Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New Battery Could Recharge in Seconds

This article is about a new battery developed by researchers at MIT. The new battery uses a lithium phosphate material instead of the traditional Lithium batteries we find in cell phones today. This material creates a “fast lane” for ions to move around in. The new coating material allows the ions to move around at unimaginable rates. The remarkable speed of the charge requires the battery to receives a large amount of current. In the past high currents have led to high temperatures, which reduces the battery’s life. Researchers assure that this will not occur in these new batteries. They did a 50-charge/recharge cycle and confirmed there was nearly no drop in the battery life. 

This new battery has the potential to make a big impact. It could alter life in so many ways. In merely seconds a cell phone sized battery could easily be charged. No longer would you have to worry about waiting to charge you cell phone or computer before you go out.  Also hybrid cars could be charged more efficiently, ultimately making them cheaper.

Another edge this new battery holds is that is doesn’t loose its life over time. Many people are used to having to replace laptop or cell phone batteries over time because they no longer hold a charge. Researchers say this won’t happen with these batteries.

The article also goes into the production of the batteries. Although some say the batteries do no compare to ultra capacitors, Ceder, head of MIT research, is optimistic. He believes his batteries could be out in the market in two to three years. A123 Systems and Umicore have already licensed to the batteries.

I thought this article was really cool. Personally it is always a hassle to wait for my phone, laptop, or any other electronic device to charge. I usually forget and am pressed for time, so this would be a great solution to my problem. Also the fact that it wouldn’t loose its life capacity would be fantastic. Freshman year I got a brand new dell laptop and by the end of the year the battery was shot. It only held a charge for 30 minutes before dying.

One thing that makes me hesitant about the batteries is the amount of electrical current they require. Since they are only charging for seconds they must require a massive amount of electricity. If that much electricity is needed at one time it makes me question whether it will be possible. I don’t know if an outlet could provide that much at once. Also I was thinking that potentially burnouts or brownouts could occur. When looking into this further it said that in order to charge a hybrid car, it would take 5 minutes and 180kW, which is very unpractical.(1)



No comments:

Post a Comment