11 June 2006

Tubed assault on batteries

What do you replace a battery with?

In one company's view, you don't; they're adding nanotubes into batteries to make then “instantly” rechargeable and last longer than the gadget which they run.

Capacitors charge faster and last longer than normal batteries. The problem is that storage capacity is proportional to the surface area of the battery's electrodes, so even today's most powerful capacitors hold 25 times less energy than similarly sized standard chemical batteries.
The researchers solved this by covering the electrodes with millions of tiny filaments called nanotubes. Each nanotube is 30,000 times thinner than a human hair.

Hurrah! Then Schindall adds...

"It's better for the environment, because it allows the user to not worry about replacing his battery," he says. "It can be discharged and charged hundreds of thousands of times, essentially lasting longer than the life of the equipment with which it is associated."

Goodness, my teenage daughter may get some of her life back again in a year or two... phone, media-player, camera... all manner of stuff might suddenly become high-capacity.


Peter Matthes said...

I can think of a few companies who are no going to be happy to hear about this.

Leon Brooks said...

Yes... until they get a foot into that particular market... then it will be "on for young and old" until they either dominate it or go out of business.

Sounds pretty much like the market for computer software. Think in terms of GUIs finally arriving in the general retail area: everybody pooh-poohed them until they suddenly became the magic growing market, then the same companies waxed lyrical about how good and useful they would be...