Science Project Details:

Effect of temperature on battery life

Featured science projectScience project video Intermediate 6 < 3 days $10-$25 Readily available [+] More info
Difficulty: Intermediate 6
Cost ($): 20
Time required: < 3 days
2 hour to prepare, 3 days for the science project experiment
Availability of materials: Readily available
Easily found at a hardware or department store
Required Skills: None
Safety concerns:

None

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Abstract

This experiment was conducted to find out how temperature changes affect the life of a disposable battery. The experiment was conducted using Duracell, Energizer and Eveready size AA disposable batteries.

Hypothesis

Batteries will last longer at around room temperature (about 26°C). We hypothesise that manufacturers would design their batteries to perform optimally at room temperature, since most batteries would be used by consumers, in environments at room temperature.

Scientific Terms

Chemical energy, electrical energy, anode, cathode, electrolyte

Background

Batteries

Batteries are devices that convert stored chemical energy in the battery into electrical energy when its terminals are connected. Batteries consist of rechargeable and disposable types. They can be found in various sizes and voltages.

Batteries consist of 2 electrodes (an anode which is negative and a cathode which is positive) and the electrolyte. The two electrodes do not have a physical connection but are electrically connected through the electrolyte. When the battery terminals are connected, a chemical process occurs in the electrolyte where electrons will be received from the anode and supplied to the cathode.

The performance of a battery depends on humidity and temperature. This is because the battery produces electricity through a chemical process. As the temperature becomes lower, the chemical reaction slows down and a smaller current is produced but the battery is able to last longer. As the temperature increases, the chemical reaction becomes faster and more current is produced but the life of the battery shortens.