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Batteries

The Brussels sprout battery, with the Christmas tree

You've probably seen a light powered by a lemon or a clock hooked up to a potato before, but a group in London recently built a similar device using a much smaller, less popular piece of produce. To promote The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair, a team of designers built the world's first Brussels sprout-powered battery and hooked it up to a set of Christmas tree lights.  Read More

A scanning electron micrograph of the nanostructure of the cathode of a Berkeley Li/S cell...

Batteries. We buy them at the store, use them up, and throw them away without much thought. In reality, however, batteries are remarkably complex electrochemical devices that are continually evolving. The latest example of this comes from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where researchers have invented an advanced lithium/sulfur (Li/S) cell that offers a unique combination of energy storage, power, recharge speed, and survivability.  Read More

A prototype lithium-ion battery, that incorporates the polymer

In their continuing efforts to increase the energy density of lithium-ion batteries, scientists have began looking at alternative materials for those batteries' electrodes – materials such as silicon. The problem is, electrodes swell and shrink as they absorb and release lithium ions, causing them to break down over time. This is particularly true of silicon, which is brittle by nature. Now, however, scientists have developed a conductive elastic polymer coating for those electrodes, that heals its own cracks after each use.  Read More

The genetically modified M13 virus creates maganese oxide nanowires with spikes providing ...

In recent years, lithium-air batteries that promise improved power density per pound over lithium-ion batteries have been the subject of much research in the quest to give electronic vehicles greater range. By enlisting the help of a genetically-modified virus, researchers at MIT have found a way to improve the performance and durability of lithium-air batteries, which offer the potential of two to three times the energy density of current lithium-ion batteries.  Read More

Prof. Som Mitra (left) invented a flexible battery with assistance from Zhiqian Wang, a do...

Scientists at the New Jersey Institute of Technology have joined the ranks of those from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Stanford University and LG, by creating prototype flexible batteries. Designed for use in electronic devices with flexible displays, they could conceivably be manufactured in any size or shape, or even made at home.  Read More

A newly developed silicon supercapacitor could allow for the seamless integration of energ...

A team of researchers at the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee has designed a supercapacitor made primarily of silicon that has shown much improved power density over its commercially available alternatives. The advance could allow for interesting integration of battery technology in everyday electronics, from solar cells to smartphones.  Read More

Carbon fiber composite panels infused with nano-batteries and super capacitors could repla...

For automobile manufacturers, the electric elephant in the room continues to be bulky and weighty battery packs. This week, Volvo unveiled an innovative potential solution to the problem that it has been working on for the past three and a half years with other European partners; replace steel body panels with carbon fiber composite panels infused with nano-batteries and super capacitors.  Read More

Battheads would allow any device using them to be controlled via a smartphone

There are already a wide variety of devices that can be turned on and off by your smartphone, although they typically need to be Wi-Fi- or Bluetooth-enabled. The makers of Batthead, however, have taken another approach. They're creating Bluetooth-controlled batteries, that will allow any ol' device using them to be powered up or down via your phone.  Read More

Vitamilk's 'Dead batteries for Dead Batteries' charging wall

Thai soymilk company Vitamilk has rolled out a rather interesting advertising vehicle in the form of a large signboard that takes "dead" batteries and squeezes enough extra power out of them to charge smartphones.  Read More

The Estrima Birò now comes with the option of a battery that can be removed and pulled alo...

Along with the ever-persistent problem of range anxiety, one of the things that keeps many people from taking electric cars seriously is the limited number of charging stations. What happens if your destination doesn't have one, or if you have to park your car out on the street when you're at home? In the case of some electric scooters and bicycles, users can remove the vehicle's battery and take it with them to charge indoors. Now, Italian automaker Estrima is offering that same feature in its Birò electric car.  Read More

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