Better Batteries: Better Future

Have you ever needed your smartphone only to find that the battery has died and you’re nowhere near an outlet? It’s irritating, but in a few years, it could be a thing of the past.

A Better Battery on the Way?

A team of engineers at Chicago’s Northwestern University may have found a way to make a battery that lasts longer and charges itself in a few minutes, rather then overnight. This story reports on these research efforts. This is good news for smartphone users worldwide.

According to the article, Northwestern’s researchers have found a means to extend the charge-life of a new lithium-ion battery by a factor of 10. Even after 150 charges—which researchers say represents a year or more of operation—this new battery would still be five times more efficient than the today’s lithium-ion batteries.

A Charged Battery for a Week

In the end, this new cell phone battery could stay charged for an entire week, even with all the apps we use daily. And the charging time? Below 15 minutes. That will sure make our lives easier, but more than this, this new battery technology could lead to smaller and more efficient batteries for electric cars.  This could in turn, have a dramatic effect on our reliance on fossil fuels.

Batteries Powering Technological Change

The new battery technology isn’t available yet for consumers, however the Northwestern researchers say that it could hit the market in three to five years. This is a big step. When we look at breakthroughs in technology, we often forget about the batteries that power our latest gadgets. Battery limitations are one of the factors holding back an even greater technology revolution. The hope is that the research done at Northwestern University changes this.

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