Yet Another Battery Technology Discovery to Forget

Rejoice, for scientists have accidentally found a way to prolong battery life with up to 400%:

http://www.sciencealert.com/researchers-accidentally-made-batteries-that-last-400-times-longer^

Now rejoice less, because in the past decade we’ve learned about at least twenty such discoveries. Not a single one made it to the market yet. I don’t know if this is some sort of commercial strategy or if these discoveries are just very difficult to implement for mass production and thus, unfeasible.

Our frustration with battery technology has been simmering for many years, which is why it is probably quite easy for any University to obtain funding for addressing this concern. Perhaps this is the reason why these “discoveries” keep popping up – the researchers need to publish something to justify their work and the press is eager to disseminate it because we all want to charge our devices faster and have them last longer on a single charge.

I wish they’d finally bring at least a minor improvement to market, because energy storage technology has been advancing at a snail’s pace for many decades now. The only major advancement was the switch to lithium and that happened a long time ago (even though it’s true that lithium technology has progressed a lot). For now, I’ll just forget I read about this recent discovery and get back to being resigned regarding this entire affair.

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2 Comments

  1. Climber

    Reply

    Things are more complicated than it seems at the first glance. Switching to lithium was a major advance, but nothing new. I have a book about batteries written in ’64 and they mention lithium technology, and there are also other technologies that never made it to the market. Beasides what you said, there are a lot of things that have to be considered. There are a lot of tests to be made, batteries have to comply lot of regulations before reaching the market, and they have to be safe for the user.
    Lithium technology evolved a lot in the last decade as far as safety is concerned. Back then lithium batteries used to be hand grenades; now you need some imagination to blow one up, and still, accidents happen.
    Developments in nanotechnology will definitely bring us better batteries. When? I don’t know, but I guess it will take 3 to 6 years. I don’t know which technology will survive, but I think we’ll see a radical switch in energy storage technology. If you ask me, I would put my money on supercapacitors, but only time will tell.

    • Reply

      They’ve kept saying 3 to 6 years for the past 15 years :D. I do hope you’re right. And thank you for an insightful comment. I will update the article right now to do justice to lithium technology :).

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