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It's a weird phenomenon, but in the right circumstances a discharged battery in series with others can reverse it's charge. In fact, here's one now! Enjoy!
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12 thoughts on “Can a battery flip polarity?”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Daniel Foster says:

    Have you played with monopole magnets Fran? There’s more than a few ways to wire some and when you magnetically charge a nail through the center of the windings it’s also charged a monopole 🙂

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Markos Zouganelis says:

    Dear Fran&Company, I would like to tell you my first experience with technology: (I think you will like it, that's why I am writing this)
    When I was a kid my parents bought me a microscope. My love for life started when I put on the glass plate some yellow dust from an Hibiscus flower from the garden. What I saw was beautiful wonderful yellowish spheres decorated with little cones. Amazing! I felt in love with flowers like you like us ALL! THANK YOU WORLD!!!💚

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars RC420 says:

    I've been in my house for 12 years and my workshop is still discombobulated. In my area Panasonic alkaline batteries from the dollar store are awesome!!

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Markos Zouganelis says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.
    OR: [thank you]∞

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bobby Guest says:

    Yes. A battery can flip polarity. Observe: Place a AA battery in a device and turn on the device.
    Then, turn off the device and remove the battery. Then replace the battery in the device upside down and turn on the device. Presto ! You have gained reverse polarity !! OMG !! Genius !!

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John Galt says:

    Like a standard light bulb do LEDs glow brighter with higher voltage? I got these Christmas LED window candles and they were just a little dim so I returned them. But now wondering if I replaced the three AA alkaline batteries with lithium if they'd glow a little brighter??

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars KYŌDɅI KΞN says:

    There are Chinese Li-Ion rechargable AA and AAA cells that you can charge within 2h and they have a buck regulator that output constant 1.5V util the cell is depleted at 3V and need recharging. They have high equivalent capacity due to the Li-Ion technology. Only downside is that the buck regulator can cause interference in radios, microphones, radio controlled clocks. On my Razer Orochi V2 they work very well for a few weeks with me forgetting to turn off the mouse when I am done wit the PC! Name of one of the brands is Kratax.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Earl Griffith says:

    Hope you have shared your research on leaking g batteries. My experience has been that Energizers leak worse of all! Good idea to use lithiums.
    Congrats on the new Lab.

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars SeanBZA says:

    RAy o Vac with the leakproof guarantee, which in reality means they are proved to leak, generally just as soon as the guarantee period expired, often by a day.

    Negative voltage is also possible with lead acid batteries, and you can actually get a flooded cell battery to reverse polarity, and charge up to rated capacity as well, though it has to be a flooded cell, as you will have to apply a pretty prolonged charge, to convert the 2 plates into the other form, which will dissociate a lot of the electrolyte water into hydrogen and oxygen gas.

    Yes I have often seen primary cells that were in series get a reverse charge, one of the reasons why you should not mix new with old cells, as the old ones will get a negative polarity and a high internal resistance, dropping most of the total terminal voltage. As they charge they generate gas internally, and will thus leak, corroding the equipment. Even nominally identical capacity cells will have slight differences, and this can happen with low load use, where the one cell, with a lower capacity, will go flat first, then discharge to zero volts, then charge in reverse.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars turtmaster t says:

    it can happen with 6 and 12 volt, lead acid automotive batteries as well,
    it used to be a lot more common, when the old farm tractors and vehicles still had generators instead of alternators, the battery would be run down flat enough,
    and then somebody would jump start it with reverse polarity, and then that's how the battery would charge up.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars rene0 says:

    i was told NiCd rechargeables are pretty tolerant to this (just as deepcharging, overcharging etc) and can be restored even from this condition. Didn't ever hear it about any newer generation or non-rechargeables though.

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hirum Biffidum says:

    Honestly I don't think that can be done with a common 1.5 volt axial battery (like a D, C, AA, AAAand so on). Far as I know please don't quote me is done with Rectifier diodes ?¿ update: wow Fran that constitution class intercom takes triple AAA's. I'm jealous I wish I could find or create one !!!

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