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Power Science

Researchers Accidentally Make Batteries That Could Last A Lifetime (computerworld.com) 197

Reader Socguy writes: A typical Lithium-ion battery breaks down badly between 5000-7000 cycles. Researchers at the University of California may have discovered a simple way to build a Lithium battery that can withstand 100,000+ cycles. This was a serendipitous discovery as the researcher was playing around with the battery and coated it in a thin gel layer. The researchers believe the gel plasticizes the metal oxide in the battery and gives it flexibility, preventing cracking.Dave Gershgorn, reporting for Popular Science: Instead of lithium, researchers at UC Irvine have used gold nanowires to store electricity, and have found that their system is able to far outlast traditional lithium battery construction. The Irvine team's system cycled through 200,000 recharges without significant corrosion or decline. However, they don't exactly know why. "We started to cycle the devices, and then realized that they weren't going to die," said Reginald Penner, a lead author of the paper. "We don't understand the mechanism of that yet." The Irvine battery technology uses a gold nanowire, no thicker than a bacterium, coated in manganese oxide and then protected by a layer of electrolyte gel. The gel interacts with the metal oxide coating to prevent corrosion. The longer the wire, the more surface area, and the more charge it can hold. Other researchers have been experimenting with nanowires for years, but the introduction of the protective gel separates UC Irvine's work from other research.Also from the report, "Penner suggests that a more common metal, like nickel, could replace the gold if the technology catches on."
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Researchers Accidentally Make Batteries That Could Last A Lifetime

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  • Who cares? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It's not like this technology will ever make its way into my devices. Greedy bastards will patent it and demand huge fees to license the technology. It's also not good for the greedy bastards running businesses. The batteries won't break, which means they can't compel people to buy new stuff. Greedy fuckers will make sure this never makes its way into anything I own.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Archtech ( 159117 )

      An understandable reaction, but it's not likely things will work out that way. Makers of current battery types will have to shift quickly; but just think of all the devices that use batteries, and that can now be made so very much better!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        In case people don't spot the sarcasm, decades ago researchers discovered out how to make cheap lightbulbs that last forever, but makers collectively realized that it would kill their business and decided not to make them.

        • that might only happen if they manage to create a battery where a single charge lasts a life time. It might physically last a life time regarding charge cycles but i doubt they've got it to hold its charge for much longer than current timescales
        • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

          by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @01:24PM (#51965743) Homepage Journal

          Everybody knows how to make bulbs that are cheap and last forever. What's hard is making them so that they are simultaneously bright and energy-efficient and still last forever. If you make them brighter by making the filament thinner so that they burn hotter, it makes them more fragile. If you make them brighter by adding more filaments in parallel, they use more power. Bright, energy-efficient, robust—choose (at most) two.

          • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

            Can you link me to one that is "bright and robust"- lasts a lifetime, is bright, but isn't efficient? I'd definitely like at least one bulb like that.

            • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

              ...and if you can't find that one, how about a dim bulb that lasts forever, like that firestation bulb that has been going a hundred years or whatever? If there's no "bright and robust", just link me "robust and efficient". Or, really, just "robust".

              • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

                by Seraphim1982 ( 813899 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @02:26PM (#51966293)

                If you're using the "firehouse" bulb as your definition of "robust" then many incandescents made in the last 50 years would meet that standard.
                Lifetime is approximately proportional to light output ^ -4.
                The firehouse bulb is a 4 Watt bulb.
                So if you took a 'normal' 40W bulb, and reduced the voltage to make it run at 4W, you'd end up with 10000x the 'normal' life of a 40W bulb (i.e. millions of hours).

                • by delt0r ( 999393 )
                  But at 4W does it put any light out in the visible spectrum. I would suspect probably not.
          • I bought a set of $6 LED bulbs at Costco to replace the 6 can lights in my kitchen.

            These "75w" equivalent are so much brighter than the incandescents they replaced, we keep them dimmed all the time.

            Based on the ridiculous California electric rates, my ROI is something like 9 months (since my wife doesn't seem to know that the switch can be put in the off position...)
            • wife doesn't seem to know that the switch can be put in the off position...

              I dunno, sounds like that might be a lot of wear and tear on the switch...

            • I've had several LED bulbs burn out in 1-2 years. The LED itself is probably still fine, but the electronics died.
              • I have a few Philips dimmable LEDs that were crazy expensive. The _outside_ temperature goes to the limit of the capacitor(encased in some material) on the inside.
                I suspect that on many LEDS, the operating temperatures will kill these capacitors. I have a few other LED's with SMD mounted capacitors(with much higher operational temperatures), they are built for 12v G4 replacements and I have a power supply for those that feeds them DC instead of AC. so it will be interesting to see how long they last, they h

              • If they burned out in 1-2 years they're still under warranty.

