Yesterday there was also an article about Li-Air cells, so there is certainly a great deal of interest in battery technology. Both articles mentioned capacity but didn't touch on discharge characteristics. Capacity is certainly an important attribute, especially when you see a tear down for a cell phone or tablet, the battery takes up most of the device. As we look to the feasibility of EVs, though, discharge characteristics become very important.
@tekochip - Interesting to see we are looking at improving the batteries we have in the market, especially the ones on our smartphones, tablets, laptop. There are instances where I really run out of power when I really need my smartphone.
With my first cell phone, years ago, I remember taking short trips without packing my charger. Today, that's not possible. I constantly see people hunting for power outlets in airports or desperately borrowing chargers from co-workers.
Boosting the capacity of lithium-ion is going to be a challenge. Mature battery technologies typically reach about 40% of their theoretical energy and lithium-ion is already there. The addition of dead weight components -- electrolytes, terminals, housings -- boost the mass and reduce the specific energy. That's why so many battery developers have begun to look at lithium-sulfur, lithium-air and other chemistries that are farther out.
A higher capacity on lithium-ion batteries would only mean good things for the future of the mobile industry. Smartphones are getting more feature-rich and resource-hungry with each iteration. This is a necessary evolution to cater to such needs, while ensuring lengthier talk times.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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