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Batteries

Electronics

Going small with silicon potentially has big implications for lithium-ion battery capacity

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) have developed a silicon anode for lithium-ion batteries that outperforms current materials and gets around previous issues that would cause the battery to be inefficient and quickly degrade (or even fail catastrophically) with use. As the researchers focus on scaling up production, the advance could pave the way for higher-performance electric vehicles, electronics and all-around portable power.Read More

Electronics

Energizer's "EcoAdvanced" batteries are partially made from recycled cells

Energizer has announced a new line of high-performance AA and AAA alkaline batteries that are in part made by recycling old cells, in what's claimed to be an industry first. Although currently only four percent of the battery comes from recovered materials, the plan for the company is to grow that percentage tenfold over the next 10 years and eventually use recycled materials in all its future cells.Read More

Motorcycles Feature

Geeking out on electric motorcycles – a trip to the Zero factory

Regular readers will know I'm a bit of a fan of Zero's electric motorcycles – as the market leader in performance electric two-wheelers, Zero offers a glimpse into a future where gasoline engines feel frankly archaic. So I was very excited to score myself an invitation to come and visit Zero's head office and factory to see where the company is at, get to know the Zero team, and ride the company's entire 2015 range through the breathtaking mountain ranges of California. It was a great chance to talk about batteries, production lines, the 2015 Zero range and how America's fast-charge infrastructure is letting riders down.Read More

Energy

Kevlar-reinforced lithium-ion batteries shouldn't catch fire

While lithium-ion batteries may outperform their older, lower-tech counterparts, they do have one drawback – occasionally, they catch fire. This can happen when fern-like metal structures known as dendrites form between the battery's two electrodes, causing a short circuit. Now, however, researchers at the University of Michigan have used Kevlar nanofibers to create a barrier between the electrodes, which is impervious to those nasty dendrites. Read More

Electronics

A new type of glass could double your smartphone's battery life

The batteries inside our smartphones and laptops are fighting a losing battle when it comes to keeping these devices juiced up, but researchers from ETH Zurich have discovered a new type of glass material that could make a major difference: vanadate-borate glass. The glass can be used as an electrode material in lithium-ion batteries to almost double the amount of time they last between charges.Read More

Good Thinking

Discarded laptop batteries could be used to power homes

A study by IBM researchers has revealed that many discarded laptop batteries have the potential to provide enough power to keep the lights running in homes in poorer countries around the world. The India-based team conducted a small study to test the viability of the idea, with work now focused on streamlining a prototype system. Read More

Science

Ammonia-based battery system to convert low-grade waste heat into electricity

As modern power generation methods are designed to squeeze the most power from the least amount of fuel, engineers are constantly looking at techniques to improve efficiency. One way to achieve this is to scavenge waste energy left over from the production process to capture and convert low-grade heat into usable energy. In pursuit of this goal, engineers at Pennsylvania State University have produced an ammonia-based battery that not only captures and converts waste heat economically and efficiently, but is claimed to do so at a greater capacity than other similar systems.Read More

Electronics

New electrolyte to enable cheaper, less toxic magnesium-sulfur-based batteries

There's another promising contender in the race to supplant the dominance of lithium-ion and metal-hydride based batteries in the world of energy storage. New research from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology's (KIT's) Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU) details the development of an electrolyte that can be used in new magnesium-sulfur battery cells that would be more efficient and inexpensive than the dominant types of batteries in use today.Read More

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