Introducing the Gizmag Store

Batteries

A diagram of a lithium-ion battery constructed using Braun's nanostructured bicontinuous c...

Of all the criticisms of electric vehicles, probably the most commonly-heard is that their batteries take too long to recharge – after all, limited range wouldn’t be such a big deal if the cars could be juiced up while out and about, in just a few minutes. Well, while no one is promising anything, new batteries developed at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign do indeed look like they might be a step very much in the right direction. They are said to offer all the advantages of capacitors and batteries, in one unit.  Read More

A soldier in a fictitious but realistic urban, desert environment, with superimposed numbe...

If you’ve ever removed the battery from a laptop, then you will know that it constitutes quite a large percentage of the total weight of the computer. Well, if you think you’ve got it tough lugging that laptop battery around, consider the plight of infantry soldiers – they have to carry multiple batteries to power devices such as weapons, radios, and GPS equipment, and they have to do so for hours at a time, often under very harsh conditions. Attempts to lighten the 45 to 70 kg (99 to 154 lb) loads typically carried by soldiers currently include the use of fuel cells, li-ion batteries woven into their clothing, and autonomous pack horse-like vehicles. Now, UK researchers are adding their two pence-worth, by developing wearable solar and thermoelectric power systems.  Read More

Tesla has announced a battery recycling program for Europe

When weighing up the impact of electric-vehicles on the environment two factors come to the fore. EV's produce no emissions locally, but depending on where the energy comes from, they can still be producing greenhouse gases back at the power plant ... the so called "long-tailpipe" argument. That's one. The second is batteries – or more specifically, how much energy goes into making them and what to do with the massive battery packs in these cars once they've passed their lifespan. Auto manufacturers building EV infrastructure are taking this second factor into consideration and now EV pioneer Tesla has announced a battery recycling program throughout Europe that will help reduce the carbon footprint of its vehicles.  Read More

IBM's Next 5 in 5 list predicts 5 technologies that will impact us in the next 5 years

IBM has announced its fifth annual Next Five in Five – a list of five technologies that the company believes “have the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years.” While there are no flying cars or robot servants on the list, there are holographic friends, air-powered batteries, personal environmental sensors, customized commutes and building-heating computers.  Read More

Formerly unobserved increase in length and twist of the anode in a nanobattery (Image: DOE...

Because battery technology hasn’t developed as quickly as the electronic devices they power, a greater and greater percentage of the volume of these devices is taken up by the batteries needed to keep them running. Now a team of researchers working at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT) is claiming to have created the world’s smallest battery, and although the tiny battery won’t be powering next year’s mobile phones, it has already provided insights into how batteries work and should enable the development of smaller and more efficient batteries in the future.  Read More

SEM images of nickel-coated TMV arrays patterned using photolithography onto a silicon waf...

The first virus to be discovered was the Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) back in 1898. It is a rigid, rod-shaped virus that, under an electron microscope, looks like uncooked spaghetti. This widespread virus devastates tobacco, tomatoes, peppers and other plants, but engineers have managed to harness and exploit the self-replicating and self-renewing characteristics of TMV to build tiny components for more efficient lithium-ion batteries.  Read More

High surface area of graphene make supercapcitors possible

A breakthrough in supercapacitor performance has been achieved with the development of a device that can store as much energy as a battery while recharging in seconds. The graphene-based supercapacitor being developed in the U.S. by researchers at Nanotek Instruments can store as much energy per unit mass as nickel metal hydride batteries and could one day be used to help deliver almost instant charging to recharge mobile phones, digital cameras or micro electric vehicles.  Read More

The CARe 500 is an electric version of the Fiat 500, and is now available in Europe

Fiat recently announced that it will be manufacturing an electric version of its cute li’l 500 automobile for the North American market, starting in 2012. If you can’t wait that long, however, you can get one in Europe right now – you just won’t be buying it from Fiat. The Italian automaker gave Swedish company EV Adapt permission to buy the stock 500, swap out the combustion motor for an electric one, and then resell the car as an EV. Sold as the CARe 500, the vehicle is now available throughout Europe. In an interesting move, buyers have the option of purchasing a battery-less car for a reduced price, and then renting its battery pack.  Read More

A new planar sodium-nickel chloride battery could deliver 30 percent more power at lower t...

In the continuing search for ever more efficient and cheaper batteries, researchers at the Department of Energy’s (DoE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have managed to increase the performance of sodium-nickel chloride batteries in an interesting way – flattening them. No, not running them down until they’re out of juice, but rather replacing their typical cylindrical shape with a flat disc design. The redesign allows the battery to deliver 30 percent more power at lower temperatures, making them a viable alternative to lithium-ion batteries.  Read More

Tang in St Francis Bay, South Africa

Vehicles of the wheeled variety aren’t the only ones going green. U.S. companies International Battery and Electric Marine Propulsion (EMP) are partnering up to build a hybrid power train for the world’s largest plug-in, hybrid electric boats and yachts. The partnership has resulted in one of the world’s largest plug-in hybrid sailboats, a Tag 60 catamaran christened Tang, hitting the water on September 21. It is a 60 ft (18m) carbon-fiber speedster that can be powered by the wind, even when the wind isn’t blowing.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 26,483 articles