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Why Are Batteries Still Awful?

Andre Radensky

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[ot-caption title=”The future may see truly wireless charging. (via pixabay/JuralMin”]

For anyone who owns a smart electronic device, the most frustrating occurrence, without fail, is when the screen goes black because the battery has been depleted. This led a number of people to ask why electronics, particularly smartphones and computers, have been able to make such great advances in processing power and capability, but still falter greatly with battery life. Today, even the best phones only last for about an entire day on one charge.[spacer height=”20px”]

MIT’s technology review reported on this same issue, and the Department of Energy has gone so far as to hold expos on moving beyond modern battery technology and chemistry. People are looking to new materials and compounds like graphene (a single layer of carbon) to be the future of battery technology. The issues plaguing the industry are mainly on cost and scalability.[spacer height=”20px”]

The synthesis of graphene is an altogether difficult process, as graphene cannot be made in mass quantities or in large enough sizes. However, it is generally recognized that the lithium based technology from lithium-ion to lithium-polymer that has and continues to power much of consumer electronics will not be the remedy to the industry’s woes. Other people place an emphasis on the charging technology that have an aspect of battery technology, wherein battery take a matter of seconds to charge instead of hours. Additionally, wireless charging technology could rectify many issues, as truly wireless charging would allow for unencumbered use in a given region.[spacer height=”20px”]

The reality of battery power today is one of incredible computing power in portable devices that perpetually require more juice from aging battery technology. With great battery technology, the future could see power grids, which hold great reservoirs of electrical power in the form of batteries and renewable energy, become supreme. This is true because the grid will not be fully dependent on the shine of the sun or force of the wind and electric cars could drive for thousands of miles. This reality will only come with new materials and chemical compounds for batteries; it is dependent upon continued innovation into research and production capabilities for batteries.[spacer height=”20px”]

Sources: MIT Technology Review, Business Insider  Photo Source: pixabay

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Why Are Batteries Still Awful?