Discarded Laptop Batteries Could Power Lights: IBM Research Team

IBM’s Indian Research division has found a cheap energy source in the form of thrown away laptop batteries. According to their research, more than 70% of discarded laptop batteries have enough power to keep a light on for four hours a day for one year.

With more than 50 million laptop batteries discarded each year, this research could help rural areas and developing countries across the world.

To effectively use the laptop batteries, the researchers devised a special device called UrJar. Old laptop batteries have lithium-ion cells in them. UrJar makes the best use of these cells to power lights. They picked up good cells from the trashed batteries, combined them with refurbished battery packs and charged dongles and circuits from them.

These batteries and dongles were given to five users in India as a test project. Three months later, the users came back with a positive feedback.

While it is possible to use solar panels and rechargeable batteries for such a device, using thrown away batteries could make for a much cheaper product. Moreover, it will also help resolve to deal with electronic-waste to some extent as well.

Pakistan is suffering through an immense power crisis. Millions of old laptop batteries are thrown in trash each year. Smart solutions like these are needed to bridge the gap between energy supply and demand. They could help street vendors, people in slums and millions of others who are off grid.


  • Ali

    Ya banai kasa ha? koe tareqa b share karo, main na abi bettry change karni ha

    • Fahad Hashmi

      Google my friend!!

    • Mohsin Mustufa

      khud kuch na kerna
      bs bana banaya halwa mil jai :

  • Nabeel

    Pakistan definitely needs this solution. Apart from our need, it is a good practice to save resources from wasting and utilizing them properly. Let us hope that this solution comes to Pakistan in next two months.

  • Fakhre Alam

    how will u make a discarded battery work, i don’t understand. the cells inside are 90% worn out.

    • Khurram ShahzAd

      Even more than that. A power blink restarts the laptop with worn out battery. I am not sure how will that work.

      • Fakhre Alam

        exactly . there is literally no difference between a worn out normal 12V dry battery and worn out battery of laptop. both are not usable .

    • S M Nabeel Dibaji

      The battery we use for laptops are made up of “18650 batteries” and usually all cells are not dead at once many can still hold a good charge.

  • Salar Khalil

    My cousin has been doing this for over 4-5 years :-)
    He is not a graduate but he has a lot knowledge about electronics and do a lot of unique stuff :-)

  • Khurram ShahzAd

    Won’t it be counter affective, first battery will take lots of time/power to get charged and than it will lose the power for nothing and a tiny %age will be used to power lights before battery is again empty.

  • Abid Hussain

    ..and similarly .. torches with discarded phones/batteries!