By looking to Mother Nature for solutions, researchers have identified a promising new binder material for lithium-ion battery electrodes that could not only boost energy storage, but also eliminate the use of toxic compounds now used in manufacturing the components.
Known as alginate, the material is extracted from common, fast-growing brown algae. In tests so far, it has helped boost energy storage and output for both graphite-based electrodes used in existing batteries and silicon-based electrodes being developed for future generations of batteries.
The research, the result of collaboration between scientists and engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Clemson University, was reported Sept. 8 in Science Express, an online-only publication of the journal Science. The project was supported by the two universities, as well as by a Honda Initiation Grant and a grant from NASA. [via]
Seaweed polymer may improve electrodes in Lithium-Ion batteries - [Link]
Photovoltaic polarizers enable devices to be powered by sunlight
New technology developed by researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science could finally help solve the problem of smartphones or laptops running down when there is no access to an electrical outlet.
UCLA engineers have created a novel concept for harvesting and recycling energy for electronic devices — one that involves equipping these devices’ LCD screens with built-in photovoltaic polarizers, allowing them to convert ambient light, sunlight and their own backlight into electricity. [via]
Phone LCDs charge … phone batteries! - [Link]
California-based company Leyden Energy is currently working on developing a new type of chemistry for lithium-ion batteries. If these efforts succeed, then experts here may develop batteries that do not overheat like traditional ones do, leading to new applications.
One of the most exciting prospects is the use of Li-Ion batteries in electric vehicles. This could mean that the automotive industry might become more receptive to creating such vehicles in the near future. [via]
Non-heating lithium-ion batteries in the making – [Link]
A book about Lithium batteries “Bottled Lightning: Superbatteries, Electric Cars, and the New Lithium Economy”… This looks interesting! [via]
Electric cars are real—see the Tesla Roadster, Chevy Volt, and hybrids like the Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius—but the drive to create safe, lightweight, and long-lasting batteries to power them has been anything but smooth. Faced with political, technological, and management obstacles, battery technology still lags. In the mid-1800s Fletcher says, clean, cheap lead-acid batteries were developed that by the early 20th century were preferred for use in automobiles over “unreliable, complicated, loud, and dirty” gasoline-powered cars—until it came time to refuel. Thomas Edison tried to invent a safe, longer-duration battery, even experimenting with small amounts of lithium, but then Charles Kettering patented an automatic starter for gas engines, and the battle was lost.
Smog and 1970s gas shortages revived interest in electric cars—and lithium batteries. But obstacles remain: Bolivia, Chile, and China have less than optimal political leadership and minimal infrastructure to safely mine and process the poisonous ore. More importantly, many technical challenges must be overcome before electric cars and buses become everyday modes of transportation. But Fletcher remains optimistic. He balances science and history with a closeup look at business practices and priorities, providing lucid and thorough coverage of a timely topic.
“[Fletcher] follows lithium from the South American salt flats where most lithium minerals are mined to the labs of General Motors, tracing its journey from obscure metal to one of the most sought-after resources on earth—and perhaps the centerpiece of the automotive future.”
A book about Lithium batteries “Bottled Lightning: Superbatteries, Electric Cars, and the New Lithium Economy” – [Link]
The history and technology in batteries by Jeri Elsworth. This is part of A – Z electronics series sponsored by adafruit.com
Batteries – A to Z of Electronics… – [Link]
This article discuss how to make your own LiIon batteries using obsolete Li-Ion pack able to power a robot. The overall cost is about 10$ to build a 14.4V 2.2Ah Li-ion pack. Read about the procedure on the link below.
Making your own lithium-ion batteries – [Link]
If you own a motorcycle, a motor home, a caravan, a lawn mover, a day cruiser or maybe a vintage car you must at some point had to write off a lead acid battery. When a battery is improperly charged or allowed to self-discharge as occurs during non-use, sulphate crystals build up on the battery’s plates.
Pulse Charger for reviving tired Lead Acid batteries - [Link]
This circuit was created for digital cameras. It’s known the digital cameras have considerable power consumption. For example my camera Minolta E223 requires approximately 800 mA. In practice a mains power supply or high capacity NiMH accumulators (batteries) can satisfy this demand.
Batteries charger & PSU – ideal for digital cameras – [Link]
I recently ordered a $37 battery desulfator kit. It looks like a pretty simple device that sends pulses to lead acid batteries to help clean the battery plates. There are many success stories on the net about resuscitating essentially “dead” lead acid batteries. Since we have two electric vehicles and live off grid we have a lot of motivation to take care of our batteries. I’ve seen kits that sell for hundreds of dollars, but this 555 based kit seems to kick out a lot more juice than the fancy ones with wimpy solar panels. [via]
Desulfator kit - [Link]
Fast charger for NiCd, NiMh, LiPo and SLA batteries
The Universal Charger usage is very easy but some point must be strictly followed in order to avoid any problem in battery and charger management. First read the charger documentation, then follow these recommendations in order to have a good charger usage.
Universal Charger – [Link]