February 18 is National Battery Day. I admit that even though I’ve worked in the field of battery technology for many years, I didn’t even know about it until this year. The reason for having this “celebration” on today’s date is that it is the birthday of Alessandro Volta, who is credited with the invention of the battery. Volta’s work over his lifetime was so important that he was recognized on the national currency of Italy (before the Euro was introduced at the end of the 1990s). The former 10,000 Lire bank note (worth about 5 Euros at the time), also had an illustration of his early “Voltaic Pile,” which looks quite a bit different from what we think of as a battery today.
Italian Lire monetary note honoring Volta and the Voltaic Pile, the world's first battery.
I’m not sure that National Battery Day is occasion for huge festivals like other more famous holidays, but it might at least be a good time to reflect on what would life be like without batteries.
Think about being tethered to a desk… the same desk… every time you needed to perform a calculation, write a document, or send a message. We love our high-definition displays and blazing processor speeds, but without a (portable) source of power, the freedom of mobility we experience today would simply not exist. We could still enjoy HD video and fast computing, but we’d be forever bound to the traditional home and office settings for work and entertainment. Not to mention having to turn a big crank every time we wanted to start our cars and go anywhere.
So, in honor of National Battery Day, enjoy the freedoms that the humble battery provides you. I’m probably going to go outside and make a phone call.
TI's new Fuel Tank BoosterPack development kit, which features TI's bq24210 lithium polymer charger, and an on-board bq27510-G2 gas gauge.
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