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Batteries


— Automotive

Le Jamais Contente - the first purpose-built land speed record car

By - June 27, 2012 17 Pictures
Despite the coming of the electric vehicle during the last decade, there were far more electric vehicle manufacturers in the world 100 years ago than there are today. Hundreds of manufacturers, a large proportion of them electric, competed in the fledgling automotive marketplace. This competition drove these manufacturers to seek new and novel ways to seek publicity, and when a French Automobile magazine ran top speed trials in December 1898, it sparked a flurry of record attempts and six land speed records in just four months. The electric Jamais Contente, which was the first purpose-built speed record attempt car, prevailed in this early tussle by raising the land speed record to 105.878 km/h (65.79 mph) in April 1899. Read More
— Electronics

"Tin whiskers" could triple the capacity of lithium-ion batteries

By - June 11, 2012 2 Pictures
For over 60 years, electrical engineers have been trying to minimize the problem of tin whiskers. Growing on tin-plated electronics, the needle-like structures get up to ten millimeters long, and can cause short circuits. Instead of trying to eliminate them, however, Washington State University’s Prof. Grant Norton has been looking into ways of growing them – albeit in a controlled manner. His research has led to the creation of a tin battery anode, which he claims could triple the capacity of lithium-ion batteries. Read More
— Science

"Decorated" nanowires could lead to better batteries and solar cells

By - May 1, 2012 3 Pictures
Higher-density batteries, more efficient thin-film solar cells, and better catalysts may all soon be possible, thanks to a new technique that allows nanowires to be “decorated” with nanoparticles. Using the novel technology, scientists from Stanford University have been able to festoon the outside surfaces of nanowires with intricate chains of metal oxide or noble metal nanoparticles, thereby drastically boosting the effective surface area of the nanowires. Other researchers have previously tried to achieve the same end result, but apparently never with such success. Read More
— Automotive

IBM looking to put lithium-air batteries on the road

By - April 26, 2012
One of the main challenges faced by the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry is so-called “range anxiety.” Current lithium-ion batteries will provide a range of about 100 miles (161 km), limiting the commercial adoption of EVs in a market accustomed to the range and supporting infrastructure of gasoline-powered vehicles. If existing lithium-ion batteries were scaled up to match the range capacity of gas-powered vehicles, they would be unfeasibly large and heavy. Lithium-air batteries, which have the potential to provide energy densities that rivals traditional gasoline-powered engines, are seen as a possible solution. IBM has been researching such batteries and recently announced that it's bringing two companies with experience in electric vehicle materials onboard to aid in their development. Read More

Pulp and paper mill waste could be used in cheaper batteries

Scientists have discovered that lignin, a plentiful byproduct of the pulp and paper industry, can be used to store an electrical charge. They've used the material to create a prototype lignin-based rechargeable battery, and suggest that it could one day be used as a less expensive, safer alternative to the precious metals currently utilized in battery cathodes. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Sandberg BatteryCase for iPhone 4/4S delivers more bang for your buck

By - March 15, 2012
Sandberg's BatteryCase is the latest in a long line of iPhone battery cases that claim to double the life of an iPhone - in this case the iPhone 4, though as you'd expect the case is also compatible with the iPhone 4S. In case you're not familiar with how these things work, there's no mystery: it's simply an iPhone case with an integrated battery. But how does it stack up against two of the market leaders, Mophie's juice pack and juice pack plus? Read More
— Automotive

Envia Systems claims energy density record for lithium-ion batteries

By - February 29, 2012 3 Pictures
This Monday, California-based Envia Systems made an announcement that could mean big things for the mainstream acceptance of electric vehicles. The company claims to have broken the world record for energy density in a rechargeable lithium-ion cell, with an automotive-grade battery that reportedly has a density of 400 watt-hours/kilogram (Wh/kg). Not only is that figure two to three times higher than what is currently possible with commercially-available cells, but Envia also claims that its battery should cost less than half the price of existing li-ion batteries. Read More
— Electronics

Structural batteries to lighten load for frontline soldiers

By - February 19, 2012
Battery life is a crucial issue on any portable device drawing power - from cell phones to something as big as a car. Of course, the larger the battery, the more it weighs. Structural batteries which store power in the parts that make up the device are seen as a solution to this issue and BAE systems is working on such systems with the aim of lightening the load for frontline soldiers. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Innergie PocketCell packs a powerful punch

By - January 12, 2012 8 Pictures
People who are worried about their mobile devices running out of juice at inopportune moments now have another portable power supply at their disposal – and it’s tiny. The 2.8-ounce (79-gram) Innergie PocketCell is a little larger than a car key, and allows for hours of extra use of Apple and Android devices, MP3 players, and a variety of other mobile gizmos. It was unveiled this week at CES. Read More
— Environment

New nanoparticle electrode could bolster large-scale storage of renewable energy

By - November 24, 2011
There's no doubt that sources of renewable energy such as wind and solar are critical to a clean energy future, but just as important is a way to store the energy generated for use when the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing. Researchers at Stanford University are reporting the development of a new high-power electrode that is so cheap, durable and efficient that it could enable the creation of batteries that are big enough and economical enough for large-scale storage of renewable energy on the grid. Read More
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