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Improving Battery Technology

Business Technology | April 27, 2012

The more we rely on mobile devices the more we rely upon one little technology. Batteries. Have you ever reached for your smartphone to look something up or to get directions and discovered that it has died? Well, in a few years, that may be something you don’t have to worry about.

A Better Battery on the Way?

Engineers at Chicago’s Northwestern University have been working on advancements in battery technology and may have discovered a way to make batteries charge in minutes and last significantly longer.

Northwestern’s researchers have found a way to extend the charge of lithium-ion batteries by more then 10 times the present 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 right now.

A Charged Battery for a Week

Here’s the bottom line: The new cell phone battery could remain charged for over a week and then recharge itself in just 15 minutes. This is good 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 powerful batteries for electric cars. This could help the United States—and other countries—cut its reliance upon fossil fuels.

Batteries Powering Technological Change

The new battery technology isn’t available yet for consumers, but the Northwestern researchers say that it could hit the market in three to five years. This is a big step. When we look at advancements in technology, we often 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 changes this.


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