Lithium-ion batteries are used in everything, from your phone to handheld gaming devices. They are the basis for most portable powered devices but by design, they are typically quite old. While they’ve received their upgrades over time, lithium ion batteries have the same flaw a lot of technology has these days, overheating. Ever wondered why a phone or a hoverboard exploded? Fear not, Stanford researchers have come up with a new lithium-ion battery with heat controls!
The new design allows the lithium-ion battery to shut down when it gets too hot, then when it’s cool enough it will automatically restart. Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford state that not only can the device turn itself on and off repeatedly but it does so “without compromising performance”.
Typical a lithium-ion battery contains two core elements, two electrodes and a form of gel or liquid that carries charge between the two electrodes. People have tried to solve this problem before by adding a flame retardant to the gel used in some. When punctured or overcharged, a lithium-ion battery tends to rise in temperature and at around 150 degrees celsius they catch fire, eventually exploding.
The new battery, however, uses a tiny bit of nano-technology, by coating an electrode with a poly ethylene film with tiny nickel particles with spikes extruding from the plastic surface. When the battery heats up, the film expands meaning the spikes are pushed away from each other and the electric charge can’t be carried through the nickel elements. When it cools they retract and the charge can start to flow again.
StoreDot’s at it again, remember that company, whose tech could charge your smartphone in a minute, their latest en-devour could charge an electric vehicle in just 5.
At Microsoft’s ThinkNext conference, the Israeli startup announced that it had started work on a technology that would enable electric vehicles to fully charge in 5 minutes.
To achieve this, they’ve developed a multi-function electrode (MFE). The MFE is a combination of a conductive polymer and metal oxide. The polymer allows the battery to receive the charge quickly while the metal oxide is used to trickle the Lithium ions into the electrode. Trickle charging’s essential as it prevents the electrode from cracking and shorting out, a danger when fast charging Lithium ion batteries.
StoreDot also tackles a major issue “heat”, it destroys electrodes over time. To remedy this, StoreDot’s developed new organic materials with low resistance, which produce little to no heat. The technology’s capable of 3x the charge cycle of normal lithium-ion batteries (1500-2000 charges). It also charges a lot quicker (one order of magnitude faster than existing battery technology).
They accomplished this speed by replacing existing battery components with new ones optimized for fast charging. The re-design isn’t a small fit, the company’s raised over US $42 million last year to create a pilot production line demonstrating how batteries are made with its technology. StoreDot estimates 80 percent of the manufacturing process is similar to the way today’s lithium batteries are made.
The battery’s only one side of the coin as infrastructure’s needed to make extremely fast charging a reality. To understand this one needs to know how StoreDot’s technology will work and its limitations. To fully charge a battery of an electric vehicle in 5 minutes, one needs powerful electrical infrastructure. 200 kilowatts for every 100 km of travel between charges. This effectively rules out charging at home, a modern high-rise would be more suitable as it would have the necessary infrastructure.
Five-minute charging requires a direct connection to the battery a foreign concept in today’s EVs. StoreDot’s goal with its battery technology is to provide a similar refueling experience as one would fill up with its petrol counterpart and to achieve a similar range of travel between charges. To realize this, existing and future refueling stations would need more than 200kW of power, a major upgrade.
Tesla one of its rivals had a similar issue implementing its Supercharger network (120kW fast charging stations), these provided a model S with 200 miles of travel per 30-minute charge. StoreDot’s technology though a lot faster requires stations to be in the range of a high-power transformer. It believes a wide spread adaptation of its technology would require some government support directing the installation of new grid components.
StoreDot’s tech will cost 20 to 30 percent higher than today’s lithium-ions, due to costly organic materials. Yet this shouldn’t put you off, 3x the charge cycles of current Li-ions will save you thousands in the long run, who doesn’t love saving.
StoreDot estimates we’ll see the first mobile products based on its technology around the second half of 2016. It should have a preliminary prototype of its vehicle battery in 2016 and commercial one in 2017.
Here’s a video of their vision:
This startup’s one to keep our eyes on, their technology could revolutionize everything, really looking forward to further developments, are you? let us know in the comments section.
Thank you ieee.org for providing us with this information.
Reports have indicated that a four person team inside Google X labs have switched from testing batteries back in 2013 to actually looking into technology for creating a new and improved version.
The group is said to be led by former Apple battery expert, Dr. Ramesh Bhardwaj, and formed back in 2012. One concept the group is said to be looking into is solid-state batteries, which are made by replacing the liquid chemicals with a solid current-inducing alternative. This is said to lead to smaller and safer batteries which can be produced in thin layers.
While the batteries are being designed for powering mobile devices, Google is said to also be looking into using the battery concept to power human body implants. Google is also not the only company to be working on futuristic batteries, but whoever comes up with the long-lasting, affordable, safer and smaller alternative to the current ones will be able to dominate the consumer market.
Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information
An IBM study has determined that old laptop batteries could be used to power slums. 70% of discarded batteries were able to hold enough charge to power an LED light for four hours a day over a whole year, an Indian IBM team has shown.
