Some households may be slashing electricity bills by producing their own power, but this isn’t the case for everyone. While other options allow homeowners to store energy using solar panels, the amount collected isn’t always enough. Builders are now taking matters into their own hands, using recycled laptop batteries to power homes — including theirs.
“Approximately 95 percent of consumer batteries sold in the US are not recycled and are ultimately thrown away. Virtually all batteries can be recycled into valuable secondary products…”
Most builders use 18650 lithium-ion batteries for storing power. They are plentiful in hardware shops, but can be costly. Not to mention, a single battery doesn’t store much. Buying a several hundred? That’s hopeful.
Gathering enough batteries is only the first step to building a DIY powerwall. Every cell then has to be tested—not all are safe enough to be used… Lithium-ion batteries have a limited lifespan: some laptop batteries harvested end up having too little capacity to be used.
Altogether, the process is tedious. Voltages need testing. Batteries need cycling. Cells need soldering. On top of that, building DIY powerwalls require a lot of safety measures. So why go through the trouble? Besides the obvious payoff, builders are able to share new ideas — some of which could really make an impact.