                I've had bulbs for going on 8 years without failure. LEDs are more than reliable enough. I've even bought off brand, Feit from CostCo without issue.
        • decades ago researchers discovered out how to make cheap lightbulbs that last forever, but makers collectively realized that it would kill their business and decided not to make them.

          That's dumb. It would be smarter to sell them at a hefty premium.

        • citation needed.

          • While it's arguable that "someone" "invented" an everlasting lightbulb, what is true is that the industry organized into a cartel in the early 20th Century and specifically banned their members from producing longer lasting lightbulbs, something that is relatively easy (albeit at the expense of efficiency.)

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

            • yes, the trusts were genuinely out of control back then. at least many of the robber barons endowed universities and other cultural institutions.

              It's interesting that today's LEDs will last for 10+ years. Heck, even CFLs will last 5+. Speaking of CFLs, I went to heck and back trying to find a neutral white CFL color. The original ones were the bright white flourescent, made you feel like you were in an ER. These are 5000K lights. Then there are the mellow white/yellows, also called "warm light", also called

        • citation needed. What I can find says that while yes bulbs would last very very long, they produced less light per watt so over time cost MORE to operate than to buy 'normal' cheap incandescent bulbs. Hence them not making a good long term solution.

          link 1 [permies.com]

          link 2 [priceonomics.com]

          the second link talks about a supposed 'cartel' but says there's no evidence supporting that it was formed to introduce planned obsolescence.
    • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

      by known_coward_69 ( 4151743 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @12:54PM (#51965453)
      you should invent your own slightly different version and give it away for free
    • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @12:56PM (#51965471)

      The thing is... greed doesn't work that way.

      Yes, they may try and hold it as long as possible to increase value, but note that something that sits in your vault, unused, doesn't make any money. And if they patent it, the patent does run out eventually. They need to do *something* with it.

      More likely, it becomes used in very, very expensive applications where they can charge an arm and a leg for it. I'm thinking military equipment as a good target.

      Eventually, though, unless it is uneconomical to mass produce, it will make its way into other things. Those who are greedy may well try and use older tech to keep it breaking, but someone who wants to break into the market, or someone even greedier is going to use it to differentiate their product in order to eat the lunch of the people using the inferior tech.

      Note that it is possible for the better tech to be stopped, possibly through suggesting it is not safe (FUD) or some sort of paid-for government regulation, but greed by itself, won't stop this.

      • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sims 2 ( 994794 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @01:08PM (#51965611)

        Well If I happen to own a massive industry that sells batteries that go bad and have to be replaced every 5 years.....and someone comes up with a battery that doesn't need to be replaced it would most definitely make me a lot of money to buy the patent for a few million dollars and sit on it until it ran out and keep selling the batteries that have to be replaced.

        This is just one of the reasons that patents really ought to be use it or lose it.

        • This is just one of the reasons that patents really ought to be use it or lose it.

          Yes, that is a very good suggestion.

        • Well If I happen to own a massive industry that sells batteries that go bad and have to be replaced every 5 years.....and someone comes up with a battery that doesn't need to be replaced it would most definitely make me a lot of money to buy the patent for a few million dollars and sit on it until it ran out and keep selling the batteries that have to be replaced.

          Do you have a citation of a single instance where a company purchased a patent, sat on it, and then when the patent finally expired the market exploded for that thing?

          You guys are sounding like those patent conspiracy wanks that dont even know that patents are public information (ie, "the oil industry purchased a patent for insanely efficient engine and has locked it away forever" nut fools)

          • Chevron's purchase of the patent on NiMH vehicle batteries is the closest example.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

            Of course by the time the patent ran out, NiMH batteries were already obsolete. Luckily it was a short-lived technology in terms of usefulness. Imagine if the patent were on Li-ion vehicle batteries instead.

            • > Of course by the time the patent ran out, NiMH batteries were already obsolete.

              Far from obsolete. We don't see them in smartphones and tablets/PDAs or laptops any more because they do not match the power densitity of Li-Ion batteries (remember, power density is king!) but for consumer replaceble secondary (rechargable) cells they are only growing in popularity, especially now that self-discharge rates come close to matching Li-ion cells' charge retention and aren't too far off from primary cells in thi

              • Why don't we see Li-Ion rechargable batteries from Enloop, Energizer, or (ugh) Ray-o-Vac, etc. but only Chinese vendors?

                I thought it was because the voltages were wrong? Energizer/Duracell sells disposable lithium. I don't think liability can be a serious problem, since literally every person I know keeps a lithium battery in their pocket or purse now - and they are allowed on airplanes.

