Your smartphone is wonderful. It can guide you to that trendy new fusion restaurant if you’re lost. It can play your favorite sitcom as you head to work on the train. It can play your favorite song at the touch of a button. However it can’t do any of this if its battery is dead.
A Better Battery on the Way?
Engineers at Chicago’s Northwestern University have been working on advancements in battery technology and may have discovered a way to make batteries charge in minutes and last considerably longer.
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 effective than the today’s lithium-ion batteries.
A Charged Battery for a Week
This might be hard to believe, especially with all the apps we run on our devices, but this new battery may stay charged for a whole week. And the charging time might be less then 15 minutes. Which will obviously make life easier but this technology may have a much more important impact then that. It could be applied to the batteries utilized in electric cars, causing them to be much more efficient, and drastically decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels.
Batteries Powering Technological Change
The new battery technology isn’t available yet for consumers, but the Northwestern researchers claim that it could hit the market in 3 to 5 years. This is a big step. When we look at advancements in technology, we tend to forget about the batteries that power our latest gadgets. Battery constraints are one of the factors holding back an even greater technology revolution. The hope is that the research done at Northwestern University changes this.