Items tagged with Batteries

There seems to be a never-ending stream of new battery technologies looking to replace the venerable lithium-ion chemistry. Today, new advances in zinc-air batteries are making them look increasingly more viable as a suitable replacement, with the potential to squeeze five time the charge into a battery comparably sized to its lithium-ion counterpart. The breakthrough comes from researchers working at University of Sydney and the Nanyang Technological University, who published a paper in Advanced Materials. As its name implies, zinc-air batteries are composed of zinc metal and oxygen from the air,... Read more...
When it comes to the mobile devices that we use on a daily basis — be it a smartphone, tablet, or laptop — we are more than likely relying on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries to keep us powered through the day. However, companies have looked for an alternative to lithium-ion batteries for years, but none has fought its way to the forefront to provide a suitable challenge. One startup company, Ionic Materials, is looking to take the fight to the lithium-ion with a battery chemistry that we’re all familiar with: alkaline. While traditional alkaline batteries are not rechargeable, Ionic has developed... Read more...
Fidget spinners are one of the hottest fads at the moment, and they have even gone high-tech. Unfortunately, quality control seems to be woefully lacking. Not only are these toys proving to be a red-hot sales item, they are also literally hot. As in, overheating and catching fire. There have been multiple reports of these Bluetooth-enabled spinners bursting into flames while charging. Kimberly Allums, a mother in Gardendale, Alabama, describes a harrowing incident involving her son, who had plugged in his Bluetooth fidget spinner to charge it. Later on she heard her son screaming from upstairs.... Read more...
It seems that we're constantly hearing about promising new battery technologies and eventually one of them will stick. Mike Zimmerman, a professor at Tufts University and founder of Ionic Materials, hopes that his remarkably resilient ionic battery technology will be the one that does. At a glance, his ionic battery technology appears to a legitimate shot at finally pushing the category forward in a significant way. The reason scientists and researchers pay so much attention to battery design is because today's lithium-ion units have several downsides. As we saw recently with Samsung's Galaxy Note... Read more...
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...
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