What happens to the energy in a rechargable battery?
October 29, 2007 8:37 AM   Subscribe

What happens to the energy that is lost from rechargeable batteries when they self discharge?

What happens to the energy that is stored in a rechargeable battery as it sits on the shelf and is not used and self-discharges? Is it just stored inside the battery in a different form?
posted by smithygreg to Science & Nature (5 answers total)
Like most "lost" energy, it becomes heat which is transferred to the surrounding environment.
posted by justkevin at 8:46 AM on October 29, 2007

A very, very, gradual loss to heat.
posted by phrontist at 8:47 AM on October 29, 2007

"Self-discharge is caused by electrochemical processes within the cell and is equivalent to the application of a small external load"

in other words, heat. Google "battery self-discharge" for more. Note that all batteries are susceptible, not just rechargeable, though the processes are much faster in rechargeable.
posted by PercussivePaul at 8:56 AM on October 29, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks! I did google "rechargeable battery self discharge" but I guess that was too specific...
posted by smithygreg at 9:47 AM on October 29, 2007

posted by Netzapper at 4:08 PM on October 29, 2007

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