The largest battery in the world has arrived, and you likely won't be surprised where it landed: Hebei Province, China. The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) and electric car maker BYD--the company that most recently made big headlines a few years back when Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway took a 10 percent stake--have teamed to create a massive battery array capable of storing 36 megawatt-hours of electricity.
Over the weekend, faced with the dreaded Yellow Light of Death, I ripped apart a PlayStation 3 and blasted it with a 500-degree heat gun to re-flow the GPU and CPU. It was pretty fun and it worked, much to the delight of the member of my household who was this close to finishing “Batman: Arkham City.” Next time, this new self-healing circuit compound could make our work unnecessary.
I'll start you guys off with a quote here: In talking about Sony's new battery technology, which uses old cellulose product like newspapers and cardboard to generate electricity, the BBC says: "Their work builds on a previous project in which they used fruit juice to power a Walkman music player." Thank you, crazy Sony recycling-engineers.
For years, battery designers have been looking for the next big thing in energy storage technology that could replace the lithium-ion batteries currently found in everything from laptops to smartphones to cars. It turns out they may have simply needed to rethink the existing li-ion battery. Northwestern University researchers have re-engineered a lithium-ion battery that can hold ten times the charge of current batteries on the market, and can charge ten times faster.
Soft robots would be useful for a variety of things — they could grip objects with precision and sensitivity, and they could roll along more quietly than their counterparts with metal exoskeletons. Here is a new one that could do such tasks purely on its own, without any external power source or command center.
We all know that one of the biggest obstacles to electric car adoption is the long, often overnight recharge time. But Nissan claims that they've created a new charging system that'll fill up your car (Nissan would undoubtedly prefer to say "your Leaf") in only ten minutes--not much different than a regular trip to the Earth-killing pump.
To succeed, electric cars require batteries that store the greatest possible amount of energy in the smallest, lightest, safest, and cheapest package possible. But batteries pose a brutal technical challenge--one subject to all manner of misunderstandings and misinformation. Can today's lithium-ion batteries cut it? What new battery technologies lie on the horizon?
Today from 2:30 to 3:30 pm Eastern time, GM's director of Global Battery Systems, Bill Wallace, and PopSci's Seth Fletcher, author of Bottled Lightning: Superbatteries, Electric Cars, and the New Lithium Economy, will field these questions in an online chat, right here.
The Seagate GoFlex Satellite is a simple idea: take a big hard drive with you, wherever you want to go, that doesn't need any advanced setup, that doesn't need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network, and can beam your music, videos, photos, and documents to whatever device you happen to have with you--iPad, smartphone, laptop, whatever. And it does exactly that. Congratulations, iPad/smartphone/etc owner: You now have 500GB of extra storage, no matter which device you're using.
A case in which the conventional wisdom is scientifically inaccurate
By Gordon Mah UngPosted 09.04.2011 at 5:48 pm 0 Comments
Laptop computers used to run on nickel-cadmium batteries, which experienced the "memory effect," where they lost capacity over time if recharged before they were drained. That's no longer the case. Newer laptops use lithium-ion or lithium-polymer batteries. Repeatedly discharging the battery to zero doesn't help a lithium-ion; in fact, it will probably shorten its overall life and capacity.
One of the biggest obstacles facing electric vehicles is their range — the best models on the market can only drive about 100 miles on the highway on a single charge, which is pretty limiting in a world with very few EV charging stations. But AAA, the biggest roadside assistance service in the country, plans to offer a solution that has helped many a stranded motorist who runs out of fuel: An emergency supply of juice.