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[ADV] The Search For A Future Battery – Charge In Seconds, Last Months

Do you feel like your devices are spending a long time charging compared to operating time? We are told that battery breakthroughs are coming. They will be able to charge for less and last for a very long time. For now, we have laptops, smartphones, and drones that are manufactured from lithium-ion batteries. As well as, even electric cars from Tesla are using bigger batteries that are made from lithium ion. It does the job but it could be better.

The reason why lithium is so popular is that it’s one of the lightest metal, it can store a high amount of charge compared to its weight. You will find that it has a higher energy density compared to nickel batteries or the packet of AAs you can find at your local supermarket.

What’s now.

Elon Musk has created the largest lithium-ion battery. The 100MW battery farm has enough capacity to power more than 30,000 homes. It incorporates up to 40,000km of transmission lines through Australia. What’s pleasantly shocking is the fact that it has been created in 100 days. They were in fact pressured by time as in the agreement it was highlighted that he would need to pay a $50 million bill and the South Australian government will possess the battery for free.

In the last 25 years, large companies have solely relied on lithium-ion. However, in 2017 it was the nirvana year for this battery. There has been an increase of up to 25% of brands using it. In fact, 60% of electric vehicles, phones, and laptops markets are using this type of battery.

However, it’s worth to note that they have safety limitations. In fact, you may be already aware that some Samsung phones have caught on fire. Well, the fact is that the battery contains a very flammable liquid electrolyte. Thus, even though it’s rare, the battery can catch on fire. A well-kept secret is the fact that a lot of the airline companies are worried about this safety concern. Currently, you are allowed to check-in your highly flammable laptop.

Promising Future.

The future will consist of fast charging phones and electronics that will charge in less than a minute. NASA has begun researching since 2015 due to the apparent limitations. The majority of people are tired of having smartphones that drain suddenly. So, what do scientists have in mind?

Lithium-air (Li-air)

Even though it has the same weight as the lithium-ion, it has the capacity to hold up to more than 40% of the charge when compared to the latter. It works very smartly as it pulls the oxygen from the air and as the oxygen isn’t stored within the battery, it doesn’t contribute to the overall weight of the battery.

The battery will get charged by air!

It can provide up to five times more energy than lithium-ion. Additionally, you will be able to recharge the batteries up to 1,000 Wh/kg. Thus, store the electricity generated by sustainable energy created by wind turbines and solar panels.

Due to the fact that the chemical reaction whilst charging is limiting, it’s nearly impossible for it to overcharge. Thus, it will eliminate the possibility of ever exploding or damaging the device’s structure. You will never have to experience your phone getting overheated for nothing.

The only limitation with this is the fact that there hasn’t been a creation of large-scale prototypes as none of the companies are willing to mass-manufacture. As well as, in order for the battery to get charged at an acceptable level, it needs to be large. Thus, it’s nearly impossible to design it as small yet efficient. It can be argued that it’s very unlikely that we will see it used by telephone companies.

Carbon-ion.

The Oxford-based company is currently experimenting with this battery. The company has tested this new technology to power the shuttles that transport passengers at Heathrow Airport. As well as, it has successfully powered handheld drills, cordless cleaners, and scooters.

It targets the limits of lithium-ion limitations such as overheating and the charge speeds. Thus, it has been concluded so far that C-ion is non-inflammable and it recharges impressively fast. When compared to the lithium-air battery, it has been noted that it can handle thousands of charge-discharge cycles without damaging or it degrading. There is 0% that it will catch on fire and it charges within minutes. The maximum time recorded was of 2 minutes.The greatest thing about it is the fact that it can be designed the same size as the lithium-ion batteries. This means that companies can use them in the designing of phones and tablets.

What Are The Benefits.

The main reasons why researchers are willing to spend a long time creating other batteries is because we don’t dislike lithium-ion, but we shouldn’t settle for less. These are some of the practical features:

Density – The future batteries will be able to hold a better density whilst maintaining the same small size. Thus, we do not have to be limited to bulkier designs if a breakthrough happens and companies are willing to invest.

Longevity – There’s no hiding the fact that the charge-discharge cycle will damage lithium-ion. You may already be aware that after a maximum of 3 years, the phone will no longer work as good as the beginning.

Safety – As the time passes, it can be noticed that the new developments will be less likely to catch on fire or explode. As well as, they will not overheat so you can keep it close to flammable materials.

Conclusion.

There is a demand for better batteries. In the ever-changing technology sector, it can be noticed that scientists are working thoroughly to ensure that the demands are met. This means that the next popular battery will be able to charge fast, maintain the same efficiency over the years and not be a safety hazard. This is much easier said than done, some features such as a fast recharge and not overheating can be me. However, some find it difficult to design a battery that isn’t bulky and can be fit in slim electronics and smartphones.

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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