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Brother's AA-size Vibration Energy Cell battery prototype whose generator and rechargeable...

A number of kinetic energy chargers have been hitting the market in recent years including the nPower PEG. Researchers have also been working to improve the technology, developing such devices as the Kinetic Energy Cell and a tiny generator that derives electrical energy from the vibrations and movements that occur within its environment. Now Brother Industries Ltd., a company better known for its printers, has put the technology into a form factor that should prove much more versatile – a battery. Its Vibration Energy Cell batteries are deigned to replace AA or AAA batteries in some low power devices that can then be powered with a shake.  Read More

MIT researchers have made an important step toward producing a lithium-ion battery that de...

Researchers at MIT have found that using specially treated thin layers of carbon nanotubes in batteries can boost the amount of power delivered per unit of weight by up to ten times. While the technology still needs improving, its full development and large-scale employment would certainly revolutionize the way we use any electronic devices, from an iPod to an electric car.  Read More

Toshiba is working with Mitsubishi Motors to fast track the development SCiB battery techn...

Electric vehicles face a road block in the form of battery technology and we can expect to see lots of news in this space in coming years as huge companies throw resources into finding a solution to battery range and recharging times. One of the promising candidates for improving battery performance is Toshiba's SCiB technology. The company has now announced that it's working with Mitsubishi Motors to fast track the development of these batteries for EV applications.  Read More

Sanyo's new Pedal Juice rechargeable power supply removes the need for a gig bag full of 9...

Pedal Juice, Sanyo's latest Eneloop rechargeable battery solution, offers musicians some relief from a gig bag full of 9V batteries. It could also help cut down annoying AC hum that some wall outlet connections seem to generate, and provide hours of clean, stable DC power for individual pedals, multi-effect units or portable recorders.  Read More

A battery-switchable elevtric taxi at the entrance to a battery switch station

By now must of us are aware of the benefits of electric vehicles (EVs). They’re better for the environment, they’re quiet, they have less moving parts and are therefore more reliable and cheaper to operate and maintain than their combustion-powered counterparts. But it’s obviously not all upside or EVs would be the rule on our roads rather than the exception. One of the major hurdles holding EVs back is the time it takes for them to recharge their batteries. One solution is swapping a dead battery for a fully charged one. That’s just what a project in Tokyo is doing with the launch the world’s first switchable-battery electric taxi.  Read More

BioLogic ReeCharge Power Pack makes the most out of pedal power

If your bike has a hub dynamo, the BioLogic ReeCharge Power Pack lets you run portable USB powered devices while you ride. Whilst we've recently seen bicycle recharge kits, the ability to charge via USB is pretty novel. Basically it's a battery with a USB port that charges from the energy generated by your dynamo and then tops-up your device when you plug it in. That means you can charge the battery and then charge your device when you arrive at your destination, or, if it's practical, charge your device on the go, allowing you to use your smartphone's GPS function whilst riding.  Read More

iSolar: portable, lightweight, folding solar panel kits

UPDATED June 14, 2010: Portable solar kits aren't new, but the performance and design of these off-the-grid power solutions is continually improving. iSolar's 20 and 40W kits are the latest examples to come to our attention... and with even the 40W kit folding down to only 30 x 25 cm, this is getting into seriously portable territory.  Read More

Lithium-ion batteries sometimes catch fire, due to lithium particle accumulations (Photo: ...

It’s probably safe to say that just about everyone is impressed with the incredible performance offered by lithium-ion batteries. They make our cell phones and laptops viable for real-world use and will be powering just about every electric vehicle on the road. These batteries do have one problem however: they sometimes catch fire. That’s not good. Fortunately, scientists at Cambridge University think they’re on the road to solving this problem - a new technique allows them to “see” the chemistry at work inside batteries.  Read More

A schematic of a silicon-carbon nanocomposite granule that could help boost the performanc...

The current crop of battery technology seems unable to keep up with the increasing demands we are placing on our ever-growing collection of mobile devices. Which is why research into next generation battery technology is such a focus around the world. A new high-performance anode structure based on silicon-carbon composite materials could significantly improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries used in our portable electronics and gaining widespread use in electric and hybrid vehicles.  Read More

An experimental lithium-air battery developed at MIT has inlet and outlet on the sides to ...

Lithium-air battery technology looks to have a big future. With the potential of providing energy densities up to three times that of the conventional lithium-ion batteries found in just about every portable consumer electronics device going around (not to mention the incoming wave of electric vehicles), many companies, including IBM and General Motors are pursuing work on lithium-air batteries. Now researchers at MIT have made a breakthrough that could help make the commercial development of lightweight rechargeable batteries a reality.  Read More

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