The Effect of Temperature on Disposable and Non Disposable Batteries

Researched by Zach M.



The purpose of this experiment was to determine which brand of battery would last the longest and also to determine how temperature affected the discharge time of the battery.

I chose this project because it always seemed interesting to me how batteries worked and what battery was the best of all. I remember from when I was young I asked my grandma why she kept her batteries in the refrigerator and she said that it well save the power in the battery, and I wanted to see if that was a true statement. 

The information gained from this experiment well help consumers buy the best batteries.  All the people in the world need reliable batteries because if they are buying really expensive batteries and the battery canít even hold a charge for thirty minutes then they are losing money that they could use on reliable batteries.


My first hypothesis was that normal disposable batteries would last longer than rechargeable batteries. My second hypothesis was that batteries that are very cold in the process of discharging would last longer then in room temperature.

I base my first hypothesis on the fact that normal disposable batteries will last longer because they only hold their charge once. I base my second hypothesis on the fact of some people put their batteries in the freezer to lengthen the life of the batteries. 

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The constants in this study were. 

All double A batteries. 
Same temperature in all the experiments done. 
Size of light bulbs. 
The same amount of watts on each light bulb.
Same amount of batteries in each test (one battery).
All the tests being done in one room. 
All batteries bought at the same time and at the same place. 
All batteries expire at the same time such as good till year 2006 or 2007. 
The refrigerator stays at the same temperature the whole time the test is being ran. 
All batteries fully charged before the testing begins (no batteries used before the experiment starts. 
The manipulated variable is the temperature of the batteries and the type of batteries.

The responding variables were the length of time the batteries produced power.

To measure the responding variable I timed the discharge of the batteries in minutes.

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8 Non rechargeable batteries used for the test.
8 Rechargeable down the electrical charge in the batteries
Light bulb holder to connect the battery to the light bulb. 
2 foot long wires to hook up the battery to the light bulb.
4-5 inch wires to connect the light bulb to the alarm clock.
17 One refrigerator to do the second experiment in. 
1 A thermometer to measure the temperature of the room.
1 One battery holder to hold the battery when the test is taking place.
1 One alarm clock.
2 Alligator clips

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Buying your supplies

1.First buy 4 batteries of brand that you would like (preferred AA batteries). Also make sure that all the batteries that you buy have the same expiration date.
2.Then buy another 4 batteries of any brand you would like. 
3.Now buy 4 batteries of a rechargeable battery that you would like to buy. 
4.Now buy another brand of rechargeable batteries of your choice. 
5.After you buy all of the batteries buy a switch to turn the battery on and off. 
6 .Now you can buy a light bulb holder to place the light bulb in (two holders are optional. 
7. Now buy two 2 foot long wires. 
8. Also buy at least two 4-5 inch wires. 
9. Now buy some light bulbs that well fit into the light bulb holder that you bought and make sure that they are not so big that they would burn down the battery in ten seconds so make sure the light bulb is about as big as your pinkie. 
10. In the second experiment you well need to use a refrigerator to put the battery in and run the experiment again. 
Putting together your experiment

11. Now take two 2 foot wires and connect one to the one side of the battery holder and the other to the other side of the battery holder. 
12. Connect one of these wires to the light bulb. 
13. Now place the battery in the battery holder.
14. Then take one of 4-5 inch wires and connect it to the other side of the switch. 
15. Take the other end and connect it to one side of the light bulb holders. 
16. Take another one of 4-5 inch wires and connect it to the other side of your holder and connect it to another holder. 
17. Now screw your light bulb into the holder(s). 
18. Put the battery into the holder. 

Checking your equipment
19. First make sure the room temperature is 21-22 degrees Celsius. 
20. Make sure that all equipment is hooked up.
21. When you are ready to start the test grab your stopwatch and start it at the exact time that 
22. Make sure that you are there when your first battery runs out of power. 
23. Now you should repeat the experiment over and over again. 
24. You can repeat it again on the next hypothesis but you well have to use the refrigerator . 
25. Make sure that you have a new light bulb for the next tests. 
26. Again make sure all of the equipment is hooked up. 

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The original purpose of this experiment was to determine which brand of battery lasts the longest and also to determine how temperature affected the discharge time of the battery.

