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Long Live The Battery

The upcoming battery revolution

Long Live The Battery

SolidEnergy has a prototype that can store more energy than the battery of the iPhone 6, and is only half its size.

As any iPhone owner can tell you, batteries in smartphones are the bane of technological existence. As our tech devices get bigger, better and badder, the batteries powering them seem to stay the same. Now, after much ado, we finally have major companies experimenting and researching on new battery technologies, but most of them are far from reality and even further this year or the next.

There is one company, however, that claims its battery will be consumer ready as of 2016 and it promises to double the energy density of a traditional lithium ion battery.

The company, SolidEnergy, a start-up out of MIT, already has a prototype that can store more energy than the battery of the iPhone 6, and is only half its size. That means, for the same sized battery, there can be double the energy.

Traditional li-ion batteries use thick graphite anode material, but this new prototype uses an incredibly thin sheet of lithium copper metal foil instead. This particular idea is a brand new one, but past attempts have shown rapid capacity degradation and even short circuits due to the lithium metal reacting with the battery electrolytes.

 For those that charge their phone typically once a day, you’d charge every other day, which is a significantly increased time span over 300 recharges.

SolidEnergy insists they have solved this problem by adding a layer of solid electrolyte to the lithium metal foil, which is thick enough that is won’t allow for a short circuit, but thin enough to support conductivity.

Thus far, the prototype can have 100 recharge cycles and retain 80% of the original energy storage capacity, which to be honest, isn’t that great. However, SolidEnergy guarantees that they will bring it up to 300 rechargeable cycles, which is what we expect from our batteries, and with this battery, it would be much longer, because you wouldn’t be charging as often. For those that charge their phone typically once a day, you’d charge every other day, which is a significantly increased time span over 300 recharges.

The unit is intended to be the first commercial version for smartphones and tablets. It’s likely SolidEnergy’s battery will be the first on revolutionary battery on the market in 2016.

 

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