Researchers are claiming a breakthrough in battery technology that could see your gadgets enjoying triple the battery life without gaining any weight.
According to an article over on GizMag
, researchers at Canada's University of Waterloo have discovered a neat new version of the popular lithium ion battery technology which offers triple the energy density: lithium sulphur.
Featuring everyone's favourite technology panacea – carbon nanorods – the system works in a similar way to standard lithium ion batteries: energy is stored in one electrode and released via the second. Unlike standard lithium ion batteries, however, the material is paired with mesoporous carbon nanorods joined by sulphur – allowing the team to charge the device up to 84 percent of the theoretical maximum capacity of sulphur.
Another advantage of the new technology is in weight reduction: the new material is able to store 1,200 watt-hours per kilogramme, compared to just 500 watt-hours per kilogramme for standard lithium ion batteries. This offers a choice: batteries can stay the same weight and hold a great deal more charge, or can slim down dramatically while still offering the same battery life for your devices.
The technology isn't quite ready for the prime time yet, however: team lead Dr. Linda Nazar explains that “capacity fading
” - the tendency for the battery to discharge despite not being subject to power draw from a device – needs to be “tackled more fully
” before the technology is ready to be commercialised – along with ensuring that the negative electrode constructed from metallic lithium is safely protected.
It's also not know just how much the new technology is likely to cost: despite the raw materials for a lithium sulphur battery being cheaper than those used in lithium ion batteries, Dr. Nazar predicts “costs associated with processing, electrolyte, [and] fabrication
” to possibly boost the final cost – at least until the technology hits the mass market.
Do you like the sound of a laptop battery capable of holding three times the charge of your current model, or does the thought of all that energy in such a small space give you the heebie-jeebies? Share your thoughts over in the forums