Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Batteries

The Xoo Belt is charged via a microUSB port contained within the buckle

Nifty, a British company which successfully crowdfunded the MiniDrive, is back with a new product. The Xoo Belt is a belt which hides flexible batteries capable of charging your smartphone on the go. Thankfully, as you would expect from a belt, it also holds your trousers up.  Read More

Artist's impression of the Philae lander (Image: ESA) (Image: ESA)

After its historic landing on a comet, the Philae spacecraft has gone silent. Trapped on its side in a shadowed hole, the unmanned European Space Agency lander was unable to receive enough sunlight to recharge its battery and contact was lost today at 00:36 GMT when power levels dropped below critical.  Read More

First surface image from Philae after comet landing (Image; ESA)

During Wednesday’s historic landing on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the European Space Agency's Philae lander suffered a setback that may cut its mission short. Due to equipment malfunctions, the unmanned, washing machine-sized lander failed to secure itself to the surface of the comet. In the 1/100,000 gravity, Philae bounced back into space twice, eventually landing in a hole about a kilometer (0.6 mi) from its designated landing area, where its batteries may not be able to charge properly.  Read More

A top view of the nanopores, each of which is a separate battery in its own right

As electronic devices continue to get smaller, one question becomes increasingly pertinent – how will we power them? Well, smaller batteries would seem to be the most obvious answer. With that in mind, researchers at the University of Maryland have succeeded in creating a tiny battery that incorporates even smaller structures, known as nanopores.  Read More

QUT sees cars powered by their body panels a reality within five years (Photo: Shutterstoc...

Imagine opening up an electric car and finding no batteries. An absent-minded factory worker or magic? Perhaps neither. If nanotechnology scientists led by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) are on the right track, it may one day be a reality as cars are powered not by batteries, but their body panels – inside which are sandwiched a new breed of supercapacitors.  Read More

Researchers have developed a coating that prevents a battery from conducting electricity w...

It can be a herculean task to get kids to eat their vegetables, but they'll happily chow down on things they aren't supposed to. If one of those things is a button battery, serious injuries can result in the form of burns to the esophagus or tears in the digestive tract. Researchers may not have found a way to stop kids swallowing button batteries, but they have found a way to make such culinary no-nos safer.  Read More

A proof of concept nanotube-based anode for lithium-ion batteries has been developed by re...

Researchers at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have developed a new, proof-of-concept anode for lithium-ion batteries that can charge to 70 percent of its capacity in only two minutes and has a very long lifespan of ten thousands charge/discharge cycles. The advance could lead to the production of high-rate lithium-ion batteries, with interesting implications for personal electronics and, perhaps, even electric vehicles.  Read More

The 'smart' lithium-ion battery developed at Stanford features an ultrathin copper sensor ...

There have been numerous cases of lithium-ion batteries catching fire in everything from mobile phones and laptops to cars and airplanes. While the odds of this occurring are low, the fact that hundreds of millions of lithium-ion batteries are produced and sold every year means the risk is still very real. Researchers at Stanford University have now developed a "smart" lithium-ion battery that would provide users with a warning if it is overheating and likely to burst into flames.  Read More

The CG-320 makes a AAA look pretty big

While keeping batteries small and light is definitely a factor with electronic devices in general, it becomes particularly important when dealing with wearable electronics such as smart glasses. With that in mind, Panasonic has just announced its CG-320. Measuring 20 x 3.5 mm, it's being billed as "the industry's smallest cylindrical shaped rechargeable Lithium Ion battery."  Read More

Researchers have combined materials derived from alfalfa and pine resin to create a recycl...

Thanks to their high power ratings and relative reliability, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are an efficient and reliable source of power, widely used in modern electronic equipment. On the downside, however, expired Li-ion batteries are also difficult to dispose of, with their potentially toxic content and the complex methods required for their recycling. Researchers at Uppsala University’s Ångström Laboratory think that they may have a solution: combine the salvaged remnants of a Li-ion battery with completely organic materials derived from alfalfa and pine resin, to create a recycled biomaterial Li-ion hybrid battery.  Read More

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