By Barbara Kessler
usb-cell.jpg

Frustrated with rechargeable batteries that weren’t charged when you needed them because no one had put them back in the charger – or someone had walked off with the charger? There’s an alternative battery worth checking out. The USBCell batteries by Moixa Energy Ltd., don’t require a special charger, but instead draw juice from your computer’s USB port.

So yes, you still gotta plug them in, but you can charge while you work. And you can take them to go, recharging them on your lap top or office computer.

As a sustainable product, they have won awards because no charger needs to be manufactured to support them, and they can be reused hundreds of times, compared to regular rechargeable batteries that lose their ability to be recharged, sometimes after less than a dozen uses, a Moixa spokesman said.

“In basic re-use they save 3kg of landfill, 7kg of C02, compared to alkaline (batteries) and theoretically much more if re-used hundreds of times. With over 15 billion batteries made/thrown away each year (equivalent to a column of batteries to the moon and back) this is increasingly important,” he said.

Marry that enviro-friendliness with the batteries’ convenience, and you’ve got sustainability on two levels. For a person on the go, having AA batteries that are as travel-ready as his or her growing arsenal of portable equipment that runs on AA batteries, can be career-sustaining; as vital as having a suitcase that fits into the overhead bin and making meetings on time.

The USBCell, a 2006 innovation, started in the United Kingdom but is now being sold globally, as places like Staples, Office Max, PC World, REI and Brookstone. Soon to come, according to Moixa, AAA and 9 Volt versions.

As you might suspect, freeing batteries from the need for a special charger makes them a little pricier too. USB Cell batteries list for around $20 for a pair on various Internet retail outlets. The company sells them directly for just over $17. Still, that’s not a bad price, amortized over hundreds of uses.

Copyright © 2008 | Distributed by Noofangle Media