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Stretchable Lithium-Ion Battery Could Power Athletes & Patients

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Elizabeth M
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Interesting innovations
Elizabeth M   5/1/2013 7:36:27 AM
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It's cool to see more work being done in this area, Cabe. I've covered some of the innovations in these types of materials and energy sources myself and I find them quite useful technology developments. Some of the energy-harvesting materials in particular that don't even use batteries are interesting as well: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=262437

NadineJ
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Platinum
Re: Interesting innovations
NadineJ   5/1/2013 10:47:47 AM
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The first time I saw a flexible LED screen, I was blown away.  This is even more interesting.  This heavily influenced by textiles construction.  Genius.

How much power is this expected to put out? 

Elizabeth M
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Re: Interesting innovations
Elizabeth M   5/1/2013 10:59:29 AM
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True, Nadine, all these emerging flexible technologies that used to be static and hard are quite impressive. I can't wait to see them all being widely used in the market.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Interesting innovations
Rob Spiegel   5/1/2013 4:02:53 PM
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This technology reminds me of some of the technology imagined in the movie Vanilla Sky -- where everything had a skin of personal interactive advertising. I would imagine there is a wide range of applications for this flexible technology.

Charles Murray
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Re: Interesting innovations
Charles Murray   5/1/2013 9:30:53 PM
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This is one of those developments that could have an endless number of applications. I could see this being used in "powered clothing."

Elizabeth M
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Re: Interesting innovations
Elizabeth M   5/2/2013 7:08:28 AM
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Definitely, Chuck, this could fit right in with alot of the work being done in this area. It could even be paired up with energy-harvesting fabrics to create a super-power stretch suit.

PAULHBERG
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Iron
Re: Interesting innovations
PAULHBERG   5/2/2013 10:24:02 AM
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This technology is ALL well and good. But what about Micro-shorting in the Lithium-ion Battery.  I don't believe many have seen the result of a micro-shorted Lithium-ion Battery.  Would be VERY BAD if all of a sudden your pants EXPLODED.  Just something to consider is all.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Interesting innovations
Cabe Atwell   5/3/2013 2:35:52 PM
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Flexible devices are the next step. I see it mostly used in keeping the device safe from damage. But unique designed gadget are sure to immerge.

Samsung makes bendable displays... Apple makes a bendable watch.

C

Jack Rupert, PE
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Platinum
Re: Interesting innovations
Jack Rupert, PE   5/3/2013 5:12:20 PM
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Cabe - I didn't know that Samsung (or anybody for that matter) had a bendable display like that until I saw your post and googled it.  The general nature of flexible design has a lot of cool possibilities going forward.

Debera Harward
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Re: Interesting innovations
Debera Harward   5/4/2013 5:16:04 AM
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Cabe , i didnt knew that samsung is using stretchable lithium ion batteries and producing flexible screens before your post .No doubt these batteries are the very next technology although a lot of work has to be done in it.These stretchable batteries can also be used to power the bionic eyes

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Interesting innovations
Cabe Atwell   5/10/2013 4:51:10 PM
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Debera & Jack,

I saw the Samsung demo at CES 2013 back in January. With tech ideas like this, it always takes a while for the generational increments to catch up to concepts. Think concept cars versus the ones actually produced.

As Apple stops buying chips and things from Samsung, Samsung will need a new cash cow. Since I am sure they are patenting their bendable tech, keeping it out of Apple's hands, they will have to push the flexibility angle.

I look forward to more rugged tech as a result.

C

Elizabeth M
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Re: Interesting innovations
Elizabeth M   5/6/2013 4:59:47 AM
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Apple makes a bendable watch? Interesting. Is a bendable iPhone on the way? Now that would be cool...though a bit delicate, I imagine!

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Interesting innovations
Cabe Atwell   5/10/2013 4:47:46 PM
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Elizabeth,

Quite the opposite of delicate, the bendable tech could take more of a beating. Durability will be the most coveted feature. In the future, we will not need phone cases and screen protectors.

Combine this with insulating the circuitry from water, a recent trend, and we will all be happy.

C

Elizabeth M
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Re: Interesting innovations
Elizabeth M   5/13/2013 4:19:34 AM
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Ah, interesting, I wouldn't think bendy technology would be so durable offhand but now that I think about it and you mention it, I guess you're right. It could take more of a beating than hard-shelled technology that can crack, break or shatter. So this is the design wave of the future, then, for devices...?

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Interesting innovations
Cabe Atwell   5/17/2013 4:10:36 PM
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Once the Flextronics are cheap enough, we will see it in everything I am sure.

C

AnandY
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Gold
Limitation
AnandY   5/2/2013 8:44:22 AM
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Now researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Illinois have revealed work on a lithium-ion battery that can stretch up to three times its original size.


Its a great technology that lithium-ion batteries can be stretched. As mentioned that batteries can be stretched up-to three times, is this stretching operation is reversible? Is there a limit on number of times battery can be stretched?

NadineJ
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Platinum
Re: Limitation
NadineJ   5/2/2013 10:49:15 AM
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That's a good point.  Fabric memory (or retention) is important.

I doubt that this would be placed on the body at a joint (elbow, knee, hip, etc).  Proper placement, at the forearm or shin for example, would help increase the lifecycle.  3x stretch isn't very much for a textile.  From what I can see, the construction has a "bounce" to it that allows the give in the fabric without compromising the metal.

William K.
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Platinum
The stretchable battery lifetime.
William K.   5/2/2013 10:08:46 AM
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It looks like the stretchable battery would have a lifetime limited by the wear between the different materials as it is stretched and released. That may not be a problem for some uses, but it must absoletely be considered as the product is developed. I have seen a few membrane keypads that have just worn away and no longer function on some keys, and so it is clear that wherever there is motion there is wear. There are ways to extend the time until that wear causes failures, but the fixes only can help if they are included. So while there is a solution it is not automatic, it would need to be intentionally included.

But now the whole concept and realization of an actual stretchable battery is certainly a great achievement, no doubt about that.

Charles Murray
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Re: The stretchable battery lifetime.
Charles Murray   5/2/2013 7:38:22 PM
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I agree, William K. Stretch and release of the material would be key. Maybe it's a little too early to ask this question, but I do wonder what the elastic properties of this material are like. Also, if it's bent at a right angle, would it be subject to strain hardening? Those may sound like little details, but they would bear on the battery's ability to be useful throughout the life of a product.

Jim_E
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Platinum
How does this affect....
Jim_E   5/2/2013 10:10:58 AM
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I wonder how this affects the seemingly inane desire of Lithium-Ion batteries to catch fire....

bobjengr
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Platinum
STRETCHABLE LI- ION BATTERY
bobjengr   5/3/2013 1:22:33 PM
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  Good post Cabe.  I can certainly see how this could improve the lives of many individuals.  From looking at your illustration, it would appear the weight is minimal with materials that are seemingly "off the shelf".   Do you have any information on how this is funded; i.e. private, Federal, etc.?   The reason for asking, I see many federally funded programs being cut over the next few years and this appears to me to be a very worthwhile investigation.  It would be a pity if it got cut.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: STRETCHABLE LI- ION BATTERY
Cabe Atwell   5/3/2013 2:30:52 PM
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Bob,

The project was funded by the "Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern University." In house, quite possibly the best way to get financing.

C

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