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The World of Batteries Today

clock November 9, 2012 23:10 by author Jeremy

From smartphones to cars, batteries can be found in many of our common everyday electronics. These batteries come in numerous shapes, sizes and capacities, enabling them to power our devices for hours at a time. Whether you're buying a new battery or getting rid of an old one, check out the infographic below to see some general rules and guidelines about batteries.

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Battery Charging and Energy Capacity Could Increase Tenfold

clock November 30, 2011 01:10 by author Jeremy

A recent groundbreaking study has led to success in increasing charging capacity and speed of lithium ion batteries. Professor Harold Kung and his group of engineers at Northwestern University have accomplished this feat by adjusting graphene layers, which are directly related to how fast charging can occur. Now, charging capcity and speed increase by a factor of ten, just by poking small holes in the battery's graphene layers.

Additionally, Kung's team also increased the density of lithium ions, which allowed for their test-batteries to last for over a week on a single charge. (The science behind it isn't so simple, of course.) The downside is that these lithium-ion batteries lost their fast-charging long-lasting abilities after roughly 150 charges, which is a drastic difference in how long lithium-ion batteries normally last.

If perfected, this science could help create the next generation lithium-ion battery. Check out the source link below for more info.

Source: northwestern.edu



SEI's Aluminum-Celmet, perfect for batteries

clock June 29, 2011 00:59 by author Jeremy

Simotomo Electric Industries, Ltd. (SEI) has developed a new battery based on Celmet, a highly porous metal made from nickel. Due to the structure of Celmet, it has become reknowned as a current-collecting ingredient, making it ideal for collecting charges in a battery.

Celmet has been gaining popularity recently due to its use in nickel-hydrogen batteries for hybrid cars. And now, SEI has combined Celmet with Aluminum, making the material Aluminum-Celmet.

This offers a few advantages, such as the fact that Aluminum is lighter than Celmet's frequent-partner Nickel. Also, Aluminum is used often with smaller batteries, such as AA's and AAA's. Due to its light weight, it coudl likely be added to lithium-ion secondary batteries and capacitors to improve their capacity.

With Aluminum-Celmet inside of rechargeable batteries, we could see the creation of even smaller, faster-charging batteries for our electronic devices.

Source: SEI

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Batteries & Capacitors: The Best of Both Worlds

clock March 26, 2011 00:55 by author Jeremy

What happens when you combine the energy storage of a battery with the charging rate of a capacitor? Hopefully, you'll get something like what Professor Paul Braun of Illinois has developed.

Braun (middle), along with postdoctoral researcher Huigang Zhang (right) and graduate student Xindi Yu (left), has developed a three-dimensional nanostructure for battery cathodes which allows for drastically increased charging and discharging, without losing overall capacity.

The downside is that the process of assmebling the inner parts is time-consuming; however, research can be easily picked up and continued since the processes are not limited to a particular type of battery. The group has already demonstrated usage in both Li-Ion and NiMH versions.

These types of batteries could be especially useful in electric vehicles. If research is continued in this field, it could be another candidate for future use, which would eventually mean the replacement of current types of batteries.

Source: news.Illinois.edu



Batteries or Capacitors? Tesla CEO Speaks Out

clock March 23, 2011 00:48 by author Jeremy

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla MotorsElon Musk, CEO of famed motor company Tesla, admits he believes that the long term war of energy in vehicles would be won by capacitors, not batteries. An ironic statement, coming from the man whose business currently utilizes numerous lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. It's also a statement with a lot of weight behind it, considering the other accomplishments Musk has in his belt (including having a hand in the creation of PayPal).

"If I were to make a prediction, I'd think there's a good chance that it is not batteries. but capacitors," stated Musk recently while at the Cleanteach Forum in San Francisco.

Currently, batteries continue to be a leading resource for energy throughout the world. Musk's statement, however, is backed by the knowledge behind capacitors and ultracapacitors. For example, unlike batteries, they can withstand more charge / discharge cycles.

More research is needed behind capacitors and ultracapacitors, and before that happens, batteries will continue to provide the energy needed for many electronic devices. But perhaps one day, Musk's prediction that capacitors "will supercede" batteries will come true.

Source: GigaOm



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