Science 4 min read

11 Batteries that Charge Faster for Longer

VectorPlotnikoff |

VectorPlotnikoff |

In parallel with the development of renewable energies, the need for cheap, efficient, and lighter batteries that charge faster and last longer is a big challenge. 

To update you all on the development of these next-gen batteries, we’ve compiled a list of 11 of the most promising examples–all in varying stages of development.

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Here are 11 Batteries That Charge Faster and Last Longer:

1. Air Batteries

Commercialized for the first time in 1991 by Sony, research continues to improve lithium-ion technology, which has today a predominant place in the market of electronics. High energy density, cost-effectiveness, fast charging, and lightweight are some of the li-ion battery’s main advantages.

Now, lithium-air batteries are experiencing a resurgence in research and development. A concept since 1970, it is thought that lithium and oxygen could theoretically lead to electrochemical cells with the highest possible specific energy.

These batteries have significant drawbacks, not the least of which is a waste of injected energy and a costly set of components to manage input and output of gasses. Yet, a new variation on the chemistry of these batteries by MIT may bring them back into the conversation.

2. Bioo Plant Charger

Bioo is a Spanish, crowd-funded startup that has harnessed photosynthesis to produce electricity from plants. Bioo Lite is a 25x15x15 cm plant pot capable of generating 5.0v, 1.0A  electricity night and day, enough to allow up to 2 charges per day.

That is, of course, if you buy into the efficacy of this project. Redditor @exclamationmarek has a detailed rebuttal to the usefulness of this design.

3. Gold Nanowire Batteries

Developed by a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Irvine, a nanowire-based technology would allow hundreds of thousands of charging cycles. Optimistically speaking, batteries based on this new technology would never need to be replaced.

4. Graphene car Batteries

Grabat Energy belongs to Graphenano, a graphene production company. Grabat develops graphene-polymer storage cells that charge faster and discharge 33 times faster than Li-ion. The 2.3V Grabat enables an electric car to run for 500 miles on a single charge.

5. Solid State Batteries

Using sulfide superionic conductors, scientists at Toyota have created a solid-state battery that was reported in Nature. Aside from being safe and stable, this all-solid-state battery can charge or discharge in just seven minutes, which is ideal for cars.

6. Nano “Yolk” and “Shells”

Electrodes degrade over time and with them the lithium-ion battery’s performance.

“A new ‘yolk-and-shell’ nanoparticle could boost the capacity and power of lithium-ion batteries. The gray sphere at center represents an aluminum nanoparticle, forming the “yolk.” The outer light-blue layer represents a solid shell of titanium dioxide, and the space in between the yolk and shell allows the yolk to expand and contract without damaging the shell. In the background is an actual scanning electron microscope image of a collection of these yolk-shell nanoparticles.” | Christine Daniloff | MIT |

To tackle this issue, a team of researchers from MIT and Tsinghua University in China used nano “yolk-and-shell” to make electrodes with much longer life cycles, thereby enhancing the battery’s performance.

7. Skin Power for Future Wearables

For future wearables and smart clothes, the ideal power source could be as close as the skin. At the IEEE MEMS 2015, researchers from the National University of Singapore have demonstrated a skin-based stamp-sized device that can generate ~90V or .8mW with mild finger touch.

National University of Singapore

8. Transparent Solar Charger

Alcatel, a French manufacturer, has partnered with Sunpartner Technologies to implement the latter’s Wysips technology into its phones. Wysips crystals turn any surface into a solar panel. In the case of Alcatel’s phone, still unavailable commercially, the 90% transparent photovoltaic layer is directly affixed on the screen of the smartphone.

9. uBeam

Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, uBeam is a startup that develops wireless power system. uBeam harnesses ultrasound vibrations present in the air and converts them into electricity through a 5mm thick plate that delivers to any device or appliance.

10. Dew Batteries

As water condenses, droplets spontaneously jump away from superhydrophobic surfaces and create an electric charge. Scientists at MIT have built a system, consisting of interleaved flat metal plates, to harvest the power of dew and subsequently charge electronic devices.

11. StoreDot

StoreDot Ltd. Is an Israeli startup that designs fast-charging systems for mobile devices and electric vehicles. StoreDot’s FlashBattery is an instant-charging battery for smartphones that reaches capacity 20 times faster than Li-ion batteries.

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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