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Batteries


— Mobile Technology

Smartphones could run 30 percent longer, by harvesting their own radio waves

Scientists have already devised systems that allow electronic devices to scavenge power from ambient electromagnetic energy sources such as radio waves. While the technology has generally been limited to small devices such as wireless sensors, a research team has recently created a scavenging system that charges a smartphone's battery, letting it last up to 30 percent longer per charge – and the system does so using radio signals emanating from the phone itself.

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— Bicycles

Williams demonstrates sodium-ion-powered proof-of-concept e-bike

Although lithium-ion batteries perform far better than alkalines, they're also relatively costly, the lithium salts used in them aren't widely available, and they sometimes catch fire. That's why some scientists are suggesting sodium-ion batteries as an alternative. To that end, Williams Advanced Engineering recently demonstrated that they could be used to power an electric bike.

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— Electronics

Better Re battery pack gives new life to old phone batteries

If you're like a lot of phone junkies and replace your phone as soon as the latest thing comes along, you'll know that often the hardware in the old phone is perfectly fine, even the battery. But fancier new screens and more powerful processors mean that battery life usually remains a problem, making battery packs a popular accessory. Enlighten's Better Re lets you get some more use out of your old phone's battery, by allowing it to slot into an adjustable external battery charger for your new phone.

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— Environment

Tesla unveils battery storage system for home, business and utility use

The Tesla home battery system hinted at by CEO Elon Musk several months ago has finally been unveiled by Musk himself at the company’s design studio in Hawthorne, California. Dubbed the Powerwall, the stationary home battery offers 10 kWh of storage capacity for the relatively modest price of US$3,500. A smaller unit is also available at 7 kWh for $3,000, and homeowners can stack multiple units if needed. Read More
— Energy

New device combines the advantages of batteries and supercapacitors

Scientists at UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute have developed a new device that combines the high energy densities of batteries and the quick charge and discharge rates of supercapacitors. The hybrid supercapacitor is reportedly six times as energy-dense as a commercially available supercapacitor and packs nearly as much energy per unit volume as a lead-acid battery. Read More
— Electronics

Flexible, fast-charging aluminum-ion battery offers safer alternative to lithium-ion

Researchers at Stanford University have created a fast-charging and long-lasting rechargeable battery that is inexpensive to produce, and which they claim could replace many of the lithium-ion and alkaline batteries powering our gadgets today. The prototype aluminum-ion battery is also safer, not bursting into flames as some of its lithium-ion brethren are wont to do. Read More
— Environment

Packing peanuts could be reused in better batteries

When a new lab was recently being set up at Purdue University in Indiana, a lot of the equipment arrived in boxes full of protective packing "peanuts." Unfortunately, few facilities exist for recycling the little pieces of foam, so they typically end up sitting in (or getting blown around) landfills for several decades. A team of Purdue researchers, however, discovered that they could find use in better-performing lithium-ion batteries. Read More
— Motorcycles Feature

Interview: Richard Hatfield, founder and CEO of Lightning Motorcycles

If you're as fascinated as we are with electric motorcycles, Richard Hatfield is a pretty special individual to sit down with. He's the founder and CEO of Lightning Motorcycles, and the man behind the world's fastest production motorcycle, the Lightning LS-218. Riding the Lightning bike was amazing and terrifying – check out our full review here. We don't usually post entire interview videos online, but this one's a beauty. Hatfield speaks at length about the LS-218, the electric vehicle business, the state of battery technology and more. Read More
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