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MIT boffins pave way for 'miracle' battery

by Tarinder Sandhu on 12 March 2009, 16:10

Tags: MIT

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Boffins from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a method of discharging lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries in seconds, rather than minutes, it has been claimed.

Lithium-ion batteries are commonplace in consumer electronics, often found in mobile phones and laptops, and the new method of (dis)charging requires little modification to current production methods.

Professor Gerbrand Ceder and his team noted that the passage of lithium ions - the source of the electricity in Li-ion batteries - into 'tunnels' that access the surface of the iron phosphate material was hamstrung by the need for the ions to be positioned directly in front of the tunnel. This slow access is what causes significant (dis)charging time.

By re-engineering the surface material to deliver the ions into the tunnels in a direct, efficient manner, improving ion speed and therefore discharging time, the MIT brains were able to prove that a battery could be discharged in 20 seconds, compared to hours for a consumer Li-ion battery.

However, look a bit deeper and there's no proof that charging time will be equally quick, but the basic science appears to apply in both directions, albeit with monumental power required when charging with, presumably, custom chargers - you have to get all that energy into the battery in a much-smaller time-frame, right?

Practical benefits are obvious in the computing world, but a quick-charging battery could prove to be particularly beneficial for electric cars, for example. Ceder believes that the new batteries could be on the market within a three-year time-frame, yet there's significant work ahead to make this happen

Read more here.


HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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Charging quickly is something we could all do with… spending more time charging gadgets than actually using them is hardly “21st century” as everything seems to be branded these days!
So… how long before some terrorist twat uses one of these blighters as a bomb/powerful incendiary device then?

I predict in 5 years we will have to check laptops into the hold.

I also predict as a consequence of this, that I'll have broken/stolen laptop in about 5 years + 1 month.
Only problem is - to get two second charging on all your household appliances your gonna have to upgrade the power supply in your house to an industrial-type one capable of giving you a couple of hundred amps sustained, and then when everyone managed to do that - the earth will become dark and men will use candles. :o

Nice idea though!

Butuz
Butuz
Only problem is - to get two second charging on all your household appliances your gonna have to upgrade the power supply in your house to an industrial-type one capable of giving you a couple of hundred amps sustained, and then when everyone managed to do that - the earth will become dark and men will use candles. :o
Nah, NVIDIA will still be based on the broken 8600M, and the glow off of that ought to last for centuries.
Next, a solar battery which charges itself in seconds under the moonlight.