» Environmental Technology & Issues
» Battery Tech & Topics

Information Found Here:
1. Experimental Battery Technology —>
2. Current Battery Tech: (a) VLDR Rechargeable Batteries (b) recharge via USB port,
(c) improved rechargeable alkalines (sizes AAA, AA, C, D, 9V) —>
3. Battery Types & Report: (a) battery types defined, (b) battery reliability report —>
Since the world is in a bit of a crisis with global warming, companies are attempting to solve the environmental problems associated with the need for energy by developing new electrical storage solutions. For example, in the past, creating hybrid cars or pure electric cars was majorly cost prohibitive and the size of battery packs were exceedingly large. Then there was the problem of marginal storage capacity of old battery tech and long charge times.

Companies are set to introduce new quick-charge highly efficient electric power cells in the near future for use in cars. But that's not all. These new batteries can be adapted for small electronic devices too. When you combine these new vastly improved batteries with advanced solar and wind power charging stations, you have a winning combination to help solve the environmental woes of other poluting systems. Below are some of the power storage solutions being experimented with and to be used in the near future:

  1. EEStor Battery Breakthrough: EEStor, a secretive startup company based in Cedar Park, Texas, United States is developing an electrical energy-storage technology. EEStor wants to replace the electrochemical battery with their system for use in hybrid-electric and pure-electric vehicles, laptop computers, utility-scale electricity storage, and more.

    EEStor claims that its battery-ultracapacitor hybrid based on barium-titanate powders, will dramatically outperform lithium-ion batteries on the market in energy density, price, charge time, and safety. It is expected to provide 10 times the punch of lead-acid batteries at half the cost and without the need for toxic materials or chemicals.

    Such a breakthrough could radically transform a transportation sector, improve the performance of intermittent energy sources such as wind and sun, and increase the efficiency and stability of power grids.

    The company would be competing with next-generation lithium-ion manufacturers such as Watertown, Massachusetts-based A123Systems (working on a plug-in hybrid storage system for General Motors) and Reno, Nevada-based Altair Nanotechnologies, a supplier to all-electric vehicle maker Phoenix Motorcars.

    While the claims are exciting, some don't believe it. "I get a little skeptical when somebody thinks they've got a silver bullet for every application, because that's just not consistent with reality," says Andrew Burke, an expert on energy systems for transportation at the University of California.

    See update report on EEStor
    See also the 2006 report from TreeHugger.

  2. Nanowire Battery Holds 10X The Charge of
    Current Lithium-ion Batteries
    : Stanford researchers have discovered that using silicon nanowires will improve rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that now power all kinds of electrical devices. The new technology stores 10 times the amount of electricity of existing lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. For instance a laptop that runs on batteries for two hours could operate for 20 hours, a huge improvement in electrical capacity.

    The breakthrough is described in a paper titled: High-performance lithium battery anodes using silicon nanowires, published online in Nature Nanotechnology, written by Yi Cui, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, along with his graduate chemistry student Candace Chan and five others.

    The increased storage capacity could make Li-ion batteries attractive to electric car manufacturers. The new battery technology could be used in homes or offices that store electricity generated from solar panels or wind turbines.
  3. The Super Battery at M.I.T.: Joel Schindall and his team at M.I.T. plan to make long battery charge times and expensive replacements a thing of the past by improving on old technology, the capacitor, that was invented nearly 300 years ago.

    Regular batteries lose capacity after many charges and discharges to the point where a person cannot use them. Once they have no use a person discards them. In contrast capacitors last much longer and can be charged within minutes. The problem is that current capacitor designs hold 25 times less charge than standard chemical batteries. The problem is solved by covering the electrodes with millions of nanotubes. Each nanotube is 30,000 times thinner than a human hair. Nanotube technology is being experimented in several other applications too.

