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New Fabric Charges Batteries for British Soldiers

clock April 4, 2012 00:11 by author Jeremy

Whether at home, or in a battlefield, keeping your battery charged remains a top priority. That's why Intelligent Textiles, with funding from the UK's Centre of Defence Enterprise, created uniforms made of "e-textiles", which are complex conductive fabrics. These uniforms eliminate all the pesky wires and the problems that come with them, and instead charge your batteries directly.

Asha Thompson, director of Intelligent Textiles, explains to the BBC News, "We've got the fabric integrated into the vest, into the shirt, into the helmet, the backpack, and into the glove and weapons platform." With this, power and data can be sent back and forth between different parts of the uniform. "We have a ringmain that allows us to power data wherever we want it to go. We can send power up to the helmet without it being tethered."

While the uniform will be used in field trials starting May, it may not see extensive use until 2014 or 2015. It makes one wonder though if this sort of technology will ever be used in non-army environments. Will we ever start selling smartphone-charging pants? We can only hope.

Sources: gizmodo, bbc.co.uk

In the meantime, why not check out the chargers we have to offer for laptops, cell phones, digital cameras, camcorders, and other accessories?



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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