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Iron phosphate  (Source: MIT)
The new battery isn't ready for commercial development, but it shows great promise

A new battery material created by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) could lead to much faster recharge times for batteries.

MIT professor Gerbrand Ceder and researcher Byoungwoo Kang said the material can discharge energy and recharge nearly 100 times faster than batteries currently used in mobile phones.  Lithium-ion batteries are widely used in laptops as well, and could allow longer battery life and faster recharge time if a user is away from a power source for long durations of time.

"The ability to charge and discharge batteries in a matter of seconds rather than hours may open up new technological applications and induce lifestyle changes," Ceder and Kang sad in the latest edition of Nature.

The duo created a small battery that normally takes six minutes to charge, but used their new traffic flow to recharge the same battery in just 10 to 20 seconds.

It was widely believed the ions and electrons inside the battery moved too slowly, but the researchers noticed that wasn't the case.  They focused on how ions enter nano-scale tunnels aimed at moving electrons around the battery, and eventually created a lithium phosphate coating that helps push ions to the nano-scale tunnels.

Rechargeable lithium batteries used today have the ability to store high amounts of energy, but don't normally release that power, so they discharge very slowly.    

The battery has been supported with federal research money, and two companies have already licensed the technology, MIT announced.  It'd be possible to start mass producing the batteries in two to three years, the MIT researchers said. 



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RE: Good
By Marlonsm on 3/13/2009 4:08:01 PM , Rating: 2
That's a good point

But how about putting one battery like that on your house, so it'd be slowly recharged during the day(maybe even using solar panels also) and when you need to recharge you laptop, or even your car, all those amps would come from that battery.

This way the infrastructure wouldn't need big changes.


RE: Good
By mindless1 on 3/14/2009 12:36:18 AM , Rating: 2
Then you're paying twice as much for costly batteries, both of which having to be replaced in a few years. It would be more energy friendly to just make both batteries the same with a quick-disconnect modular cartridge design, and a lift swaps one battery pack with another, instead of suffering the loss in inefficiency to discharge one to charge the other.

However for practical purposes electric cars already cost too much because of the battery, a reasonable target is batteries that charge at up to 30A @ 220V input as that will allow use of the existing infrastructure.


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