    Of course one obvious use for these super capacitors is in the electric automobile. Current clunky batteries are expensive and slow to charge, making regular use of them a bit difficult in all-electric car applications especially on long trips requiring recharges. That issue would go away. Big oil companies are likely not very enthused about these new battery developments.
  4. Super Thin Flexible Plastic Battery: A battery breakthrough from NEC makes it possible to offer very thin rechargeable power cells that are flexible and environmentally friendly. It's only 0.3 mm thick and could be used for wearable computers and for other purposes requiring very thin and/or flexible electrical power sources. It uses a type of plastic known as organic radical polymer that can recharge in less than 30 seconds.
  5. Very Low Discharge Rate Rechargeable Batteries:
    They're here! You've been waiting for a rechargeable battery that would hold a charge for a long time more like alkaline cells. Enter the Hybrid Rechargeable (a.k.a. VLDR Rechargeable). These batteries will hold the majority of their charge for up to a year. Find out who makes them and get some data on the brands available.
  6. USBCell, A Unique Rechargeable Battery: How would you like the flexibility to be able to recharge your batteries directly from any USB port? That is exactly what USBCell offers. When you don't have ready access to a regular electrical plugin source or don't have your external charger with you, these batteries plug directly into any USB port that has power. This is great when you need a charge, for example, your mouse's batteries and all you have is your laptop with it's onboard battery pack. The computer's USB port can charge these batteries for a few minutes and provide hours of use in your wireless mouse.

    Right now USBCell has AA sizes available, but is planning to expand their line of batteries to include AAA, C, D, 9V. They are even planning to produce batteries for cell phones, PDA, and other similar devices. The AA batteries are more expensive than ordinary rechargeables, but could prove useful to people on the go.
  7. Rechargeable Alkaline Batteries by "Pure Energy": For various purposes, many rechargeable batteries just won't do. This is especially true when you need batteries for devices like smoke detectors, flash lights, and remote controls where you do not want to be changing/recharging them often or need long life of a single charge before the need to recharge. Enter the "Pure Energy" rechargeable alkaline. Here's a basic rundown of advantages:
    1. Ready to Use with a 7 year shelf life.
    2. Free of toxins and may be disposed of in normal household waste when no longer able to be recharged.
    3. Usually less expensive than NiMH rechargeables (sometimes ½ the price of NiMH cells).
    4. Capable of 50 deep-discharge cycles to 500 shallow-discharge cycles.
    One source that sells these batteries online is Sundance Solar Products Inc.
This is the end of the directory portion of this page. Below is a write-up of battery types and a short report.
Battery Types & Report
Here is a list of some existing rechargeable battery technologies being used:
  1. Sealed Lead Acid (SLA): This is the old technology mainly used for large battery applications (car starting, large flashlights, etc.) and is NOT environmentally friendly.
  2. Nickel Cadmium (NiCad, also labeled as NiCD): This battery tech is being phased out in favor of newer NiMH solutions for use in small electrical devices. NiCD tech is toxic to the environment. These types of batteries were commonly sold in stores in common cell sizes (D, C, AA, AAA) in the 1990's. NiCD batteries (usually not the common sizes) are still available for certain special applications.
  3. Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH): Many current rechargeable cells are based on NiMH and are earth safe.
  4. Hybrid Nickel Metal Hydride (Hybrid NiMH): One of the latest cell technologies being used and earth friendly. They are already charged at the time of purchase. Some available brands of Hybrids are: Hybrio, Eneloop and Rayovac.
Existing non-rechargeable battery tech:
  1. Mercury Battery (a.k.a. mercury oxide-zinc cell): old tech that is very toxic.
  2. Alkaline Battery: common disposable type useful for long storage life.
  3. Lithium Battery: disposable type that are more expensive than the common alkaline cells, but have a much longer life and contain much more electrical energy in comparison to non-rechargeable alkaline types.
REPORT: Personal Observation About Rechargeable Batteries:
For regular NiMH rechargeable batteries, the Sony brand lasted a bit longer per charge and had many more charge cycles than the Rayovac brand. Each brand was used similarly in all aspects with the wireless mouse and digital camera. The Rayovac batteries degraded to an unusable state within about 1½ years while the Sony type have lasted for 4 years so far. The Sony cells were more expensive, but they far outlasted the Rayovac NiMH's in terms of overall battery longevity.

However, it remains to be seen how the new Rayovac Hybrid NiMH rechargeable batteries stack up against the older NiMH Sony cells in terms of the number of recharge cycles (longevity of batteries).

Author: Curt Dunmire
Author's Link: SearchWord.com
About Author: Curt Dunmire is the publisher, director and owner of SearchWord.com; an advocate on topics such as the fight against spyware and extolling the benefits of JavaScript. He has been Webmaster to clients since 1996 helping them establish online business identities as well as a previous full-time CAD drafter using various CAD platforms.
······ Copyright © 2006– by SearchWord.com ······
Copyright & Legal Disclaimers Privacy