August 21, 2012 01:10 by Ty
Development of a new type of battery using the world’s thinnest material could power our future devices with fast charge and discharge rates. Currently, we are using today’s lithium ion (Li-Ion) battery technology to power our laptops, tablets, cell phones, digital cameras, camcorders, and other portable electronic devices. Current Li-Ion batteries mark today’s industry standards. R&D engineering researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are taking Li-ion battery technology to the next level. Intentionally blemished graphene paper is used to create quick-charging Lithium-ion batteries with a high power density.
Graphene is an allotrope of carbon, which is structurally modified by bonding atoms together from the element in a different manner. Conventional Li-ion battery cells use carbon, metal oxide, and a lithium salt electrolyte in an organic solvent. Graphite is the most popular electrode material in batteries. The graphite is replaced with graphene paper, which has been photo-flashed and zapped with lasers to increase blemishes, countless cracks, pores, and other imperfections. This will transform the graphene paper and new battery design with high-rate capable anodes for lithium-ion batteries.
With the success of a high power density graphene Li-ion battery pack, holding large quantities of power, quickly holding charge and releasing this energy would bring a huge solution. Complex paring of Li-ion batteries and the use of super capacitors wouldn’t need to be extensively used in electric cars. A new graphene Li-ion battery pack with large power densities and energy densities would allow very fast charge and discharge rates. Imagine fast charging hybrid cars, all-electric cars, and solar powered vehicles becoming a reality. Quick charging laptops, tablets, cell phones, cameras and mobile devices wouldn’t need to be recharged overnight. The world would be a very mobile place, without the need of an electrical outlet every few hours.
Batteries Made From World’s Thinnest Material Could Power Tomorrow’s Electric Cars
Photothermally Reduced Graphene as High-Power Anodes for Lithium-Ion Batteries
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
April 25, 2012 23:16 by Jeremy
I'm not the first to admit that I can't stop eyeing the HTC One X - as an award-winner from Mobile World Congress 2012, just about everyone expects its sales to go through the roof. Justifiably so, considering the specs behind this behemoth of a phone.
But, there is a catch: the battery. Most phones nowadays make use of removable/replaceable batteries, which is handy when we feel like carrying spares, or when the battery is just old and needs to be replaced. HTC's high-end smartphone, however, has a built-in battery.
What does this mean for users? Well, no more resetting a freezing phone by removing the battery (but that's not so bad). Also, you may need to contact a specialist in case your battery ever stops working (or replace it yourself by removing the back-casing, but that isn't recommended, of course). Current reports indicate that the One X's 1800mAh battery doesn't last too long, which might be expected given the powerful processor and graphics the phone provides.
And since you can't (easily) replace the battery yourself, you might as well carry around a high-quality charger whenever possible!
Source: zdnet.co.uk, phonearena (picture)
April 17, 2012 23:43 by Jeremy
U.S. battery materials supplier, 3M, has recently been granted $4.6 million by the U.S. Department of Energy to further their efforts in creating the next advancement for lithium ion batteries. There's hope that a major change in lithium ion batteries will positively affect their use in electric vehicles.
Currently, 3M is doing research around their latest patent, which involves Silicon anodes that could increase call capacity by over 40% when matched with certain cathodes.. This, of course, could have an effect on not just larger-scale lithium ion batteries, such as for electric vehicles, but even smaller-scale lithium ion batteries used in cell phones, laptops, and camcorders.
Sources: businesswire, 3M
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?