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Battery

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

The Nano Lithium X Battery from EcoloCap

A performance evaluation undertaken by Exponent Inc has revealed that EcoloCap’s Nano Lithium X Battery offers over 98 percent efficiency and has "the world’s highest energy density output per mass". Outperforming company expectations, the battery was also found to have the "fastest recharge time of any comparable commercial battery" together with the "lowest cost per energy output".  Read More

The Wind U160 from MSI benefits from a glossy widescreen ten inch display which is claimed...

MSI has announced U.S. availability of its Wind U160 ten-inch netbook which is less than an inch thick and is claimed to squeeze some 15 hours from its 6-cell battery. The netbook also offers smooth action video rendering thanks to an 8ms response time, 802.11n WiFi and is only MSI's second product to feature Intel's energy efficient Pine Trail Atom N450 processor.  Read More

The iCharge Eco is a three-way charger - solar, AC and USB. It comes in two models, a smal...

As great as advances in mobile technology have been in recent years, many mobile devices still suffer from unsatisfactory battery life. Japanese company, Links International, has created the iCharge in two versions - the standard DX and the smaller Lite - solar solutions to your mobile power woes. Actually, the devices are three-way charging system, capable of solar, AC, and USB charging.  Read More

The composite material releasing electrical energy to power a small light (Photo courtesy ...

The problem is clear. Hybrid cars and EVs rely on batteries for power, but batteries are bulky and heavy, causing the car to use up more energy. But what if a car's bodywork was made of a strong, lightweight material that could store and discharge electrical energy just as a conventional battery does? In pursuing this goal, researchers at the Imperial College London are developing a key building block for the hybrid car of the future, and the implications go way beyond automobiles - think wafer thin mobile phones and laptops that don't need a separate battery because they draw power from their casing.  Read More

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