Items tagged with Batteries

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 next generation lithium-ion battery anodes. However, there's a large volume change of silicon that occurs... 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 most relevance to HotHardware readers. It is available in 7 kWh ($3,000) and 10 kWh ($3,500) versions... 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 by other firms for use in Google devices in late 2012. As the months went on, they decided to switch... 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 phones and other battery-dependent gadgets populating our pockets and purses. “We have developed... 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 the Purdue researchers have demonstrated a means for using packing peanuts to manufacture carbon-nanoparticle... 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 several years now, and by poaching talent from rivals in the industry, it might have been able to skip... 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. "Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled battery, remove it from the computer, and contact... Read more...
Lithium-ion batteries have been powering our gadgets for more than 20 years and aren’t going away anytime soon, but serious competition may be emerging in the form of sodium and…sugar. Scientists at the Tokyo University of Science believe that sodium-sucrose-based batteries could deliver a 20% higher energy capacity than today’s lithium-ion batteries. As it turns out, heat-blasted sugar can convert to carbon powder, which can add storage capacity to a sodium-ion battery. Lithium can be found in several locations around the world (including Argentina and China), but major deposits are few. Sodium, on the other hand, is easy to come by and inexpensive. So, conceivably,... Read more...
Apple may have taken the time to officially reveal a new iMac, Mac Pro and 27" Cinema Display this morning, but two accessories that slipped under the radar are equally as interesting, if not more so. Scattered about the press releases for the new iMac and Mac Pro were mentions of a new Multi-Touch "Magic Trackpad," which is an all new input peripheral from Apple that's designed to bring some of the company's expertise in Multi-Touch to the desktop. Up until now, Multi-Touch has been reserved largely for touch panels and notebooks, but the new trackpad enables those same gestures to be translated onto the desktop. Basically, this is a trackpad right out of a MacBook Pro, but larger and equipped... Read more...
The next time you walk down the street and see some suit spazzing out, don't assume he's crazy (unless he's foaming at the mouth), maybe he's just recharging his digital camera, or any other electronic device that uses AA or AAA batteries. That's because the eggheads at Brother Industries Ltd. have put together vibration-powered generators capable of giving the company's prototype batteries a shot of juice when shaken. "The new generator will semi-permanently eliminate the need to replace batteries and contribute to reducing the amount of wastes," Brother Industries explains. Brother Industries' AA-size prototype with the generator and rechargeable battery installed in different cases. In their... Read more...
Earth Day was this week, and it seems that it was a much bigger deal in 2010 than in year's past. Maybe it had something to do with those tons of gallons of oil spilling off of the Gulf of Mexico (we're sure the Earth loved that), or maybe this is just what happens when everyone gets on the "green" bandwagon. Either way, PC Treasures and Digital Works Australia are definitely fans of the holiday, and they have joined forced not to bring back Captain Planet, but to bring the ReZap Battery Engineer to North America. Basically, this battery recharger does one better than most already on the market by adding life to standard batteries. The key word here is "standard," which is being used in place... Read more...
Let's face it: just about any gizmo worth using these days has a USB connector, and more often than not, it's actually charged over USB as well. But also, battery life has sunk in recent years as devices are made to be slimmer and hold less spacious batteries. The solution to this quandary? Sanyo's Eneloop Stick Booster, of course!For those unaware, the Eneloop line of rechargeable batteries have been around for a little while, and those that use them tend to swear by them. If you're alread on the Eneloop bandwagon, this product shouldn't be a tough sell. Basically, the Eneloop Stick Booster is a tube that holds a pair of AA Eneloop batteries. When your USB-related gizmo needs a boost, you simply... Read more...
Around here, there seems to be a never-ending debate surrounding batteries. You can't live with 'em, and you certainly can't live without 'em. Whether we're discussing just how disingenuous most battery life figures seem on modern day notebooks or just how great our lives would be if someone could develop an AA cell that lasted longer than a blink of an eye, we're pretty sure the topic won't ever grow cold.Helping to prove our point today is Sony, who has just launched a new type of lithium ion secondary battery that combines high-power and long-life performance by using olivine-type lithium iron phosphate as the cathode material. We know, that's a lot of technobabble all at once, but there's... Read more...
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... Read more...
