An aging transmission line built in 1948 is the only link between the U.S. power grid and the little city of Presidio in West Texas. So Presidio has invested in a single huge battery that can power the entire town and serve as emergency backup for the frequent outages caused by the line going down, NPR reports.
Lithium-ion batteries used in hybrid cars, laptops and cell phones have occasionally undergone recalls and false scares concerning the possibility of exploding. Stanford University scientists have created lithium-sulfide electrodes that could create batteries that last four times longer and avoid any risk of possible explosions, Technology Review reports.
Johnny Cash can't have known about carbon nanotubes when he sang about that burning ring of fire, but MIT scientists have shown how the tiny tubes can channel a ring of heat that creates electrical current -- about 100 times as much energy per unit of weight when compared with a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery.
A battery that runs on air? Why, that’s almost as good as a car that runs on water! Those cars are fantasy, but batteries that run on air are actually quite common, especially among older people. Tiny zinc-air batteries are widely used in hearing aids, where they have replaced toxic mercury-based batteries in providing a small but steady stream of power. They supply more energy for their size than any other battery, because they draw some of their power straight from the air.
Organig LEDs hold large promise for efficient, thin and flexible lighting elements (as well as razor-thin TVs), but low-tech power sources continue to constrain more creative uses of the lights. After all, what good is a shirt of woven LEDs if you need to lug around 10 C batteries to power it? Thankfully, GE is teaming up with the makers of printable, paper-thin battery to create self-powered OLEDs with the battery integrated into the thin light element itself.
Reading the electronic-media narrative as it plays out in many popular tech and news blogs, one would think we are hurtling toward a future where paper is all but unnecessary. But a new development in battery technology could bring paper right back around to its former place of prominence, using it to power the very digital devices -- smartphones, Kindles, laptops, etc. -- that are increasingly replacing print.
We've all been there, angrily jabbing the remote control at the cable box in a futile attempt to change the channel. When remote control batteries die, my sanity often follows closely behind. Well, soon that will be a problem as quaint as running out of whale oil for a lantern, thanks to a new remote control that charges itself with the energy from its buttons.
All batteries need love and the BC-900 is a great way to show that you care. I'm constantly charging for my five digital door locks, flashlights, GPS and cordless mice. This charger has been one of my favorite devices not only for keeping my gadgets going, but for prolonging the life of my rechargeable AAs as well. It sports a display and charge-control modes for each battery. Find out more about what this device can teach you about your batteries after the jump.
Nuclear power has long provided steady energy sources for everything from homes to deep space probes. Now researchers have begun developing a tiny nuclear battery the size of a penny that could provide power in a smaller, lighter, and more efficient package.
Imagine pulling into a service station, but instead of filling the tank with unleaded, you slide out your drained battery and -- for a fee -- slide in a fully charged one. It's a similar model to that many stores use for propane tanks, and it could one envisioned for Tesla's new Model S sedan. Edmunds Green Car Advisor reports the new model was designed with swappable batteries in mind, according to Tesla's outgoing director of vehicle engineering and manufacturing.