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New battery technology... OH BOY!

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New battery technology... OH BOY!

Postby Bob the Builder » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:25 pm

http://news.illinois.edu/news/13/0416microbatteries_WilliamKing.html

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Though they be but little, they are fierce. The most powerful batteries on the planet are only a few millimeters in size, yet they pack such a punch that a driver could use a cellphone powered by these batteries to jump-start a dead car battery – and then recharge the phone in the blink of an eye.

Mechanical science and engineering professor William P. King led a group that developed the most powerful microbatteries ever documented. | Photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the new microbatteries out-power even the best supercapacitors and could drive new applications in radio communications and compact electronics.

Led by William P. King, the Bliss Professor of mechanical science and engineering, the researchers published their results in the April 16 issue of Nature Communications.

“This is a whole new way to think about batteries,” King said. “A battery can deliver far more power than anybody ever thought. In recent decades, electronics have gotten small. The thinking parts of computers have gotten small. And the battery has lagged far behind. This is a microtechnology that could change all of that. Now the power source is as high-performance as the rest of it.”

With currently available power sources, users have had to choose between power and energy. For applications that need a lot of power, like broadcasting a radio signal over a long distance, capacitors can release energy very quickly but can only store a small amount. For applications that need a lot of energy, like playing a radio for a long time, fuel cells and batteries can hold a lot of energy but release it or recharge slowly.

“There’s a sacrifice,” said James Pikul, a graduate student and first author of the paper. “If you want high energy you can’t get high power; if you want high power it’s very difficult to get high energy. But for very interesting applications, especially modern applications, you really need both. That’s what our batteries are starting to do. We’re really pushing into an area in the energy storage design space that is not currently available with technologies today.”

The new microbatteries offer both power and energy, and by tweaking the structure a bit, the researchers can tune them over a wide range on the power-versus-energy scale.

The batteries owe their high performance to their internal three-dimensional microstructure. Batteries have two key components: the anode (minus side) and cathode (plus side). Building on a novel fast-charging cathode design by materials science and engineering professor Paul Braun’s group, King and Pikul developed a matching anode and then developed a new way to integrate the two components at the microscale to make a complete battery with superior performance.

With so much power, the batteries could enable sensors or radio signals that broadcast 30 times farther, or devices 30 times smaller. The batteries are rechargeable and can charge 1,000 times faster than competing technologies – imagine juicing up a credit-card-thin phone in less than a second. In addition to consumer electronics, medical devices, lasers, sensors and other applications could see leaps forward in technology with such power sources available.

“Any kind of electronic device is limited by the size of the battery – until now,” King said. “Consider personal medical devices and implants, where the battery is an enormous brick, and it’s connected to itty-bitty electronics and tiny wires. Now the battery is also tiny.”

Now, the researchers are working on integrating their batteries with other electronics components, as well as manufacturability at low cost.

“Now we can think outside of the box,” Pikul said. “It’s a new enabling technology. It’s not a progressive improvement over previous technologies; it breaks the normal paradigms of energy sources. It’s allowing us to do different, new things.”

The National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research supported this work. King also is affiliated with the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology; the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory; the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory; and the department of electrical and computer engineering at the U. of I.
Bob Martin,
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Re: New battery technology... OH BOY!

Postby Giovanni » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:40 am

MIT has new proven battery anode/cathode technology that will enable lithium batteries to potentially have ten times the density and power. Electric cars will soon surpass internal combustion engine cars very soon.
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Re: New battery technology... OH BOY!

Postby Thor » Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:21 pm

Don't get to fired about this technology at this point. It will be decades before a commercially viable product will be produced. The power density of these cells still does not approach petroleum. They will be fantastic for smaller devices, but it will be an even longer time period before they are utilized in larger applications such as the automobile, power tools, etc....
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Re: New battery technology... OH BOY!

Postby Giovanni » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:46 am

Here is the full story. Looks very promising and very soon.
http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/20 ... aphene.php
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Re: New battery technology... OH BOY!

Postby Thor » Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:39 pm

I guess, being in the industrial design world, I will believe it when I see it!
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Re: New battery technology... OH BOY!

Postby Sub culture » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:08 pm

I think decades is a bit pessimistic. Maybe five to ten years would be a fair assessment. Huge market potential, and lets face it battery technology has moved on faster in the last ten years than in the previous hundred primarily because the demand is there for better technology, and thus the capital investment is there too.
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Re: New battery technology... OH BOY!

Postby salmon » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:58 pm

I contacted the company. Batteries, like we would use, are not on the horizon yet. Focus is car and industrial storage. So, I think Sub Culture is correct.
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Re: New battery technology... OH BOY!

Postby Thor » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:58 pm

What demand? What investment? Our economy is on life support right now. Economic growth of less than 1/2%. Not a single one of the American made hybrids have shown a profit, GM Europe is preparing for a possible bankruptcy filing by year's end. GM in the US is still in the dumper along with the rest of the automobile industry. The hybrids are manufactured and sold at a loss with a government offset to make the manufacturers whole. How long do you think that can last? Our economy is headed off the cliff right now. Call me a very pessimistic person, but what I see going on in industry right now scares the living daylights out of me. I see nothing but dark skies ahead until we make some very drastic changes from the course we are on right now. None the less, this is very exciting technology.
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Re: New battery technology... OH BOY!

Postby JWLaRue » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:30 pm

Matt,

Let's not be too pessimistic here! :) The U.S. annual GDP growth rate for 2012 was right around 2.0%, pretty good considering the recent past.

That said, electric battery technology for the auto industry needs to make huge leaps in storage capability and cost reduction in order for the hybrids (or all electric) autos to be economically viable for either/both the consumers and the manufacturers.

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Re: New battery technology... OH BOY!

Postby Sub culture » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:19 am

Perhaps you're looking at things from your own home market. I'm looking at things from a global perspective, including Asian and European markets.

Also not just cars that will drive this forward, but smart phones, tablet computing etc. They're all very power hungry and munch through batteries at an alarming rate, so the need is there for better technology.
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