The idea was trialled in Bangalore earlier this year, and is seen as a positive step in recycling the growing quantity of ‘e-waste’. Many towns in deprived areas either have no access to electricity, due to not being connected to an electrical grid, or are too poor to afford it. Laptop batteries offer a cheap, portable, and environmentally friendly alternative.
The IBM team in India developed UrJar, an electrical hub powered by lithium-ion cells from old batteries.
IBM said, “UrJar has the potential to channel e-waste towards the alleviation of energy poverty, thus simultaneously providing a sustainable solution for both problems.”
One UrJar unit would be priced at 600 rupees (£7). IBM hopes to further develop the system after positive feedback from the initial trial.
The battery life of our mobile devices – and anything that contains a battery for that matter is something which ranks quite high in everyone gripe list. Although manufacturers are discovering new ways to design components the need less power to run, there is only a certain amount of power that can be crammed into the battery, thus limiting the overall life of the device. This could all be about to change though as scientists have created a new type of lithium-ion battery that offers three times the life of a standard li-on battery using nothing more than sand.
Naturally we are not talking about pouring sand like we find on the beach into a battery. Instead of using graphite to make the anode end of the cell, refined sand is used to create a pure silicone compound which gives the extended life span.
To create the compound the sand, right in quartz, is ground down to minute particles nanometres in size and then is refined and purified by heating it to remove any oxygen which is present. The pure mixture is added to a salt and magnesium mix to create the pure silicone mix.
Whilst this process may sound like it will result in a battery which costs much more to buy, the resulting product is actually cheaper due to the use of common elements which do not create any harmful waste materials after processing. How long it will take to get this new type of battery into mass production and finally into the market is unknown, but as and when it does we could finally be looking at mobile devices that last days instead of hours before they need plugging in to charge – imagine a smartphone that has the heroic battery life of the old Nokia 3310’s? I know that is something we’d all love to have.
Sugar is the best biological source of energy. We need it to be active in just about anything, and not to mention its effect on kids when is almost bedtime! But recently, it has been discovered that with sugar, we can even break the barrier of lithium-ion batteries as well.
The chief researcher at Virginia Tech, Y.H. Percival Zhang, says they have created a sugar-powered fuel cell that has a density of 596 amp-hours/kilo, or to put it plainly, it has a capacity to deliver electrical energy and last longer than normal lithium-ion batteries. Zhang also notes that the fuel cell can be refilled with a solution of maltodextrine, a product which we normally find in sodas and candy.
Sugar and its properties for being a great energy source are not breaking news, since we used them throughout the ages and know fairly well what we expect to get out of it (namely a heap of energy and sleepless nights), but unless it is administered to a biological organism, it is useless. There have been attempts throughout the ages to make a device that can simulate an organism in order to decompose the glucose, fructose and other energy source properties from sugar in order to use it in non-biological forms, but all attempts failed.
However, Zhang and his fellow researchers at Virginia Tech have said to been successful in building a high-tech fuel cell which uses an enzymatic pathway to create a lot of electricity form glucose. Currently, the information on how stable this prototype is and how many refills can it take is not clear. But what is indeed interesting is the fact that the researchers did not immobilize the enzymes which help in decaying the sugar as in past attempts.
The prototype ‘biobattery’ uses 13 enzymes and air with an outcome of 24 electrons for a single glucose unit. There were some other mathematical calculations present, but to describe it in plain language, the outcome received forms a battery which can last 10 times longer than a normal lithium-ion battery. And the best part is that we get green energy, which is safer than the latter battery and most importantly, cheaper!
Besides smartphones and mobile gadgets, Zhang mentions of other areas in which the ‘biobattery’ aims to make itself present, such as implants, computers and other energy-hungry devices. But Zhang underlines implants more than everything else. Since the energy is not harmful to living organisms, it could ‘feed on the glucose in your bloodstream’, which in turn can provide an endless supply of safe electricity for implants inside your body.
We find ourselves busy every moment of our lives. There’s not enough time to do all the things we want or even need to do and charging our portable devices is one of those things as that leaves us with the inconvenience of being tethered by a cable and a power source. With smartphones getting faster and coming with bigger screens, the need for a larger battery is ever growing and while some manufacturers have started putting high capacity batteries in their devices, others have not in order to keep costs down. Either way, most of us are left reaching the end of the day with a phone or tablet that will not turn on.
Whatever the reason though, we have all no doubt found ourselves in need of just that extra bit of juice, and left without a power outlet near by to charge with. In comes the Patriot Fuel+ Rechargeable Battery, a battery pack with a USB port on it that can run and charge your devices on the go!
Patriot are famous for their memory and flash based products, but they also have a strong line of accessories like the Fuel+ and today we are going to be taking a look at the 9000mAh model. The Fuel+ is intended to be a simple and easy to use product, it’s designed to do one thing and one thing well and that’s to charge up to 2 devices at will.
So let’s take a closer look and see if the Fuel+ can live up to the Patriot reputation.
Specs on the back of the box tell us that the Fuel+ contains a 9000mAh battery which is capable of charging a smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 twice over with some capacity left for top up or another device, providing a 5v 2.5A port and a 5V 1A port, the first would be more suitable for tablets, the 1A more suitable for most smartphones.