Monday, December 01, 2008

Better Batteries Begin With Sand

Well not sand exactly. Silicon nanowires.

Stanford researchers have found a way to use silicon nanowires to reinvent the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power laptops, iPods, video cameras, cell phones, and countless other devices.

The new technology, developed through research led by Yi Cui, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, produces 10 times the amount of electricity of existing lithium-ion, known as Li-ion, batteries. A laptop that now runs on battery for two hours could operate for 20 hours, a boon to ocean-hopping business travelers.

"It's not a small improvement," Cui said. "It's a revolutionary development."
You can get all the technical details by reading the article. Think of what such a development would mean for a hybrid or an all electric vehicle.

We know doing things in a lab is a lot easier than manufacturing mass quantities. So what are the prospects for manufacturing what I call Lithium Super Batteries? Pretty good.
Cui said that a patent application has been filed. He is considering formation of a company or an agreement with a battery manufacturer. Manufacturing the nanowire batteries would require "one or two different steps, but the process can certainly be scaled up," he added. "It's a well understood process."
That is good news. Very good news.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

4 comments:

Snake Oil Baron said...

Sounds intriguing! A gain like that could open up a lot of applications that just are not practical or economical at the moment. How many mobile robots have been demonstrated recently which are severely limited by their power supply?

rumcrook said...

im a more practical guy what will this do for my dewalt 18 volt drill?

will I get to use it for a whole day without charging?

M. Simon said...

will I get to use it for a whole day without charging?

Possibly.

The other alternative is a lighter battery pack.

LarryD said...

Lighter and cheaper are also good. Battery tech has always been one of the big stumbling blocks, and not just for electric cars.