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Battery

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
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
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
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
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'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

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
The three main components of a battery's makeup: the anode, cathode and the ion-conducting electrolyte, have been long understood to serve separate, independent functions. A team of researchers at the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking to challenge this theory, experimenting with a dual functioning electrolyte that supplements the cathode to significantly improve the capacity and longevity of long-life batteries. Read More
Today at Microsoft’s Think Next symposium in Tel Aviv, Israeli startup StoreDot has demonstrated the prototype of a nanodot-based smartphone battery it claims can fully charge in just under 30 seconds. With the company having plans for mass production, this technology could change the way we interact with portable electronics, and perhaps even help realize the dream of a fast-charging electric car. Read More
Thinking about buying a hybrid PC that runs full Windows? Well, then battery life had better be on your radar, or you might end up with a device that conks out after just a few hours. If you own a Microsoft Surface, then that's becoming less of an issue. We've been testing a new accessory that can make a big difference in extending its uptimes. Read on, as Gizmag reviews the Surface Power Cover. Read More
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