Friday, July 2, 2010

New Battery Technology

Much of the modern world depends upon batteries. We have more and more portable gadgets that require batteries for the electrical power they consume. (Since requiring a wall-plug would make them significantly less portable.) Good batteries could also free us from the tyranny of gasoline, having cars powered by electricity made by whatever fuel source is cheapest this week.
Discovery News is reporting that a new battery technology would make batteries with ten times the capacity of the previous lithium-ion batteries, thus allowing your gadgets to run ten times as long. Hallelujah.
The new discovery isn't all rainbows and sunshine, though. It's difficult and expensive, involving carbon nanotubes laid exactly-so, so these miracle batteries would cost an order of magnitude more than the ones you have now. You may gain huge benefits, but you'll pay through the nose to achieve them. At least until the technology improves, and the batteries get so commonplace, that they get cheaper and cheaper.
Still, one step closer to decent electric cars, laptops that run for days at a time, and pacemakers that require much less maintenance. Everybody wins.
(Also, this is post #500. Woot.)

3 comments:

Pawl Bearing said...

Yippie, then I can mow the whole lawn without charging breaks or storing smelly gasolene in the shed

themadengineer said...

They make electric lawnmowers? The last one I used was a push-mower. It was human-powered, and reasonably good exercise....

Pawl Bearing said...

Yeah. In many ways they are better than gas ones:
Pros: easy start up, no fuel storage, no fumes, reduced noise.
Cans: heavier, reduced range (and now I know life expectancy), less manly.
However, the one I baught was run of the mill lead acid. Perhaps once Litium ion become affordable or Carbon nanotubes are available, they will become mainstream...

Then we can all buy retro honda troy-bilt lawnmowers and add V2 engines and pictures of flames trailing and take them to hot-blades shows in walmart parking lots.

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