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Scientist use household product to fuel sound wave advancement.

Voice calls may be the key to a longer battery life for cell phones.  A group of Korean scientists are now working on a way to power up cell phone batteries with just a little conversation.  

Researchers Young Jun Park and Sang-Woo Kim led the team who discovered how to utilize the prime ingredient in calamine lotion -- zinc oxide --  to develop a nanomaterial that turns sound waves into electricity.

After creating a field of nanowires sandwiched between two electrodes, the group was able to produce a current of 50 millivolts by blasting the field with sound waves of 100db (a normal conversation is 60-70db), according to

"Just as speakers transform electric signals into sound, the opposite process — of turning sound into a source of electrical power — is possible. Sound power can be used for various novel applications including mobile phones that can be charged during conversations and sound-insulating walls near highways that generate electricity from the sound of passing vehicles," said Young Jun Park and Sang-Woo Kim.

In addition to the possibility of using this research to help keep phones charged in the future, the technology is also being considered as a means to add power to electrical grids during rush hour.

Young Jun Park and Sang-Woo Kim presented their findings in an article which appears in the 
 Advanced Materials journal.

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RE: I might as well say it...
By MozeeToby on 9/14/2010 4:22:11 PM , Rating: 2
Low voltage trickle charging won't kill your battery, even if the battery is full the level of power they're talking about won't do any damage. Especially considering that even under ideal circumstances this system would never generate more power than the phone is using, even in standby. It's rapid charging/discharging (actually the high heat levels that come with it) that doom batteries after a couple years of use.

There's a multitude of issues in the way of commercializing this technology, killing batteries isn't one of them.

RE: I might as well say it...
By MrTeal on 9/14/2010 5:48:31 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, lithium batteries like the ones in cell phones cannot support an over-charge, and should NOT be trickle charged. You'll plate the lithium. Not every battery is the same.

RE: I might as well say it...
By goku on 9/14/2010 9:50:30 PM , Rating: 2
his point still stands... it's not that the batteries are going to get overcharged just when you make a call, it isn't a conversation but instead it's a monologue.. Though it would be interesting if you could charge the phone via this method just by keeping it around and overtime, it will eventually get fully charged. This device would probably go through some charging circuitry if it were to ever accomplish the idea I just projected.

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