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New Battery Technology Could Lead to Self-Powered Devices, posted in Batteries, Future Energy, Inventions.


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New Battery Technology Could Lead to Self-Powered Devices

News » Energy | Biofuels | Environment | Hydrogen | Solar | Transportation | Wind
February 22nd, 2010 - View Comments

Self-Powered Devices The advancements that are being made in battery technology are pretty mind boggling. We are seeing devices that are drawing power from just about every source that is imaginable, and now there is battery technology from researchers at Imperial College London that may actually have devices that create their own power. From cell phones to cars and everything in between, there may eventually be nothing more needed that to actually use the device.

This incredible new battery technology works because of the material that is being used in the actual construction of the items. The reason that the new material is making headlines is because of the fact that it can be integrated into the design of an automobile and would make it lighter and more fuel efficient, but could actually supply power to recharge the battery of an electric car.

With the material being able to be strong enough for the construction of a car, there are many other possibilities for its use. Right off the bat, devices such as cell phones, iPods, laptops and anything else that you can think of that would use battery power would be able to benefit from this new battery technology.

In the case of portable devices, the entire outer shell would actually be made from this material and would serve as the charging agent. There would simply never be a need to ever plug the device into a charger again. For cars, areas such as the roof or part of a door panel could have the material integrated into it and the power routed to the battery of the automobile. Again, electric or hybrid car owners are spared the inconvenience of having to recharge their batteries.

Because the material is also super lightweight, it will improve the overall performance of the vehicle as well efficiency of the gas mileage. Because of the lighter weight, the cars would also need fewer batteries to power them. With the cost of the batteries being pretty significant, the overall cost of the car would actually come down with new battery technology.

The new technology is just that, new, so there is still a lot of work to be done in order get it to be as effective as possible. The developers are still continuing to find ways to make it stronger, lighter, more durable and of course more energy efficient. In addition, they are seeking ways to make the actual production of the materials needed more cost effective so that the consumer can truly reap the benefits of this incredible new battery technology.

What do you think?

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  • Mr.Jama

    I totally believe that Material Science will play a vital role in the few upcoming decades. Folks, it’s the Material Science Revolution.

  • Jos Conil

    This is a remarkable initiative with endless possibilities!. It is but a bit too early to comment on its viability.

    From the info in the website, it looks like an ultra high capacity, ultra light & strong capacitor material.

    If it comes out as the researchers envisage, it will indeed be a revolution as the possibilities and applications are virtually endless.

    I wish the scientists at the Imperial college and the Volvo corporation all success in this venture.

  • Jack

    A “self charging” battery that can power cell phones IPods and electrical cars. Call me skeptical if you must but this sounds a lot like perpetual motion to me.

  • Tim

    What is this battery material made of?

  • Scott Jevons

    Does the material convert light to electricity?

  • L.Kassahun

    When we are looking to the green form of energy it will better to look about new battery technology which play great role specially for moving devices. For me the device which is under investigation is very important specially if energies from the sound along the road and friction were incorporated directly with the existing battery storage.

  • WillT

    This is hilarious! But, in all seriousness, it’s clearly made of unobtainium and we’re going to be in for a long and brutal struggle against the natives to secure supplies.

  • skeptic

    “Free” energy” will never be made available under a price system, in which commodities must be kept in limited supply to create sales value. Universal access destroys value. The developers of such technology, as with any priceable commodity, must withhold from some in order that others may profit. Dream on.

  • tharindu

    Is this kind of similar to the nano polymer solar cell that could be coated everywhere?

  • http://www.m2tech.us Mariam Gorjian

    Can someone tell me where to find additional information about this research? I tried the Imperial London College website, but didn’t have any luck there. Other searches just routed me back to this article.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Jos Conil

    Hi Mariam,

    It’s there in the Imperial college website itself. You have to go to news & events and expand it. Here’s the link
    http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_5-2-2010-10-26-39.

  • http://www.m2tech.us Mariam Gorjian

    Thanks Jos Conil for that post!
    Something I thought I would share with the group is this technology being developed by MIT. They are doing some pretty amazing stuff….

    http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/22280/

  • Andrew Troike

    I’m not sure if you’re strictly looking for academic material, but http://syntoniccorp.com provides complete systems similar to this one with solar and wind energy. A cousin of mine uses one of the smaller residential systems with the Outback GTFX2524 inverter they sell with an 8 battery system, it’s really a great concept.

  • Allan

    This new technology combined with another discovery. John Kanzius found a way to burn salt water using radio waves. He used a 13.56Mhz frequency and roughly 200watts. Now using a voltage of 12 volts we use our equation P= I X E

    200watts = 12volts X 16.66amps

    That’s not much energy at all. Is this theory plausible? If so, how hard to implement this idea to change energy as we know it?

  • Joshua K

    This is a brilliant idea i hope that big brother doesn’t shut you down like every other genius idea. Keep the ideas coming!!

  • Tim S

    This is not new, it was advertised several years ago and was going to be used to construct car bodies and toys to supply power to run these. It never happened and probably never will unless we can use science for the good of mankind instead of just making a buck.

  • Golden Voice

    What is it with this “Anti establishment” so many people have when discussing new technology? By this I mean the comments about “I hope Big Brother doesn’t shut you down”, or “…unless we can use science for the good of mankind instead of just making a buck”?

    Okay I get it. People with something of value to others get greedy sometimes. Point taken. But this notion of things such as zero-point energy, devices that literally “power themselves” or otherwise claim to produce “free energy” do nothing of the sort. First and foremost, the mere notion of “free” energy violates all known scientific principles.

