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Rechargeable Batteries

A scanning electron micrograph of the nanostructure of the cathode of a Berkeley Li/S cell...

Batteries. We buy them at the store, use them up, and throw them away without much thought. In reality, however, batteries are remarkably complex electrochemical devices that are continually evolving. The latest example of this comes from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where researchers have invented an advanced lithium/sulfur (Li/S) cell that offers a unique combination of energy storage, power, recharge speed, and survivability.  Read More

A closeup of the wood fibers used by the researchers in their sodium-ion battery (Image: U...

Li-ion batteries may be ok for your smartphone, but when it comes to large-scale energy storage, the priorities suddenly shift from compactness and cycling performance (at which Li-ion batteries excel) to low cost and environmental feasibility (in which Li-ion batteries still have much room for improvement). A new "wood battery" could allow the emerging sodium-ion battery technology to fit the bill as a long-lasting, efficient and environmentally friendly battery for large-scale energy storage.  Read More

Miroslav Krstic (left) and UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow Scott Moura have developed e...

The single biggest factor hindering the convenience, and therefore the adoption, of electric vehicles is the batteries used to power them. While filling up an ICE vehicle takes just a few minutes at the pump, electric vehicle recharge times are measured in hours. Engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have developed new algorithms that improve the efficiency of existing lithium-ion batteries and could allow them to be charged twice as fast than is currently possible.  Read More

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

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

Bosavi combines three types of lighting into one device (Photo: Joseph Schell)

You can pack an entire kitchen and garage into your car for a camping trip, but the one thing you forgot will cripple you the entire time. And that's one of the reasons why multifunctional gear is such a godsend to campers. One of the latest multifunctional camping tools, the Bosavi headlamp, gives you a several different types of lighting in one versatile package.  Read More

The Bang & Olufsen PLAY Beolit 12 AIRPLAY

The B&O PLAY Beolit 12 is about the size of a small car battery, weighs 2.8 kg and contains a substantial battery, a digital Class D 120 Watt amplifier, plus two 2" tweeters and a 4" woofer. It also connects via Apple's AirPlay, so it plays seamlessly from your iPod, IPad or iPhone by AirPlay for four hours, or wired to your iThing for eight hours. Based on our past experience with B&O, the sound will be exquisite, but the Beolit 12 might also be the most expensive accessory you'll consider for the iPhone - EUR700 or US$800.  Read More

Technical diagram from Apple's patent application for a hydrogen fuel cell system to power...

Two recent patent applications by Apple indicate the company is looking at developing a hydrogen fuel cell system to complement the rechargeable batteries in a “portable computing device” – which could refer to Apple’s range of mobile iDevices, its MacBook range of notebooks – or both. The applications say the technology could potentially power portable electronic devices for “days or even weeks,” which would be sure to silence critics and users who have long complained about the poor battery life of not just Apple’s, but all mobile computing devices.  Read More

earthCell batteries are designed to be used like disposables, except that users send them ...

If you really want to minimize the amount of toxins that you put into the environment, use rechargeable batteries. Disposable and rechargeable batteries can contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium, and with an estimated 3 billion batteries a year being discarded in the U.S. alone, the sometimes small amounts in each battery can really add up. Using rechargeables greatly reduces the number of batteries entering landfills, but many people don't bother buying them, or the chargers that they require. That's where earthCell batteries come in. They can be used like disposables, except that users send them away for for recharging or recycling when they're dead.  Read More

BYD's all-electric e6 hits the market - 87 mph and a range of 190 miles

One of the stars of the Chinese automotive industry is Shenzen-based BYD, which although only sixth largest of the Chinese manufacturers, had the country's top selling individual vehicle last year in the form of the BYD F3 (a Toyota Corolla E120 clone). Now, after substantive testing of its e6 all-electric model in taxi and company fleets, the five-seater 75 kW, 87 mph crossover has gone on sale to the Chinese public, with a (claimed) range of 300 km (186 miles), which would give it the longest range of any EV in the world at present. It also has a smartphone-based information system which seems at least as advanced as anything currently available anywhere.  Read More

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