CES - New batteries said to charge in 15 minutes

Road warriors with depleted digital devices at the Consumer Electronics Show may want to check out a 15-minute battery recharging demonstration by Rayovac Corp., which is running a battery first-aid station at the show.

The company expects to ship by September new fast-charging versions of AA and AAA batteries, which power many digital cameras, music players, and personal digital assistants like those also on display.

New Material, Tactic

The new batteries use I-C3 technology Nickel Metal Hydride, says Jerry Albright, Rayovac's divisional vice president of marketing. He says the new batteries can last up to four times longer than standard single-use alkaline batteries in certain applications, and are expected to be rechargeable up to 1000 times.

Until the I-C3 technology, the battery charger itself, including Rayovac's, controlled the speed of the recharging, Albright says. However, the I-C3 NiMH technology puts that control directly into the battery top, which allows for a faster charge. The system monitors the charge in each individual battery for safety, speed, and reliability.

"Rechargables are the fastest growing segment of our market over the past couple of years as more and more consumers have more devices that use batteries," Albright says. The rechargeable-battery industry is a US$5 billion market.

If you currently own a Rayovac recharging system, you need to buy a new charger to take advantage of the new batteries.

Related Products

Rayovac isn't the only battery maker at the show. Lenmar Enterprises is announcing its The Mach 1 SpeedCharger line, which uses microprocessor control to deliver a rapid charge, without overcharging, by continuously monitoring and conditioning the battery.

The company says this extends battery life up to five times that of most charging systems, and substantially improves battery performance. It says the Lenmar Lithium-Ion camcorder and digital camera batteries will recharge in less than 30 minutes, three times faster than traditional chargers.

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Anne B. McDonald

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