Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Batteries

Researchers from the Tokyo University of Science have found pyrolyzed sucrose to be a surp...

Researchers at the Tokyo University of Science have turned to sugar as part of a continuous effort to control Japan's growing import costs associated with building lithium-ion batteries. It seems that sugar may be the missing ingredient for building rechargeable batteries that are more robust, cheaper, and capable of storing more energy.  Read More

The cable-like flexible batteries being developed by LG are achieving promising performanc...

We've covered our fair share of flexible electronics, but as far as bendability goes, the flexible batteries developed by LG are truly raising the bar by a couple of notches. The Korean company is working on a battery that is shaped like a cable, and can be bent, tied, or even woven into fine sheets with almost no loss in discharge performance.  Read More

A scanning electron microscope image of the treated graphene oxide paper

While the lithium-ion batteries commonly used in electric cars are capable of storing a fairly large amount of energy, they’re not able to accept or discharge that energy very quickly. That’s why electric vehicles require supercapacitors, to speedily deliver energy when accelerating, or to store it when braking. Recently, however, researchers from New York’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute created a new anode material, that allows Li-ion batteries to charge and discharge ten times faster than those using regular graphite anodes. It could make EV supercapacitors unnecessary, and vastly shorten the charging time required by electronic devices.  Read More

A newly developed bendable thin-film lithium-ion battery could help bridge the gap to high...

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a promising solid state, thin-film lithium-ion battery that claims the highest energy density ever achieved for a flexible battery. The new design, which showed for the first time that high-performance thin films can be used for flexible batteries, may be commercialized as early as next year.  Read More

Exogear claims its Exovolt Plus is the world's first stackable battery pack for mobile dev...

If the idea of your mobile gadget running out of juice leaving you incommunicado (or, heaven forbid, bored) fills you with fear, then a battery pack is the obvious solution. But what if your power needs vary from day to day? Exogear has developed a battery pack that it touts as the world’s first stackable battery pack that is designed to adapt to suit your battery needs, no matter how small or how great.  Read More

Dr. Narayan is testing one of his new batteries by using it to power a small fan (Photo: D...

Revamping a concept that was first explored forty years ago, researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) are putting the final touches on a patent-pending design for cheap, rechargeable, high energy density iron-air batteries. Because of their unique features, the batteries look particularly well-suited to the kind of large-scale energy storage that could accelerate the adoption of renewable energy sources.  Read More

Drexel University research combining the best features of batteries and supercapacitors co...

Researchers at Drexel University are developing an electrochemical flow capacitor (EFC) that combines the storage capabilities of batteries with the much longer cycle life and power output of supercapacitors. The team's goal is to improve the stability of the energy grid and ease the integration of renewable energy sources.  Read More

A sample of Fraunhofer's CryoSolplus phase-change battery coolant

One of the big enemies of electric vehicle batteries is heat. Batteries already warm up under normal use, but when hot summer temperatures or high workloads are thrown in, overheating becomes a real possibility. According to the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology, running a battery at ten degrees over its maximum “comfort level” of about 35ºC (95ºF) can deplete its service life by half. That’s why researchers there have developed a battery coolant known as CryoSolplus, which is said to offer three times the cooling capacity of plain water.  Read More

Thomas Edison with his nickel-iron rechargeable battery in 1910 (Photo: Smithsonian)

A green, rechargeable battery that is suitable for powering electric vehicles and stationary power storage applications, and that would survive tens of thousands of charge cycles in a useful life of 100 years without loss of capacity. What could be a better innovation for our times? Such a battery has been developed, and recently improved by Stanford researchers. Oh, one other thing. The battery was invented by Thomas Edison in 1901.  Read More

The researchers used a standard T-shirt purchased from a local discount store for their wo...

As manufacturers of smartphones and mobile devices strive to make their products increasingly portable, they repeatedly come up against the constraints of existing battery technology. However, Xiaodong Li, a professor at the University of South Carolina (USC) believes that we will soon be able to employ the clothes we wear to help overcome such challenges and to this end, Li has transformed T-shirt material into an energy storage medium which could one day be used to power portable devices.  Read More

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