Why do we need waterproof batteries? That might seem like quite an obvious question, such as “why do we need rechargeable batteries?” or “why do we need car batteries?”, but to think about the issue so simplistically refuses to acknowledge what we mean by “waterproof” batteries.
If an electrical device is waterproof and it runs on batteries, that does not necessarily mean that the device is incorporating waterproof battery technology. Instead, it merely means that the device itself is waterproof and can protect the battery chamber from being infiltrated by any damaging moisture. Nevertheless, at least when connected to the device, these batteries are “waterproof”.
Perhaps, therefore, it is better to think of the different kinds of waterproof batteries that we are taking about, because there are actually several. And some of these waterproof batteries might offer consumers unexpected benefits beyond simply being compatible with devices that can be exposed to water.
The Different Types of Waterproof Batteries
The different types of waterproof batteries vary quite a bit. Here are the three main types you could encounter:
Batteries for Waterproof Devices
As mentioned, some “waterproof” batteries might not actually be waterproof at all, but instead merely batteries that can be used with waterproof devices. In such cases, these batteries are protected from water by the device itself being waterproof. These are actually the most common type of waterproof batteries, and they are used with popular consumer products designed to be exposed to water. These include underwater cameras or certain smartphones that have protection against getting wet or which can be used when it’s raining. The only additional benefit of these “waterproof” batteries is that they are versatile and can be used with many other devices as well.
The second type of waterproof batteries are those which are themselves properly waterproofed, or are, in other words, true waterproof batteries. These are batteries – or battery packs – that have casings which can get wet. Naturally, these are very versatile and are usually sold as supplies for applications where battery power is required and exposure to water is a possibility. They can be stored in wet areas or carried about in the rain before being attached to any type of device. They normally have industrial applications. It is even possible to waterproof ordinary batteries yourself, simply by applying waterproof materials to the casing.
Batteries With Water Electrolytes
The third type of waterproof batteries are those in which the terminals of the battery itself can be exposed to water (rather than just protected from it) and also those which actually use a water-salt electrolyte for their functioning. These batteries are at the cutting edge of technology and are not currently widely available on the consumer market. These are also the batteries that offer a few unexpected benefits which apply even when exposure to water is not an issue. Foremost among these advantages is that these batteries – having a water-based electrolyte – pose absolutely zero-risk of fire or explosions. Their safety potential is therefore immense.
Efficiency of Water Proof Batteries
Having surveyed the past, present, and future of waterproof batteries, it’s worth noting now that their relative efficiency can be expected to stay in line with other battery technology. For example, the water-salt electrolyte batteries just discussed are still li-ion batteries and all the development in the field of lithium-ion batteries can still be applied.
Innovative new li-ion products, therefore – from the USB-C rechargeable D li-ion rechargeable batteries produced by Pale Blue Earth to Tesla’s ever-more efficient li-ion car batteries – could all theoretically be made waterproof without sacrificing any functionality. And wherever this property is required, it seems likely that they will.