Have you ever needed your smartphone only to discover that the battery has died and you are nowhere near an outlet? It’s aggravating, but in a few years, it might be a thing of the past.
A Better Battery on the Way?
Engineers at Chicago’s Northwestern University have been working on advancements in battery technology and may have found a way to make batteries charge in minutes and last considerably longer.
Northwestern’s researchers have found a way to increase the charge of lithium-ion batteries by more then 10 times the current lithium-ion battery life. They’re even boasting that after 150 charges, which they believe represents about a year of operation, the new lithium-ion battery will be 5 times more effective than batteries today.
A Charged Battery for a Week
Here’s the bottom line: The new cell phone battery could remain charged for more than a week and then recharge itself in just 15 minutes. This is great news for you: It could mean that your iPod won’t run out of juice while you’re working the treadmill at the gym. But the new, better battery could have a much greater impact: Based on the Northwestern story, this new battery technology could result in smaller and more efficient batteries for electric cars. This may help the United States—and other countries—cut its reliance on fossil fuels.
Batteries Powering Technological Change
The new battery technology isn’t available yet for consumers, however the Northwestern researchers claim that it could hit the market in three to five years. This is a big step. When we look at breakthroughs in technology, we tend to ignore the batteries that power our latest gadgets. Battery constraints are one of the factors holding back an even greater technology revolution. The hope is that the research done at Northwestern University can change this.