The last few days the technology news has been inundated with developments of two new energy storage technologies.
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The first is a report from MIT. The researchers have discovered a way of improving lithium based chemical battery systems. Their findings show a more efficient way of increasing the available locations for lithium to be transported by increasing the mobility aids in increasing the ability to charge rapidly and increasing overall battery performance. A capacity of 166mAh/g can be attained when configured for lower currents and a capacity of 110mAh/g was achieved when configured for high currents. This all allows for high charge, recharge and discharge currents, thus creating a battery that can be charged in a relatively short time, say 10 seconds. This could lead to many advances in portable electronics, electric and hybrid vehicles and renewable energy storage systems.
At Open Technology Development we look forward to seeing if this discovery will be further investigated and attempted to be scaled for manufactured applications in the next 5-10 years.
- “Battery materials for ultrafast charging and discharging : Nature.” 13 Mar 2009 <http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v458/n7235/abs/nature07853.html>.
- “Lithium breakthrough could charge batteries in 10 seconds – Ars Technica.” 13 Mar 2009 <http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2009/03/lithium-breakthrough-could-charge-batteries-in-10-seconds.ars>.
- “New ‘Beltway’ batteries will charge in seconds – Times Online.” 13 Mar 2009 <http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article5890875.ece>.
- “Re-engineered battery material could lead to rapid recharging of many devices – MIT News Office.” 13 Mar 2009 <http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2009/battery-material-0311.html>.
- “Technology Review: Ultra-High-Power Lithium-Ion Batteries.” 13 Mar 2009 <http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/22280/>.
The second interesting technology comes from researches at the University of Miami, University of Tokyo and University of Tohoku. Their discovery takes a unique approach other than conventional batteries that use chemical storage, i.e. Lead-acid, NiCad, NiMH, Li-ion, etc. their new battery concept uses magnetic energy storage. The new ‘Spin Battery’ uses a large magnetic field to be charged thus creating an electromotive force potential within the new Spin Battery material, nano-magnets. Current is produced by a process called a spin polarized current. This is another possible application from the fields of nanotechnology and it’s subcategory of spintronics. Although promising the output of these new Spin Batteries are small due to the small amount (diameter of a human hair) used in the experiment.
At Open Technology Development we look forward to seeing if this discovery will be further investigated and attempted to be scaled for larger applications in the next 10-15 years.
- “Electromotive force and huge magnetoresistance in magnetic tunnel junctions: Nature.” 13 Mar 2009 <http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nature07879.html>.
- “Physicist develops battery using new source of energy.” 13 Mar 2009 <http://www.physorg.com/news156011642.html>.