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IBM Research URJAR: Using Discarded Laptop Batteries to Power Lights

by onDecember 9, 2014

The Researchers of IBM Indian Research Lab have found a new idea. They used some old discarded laptop batteries to create an emergency lighting system called URJAR — a device that has lithium-oil cells from the old batteries to power all the low-energy DC devices, such as light. The only purpose of this invention was to provide the light to (Less Privileged) houses and streets where the poor families are living in slum areas of India. These discarded laptop batteries can provide lights to those areas where there is insufficient or almost no electrical grids. The team has tested the three years old batteries that were discarded by an IT company and then they found that they have enough capacity to power the lights.

The team completes their task by cutting the battery packs, taken out the individual storage units which are called cells that were still working, and then reconnected them to make new power units. By using these battery packs, the three URJAR prototypes were created and then they used them for testing in the lab. They then distributed the five battery packs among the people in Bangalore who lived in slums. After three months, the people claimed that “the battery packs had worked really well”. Currently, the researchers are still making efforts to help about 400 million people in India who are off grid.

According to the testing team, more than 70% of the discarded batteries has capacity to power the LED (Light Emitting Diode) light for about 4 hours every-day throughout the year. The lithium-ion discarded laptop batteries can easily provide electricity storage to lighten the homes in all the developing countries. Every house would be able to use a bulb light, small fan, mobile charger and few more electrical instruments from that sound easily.

Gadgets-Informer IBM Research URJAR Using Discarded Laptop Batteries to Power Lights (3)

Gadgets-Informer IBM Research URJAR Using Discarded Laptop Batteries to Power Lights (2)

In the words of MIT Technology Review:

“It is possible to combine LED lights with solar panels and rechargeable batteries however, using discarding laptop batteries could make it far cheaper than others”

They further added:

“The most costly component in these systems is often the battery. In this case, the most expensive part of your storage solution is coming from trash”.

Gadgets-Informer IBM Research URJAR Using Discarded Laptop Batteries to Power Lights (1)

The point to be noted in the above quote is that the URJAR would be cheaper than even all the other energy resources. Likewise, in the other parts of the world, the researchers and people have toss out the old laptop batteries and they started to make experiments after this leaked news.

After reading this news, I hope that the other deprived countries will take initiative to produce the cheapest electricity resources like India.


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