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Batteries

Space

Philae bounce on comet landing may cut mission short

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

Automotive

New tech could allow electric cars' body panels to store energy

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

Electronics

Coating makes swallowing batteries safer for curious kids

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

Electronics

New Li-ion anode achieves 70 percent charge in just two minutes

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

Electronics

"Smart" lithium-ion battery would warn users if it is going to ignite

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

Panasonic's tiny new battery is destined for the wearables market

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

Electronics

Recycled Li-ion batteries made with alfalfa seeds and pine resin

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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