of a rechargeable NiMH correspond in voltage and discharge rate to other batteries. However for smoke detectors and gas leaks detectors it has been noted that as the voltage of NiMH batteries drops very fast as they “die”, the detector will run out of energy shortly after it gives the warning signal of failing battery. In this instance, we recommend using our Alkaline Xtralife or MAX batteries. Their long discharge time combined with a slow voltage drop as the battery “dies” make them suitable for smoke detectors: lasting a long time and the warning signal will last longer than for rechargeable batteries.
Do your batteries contain dangerous heavy metals?
Can I dispose of my batteries with the rest of my trash?
No, the battery industry has made great efforts to eliminate cadmium and mercury from batteries. We at Kodak are proud to say that none of our batteries contain mercury or cadmium (indicated by this logo)
Regulations will depend on your country of residence. However you shouldn’t usually place with the rest of the trash. Most countries have a system in place to recycle elements in batteries. This collection system is usually done by special designed bins for batteries. Please contact your local authorities for the locations of these bins, they can often be found at the local communal disposal system or large retail outlets selling batteries. The batteries can therefore be separately collected and tracked as their elements are recycled or disposed of safely.
I’ve heard that there are chemicals called Regulated Substances. Can you explain what they are and whether they are in or affect your batteries?
Why use Zinc batteries?
Regulated substances are products which can be dangerous. In Europe, these products are controlled by REACH. We cooperate fully with REACH, our distributors and our suppliers to be transparent and to guarantee our products are safe. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why use alkaline batteries?
Carbon-Zinc batteries (sometimes referred to as
Zinc-Chloride or Zinc batteries) are intended for low-drain devices. Low-drain
refers to devices such as radios or alarm clocks which do not require a high
power output. Carbon-Zinc batteries shouldn’t be used in devices such as a
digital camera as the high power needed for these could cause the batteries to
fail and even leak.
These are ideal in a situation where one needs to power
multiple devices for one occasion, such as when buying many toys during the
Christmas season to be used for a few days.
What is the difference between Alkaline and Carbon Zinc batteries?
The prevailing primary battery type, alkaline batteries can
power all devices high and low drains. Functioning with a more stable chemistry
than Carbon-Zinc, these batteries have a longer lifetime both on the shelf and better
performance. This makes them the perfect choice for a long-term use in a
device, such as in a digital camera or game console remote.
Can I leave batteries in my device when not in use?
Alkaline are great for long-term use in a device, such as in
a digital camera or game console remote. Carbon zinc batteries are ideal in a
situation where one needs to power multiple devices for one occasion, such as
when buying many toys during the Christmas season to be used for a few days.
How does the Kodak smartphone charger charge my device?
When your batteries run out of charge, you should take them out of the device and dispose of them. This is because although the batteries can no longer power your device, it is not chemically neutral. As it sits in the device, it can continue to react which can then lead to leakage of the batteries in your device.
On a further note, if you do not intend to use a device for a long period of time, it is advised to remove the batteries from the device. Indeed even if the device is off, there can still be some slow drain of the battery. This can cause your battery to lose charge, but possibly even leakage.
How many charges will the Kodak smartphone charger give me?
The Kodak smartphone charger contains a battery which you
can charge when at home then when on the go and your phone needs power, you can
plug in the charger and recharge your device! Think of the charger as a spare
water bottle, except instead of filling it with water for a later use, you fill
it up with electricity.
What does the 500 times use on the portable charger mean?
Smartphones have a variable battery capacity. These can
range from 1400 mAh to 3000mAh. Hence the 2000mAh Kodak charger would be able
to charge some phones to 100% with some energy to spare for an extra boost
Is the portable charger safe to use with my blackberry, Iphone, kindle, Ipad?
We have marked 500 times as the period of optimal performance
for the Portable Charger. Beyond 500 times, the charger should still function
but at a reduced capacity.
I haven’t been able to use the Kodak charger with my apple device. Why?
Yes the portable Charger can be used safely with these devices.
If these devices are charged using a Micro-USB cable, this is standardised
technology and hence the Kodak Smartphone Charger will work appropriately.
How do I know the charger is fully charged?
Most portable apple devices do not use a micro-USB plug to
charge and use Apple specific plugs. The cable provided with the Kodak
Smartphone charger is standard micro-USB and hence wouldn’t fit these Apple
devices. However the specific apple cable is provided with the Apple product
charger. This charger is in two parts: the wall plug and cable. Hence this
cable can be used to charge your apple device as a link between the Kodak
Smartphone charger and your device.
Why is Kodak Extra Heavy Duty AA battery not powering my camera?
For the 2000mAh Kodak charger the red LED light will turn
blue during charge when the internal battery to the Portable charger is fully
charged. For the 5200mAh, the 4 LED indicator blue lights will be on when the
device is fully charged.
My Kodak 5200mAh Smartphone Charger seems to charge itself but not charge the device I plug it into. What should I do?
The Kodak Extra Heavy AA batteries are of Carbon Zinc
chemistry. This means they are not suited to power High power devices such as
some electronic items notably digital cameras. The battery often appear as
“dead”, however they are not empty and can still be used in low power devices
such as a remote control. For high power devices, we recommend using Alkaline,
Lithium or rechargeable NiMH batteries.
When the output USB plug of the Smartphone charger is connected
to your device, please press the button for a full 5 seconds for the Smartphone
Charger to start transferring energy to your device.