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Micro-Sized Battery Promises to Deliver Power That Is Anything But

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Elizabeth M
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Liquid metal
Elizabeth M   5/29/2013 6:22:20 AM
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Interesting story, Cabe, especially the use of liquid metal. Funny that its use is coming into play in both one of the smallest-sized batteries created to date and one of the largest being proposed by an MIT-based startup: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=259497

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Liquid metal
Ann R. Thryft   5/29/2013 6:57:32 PM
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I agree, Elizabeth, that is an interesting coincidence.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Liquid metal
Elizabeth M   5/30/2013 4:36:59 AM
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I wonder if it also points to the start of a new trend in battery design? Guess we'll just have to see what researchers come up with next!

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Liquid metal
Ann R. Thryft   5/30/2013 1:01:27 PM
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Elizabeth, I echo your hope. I've seen so many new battery technologies proposed or introduced over the last few decades without turning into a new trend in battery design that I don't get as excited as I used to. Let's hope this one is truly different.

NadineJ
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Re: Liquid metal
NadineJ   5/31/2013 11:13:02 AM
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Agreed.  We seem to moving in a poor direction towards battery innovation.  But, a little optimisim helps.

Pubudu
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Re: Liquid metal
Pubudu   5/31/2013 3:34:16 PM
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True Elizabeth, normally the problem is the power source. If the tech is there and durable, there will be wonders coming in. 

shehan
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Re: Liquid metal
shehan   5/31/2013 7:24:10 PM
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@pubudu- yes most batteries on the market are not durable, within few month the batter gets spoiled. 

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Liquid metal
Cabe Atwell   5/29/2013 11:48:19 PM
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We consume all the world's rare-earth elements more ravenously every day. It's a shame tech like this has to go through so many hoops before it makes a public debut.

C

shehan
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Re: Liquid metal
shehan   5/31/2013 7:19:04 PM
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@Cabe – yes these designs eat up most of the valuable resources we have on earth, I am not sure f that's really worth.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Liquid metal
Cabe Atwell   6/10/2013 7:41:14 PM
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Shehan,

Elegance and efficiency aside, we will deplete the world of its battery making materials. It is inevitable.

Efforts like the above may lead to a new understanding, and hopefully a new approach.

C

shehan
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Re: Liquid metal
shehan   5/31/2013 7:17:05 PM
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Interesting story, it's amazing how technology has evolved, very soon we should be able to use a mobile phone for about 3 months by charging once.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Liquid metal
Elizabeth M   6/3/2013 4:42:18 AM
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That is definitely the promise of some of these batteries, and it's about time! I have always wondered why battery technology has not evolved as quickly as other technology, why we've had what seems like the same battery life for years. It's good to see these inventions moving forward at a fast pace.

ScotCan
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Re: Liquid metal
ScotCan   6/3/2013 9:40:39 AM
45 years ago the Mallory Battery Company of Canada developed the most powerful D cell utilizing a porous anode patented construction analogous to what you read here...only nanotechnology did not exist then. Why wasn't the advanced technology exploited at that time? Politics and the NIH syndrome...so that's one answer why battery advances have not been made over the years. 

Amclaussen
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Well said Cabe.
Amclaussen   5/30/2013 11:27:55 AM
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Article says: "there is a general tradeoff when designing for battery capability -- either you get a high-capacity, low-power battery, or, a high-power, low-capacity battery..." Well said. Up to now, that has been almost a law! Let's see how this subject evolves in the near future (I hope!). I dream of a set of powerful electric hand tools powered by still more powerful, compact and lightweight batteries that can be recharged in a couple of minutes. Present day LiIon's are a step above NiMetal, which were only a moderate improvment over the NiCads.

Amclaussen.

Watashi
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Re: Well said Cabe.
Watashi   5/30/2013 2:15:20 PM
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How about a smart phone that only needs charged once every couple of months!

But, I'd probably just end up losing the charger if I needed it that infrequently.

Amclaussen
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Re:Murphy's Law
Amclaussen   5/30/2013 2:41:48 PM
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EXACTLY: I cannot find the battery charger for my video camera, that I seldom use.

Murphy was right of course, but he was an optimist too.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re:Murphy's Law
Ann R. Thryft   5/31/2013 12:35:58 PM
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Hmmm, so if Murphy's law says something always goes wrong and that's an optimistic statement, that means the number of things going wrong exceeds the number of things that happen in the first place which could go wrong. Can you explain the math? :) Or did I miss something?



Amclaussen
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Re:Murphy's Law
Amclaussen   5/31/2013 2:34:39 PM
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I was trying to overemphasize that...  as a funny comment, as in: "Murphy came up short..."

But on the serious side, I frequently find inexperienced engineers tend to understimate the power of Murphy's Law.  And NOBODY is free from it.

At my home shop, I have dedicated an entire wall to Murphy's memory, writing in large, clearly readable letter sizes the famous corolaries of that infamous law, along with a right hand side space, where I put a clean slate to write down every goof I do.  The other day I was finishing an Auto transmision fluid change and flushing, and had hand threaded 13 of the 14 screws that hold the transmission pan to the transmission body, happily singing "I'm almost done, tra la la..." when I noticed a little O'ring on the floor, almost laughing at me; I had forgotten to place it on the filter inside the pan, and now I had to take out all the pan screws, remove the pan (already stuck with silicone sealer, guaranteeing a sticky mess), and the filter.  That proved Murphy is still active! ;-)

Ann R. Thryft
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Re:Murphy's Law
Ann R. Thryft   5/31/2013 4:33:05 PM
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I know you were being funny, Amclaussen--I just thought the implied math was also funny. And I think you're right about how many people, including engineers, underestimate the power and breadth of application of Murphy's Law. I like your memorial wall idea.

far911
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Re:Murphy's Law
far911   5/31/2013 3:16:01 PM
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At this point, it doesn't matter how long the battery can last, but how long it can hold its charge capacity over a period of usage. It's important to maximize the number of charge cycles the battery can offer so that people don't have to replace their batteries very often. 

shehan
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Re:Murphy's Law
shehan   5/31/2013 7:22:54 PM
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@far911 – yes all that matters is how long it could hold its charge and the number of recharge times it could be used. 

a.saji
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Re: Well said Cabe.
a.saji   5/31/2013 1:14:16 AM
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@watashi: Im not sure if its practical since the battery power is designed based on the usage not on the time frame. So the more you use the quicker it dies.   

shehan
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Re: Well said Cabe.
shehan   5/31/2013 7:20:55 PM
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@Watashi – yes if this works out, we won't need to charge a mobile phone for months. Imaging the capacity it could store on the small battery and the discharge rate is also low. 

SiliconGraybeard
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Silver
Wait - That Can't Be Right??
SiliconGraybeard   5/30/2013 6:14:28 PM
Wait - that can't be right, can it? "30 times farther"?

RF requires 3 dB more power to go twice the distance. 30 times farther is close to 5 doublings or 2^5. 30 dB more power is 1000x the power.

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