Improving Battery Technology

Have you ever needed your smartphone only to discover that the battery has died and you’re nowhere near an outlet? It’s annoying, but in a few years, it could be a thing of the past.

A Better Battery on the Way?

A team of engineers at Chicago’s Northwestern University may have found a way to make a battery that lasts longer and charges itself in a few minutes, instead of overnight. This story reports on these research efforts. This is fantastic news for smartphone users around the world.

What they are working on is a new lithium-ion battery that has more then 10 times the life of present batteries. Additionally, after a year of operation, which the researchers estimate to be about 150 charges, these new lithium-ion batteries would continue to be 5 times more effective then today’s lithium-ion batteries.

A Charged Battery for a Week

Ultimately, this new cell phone battery could stay charged for a full week, despite all the apps we use daily. And the charging time? Under 15 minutes. That will sure make our lives easier, but more than this, this new battery technology may lead to smaller and more efficient batteries for electric cars.  This could in turn, have a dramatic effect on our reliance on fossil fuels.

Batteries Powering Technological Change

The new battery technology isn’t available yet for consumers, but the Northwestern researchers claim that it could hit the market in three to five years. This is a big step. When we look at breakthroughs in technology, we tend to ignore the batteries that power our latest gadgets. Battery limitations are one of the factors holding back an even greater technology revolution. The hope is that the research done at Northwestern University changes this.