Refuellable batteriesF. Edward Boas, Ryan O'Hayre, Steve Lin, German Acosta
S356 Business Plan
2001 June 8
The current market for AAA, AA, C, D, and 9-volt batteries, valued at over $4 billion in the U.S., is dominated by two different technologies, each of which have unique drawbacks. Disposable alkaline batteries are convenient, but wasteful. Rechargeable batteries are cheaper in the long run, but they are inconvenient, as consumers must purchase a separate charger and wait several hours for a recharge.
Our goal is to develop a new class of battery, the refuellable battery, that combines the advantages of disposable and rechargeable batteries. These refuellable batteries -- made with direct methanol fuel cell technology -- can be instantly recharged by replacing a 40¢ fuel cartridge. Compare this to the typical retail price of $1 for a AA alkaline battery, or $4 for a AA rechargeable battery. Moreover, these batteries will offer many unique advantages of their own. They can last potentially 2 - 3 times longer than normal batteries on a single refill, and have longer shelf lives. They contain no heavy metals, and are environmentally friendly. They are also noticeably lighter and easier to carry than alkaline batteries.
Images created by F. Edward Boas using POV-Ray