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Rechargeable Batteries

— Mobile Technology

Apple files patents for hydrogen fuel cell technology to power mobile devices

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
— Environment

earthCell batteries promise near-zero waste and better value

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
— Automotive

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
— Electronics

Flat batteries could improve performance and lower cost of energy storage

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
— Bicycles

Peugeot's electric assist racing bike 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
— Computers

Wireless Magic Charger keeps Magic Mouse charged up using magic of induction

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
— Environment

Just how environmentally friendly are electric vehicles?

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
— Electronics

Wax and soap could help build a better rechargeable battery

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