Printable Batteries Could Give Duracell A Scare

Batteries seem to be a growing topic of discussion here at HotHardare. From netbooks with increasingly large cells to debates over the legitimacy of notebook battery life figures, it's safe to say that longevity away from the plug is an important matter for true PC enthusiasts. To that end, we couldn't help but take notice when we came across a new development that could lead to thinner, more portable batteries for all of our mobile electronics.

Developed by a research team led by Dr. Reinhard Baumann of the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS in Chemnitz, a newfangled printable battery is said be cost effective and able to be produced on a large scale. We needn't explain to you just how incredibly a paper-thin, printable battery would be, but given the sometimes prohibitive cost of these things, we're thrilled to see someone working on a better solution.

According to Dr. Andreas Willert, group manager at ENAS: "Our goal is to be able to mass produce the batteries at a price of single digit cent range each." As predicted, the actual specifications of the new printable battery differ "significantly" from traditional cells. For starters, the new battery weighs under a single gram, isn't even a whole millimeter thick and can be integrated into devices as small as bank cards. Better still, they can be stacked and joined in order to provide more power when needed. Unfortunately, the current build is really only good for applications which have a limited life span or a limited power requirement, but we fully expect that to change and improve with time.

Believe it or not, the batteries are "printed using a silk-screen printing method similar to that used for t-shirts and signs." If all goes well, we could see the first of these hit actual products by the end of the year, so we'll be keeping an eye out for battery printing presses at our local malls.