Building a heating element for battery use?


I am new to the world of tinkering but  I would like to attempt something. I am trying to build a portable heating element that would only need to reach about 70-100 degrees and be attached to a piece of metal to allow the metal to absorb the heat.

Now with this idea I am trying to make it 100% portable, thinking of utilizing 4 AA batteries and a switch so the element is not required to be on all the time.

I thought about pulling an element out of a cordless curling iron or something and trying that but was not sure if it would reach the correct temp or be able to last about a month or so with moderate use.

I am not very well versed in the circuitry world so the amps - volts thing is a little fuzzy for me so I apologize in advanced if I do not completely understand your responses.

Thank you,

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How big is the thing you want to heat. Have you got a good grip on power, heat capacity and the like ?

umm 300 gallon tub,and yes I got good power as we

lilmudd (author)  steveastrouk4 years ago
the metal plate is prob 3-5in wide about 1/8-3/16 thick and maybe 6inchs tall but tapered to attach to a wooden pole with a handle.

I do not have a grasp on either of the fore mentioned things but learning them is a possibility. Was just trying to see if the theory was possible before immersing myself in attempting it lol
As in, it's easy to heat a piece of metal to a high temperature, but if you are 'burning' other things with that hot piece of metal, it will cool quickly, equating to POWER usage - power is the total measure of work done by the system. Getting a little piece of metal hot takes a little power, heating something bigger with that piece of metal will require even more.

What EXACTLY do you plan to do with it? What is moderate use?
lilmudd (author)  frollard4 years ago
What I want to do with the device is make it easier clear thick ice on say a driveway, right now I use an ice chopper which sucks when the ice is 1" thick as a lot of force is required and it is tiring, should the end of the chopper be heated to weaken the bond under the ice or cut it a little from the top i would utilize less effort :D. I think the theory is sound just making it happen is another story lol
The amount of energy required to melt even a little ice is astronomical compared to that in a few AA batteries.

Hooked up to a 1500 watt heater, connected to an extension cord (many hundreds of times more power than you can draw from AA batteries) it will still barely affect the ice. Yes, you can melt some of it, but water (and ice, and the transition from solid to liquid) has one of the highest heat capacities of fluids we commonly encounter.

The ice will not 'weaken away' from the concrete it's stuck to - you have to break the ice, literally. If the ice and ground is below freezing, no reasonable 'hot' blade is going to separate the two for you.

Thought experiment. Thaw some ground beef in your microwave. Note how long it takes a 700-1200 watt machine to thaw just the outer layer - a minute or more....and that ground beef is about 6 inches squared...
If it took you a minute to do every 6 inches of your path, you would be there for a long time, and go through THOUSANDS of AA batteries.
lilmudd (author)  frollard4 years ago
good to know! Maybe there is way to do it without batteries as a fuel source. I will have to keep pondering this idea. Thank you !
Yeah, use a blowtorch, a big one, or, as I saw one enterprising soul do it, with a small jet engine.
You need KILOWATTS to do that ! Way beyond what you can do with batteries. The theory isn't sound at all.
samaddon4 years ago
Just take 4aa batteries and connect them parallel then the voltage will go around 6 volts then buy a good quality pencil and remove out the core of it it's graphite it's a semiconductor just connect the two wires from the battery to both the end of graphite rod it's will give a max temp of 100 degree C.
No, in parallel you get 1.5V from them.
Sorry i did a mistake thanks for correcting me they should be in series! then they will give 6 volts!
iceng4 years ago
Heating something the size of a metal AX with AA batteries won't reach
anywhere of your target temp range !!!

Some 12 Volt batteries may do the heat job for a short time.

For a month of heat you may have to replenish Car battery energy
and insulate the operating Solid // Fluid very well.

Jayefuu4 years ago
How about a non-electronic solution?
Amazon link.
lilmudd (author)  Jayefuu4 years ago
I would consider that, but I do not know of any "cheap" cost wise solutions without utilizing a heating element to have something that is re-usable and portable without being cumbersome.

Any insight into what you are referring to would be worth a look :D
Jayefuu lilmudd4 years ago
I included a link, but on second thoughts you can't turn it on and off easily, you have to wait for the fuel to run out.

What are you trying to heat and why?
lilmudd (author)  Jayefuu4 years ago
Nevermind i see the amazon link
lilmudd (author)  Jayefuu4 years ago
I would be trying to heat a piece of metal attached to a handle, the why part i would rather not say. It just needs to be warm/hot enough to melt a substance to liquid and the substance in solid form has a rather low melting point where 50-100 degrees would make it melt.

Also I do not see the link, and you could include a fuel shut off switch to "make" the fuel run out to the source or ignition.