Imagine that you could charge a car battery as quickly as you fill up a tank of gasoline today. Stop imagining –it has become possible. Researchers have developed a new lithium battery technology that can charge and discharge in a matter of seconds.
The journal Nature is reporting that Byoungwoo Kang and Gerbrand Ceder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a glass-like Lithium mixture for electrodes that allows a charge to be rapidly stored inside of a battery. The battery is designed so that lithium ions move more freely, moving the charge in and out of storage from cathode to electrolyte. The material also retains its capacity through charge cycles.
However, don’t expect laboratory performance at home just yet. Ars Technica has noted that the battery are not entirely compatible with today’s electric grid. For example, a cell phone battery would drawn 360W in ten seconds– for a single charge. Cue the blown circuit breakers.
I’m certain that some happy medium will be reached, and we can all look forward to more advanced batteries in our electronics. This breakthrough eliminates many of the restrictions that today’s batteries place on device manufacturers, and will should lead to more powerful mobile hardware and a greater variety of devices. It’s a big win for consumers and the industry alike.