Panasonic boosts Li-Ion power

December 31, 2009 | 11:33

Tags: #laptop-battery #li-ion #lithium-ion #power-cell

Companies: #panasonic

New battery technology from Panasonic holds the promise of future Lithium-Ion cells that can provide significantly more power than is currently possible.

As reported over on Gizmodo, the company has announced a new 18650-type lithium ion power cell - so called owing to its 18mm diameter and 65mm height - which offers an industry leading capacity of 3.5Ah. As if this wasn't good enough news, the company has also promised that a move to a silicon-based alloy for the negative electrode - in place of the currently used carbon - will allow the technology to stretch to 4.0Ah.

Designed for use primarily in laptop battery packs, the high-capacity power cells will also likely find a home in electric and hybrid-power vehicles where their impressively high energy density will help to increase the range while decreasing the cost associated with such vehicles.

With Panasonic's current range of power cells offering 2.9Ah, the 4.0Ah promises a thirty percent boost in capacity - meaning increased longevity of about a third for lithium-ion powered devices including laptops and netbooks.

As both improved power cell designs involve little more than an improved negative electrode composition, Panasonic's latest cells promise full compatibility with existing lithium-ion systems - meaning that drop-in replacements for worn-out batteries are more than likely.

All this good news must, inevitably, be tempered by the bad: although the cells have been produced in small quantities for testing purposes, Panasonic isn't planning to mass-produced them until around the middle of 2012 for the 3.5Ah and year after for the 4.0Ah models.

Does this improvement in lithium-ion technology fill you with hope for multi-day battery life in your netbook, or should Panasonic be concentrating on more esoteric solutions? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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