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Rechargeable Batteries

MIT researchers have further improved the energy density of lithium-air batteries (Image: ...

Last year MIT researchers reported improving the efficiency of lithium-air batteries through the use of electrodes with gold or platinum catalysts. MIT News is now reporting that in a continuation of that work, researchers have been able to further increase the energy storage capacity of lithium-air batteries for a given weight by creating carbon-fiber-based electrodes.  Read More

A new planar sodium-nickel chloride battery could deliver 30 percent more power at lower t...

In the continuing search for ever more efficient and cheaper batteries, researchers at the Department of Energy’s (DoE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have managed to increase the performance of sodium-nickel chloride batteries in an interesting way – flattening them. No, not running them down until they’re out of juice, but rather replacing their typical cylindrical shape with a flat disc design. The redesign allows the battery to deliver 30 percent more power at lower temperatures, making them a viable alternative to lithium-ion batteries.  Read More

Peugeot's unnamed electric assist concept

Tucked away on the Peugeot stand at Mondial De l’Automobile (October 2-17) is a racing bicycle with electric assist. It’s almost an identical situation to the very similar machine Lexus showed at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, except Lexus was subsequently prepared to give us the specs, whereas Peugeot isn’t and the Peugeot model on display is clearly still at least partially conceptual but there a few clues that indicate this “concept” is a lot more than just a styling exercise.  Read More

The Mobee Magic Charger

Wireless mice are great for users who don’t like a “tail” trailing from the mouse getting tangled up with all manner of objects sitting on a desk. The only real downside is the need to replace or recharge batteries when their power runs down. For users of Apple’s Magic Mouse who are tired of constantly swapping out dead batteries for new alkalines or fully charged rechargeables, Mobee Technology has unveiled its Magic Charger. Unveiled at IFA, the device charges wirelessly using the magic of induction technology to provide around six days of power under constant use.  Read More

Just how environmentally friendly are electric vehicles like the Tesla Roadster?

Because they produce no exhaust gases in operation electric vehicles (EVs) are seen as the eco-friendly alternative to conventional gas-fueled cars. While zero-local emissions is clearly a big plus, other factors contributing to the overall environmental impact of EVs are often overlooked – namely the manufacture, usage and disposal of the batteries used to store the electrical energy and the sources of power used to charge them. Now, for the first time, a team of scientists from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (or EMPA) have made a detailed life cycle assessment or ecobalance of the type of lithium-ion batteries most frequently used in EVs, to see if they really are as environmentally friendly as their manufacturers would have us believe.  Read More

Tiny flakes of lithium manganese phosphate can serve as electrodes for batteries (Image: D...

Rechargeable lithium ion batteries are used in everything from mobile phones to cars. Most of the batteries available today are designed with an oxide of metal such as cobalt, nickel, or manganese, which adds to their cost. Researchers looking for lower-priced alternatives to existing lithium ion-metal oxide batteries have discovered that a little wax and soap can help build electrodes and will allow battery developers to explore lower-priced alternatives to the lithium ion-metal oxide batteries currently on the market.  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

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

BunBun eco light - a flashlight with a twist

Japanese manufacturer Landport has created an ingenious variation on the wind-up flashlight with the BunBun - a compact torch that can be charged simply by swinging it about in front of you. Once you extend the handle and bend it at the hinge, you can charge the built-in rechargeable battery by cranking the BunBun for 30 seconds. Just this short amount of charging will give you about 5 minutes of juice.  Read More

The Shake offers the ability to hear your ambient surroundings at the same time as your mu...

If you haven’t previously heard of TuneBug, that’s because it is a new company and although its portable speaker solutions were shown at CES 2009, they are only just now making their way to market. The products are all based on patented NXT speaker technology which generate sound waves that pass through the surfaces the speakers (aka “sound generators”) rest on, effectively turning those surfaces into speakers. Predictably, there’s a desktop solution which sits on your desk. Now there’s also a helmet-top solution which sits on your helmet, giving you a kind of ambient bone dome surround sound like you’ve never had before – ideal for skateboarding, bicycling, skiing and motorcycling.  Read More

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