August 15, 2012 01:27 by Jeremy
Nowadays, batteries mean more than ever to the common consumer. Our laptops, smartphones and cameras are becoming ever-so-powerful while our battery technology isn't flying as fast. That said, many have resorted to either carrying a charger with them, or spare batteries. This is especially true for cell phones, which are becoming so powerful that they've essentially become really tiny laptops.
Enter the Exogear Exovolt Plus. While external power sources aren't quite new to the market, stackable ones aren't exactly common. The Exovolt Plus is unique in this aspect, since you can take as many as you want and pile them on top of each other. And while piling other external batteries on top of each other isn't exactly out of the question regardless, Exogear just makes it look pretty.
The product itself is a 5200mAh Lithium Polymer battery which can charge any of your USB-devices. This is great for cell phones, digital cameras, camcorders and even tablets; but laptops will have to sit this one out.
With a thin, square design, consumers could actually easily fit this into their pocket, possibly even two. The real question, however, is whether they can fit FOUR in their pocket - then they're guaranteed to never run out of battery life throughout the day.
Rice University graduate Neelam Singh and a team of researchers had recently started working on a new "spray-on" battery. And by spray-on, we mean paint. Imagine painting an entire wall with a color, only to realize it's one massive battery (or numerous batteries all connected).
The paint consists of five layers, with each layer bringing the necessary materials for a battery: cathodes, anodes and polymer separators. The initial experiment involved nine bathroom tile-based batteries that were connected together, with a solar cell on one tile. Overall, the batteries pumped out 2.4 volts and managed to power lights that spelled out "Rice" for 6 hours.
This experiment only marks the beginning of this new technology, and it paves the way for the creation of newer types of batteries. Currently, certain Lithium-Ion batteries are ruling the technological field, but they are limited due to their size and shape. With paintable batteries, gadgets could use up less space for batteries and more space for powerful upgrades.
Sources: cnet.com, nature.com
As of May 16, 2012, USPS has changed part of their mailing rules and standards. Lithium batteries and cells (both rechargeable and non-rechargeable) are now not allowed to be shipped internationally or to any APO, FPO, and DPO locations. This means that mailers also cannot send out products that have lithium batteries inside of them, including tech gadgets such as cell phones, MP3 players, laptops, and digital camera.
After January 1, 2013, limited quantities may be allowed to ship out internationally, as long as "the batteries are properly installed in the personal electronic devices they are intended to operate."
This does not affect the current rules for mailing lithium products within the United States, and lithium batteries (and their corresponding technical products) may still be shipped out normally. However, for international shipping, mailers may have to resort to private carriers such as FedEx.
March 28, 2012 00:27 by Jeremy
Today, the car makers BMW and Toyota have decided to pool their forces together in an effort to research the next-generation of Lithium-Ion batteries and battery cells. More specifically, they'll be focusing on "increasing the performance and capacity of lithium-ion battery cells".
This isn't the first time they've made headlines together, however: back in Dec. 2011, the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) concerning a "mid-to-long-term collaboration on next-generation environment-friendly technologies", so today's news really shouldn't be a shocker.
Originally, the vehicle-giants were to focus on the application of lithium-ion battery cells towards hybrid and electric cars. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that our smartphone or laptop batteries won't get a nice boost in research as well.
Sources: motorauthority (Li-Ion batts), motorauthority (MOU)
March 13, 2012 00:49 by Jeremy
NEC's unveiled their newest prototype of their Ultra-thin organic radical battery (ORB) today, measuring in at 0.3 mm. These batteries are not only small, but also flexible, and can be attached to integrated circuit (IC) cards. The IC cards themselves aren't too think either (measuring around 0.73 to 0.76mm thickness on average).
The power behind NEC's latest ORB is enough to match a Li-Ion battery. That's not to say that it'll run your laptop, but ratio-wise, it delivers a higher power output and faster recharging speeds. Currently, these new batteries have a capacity of 3mAh, which should be enough to perform 2,000 display screen updates, 360 consecutive flash firings and 35 location transmissions on just one charge. As far as longevity, these ORB's retain 75% of their charge/discharge capacity even after 500 cycles, similar to the performance of Li-Ion smartphone batteries.