THE NEW LIFE OF A BATTERY

Posted by Beverley Smith on

 

In the past two decades, almost all the new technologies developed require some kind of battery to power them. And although smart devices like smartphones, smart homes, and smart wearables are becoming even more advanced they are being limited in evolution because of the limited power supply provided by the batteries used to power them. For a few decades now, there has been no significant advancement of batteries but it is believed that this is about to be changed in the coming years because of the fact that we are on the verge of a power revolution.

Huge brands in the technology world are have taken interest in finding a way to provide a better alternative to the Lithium-ion batteries that are currently used in most devices as a result of the limitations of the Lithium-ion batteries. There have been a rapid evolution of the chips and operating system of these devices that make them more efficient to save power. Currently, the batteries of most of these devices can only last a day or two before we have to recharge them. However, various research institutes have started to show interest in developing a new way to power these devices.

Although it may take some period of time before we are able to develop batteries that will last a week, there has been some development in this field presently.  Some of the most promising battery discoveries that may prove to be a great thing in the future include;

GOLD NANOWIRE BATTERIES

Some year back, some researcher at the University of California claimed that they have successfully developed nanowire batteries that are capable of withstanding plenty of recharging. If this works, it could result in the development of batteries that do not die. These batteries will be made with nanowires, which are a thousand times thinner than the human hair. These nanowires batteries have always broken down when they are being recharged. However, the nanowire batteries developed by the University of California are said to make use of gold nanowires that are in a gel electrolyte to prevent them from breaking down when recharging. These nanowire batteries were tested and are said to be capable of recharging over 200000 times in a matter of three months and displayed no sign of degradation at all.

 

SOLID STATE LITHIUM IONS

The solid-state Lithium batteries are said to be capable of providing stability but at the cost of electrolyte transmission. Some time ago, the Toyota scientist published a paper that explains their tests of a solid state battery that uses sulfide supersonic conductors. This process is then used to develop a battery that is capable of working at super capacitor level to completely charge or discharge in about seven minutes. This battery is the perfect battery for cars.

The solid state of these batteries makes them more stable and safer than the present Lithium-ion batteries. The solid state battery is said to be able to operate in temperature as low as -30 degrees Celsius and as high as 100 degrees Celsius. However, one of the main downsides of this new battery is the fact that the electrolyte needed still pose challenges.

 

SODIUM ION BATTERIES

Some scientists in Japan are currently working on new kinds of batteries that do not require Lithium like your smartphone battery. This new type of batteries will make use of sodium, one of the most common materials on Earth as opposed to Lithium which is very rare. These new batteries are said to seven times more efficient than the Lithium-ion battery.

The development of Sodium ion batteries has been going on since the 1980s when researchers were looking for a better and cheaper alternative to Lithium-ion batteries. Since sodium is the sixth most common element on Earth, these batteries should be cheaper to make. These batteries are said to be expected to be made in commercial size in the next five to ten years.

 

UPP HYDROGEN FUEL CELL

The Hydrogen fuel cell charger is a portable charger that was developed by Upp. This portable charger makes use of hydrogen to power a device and keep you off the grid. This charger is also very environmentally friendly. One hydrogen fuel cell is capable of providing about five full charges of a mobile phone. It has 25Wh capacity in each cell. The hydrogen cell only has one by-product which is released in form of water vapor. This hydrogen fuel cell charger is capable of charging most USB devices with a 5V, 5W, 1000mA output.

 

UBEAM OVER THE AIR CHARGING

UBeam is an over the air charging battery that uses ultrasound to transmit electricity. The power is then changed to sound waves that are inaudible to animals and humans, which is then transmitted and changed back to power when it reaches the device.

The over the air charging concept was discovered by a 25-year-old astrobiology graduate Meredith Perry. She established the company that will start developing a way to charge gadgets over the air with the use of a 5mm thick plate. This method uses transmitters that can be attached to the walls or made into decorative art, to transmit power to smartphones and laptops. These gadgets will only require a thin receiver to receive the charge.

 

STOREDOT

Storedot is a start company in the nanotechnology department at Tel Aviv University that has designed a charger that is capable of charging a mobile in 30 seconds. The Storedot charger can work with current smartphones and it makes use biological semiconductors that are made from naturally occurring organic compounds known as peptides which are short chains of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins).

This process is used to develop a charger that is capable of charging smartphones in about 60 seconds. The battery will contain a non-flammable organic compound that is enclosed in a multi-layer safety protection structure that prevents overvoltage and overheating, so there will be no issues of an explosion.

 

REFERENCES

Pocket-lint

Battery University

 Saft Batteries

 


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2 comments

  • I’m so glad the battery industry is being expanded with new and better options. I feel like it hasn’t really been altered very much in since its creation which is greatly limiting our technological advancements.

    Kyle F. on
  • Without a doubt, the Lithium-ion batteries have some limitations. One can’t go out with smart devices and not worry about recharging them soon. I hope this evolves to something better in the near future.

    Dennis on

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