When you see stories that talk about batteries that last forever, you may think, “Great, I’ll never have to charge my phone again.” But there’s so much more to it than that. Some big things are happening in batteries that promise to change everything.
A team from Graphene 3D Labs has spent over five years designing a material that can be 3D printed into a functioning battery. It conducts electricity 30 times faster than silicon, and based on various designs, could print batteries for multiple applications on the fly.
Across the globe at Nanyang Technological University, a team of researchers has developed a lithium ion battery that can charge up to 70 percent in just two minutes, and will last for over 20 years. They use titanium dioxide nanotubes instead of traditional graphite, which speeds up the battery’s chemical reactions.
Yet another team, this time from Ohio State University, is working on a solar battery. This eliminates the loss of electricity that happens when the solar cell and battery interact, and enables the battery to continuously charge from free, limitless solar energy, all while it’s in use.
These are just a few of the many experiments aiming to improve battery technology. And here’s how it’s going to change everything.
1. Super batteries are going to be a game changer for electric cars.
One of the big barriers to adoption for electric cars is the long time it takes to charge them. With new battery technology, charging your battery might look more like filling up at the pump rather than having to let it sit in the garage overnight.
2. Super batteries are going to change life in the developing world.
In places where power grids are unreliable or nonexistent, it can be difficult to adopt new electronic technologies. Rolling blackouts are the norm in big cities, and remote farms are lucky to have access to power at all. Reliable batteries that can charge fast and last long will be a huge help.
3. Super batteries might be able to unlock environmentally sustainable power.
Solar cells have been around for decades, but the big problem with adopting solar or wind power at mass scale is that we don’t currently have an affordable way to store the energy at night or when the wind isn’t blowing. New battery tech might be able to change that.
4. These batteries could trigger drone ubiquity.
Weather drones, Wi-Fi drones, delivery drones…there are endless uses for the year’s trendiest gizmo. If equipped with the right batteries, they could conceivably stay airborne for long periods of time, allowing them to hover in place or travel long distances while collecting and transmitting data.
This piece is part of Verizon Wireless' #PowerfulTech series. Share your thought, tips and comments on Twitter using the hashtag #PowerfulTech.
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