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The acid on batteries

The Editor,

Have you ever thought about why a car battery in Cambodia only works for six months

to one year, while you can use a battery in other countries for three to five years?

The simple answer why is that all modern batteries are mistreated here because of

ignorance. I was amazed when I realized that there is nowhere you can buy battery

water, and nothing has changed in the three years I have been here.

In the eighties the batteries came mainly from the Soviet Union or Vietnam, and those

batteries needed acid in the water to continue to be strong. Now the car batteries

are dry-charged, predominately from Thailand and Japan, and the only thing you need

to add is water before you use them. In Thailand you can buy battery water at every

gas station. In Cambodia they still use the "electrolyte". Poor battery.

It's like adding tomato ketchup to your blood when you need a transfusion, only because

it is red and about as salty as blood.

The answer therefore is simply to collect rainwater.

If you don't take it from polluted areas (like central Phnom Penh) wait for a heavy

rainfall and filter the water after you've collected it , and you have a free source

of battery water. Maybe a suitable income generation project for a village?
- Kristen Winer, American Friends Service Committee, Phnom Penh.

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