    One poster is right in that there will always be a need to control resources in order to support an economic system, but it’s not inherently sinister. Let’s say for the sake of argument that I have a machine that will produce all the electricity the world will ever need out of thin air. It’s still going to cost me something to BUILD that machine, and I can’t EAT my electricity. If you grow vegetables, are you going to feed my family if I give you electricity? If not, then you’re no better than the “greedy capitalist”. If so, then you’re also no different, because you’re still exchanging one thing of value for another. Currency simply provides a common medium for that exchange.

    I’m not trying to incite a debate over economic policy or philosophy here. Rather, I am pointing out that THIS particular story (unlike the one I just read about new battery technology being investigated by MIT) says absolutely NOTHING useful about what’s being researched. I’m not saying the research is invalid, but rather that the story is uninformative and poorly written. It reminds me of those late night TV infomercials where they have testimonial after testimonial about “this great system” and yet all the while tell you NOTHING about what it actually does. What is the basic principle behind this amazing new material? What technology is it based on? Lithium-ion? Polyanalyin? Taking it as a given that there’s no “free ride”, what is meant by devices “power themselves”? Does this material facilitate the absorption of energy from surrounding materials? Induction? Photovoltaics?

    I intend to follow the links posted to the university website. Hopefully there’s more information there, as I’m honestly intrigued. If anyone here knows more (useful) information about this, I’d really be interested in hearing. Cheers all! :)

  • John E.

    Though you state you don’t want to start a discussion about economic philosophy it is a worth while discussion to have. If we rely on parts of a capitalist structure to achieve optimal social benefit and to create grand leaps in technology our intellectual and social growth will be stunted. An amazing, practical discovery has every potential to destroy an existing business/industry. A new energy system that eliminates the need for all the infrastructure and investment of a large for profit existing industry will never be encouraged unless financed and supported by independent investors more interested in human benefit than wealth, or investors who wish to benefit from being cutting edge in a new technology. Of course if the new technology does not lend itself to a profit incentive these investors will not provide funding.I am not saying capitalism is bad. It is simply a matter of recognizing the existence of conflict of interest and not relying on a party whose interest would be injured to drive initiatives that oppose that interest.

    Simple example include the current method of encouraging conservation. We are asking current power generating utilities to drive and finance conservation in existing structures. Studies indicate that simply improving energy efficiency through out the world with current methods can reduce carbon emissions and energy use by 50%. Why would an investor owned for profit power generating utility drive an initiative to reduce demand for their product? Why would the petroleum industry dedicate sufficient R&D funds to significantly reduce demand for their product?

  • Nick

    I think this passage from the url that was posted here says a lot:
    “have a mobile phone that is as thin as a credit card because it no longer needs a bulky battery, or a laptop that can draw energy from its casing so it can run for a longer time without recharging.”

    So it’s believable, but not as “incredible” (unbelievable :) ) as we are led to think in the article above.

  • eric in ga

    I have to agree that politics will ALWAYS be very pertinent to discussions about technological development as long as profit motive is the main driver of investment. On this site as I consider my next line I see ‘tickers’ in the corner advertising ‘Green Jobs’ and ‘Wind Power Service Firm’ and ‘ training courses in renewable energy’ and so on and so on. From a profit motive point of view these seem fine, I suppose.I notice however that Geothermal energy is not included, and I wonder at this omission. I understand that we in fact have a SuperVolcano in America with enough stored and ever renewing energy to probably energize the whole world were it to be tapped in a safe and organized way. I am going to guess that this is considered to be ‘un profitable’ and that is why it isn’t advertised. Also I understand transmission limitations of electrical energy, so powering the whole world with it is impractical. But just imagine … America having enough energy on call 24/7 to power the whole friggen world, basically in an endless supply (till it blows up, at which point as I understand it, we screwed anyhow). why isn’t 1 trillion $ being applied to that over such trivialities as afghanistan or iraq or iran. I’m going to guess the reason is lack of profitability, since after its built, the only real ongoing costs are basic maintenance and USA has effectively unlimited electricity. Profit Motive messes with our minds on SO many levels, its pathetic and its destructive. I would work on that project for food, no problem!

  • eric in ga

    Imagine your house built out of a serviceable modification of this technology. Your whole house in essence one giant battery … whoa, goodbye electric bill, hello solar panels,wind turbine in the yard,and geothermal backups! LoL one time billing yes please! Think of all the millions of poor electrical employees out of work though, how does one get AROUND that quite serious backlash?

  • Dominic

    Simply amazing research!

    Now the idea of self powered devices seems to defy the laws of physics and unfortunately, even if it were scientifically possible, we would never see this technology commercially unless a good way to market it was schemed as it would ultimately be “free” and unlimited energy and the the power/battery/oil/etc companies simply wont stand for that :p

    As a material for storing and delivering an electrical charge, this is amazing and could revolutionize technology as we know it. I recall looking at methanol fuel cell battery prototypes that could power a conventional laptop for about 30 days on a charge, but it was rather bulky. Imagine how much room they can shave off of our devices if the entire chassis is make of this material! I would imagine the molecular structure of this material would allow higher capacity and more rapid charges. With this and all the other new battery technologies on the horizon we are in for some VERY interesting developments to unveil themselves in a few years :)

  • Tim S

    This was a news flash 10 years ago. It’s never been available and never will be while people are still willing to pay for oil.

  • mike

    i bet it disappears, just like the electric car did the first time and the 2nd time it was introduced. imagine what free energy would do to the emerging markets that basically only export oil. this technology if released would cause a global market melt down. put all those oil people out of a job.

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