The results of the experiment were that the Energizer battery lasted longer than the Radio Shack battery and also that the non rechargeable  batteries lasted longer than the rechargeable batteries.

See the table and graph.

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My first hypothesis was that normal disposable batteries would last longer than rechargeable batteries. My second hypothesis that batteries that are very cold in the process of discharging will last longer then in room temperature.

The results indicate that my second hypotheses should be rejected.  My first hypothesis was accepted.

Because of the results of this experiment, I wonder if much colder or much warmer temperatures would have even greater effects.

If I were to conduct this project again I would probably conduct more trials and increase my sample size to four batteries of each type.

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Batteries are used in portable devices like radios and phones. Heat is used throughout the world for keeping warm in the cold days of winter. Batteries and heat are both a good source of energy.

Batteries are very useful because they power all of the portable devices we use. There are two types of batteries. One is the wet cell and the other is the dry cell. One single 9 volt battery has six dry cells in it. Each cell produces 1.5 volts. A secondary battery is one of the most unique batteries because there are chemical reactions can be reversed which allows the battery to be recharged. The most common secondary batteries are the nickel cadmium and the lead acid storage batteries. The nickel cadmium storage battery operates with the same principles as the lead storage battery but with different types of chemicals. In the nickel cadmium the negative charge is made of cadmium and the positive charge is made of nickel oxide. The solution of potassium hydroxide serves as the electrolyte for the battery. The nickel cadmium allows the battery to be airtight so the electrolyte won't leak out of the battery. 

Electricity is the most used important form of energy in the whole world because that is what runs our schools, our homes, and especially our factories. Almost all of the machines in the world need electricity. Even humans need bio-electricity to send brain signals to our limbs to make them move. In the 1800ís people started to harness electricity and be able to use it in electronics. 

All matter in the universe from humans to the stars in outer space is made up of atoms and molecules. The atoms are made up of electrons, protons and neutrons. Both electrons and protons have an electric charge.  An electron has one negative charge. The proton has a unit of a positive charge. The neutron has no electrical charge at all. Electrons and protons are heavier then neutrons. Protons and the neutrons form the nucleus, the core of an atom. All of the electrons whirl around the nucleus.

In heat science there is a study called thermodynamics. This is based on two laws. The first is that in a system heat is always constant. It cannot be built up or destroyed. The second law of thermodynamics is that heat will always flow from a warmer object to a colder object. 

Molecular excitation is when the molecules in the air are getting warmer from the sun's heat and makes the molecules move really fast and makes more energy in a battery or in matter. When the air gets colder the molecules move really slow and don't have as much energy as when they are warmer. Heat makes most chemical reactions like those in a battery occur faster.

Environmental pollution causes death to animals in our society and may lead to death of humans. The main causes of environmental pollution factories, agriculture, and vehicles use in transportation. One of the worst cases is when people discard something that is poisonous. Sometimes even batteries can cause pollution from the chemicals inside. This is a reason that people should start using rechargeable batteries. Another reason why people should start using rechargeable batteries is because they can be recharged many times without polluting the environment. The first subject that will help us cut the pollution is to recycle old batteries and other items that will help prevent the world from being polluted.

This report was about batteries and what the difference of heat will do to them.  Pollution from batteries is pretty bad because of what they are made out of. 

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Carter, Joseph, Physical Science, 1971, Pg. 278, 279,280, 286, 289, 292 

Online: Electricity Today , 

Online: The History of Electricity, 

Parsons, Alexandra, Make it Work, 1992, Pg.10-11

James, Stanley "Battery," World Book Encyclopedia,  1998. Pp. 168-171

I would like to thank the fllowing people for there help with my science project.

-I would like to thank the following people who made my science project better and or possible. I would like to thank my mom and dad for purchasing the supplies I needed for my project and for driving me everywhere. 

-I would like to thank Mr. Newkirk for always staying after school all those times that really helped me finish my project in time. Also, I would like to thank him for helping me all the way through my project. 

-I would like to thank Mrs. Pasckvale for always being there to help me when I needed it. 

-I would like to thank my grandpa for helping me buy some of my supplies. 

-I would like to thank my sister for giving me a lot of suggestions for my project.

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