It's been about two years since millions of Sony notebook batteries across many different OEM lines were recalled, due to overheating --- and fire problems. We assume you haven't forgotten about that, because here we are again. Here's hoping this isn't the beginning of another long list of recalls involving Sony batteries. At any rate, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued the recall on Thursday. According to the recall, There have been 19 reports of the batteries overheating, including 17 reports of flames/fire (10 resulting in minor property damage). Two consumers experienced minor burns.Check out the full list below. It's pretty long, bug only consists of about 35,000 batteries... Read more...
All those of you who are using generic, and in particular, high-capacity batteries with your Eee should watch out.  It seems you might have an explosive combination. Second- and third-tier battery makers in China have begun to manufacture batteries designed to be used with the Eee PC. Some vendors are offering batteries with capacities up to 10,400mAh, which can support up to 5.5 hours of usage, priced around 500-600 RMB (US$71-86), according to channel vendors. However, reports claim that one of these "high-capacity" batteries recently overheated during charging, and eventually exploded causing damage to the Eee PC. According to the reports, Asustek has refused to repair the PC, but Asustek... Read more...
There was a fire in LG Chem's plant in South Korea in March of this year. "So what?"  you might ask. Well, that plant makes lithium-ion batteries, and that's helping to limit the supply of laptop computers. "I think maybe the battery shortage may hurt every brand," said J.T. Wang, chairman of Acer, at the company's investor conference two weeks ago.But the head of the world's largest independent notebook battery maker, Simplo Technology, said he expects the lithium-ion supply to return to normal in the third quarter and allow battery makers to substantially increase production. "The LG Chem problem has had a big impact on supplies, but we're working with customers and they understand," said... Read more...
If you've been stashing extra lithium batteries in your luggage when flying, the Transportation Department would like a word with you.  Wary of short circuits that could cause a fire, they're limiting the amount you can transport, and specifying the type of packaging required for the little lithium friends you carry to keep your electronic devices ready for action.The ban affects shipments of non-rechargeable lithium batteries, such as those made by Energizer Holdings Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co.'s Duracell brand."Doing something as simple as keeping a spare battery in its original retail packaging or a plastic zip-lock bag will prevent unintentional short-circuiting and fires," Krista... Read more...
Some very clever people at Stanford University have devised away to modify lithium-ion batteries with silicon nanowires to expand the capacity of the batteries and allow them to deliver electricity for ten times as long as they currently do before recharging. "It's not a small improvement," Cui said. "It's a revolutionary development."The breakthrough is described in a paper, "High-performance lithium battery anodes using silicon nanowires," published online Dec. 16 in Nature Nanotechnology, written by Cui, his graduate chemistry student Candace Chan and five others.The greatly expanded storage capacity could make Li-ion batteries attractive to electric car manufacturers. Cui suggested that they... Read more...
Despite competitors having talking points about how the iPhone battery isn't replaceable, that's not entirely the case.  It's true that the user isn't able to buy a battery and  swap it out on the road as they can with many existing phones, but Apple can do it for you, for a fee of $85.95 plus applicable taxes: "If your iPhone requires service only because the battery's ability to hold an electrical charge has diminished, Apple will repair your iPhone for a service fee of $79, plus $6.95 shipping. Be sure to follow these instructions for optimizing battery life and troubleshooting battery charging issues before submitting your iPhone for battery replacement." Other... Read more...
Computer maker Gateway has voluntarily recalled about 14,000 lithium-ion battery packs, sold as primary or spare power supplies for some of their laptop computers, because they pose an overheating and fire hazard.  The Irvine, Calif., computer maker said the affected battery packs were shipped as the primary or spare battery pack for Gateway 400VTX and 450ROG series notebooks. They were sold during a three-month period from May 2003 to August 2003 in the U.S. through Gateway's Web site and its Gateway Country stores. Gateway said it will replace affected battery packs at no cost to the customer. It did not identify the maker of the recalled battery packs. Last year, the... Read more...
Scientists at Waseda University in Japan have come up with a nifty battery. It's made from polymers, it's only 200 nanometers thick, and it's flexible. Peter Skabara, an expert in electroactive materials at the University of Strathclyde, UK, praised the high stability and fabrication strategy of the polymer-based battery. 'The plastic battery plays a part in ensuring that organic device technologies can function in thin film, flexible form as a complete package,' said Skabara. 'However, these materials will not give slow energy release, which limits them to capacitor applications,' he continued. 'The polymers can undergo rapid charging/discharging... Read more...
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