Items tagged with Batteries

At long last, we have some details on why exactly some of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 devices were prone to overheating and catching fire, including replacement handsets that used batteries from a different manufacturer. Samsung has completed its investigation and determined that irregularly sized battery packs were to blame in many cases, while problems in manufacturing affected others. These details have not yet been made public from Samsung—the South Korean handset maker will hold a press conference on Monday to talk about the defects. However, The Wall Street Journal received word early and while... Read more...
What happened to Samsung and its Galaxy Note 7 can be considered a wake-up call for battery makers and consumers alike, or at least it should be. Despite whatever safety precautions Samsung took to ensure its Galaxy Note 7 would function properly, the batteries inside were prone to overheating and catching fire, which led to a global recall. It's an issue that has affected other electronic makers in the past, but maybe one that can be prevented in the future. To that end, a group of researchers from Stanford University developed a lithium-ion battery with a built-in fire extinguisher. "Although... Read more...
Apple introduced a bunch of new features with iOS 10 when it released a couple of months ago, but more recent incremental updates have given iPhone users more than they bargained form. There are complaints that installing the iOS 10.1.1 update is somehow making batteries drain faster than they normally would, as well as giving inaccurate readings of battery life.That's an annoying combination to deal with. Some users report having ample battery life before going to bed—well over half and sometimes even close to full—yet waking up to a dead phone. That shouldn't happen if there are not any apps... Read more...
Samsung is unique among smartphone manufacturers in that it not only produces its own System-on-Chip (SoC) designs, such as the Exynos processor that's found in some of its handsets, but it is the only phone maker that performs its own battery tests. Unfortunately Samsung, that differentiating trait recently blew up in its face, figuratively and somewhat literally.Overheating and exploding batteries are what led to the downfall of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 phone. The company's internal testing revealed no problems with either the original model, which ended up being recalled, or the replacement phones... Read more...
Tesla Motors is working feverishly to finish constructing its $5 billion, 3,200 acre "Gigafactory" located outside Sparks, Nevada (near Reno). It's already semi-operational with 1,000 construction workers toiling away seven days a week in two shifts. The factory, which is two years ahead of schedule, will help meet what's anticipated to be high demand for lithium-ion batteries for Tesla's not-yet-released Model 3 sedan. "We have to be ready with cell and pack production well ahead of vehicle production," JB Straubel, Tesla’s chief technical officer and co-founder, told The Wall Street Journal during... Read more...
Smartphone makers have been obsessed with making handsets increasingly thin and light, but what about battery life? After all, a smartphone isn't very useful if it runs out of juice. With that in mind, Microsoft is laying out some high expectations for its new Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL handsets, both of which it says "can keep up with you to help you do great things."In a blog post talking about battery life, Microsoft begins by pointing out the large capacity batteries it picked out for its first Windows 10 phones. The Lumia 950 rocks a 3,000 mAh battery and the Lumia 950 XL gets a more capacious... Read more...
Today's mobile electronic gadgets run on batteries of one kind or another, and when they run out, you either have to swap the battery for a fresh one (if that's an option) or find an outlet to start the tedious process of recharging. Luckily, quick charging is a thing, and Chinese phone maker Huawei just took things to a whole new level. Huawei recently demonstrated a prototype smartphone battery that's capable of going from a fully drained state to nearly half-capacity with a mere five minutes of charging. In the demo, Huawei plugs the drained battery into a charger, which itself is connected... Read more...
Most so-called breakthrough battery technologies we hear about come with tremendous claims, like quadrupling the amount of energy stored or being able to recharge 1,000 times faster. Heck, one day we might even run laptops on Mountain Dew (slight exaggeration). Samsung, on the other hand, makes a more modest claim with a new battery technology it just recently developed -- double the battery life. Samsung's breakthrough came in the form of using a two-dimensional layered structure of graphene and silicon. Up to this point, silicon alone has been receiving a lot of attention in the formation of... Read more...
Elon Musk isn’t just content with revolutionizing the electric vehicle market; he also has a hand in revolutionizing rockets and cargo deliveries to the International Space Station (ISS) with SpaceX, and even has a [smaller] hand in the solar industry with SolarCity. Musk is now branching out into the home energy market leveraging technology that we’ve seen previously with Tesla Motors and SolarCity. Tesla Energy encompasses new battery systems that are being targeted at both home users and businesses, as we have previously discussed. The first system, the lithium-ion-powered Powerwall, has the... Read more...
We're always hearing about promising new battery technologies, though in the end, they're always too expensive, too big, or too whatever to make it into the mainstream. Eventually that's going to change and there will be a breakthrough that truly redefines the battery category, the question, who's going to do it? Perhaps Google. According to The Wall Street Journal, one of the teams working inside Google's not-so-secret X lab is entirely focused on battery technology. As the story goes, former Apple battery expert Dr. Ramesh Bhardwaj and his team of researchers began testing batteries developed... Read more...
Leaving the realm of science fiction behind, the super-fast charging mobile phone is inching its way ever more closer to science-fact. As reported in Stanford Magazine in advance of publication this week in the journal Nature, researchers at Stanford University have developed a high-performance aluminum-ion battery that can recharge in about a minute and do so thousands of times without significant loss of capacity. And along with being faster to charge and more durable, the new battery is also much safer than the lithium-ion batteries so many of us currently carry around these days in the mobile... Read more...
In setting up a new lab, a group of research students at Purdue University were inspired to come up with a way to put the huge amount of packing peanuts they were receiving to good use. At the suggestion of Professor Vilas Pol, the researchers developed a potential new eco-friendly application for rendering the packaging waste into lithium-ion battery anodes.Lithium-ion batteries have two electrodes, a cathode and an anode. The anode harnesses the lithium ions (which are contained in an electrolyte solution) during recharging. Today most lithium-ion battery anodes are made of graphite, however... Read more...
If you can't beat 'em, and you don't want to join 'em, then what can you do? Settle, of course! Apple is currently in discussions with electric car battery maker A123 Systems on a settlement over a lawsuit the latter initiated, in which it accuses the former of poaching engineers and other top level talent to build a battery division.It's been rumored that Apple is working on an electric car of its own to compete with Tesla. Reports have Apple pegged to release its first model in 2020, which is an incredibly short time frame. However, it's believed that Apple's been working on this project for... Read more...
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said this week there have been more than a dozen reports of ATG lithium-ion replacement batteries for the MacBook Pro catching fire, prompting Best Buy to issue a recall. There have been 13 documented cases so far, and in one instance, a faulty battery caused a "serious burn" to the user's leg. There are two SKUs to look for in determining whether or not your MacBook Pro's third-party battery is included in the recall. The first is "MC-MBOOK13B," which is found on the black battery, and the second is "MC-BOOK13W," which is found on the white battery.... Read more...
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