Battery breakthroughs slash charge time
Inconvenient battery charging could soon be a thing of the past thanks to scientists at MIT who have developed a battery that can be fully charged in under 20 seconds. Their work on lithium batteries has uncovered that although lithium batteries dispense power slowly, they don't need to be charged slowly. It was previously thought that lithium limited charging speed but the scientists have found the limitation isn't in the lithium but in the substrate around it. The tech could be available in two to three years because it doesn't represent a fundamental shift away from traditional lithium battery technology. However, some concerns remain as to what speeds can actually be achieved. A key limitation will be the source power available and many domestic power-points won't be able to deliver the speed suggested.
In the meantime, battery technology is improving. HP has announced it is to shift laptop batteries that are guaranteed to operate for three years and roughly 1,000 recharge cycles without degrading. That's two to three times more than a typical lithium ion battery and the batteries, which use Sonata cells from Boston Power, will charge up to 80% of their capacity in 30 minutes. The batteries will cost around US$20 more than standard replacement batteries currently on offer.
March 24, 2009NeilNow that sounds like a dream (please wake me up when I've finished this post!)...my Lithium Iron laptop battery is completely useless (battery memory, very slow charge time, especially when charged during use, and is essentially the inverse of what this technology proposes, i.e. it takes far longer to charge than to discharge).
If guinea pigs are required to test this option, count me in.