November 9, 2012 23:10 by 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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March 26, 2011 00:55 by 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.
March 23, 2011 00:48 by Jeremy
Elon 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.