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New battery tech promises 20-second charge

New battery tech promises 20-second charge

The new battery technology developed by MIT - which builds on existing lithium ion systems - could hit the marketplace in under three years.

Anyone who has sat impatiently waiting for their mobile device to suck enough juice into its battery for them to leave the house should perk up at the news that MIT boffins have come up with a new form of lithium ion battery which can be fully charged in under twenty seconds.

As reported over on TechRadar, the new technology – lithium ion phosphate – can fully charge or discharge at a rate twenty times greater than is possible using current lithium ion batteries. This breakthrough potentially holds the key to laptop batteries which are capable of storing an entire day's charge after just twenty seconds of mains time.

The key to the new battery type lies in a new surface structure, which allows the lithium ions to move rapidly around the outside in order to reach specific points in the material through which they must pass in order to charge or discharge. While traditional lithium ion structures – which are extremely energy dense, but slow to charge – rely on the ions aligning with the points in their own sweet time, the new structure sees the lithium ions racing towards their goal far faster than has ever been possible.

There's excellent news for anyone hoping for a commercialised version of the technology, too: the team at MIT which developed the new system, lead by professor Gerbrand Cedar, believes that – as the technology is merely a modification of existing batteries, and doesn't require a new material but instead merely a new method of creating said material – we could see batteries built around the discovery within two to three years.

The new lithium ion phosphate batteries have other benefits, too – not least of which is that the rate at which the battery degrades and loses its ability to hold a charge is greatly reduced compared to other battery types, providing the possibility for batteries that last as long as the laptop does.

For those of a chemical bent the research has been written up in the most current issue of Nature, or there's a particularly in-depth look over on Ars Technica.

Hoping that this technology will make it in to the marketplace in time for your next upgrade, or are you terrified at the thought of a battery which can hold several amp-hours being able to discharge in ten seconds? Share your thoughts over in the fourms.

23 Comments

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Jenny_Y8S 13th March 2009, 13:25 Quote
20 times quicker than currently? And a 20 second charge? So that's the same capacity as we can currently charge in just under 7 minutes.

What out there has a li-ion battery that can take a full charge in 7 minutes?
shigllgetcha 13th March 2009, 13:28 Quote
the bbc news website goes into alittle more detail
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7938001.stm
Rapp 13th March 2009, 13:43 Quote
sounds good to me
Bauul 13th March 2009, 13:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny_Y8S
20 times quicker than currently? And a 20 second charge? So that's the same capacity as we can currently charge in just under 7 minutes.

What out there has a li-ion battery that can take a full charge in 7 minutes?


20 times quicker for the current, botched job generation. They reckon with actual research and time, they can get it to 200 times quicker.
badders 13th March 2009, 13:57 Quote
Debunked?
I'm not sure - I haven't read into all of it.

The idea is promising, if it actually works the way most of the media describe.
War-Rasta 13th March 2009, 15:37 Quote
Sounds great!!
[USRF]Obiwan 13th March 2009, 17:08 Quote
Sounds great indeed. Especially for my RC cars :)
mikeuk2004 13th March 2009, 18:04 Quote
Heard about this on TV days ago, thanks for the reminder. They are hoping to develop this for electric cars :) would be very useful for that.
Mr T 13th March 2009, 20:35 Quote
Wouldn't this be great for electric cars too?
The_Beast 13th March 2009, 21:44 Quote
better than sliced bread if it came to the market
frojoe 14th March 2009, 04:35 Quote
It takes just as much power to charge however, just less time. Imagine the juice you would need to feed this thing, and the size of cabling, to rapidly charge a very large array of these, say in an electric car? To be honest though, any development on batteries seems good to me, as there hasn't been a lot of progress lately as far as I can tell.

Also, I was worried about these exploding as the current li-ion batteries tend to, but I heard n an interview that this was developed from a polymer specifically used because its safer than the standard ones.
Marc5002 14th March 2009, 12:21 Quote
:D it will be nice to go like omg : the Battery is almost out : WAIT GEt in my CAR with ur AC-ADAPTER : 20 Second later : Zap full charged =)
yanglu 14th March 2009, 20:53 Quote
Great for small batteries but for electric cars... to charge in 20 seconds would need a mains current of way over 100Amps
Slyr7.62 14th March 2009, 23:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yanglu
Great for small batteries but for electric cars... to charge in 20 seconds would need a mains current of way over 100Amps
1st of all, the stated 20 second charge is most likely for something small such as a laptop or Ipod, etc. So electric cars would still take an hour or more to fully charge, until the tech progresses farther.
frojoe 15th March 2009, 00:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slyr7.62
1st of all, the stated 20 second charge is most likely for something small such as a laptop or Ipod, etc. So electric cars would still take an hour or more to fully charge, until the tech progresses farther.

What happened to second of all???



But yes cars would take longer, and as they are able to charge faster and faster, more and more power is needed.
rhuitron 15th March 2009, 09:36 Quote
20 seconds to Charge.
And how long until catching fire? Considering the amount of current pumpimh through, I am not that far off!
alpaca 15th March 2009, 10:12 Quote
with a modest array of these, you could make a 'lock melter'. a few hundred ampere trough a lock for a few seconds, and any of those little pieces inside bends or melts to anything else, and that is a door locked for eternity. think of the jokes; think of the abuses?
Dreaming 15th March 2009, 15:08 Quote
Can has tazer?
Skutbag 16th March 2009, 01:46 Quote
'or discharge at a rate twenty times greater'

Hooray for cheapo exploding gadgets!
[USRF]Obiwan 16th March 2009, 12:50 Quote
I have even better news then this. A new charger that can recharge ordinary alkaline batteries up to 30 times. Yes those Duracell not-rechargeable' batteries!
cpemma 16th March 2009, 13:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny_Y8S
20 times quicker than currently? And a 20 second charge? So that's the same capacity as we can currently charge in just under 7 minutes.

What out there has a li-ion battery that can take a full charge in 7 minutes?
It's sales hype juggling apples and pears
Quote:
...capable of storing an entire day's charge after just twenty seconds of mains time.
You can bet "an entire day" isn't 24, or even 8 hours. But lets think of the charger needed;
Quote:
A more significant problem is that these batteries may wind up facing an electric grid that was never meant to deal with them. A 1Wh cell phone battery could charge in 10 seconds, but would pull a hefty 360W in the process. A battery that's sufficient to run an electric vehicle could be fully charged in five minutes—which would make electric vehicles incredibly practical—but doing so would pull 180kW, which is most certainly not practical.
airchie 16th March 2009, 15:53 Quote
Doesn't a standard L-ion Battery have quite a high internal resistance thus the reason it gets hot when charged?
Wouldn't this make these batteries get really hot if charged quickly?
Or is the reduction of the internal resistance what's enabled the faster recharge times possible?

Anyway, supercapacitors should beat these in almost every way if what I've read/heard about them is to be believed.
In fact, I think there's been a screwdriver released in te states that uses supercap tech.
90 second chage for 90 mins of use. :)
RichCreedy 31st December 2009, 19:48 Quote
ere stick ya tongue on this Xp, is it still charged? lol
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