Q: How does the VersaVolt battery turn on?
A: All batteries have an external circuit where electronics flow and an internal circuit where ions flow. Both the external and internal circuits must be “closed” for the battery to operate. In the absence of a fluid like seawater that contains salts, our batteries don’t have a closed, internal connection. Instead, our reserve batteries in a dry state have two insulated electrodes between which electrons cannot flow. VersaVolt batteries need to be exposed to a salt solution in order to close the internal circuit. A closed internal circuit then enables the electronic flow in the external circuit, and the battery turns on! These are called water-activated reserve batteries.
Q: What can the battery provide power for?
A: The VersaVolt battery can provide power for devices needing less than 1 watt of power. The flow of electrons, once activated, can power a security light, a flight data recorder, a personal GPS locator, motion sensors, water quality sensors, motion and heat detectors, and more. The ability to turn on a battery in emergency situations could be great when it comes to survival equipment.
Q: Does anyone else make batteries like VersaVolt?
A: A few water-activated reserve batteries are already on the market. One company makes heavy, large, block-shaped, high-power batteries. VersaVolt batteries are different because they are light and small, and can be made in a flat and flexible form. They can be made to fit into extremely tiny spaces and can continue to work under extremes of temperature and pressure. They are low-capacity batteries which power small things, like sensors and GPS transmitters. Sometimes batteries are sold as “seawater batteries” but unwrapping them reveals that they are just regular lithium-ion batteries which are sealed in waterproof packaging. Our batteries are different because they aren’t waterproof. Instead, they work using water!