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Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow




A rechargeable battery, storage battery, secondary cell, or accumulator is a type of electrical battery which can be charged, discharged into a load, and recharged many times, as opposed to a disposable or primary battery, which is supplied fully charged and discarded after use. It is composed of one or more electrochemical cells. The term “accumulator” is used as it accumulates and stores energy through a reversible electrochemical reaction. Rechargeable batteries are produced in many different shapes and sizes, ranging from button cells to megawatt systems connected to stabilize an electrical distribution network. Several different combinations of electrode materials and electrolytes are used, including lead–acid, nickel–cadmium (NiCd), nickel–metal hydride (NiMH), lithium-ion (Li-ion), and lithium-ion polymer (Li-ion polymer). [for more click here]

That being said, do any of you remember this object (pictured above)? Have you ever used something like this before? ‘Recharge’ us with your stories….



  1. Ignatius Chiew says:

    I remember this type of 2 V lead-acid cells in school science labs, but not “Kew” brand. What I vaguely recall was the Exide brand. The transparent case is thick glass. The top is black, probably tar or pitch. As the label shows, it can give a very high current; enough to do heating experiments in physics. Connect them in series with thick copper strips to give multiples of 2 Volts.

    The electrolyte level can be seen through the glass case. After using or charging for some time, electrolysis of the water causes the level to fall. Top up with distilled water after opening the black cap. The condition of the plates and acid is visible and indicate how good the cell is or if it is at the end of its useful life.

    Schools make their own distilled water and buy sulphuric acid in concentrated form. The lab technicians dilute them to the correct density for the cell.

    • Ipoh Remembered says:

      Dear Ignatius

      Thanks for sharing those vivid memories! I don’t know how long ago it was that you were in school but, to me, your recollection and understanding are impressive!

      Questions: Is the topic still taught in schools and, if so, is it made accessible to girls as it is to boys?

      • Ignatius Chiew says:

        Electricity as a part of science or more in depth under physics is very much a part of the syllabus. In the past when this type of cell was used, it depended on whether the school labs were well equipped. The schools with Form Six classes would most certainly had them. Students studying pure sciences in Forms 4 and 5 did lab experiments using these cells.

        While the basics of electricity remain the same, the design of experiments and materials change with available technology. Thus, the popular dry cells, types AA or AAA are used nowadays. They are much cheaper and safer for use by students in experiments. An accidental short circuit is not likely to result in the high currents the lead-acid cells are capable of producing.

        The changes in experiments and materials for science were the seen in the decade of the 1970s under the Integrated Science for Lower Secondary and Modern Science (General and Pure Sciences) for Upper Secondary. Whether for boys or girls, the aim of was to make the study of sciences interesting by doing as much hands on as possible. There was a heavy emphasis on lab work. It was known as the discovery method. The underlying philosophy was that regardless of gender, learning should be interesting and enjoyable.

  2. Ngai C O says:


    I had seen a similar type battery at Science Labs through the glass windows.

    In its heyday, it used to power lamps as well as for other purposes.

    The cell voltage is determined by the metal used in the battery electrode. Therefore a typical car battery being 12 volts would have 6 cells.

    I have not set foot in a secondary school lab since I saw these batteries. I believe labs nowadays use mains powered low voltage power supplies. They are short circuit and over voltage proof. The voltage and current can be programmed independently.

    One can find a ton of information from batteryuniversity.com

    Besides there are many youtube clips on battery demonstrations from short circuiting batteries to the effects of puncturing lithium ion batteries.

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