New Nanotube Batteries Recharge in Seconds
August 9, 2006 9:54 AM
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The new batteries can also be recharged hundreds of thousands of times say MIT researchers
You could be charging your long lasting batteries in a matter of seconds in the future if several researchers at MIT get their way.
According to a report
, researchers at MIT have discovered a new way of making batteries that involves using millions of nanotubes. Leaping over traditional battery technologies, the new types of batteries are based on capacitors, which have been around even longer than the battery itself.
A capacitor maintains a charge by relying on two metallic electrodes. The actual storage capacity of a capacitor is directly proportional to the surface area of those electrodes, and unfortunately making a capacitor in traditional battery sizes means that the electrode surface area is simply too small. To overcome this, the researchers cover the electrodes with millions of nanotube filaments, effectively increasing the surface area.
According to research team leader Joel Schindall "[the nanotube battery] could be recharged many, many times perhaps hundreds of thousands of times, and ... it could be recharged very quickly, just in a matter of seconds rather than a matter of hours." With such promise, Schindall and his team believes that the new technology will revolutionize portable electronics as well as the automotive industry. "Larger devices such as automobiles where you could regeneratively re-use the energy of motion and therefore improve the energy efficiency and fuel economy."
The research team at MIT is hoping that this new promising technology will show up in the market in less than five years from now.
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If it can be miniaturized enough...
8/10/2006 11:30:14 AM
If it can be miniaturized enough, I see this as having huge implications in portable electronics WITHOUT replaceable batteries. MP3 players and ultra-portable video devices that charge from USB would no longer have a charge-degrading LiIon battery. Also, such an instant charge would imply extremely good power converion efficiency.
More things that took AA batteries would now have docks if this lasts even 10% of the life of a AA. e.g. Remote Controls and other devices that last so long between replacements/charges, like 10 months, can now last a month and you'd never notice the difference except that you don't need to buy batteries every 10 months. I have a Logitech mouse that lasts 8-mo on two AA (and can run on only one AA). It'd be perfect for that too. Electric tooth brushes and razors no longer have to be charged for long trips if it only take a few seconds to charge when you get there. Even in the home, you can set it on the base and it charges for a few seconds before shutting off and there is no constant power drain.
If performance doesn't stack up to LiIon/NiMH, I can still see dual-power devices to take advantage of this. A cell phone that is almost dead can get a near instant charge while filling up the battery for a lasting charge.
EM induction as a charge method is much more feasible when the charge can be directly stored more efficiently. I imagine that PDAs
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