Photokina 2014 highlights

Battery

A new nuclear-powered, water-based battery may one day be used as a dependable power suppl...

Researchers working at the University of Missouri (MU) claim to have produced a prototype of a nuclear-powered, water-based battery that is said to be both longer lasting and more efficient than current battery technologies and may eventually be used as a dependable power supply in vehicles, spacecraft, and other applications where longevity, reliability, and efficiency are paramount.  Read More

The extendable PowerPole has a 5,400 mAh battery built in, allowing for up to eight hours ...

Even with the beefed up battery of GoPro's Hero3+, there's always the possibility of the camera cutting out right as the action heats up. Living out this scenario on the powder-coated ski hills of California led the team at Polar Pro to explore ways of not just extending battery life, but doing so without interruption. The result is the PowerPole, an extendable pole-mount with around five GoPro batteries worth of juice packed inside.  Read More

The tattoo biosensor for monitoring lactate levels that has been converted into a sweat-po...

Last year, researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) unveiled a sensor imprinted on a temporary tattoo that, when applied to the skin, is able to continuously monitor lactate levels in a person's sweat as they exercise. Now the research team has leveraged the technology to create a biobattery powered by perspiration that could lead to small electronic devices being powered by sweat.  Read More

The Ultrapack Go (left) and Petalite Flux (not to scale) can suck in enough power for a fu...

As our dependence on the smartphone has grown, there's been plenty said about the battery life of said devices. Thankfully, external charging solutions provide a way to keep powered up and now there are two that are laying claim to being the quickest of them all. Both the Unu Ultrapack Go and Petalite Flux are pocket-sized portable batteries promising power enough for a day's smartphone use from a 15 minute charge.  Read More

UC Riverside researchers have developed a lithium-ion battery with superior performance us...

Conventional lithium-ion batteries rely on anodes made of graphite, but it is widely believed that the performance of this material has reached its zenith, prompting researchers to look at possible replacements. Much of the focus has been on nanoscale silicon, but it remains difficult to produce in large quantities and usually degrades quickly. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have overcome these problems by developing a lithium-ion battery anode using sand.  Read More

The USC organic redux flow battery (not pictured) replaces metals with water-soluble organ...

Lithium-ion batteries have made portable, rechargeable electronics commonplace. Unfortunately, they do have some glaring drawbacks, including heat issues, being made with rare, toxic elements, and the fact the technology doesn't scale up very well, which limits applications. A team of scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) is working on an alternative in the form of a water-based organic battery that is not only cheaper and more environmentally friendly, but also holds the potential for scaling up for use in wind and solar power plants as a means to store large amounts of energy.  Read More

Researchers have created wires with supercapacitance, which may eventually also double as ...

We literally live in a wired world, with wires snaking hither and yon transmitting electricity and data. Many are visible, while many more are hidden in the walls of buildings, the panels of cars, and the fuselage of aircraft. Now, imagine; what if we were able to turn each and every one of these into a battery that not only transmitted electricity but stored it too? Well, two researchers from the University of Central Florida (UCF) imagined that too, and came up with a way to use nano-technology to make wires with supercapacitance that may eventually also double as batteries.  Read More

Waste heat could be harnessed more effectively, using the thermogalvanic effect (Photo: Sh...

Researchers at MIT and Stanford have found a new way to transform waste heat into electricity, particularly in situations where the temperature gradient is small, below 100º C (180° F). The technology uses widely available materials, and could be used to recycle the large amounts of wasted heat generated in industrial processes and electric power plants.  Read More

Juno Power claims its new Jumpr is the smallest car jump starter in the world

Juno Power's new Jumpr is small enough to fit in a glove compartment, and light enough to carry in a coat pocket or backpack, but is claimed capable of jump-starting a car. And it can charge your smartphone, too.  Read More

A Japanese company has announced the development and planned mass-production of a disrupti...

Japanese company Power Japan Plus has announced the development and planned mass-production of "Ryden," a disruptive carbon battery that can be charged 20 times faster than an ordinary lithium-ion cell. The battery, which is cheap to manufacture, safe and environmentally friendly, could be ideal to improve the range and charging times of electric cars.  Read More

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