While we are used to being told about various charging solutions that can juice up you phone batteries in no time, technologies that can make batteries last for days together under regular usage on a single charge have so far been absent. However, researchers at SolidEnergy Systems have finally achieved the breakthrough.
The researchers at the MIT-funded firm have introduced a new hybrid electrolyte solution inside batteries which works well with Lithium cathodes. Lithium cathodes contain more ions than generally-used graphite ones but react with electrolyte solutions and degrade quickly, causing overheating and depletion of battery life.
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Thanks to the new electrolyte solution, Lithium foil cathodes used in batteries can now boast twice the capacities compared to graphite cathodes in your smartphone battery. If a similar-sized battery with a Lithium cathode is placed inside your phone, it will make the phone last twice as long on a single charge than existing batteries
“With two-times the energy density, we can make a battery half the size, but that still lasts the same amount of time, as a lithium ion battery. Or we can make a battery the same size as a lithium ion battery, but now it will last twice as long,” said Qichao Hu, Chief Executive at SolidEnergy. SolidEnergy may introduce the new battery technology to phone makers as well as manufacturers of wearable devices next year and will make them available to electric car companies in 2018.
This isn't the first time that we have heard about new disruptive technologies being experimented with to prolong battery lives in smartphones and other devices. Intelligent Energy, a UK-based research firm, claimed earlier this year that they will bring in a battery that will keep smartphones alive for an entire week on a single charge. The firm reportedly created a breakthrough fuel cell that is small enough yet powerful enough to fit inside a smartphone and power it for a week on a single charge.
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Back in 2014, the Daily Mail reported that Intelligent Energy was working with Apple to develop new fuel cell technologies to power future iPads and MacBooks. Intelligent Energy also partnered with an “international electronics company” to purchase patents related to a practical application of fuel cell. As per Digital Trends, that partner company was Apple.
“We believe embedding fuel cell technology into portable devices provides a solution to the current dilemma of battery life and with consumers demanding more and more from their phones, battery innovation has not kept up,” said Julian Hughes from Intelligent Energy. Intelligent Energy plans to commercialize its fuel cell battery technology in the next two years.