                Kentli sells Lithium rechargeables at 1.5v by including a built-in buck converter. Neat trick, but it seems awkward.

              • As MightyYar said, the reason we don't have Li-ion rechargeable AA/AAA/C/D/9v batteries is because the voltages would be wrong simply due to the chemistry differences. Alkaline cells are 1.5V and lithium cells are 3.6V so the two will never align nicely for any combination of batteries you're likely to see in a consumer device.

          • Re:Who cares? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by rraylion ( 1406761 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @02:32PM (#51966353)

            In the early years of electricity light bulb makers realized how to make light bulbs last for up to 5 years or longer. However someone else quickly realized that this would mean people would only buy light bulbs every X years as replacements. So a light bulb standard was introduced and passed through congress that effectively limited the lifespan of the light bulb to 1 year. Thus guarantee that people would purchase the product many times.This is called planned obsolescence and exists to this day because of the Phoebus cartel.

            links to proof IEEE: http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-... [ieee.org]
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

            So about patent expiration and things that get bigger when someone does not hold the patent any longer : drugs. And lets pick My favorite drug to talk about Viagra. Viagra started as a possible high blood pressure treatment, but the side effects were amazing as we all know, its patent was scheduled to expire in 2012. So Pfizer sold it for what it did best. Then it became profitable and they increased the price to 60 a pill and a minimum or 8 pills costs someone 500 USD or so. But if Pfizer can show Viagra is a treatment for more than what it was originally marketed for, they can issue a whole new patent for the drug. This is what drug manufacturers do to keep control of a drug and its profits. This is par for the course. Lucky for you and me this drug seems to have only two good usages, luckily i have high blood pressure ;-) And Pfizer extended the patent for the second use case to 2020.

            So there is literally a market waiting to explode based on a patent expiring.

            Case 2: cell phone modems. This technical patent expired around '99 and those companies selling beepers upgraded to selling cell phones.
            Case 3: K-cups
            Case 4: 3D printing - the entire industry kick started in 2013 once the patents expired , and then in 2014 when most of the rest expired
            Case 5: Kodak and the digital photography patent : (should be #1 but everyone studies this is college as one of the greatest mistakes )
            case 6: home telephones: At&t used to lease telephones to people who paid for a home phone - thats why we all grew up with a phone that all looked the same in the 40's 50's 60's 70's and 80's. In the 80's however they were sued that it was unfair to hold the patent and make people pay for the phone... then all these new shaped phones came out... and the cords got longer which was great.. then they got tangled ... which was bad.

            These are the top ones that come to mind in 5 minutes if I actually gave it some thought I could probably come up with some good ones.

            • >

              These are the top ones that come to mind in 5 minutes if I actually gave it some thought I could probably come up with some good ones.

              I have no evidence to back this up, but my assumption is that the sudden plethora of razor-by-mail companies selling at prices far below Gillette was the result of some related patent expiring. Otherwise, why now? They've been expensive for a long time.

            • Re:Who cares? (Score:4, Informative)

              by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @03:50PM (#51967005) Homepage Journal

              The lightbulbs cartel has nothing to do with patents, and everything to do with economies of scale and businesses colluding.

              Case 2: cell phone modems. This technical patent expired around '99 and those companies selling beepers upgraded to selling cell phones.

              Nope. There wasn't some big move to use data over analog networks in 1999, if ever. Indeed, in the very late nineties and early 21st Century the digital standards started to take over in the US making analog devices obsolete and making data services widely available. Companies making beepers moved over to other markets because beepers, in a world of SMS messaging, were obsolete. They never, to my knowledge, started making mobile modems.

              In Europe, where GSM had been standard for a while, most mobile manufacturers were making phones that supported data and messaging since about 1995. Again, beepers became pretty much non-existent at that time.

              Case 3: K-cups

              Keurig is hardly sitting on the technology. In addition to building K-Cup coffee machines themselves they've been aggressively licensing the technology too.

              Case 4: 3D printing - the entire industry kick started in 2013 once the patents expired , and then in 2014 when most of the rest expired

              Possible, I don't know enough about 3D printing.

              Case 5: Kodak and the digital photography patent

              Any evidence that they sat on this? Kodak was an early pioneer of digital photography, producing some of the first mass market digital cameras - starting in the mid-1990s which was about the time digital photography could become mass market (eg true-color computer monitors and hard drives had finally become de-facto standards on most personal computers.) Their problem with the technology wasn't that they didn't adopt it or tried to suppress it, it was that they couldn't adapt to it - that is, Kodak couldn't find a business model for digital photography while their chemical business declined to (near) irrelevency..

              case 6: home telephones: At&t used to lease telephones to people who paid for a home phone - thats why we all grew up with a phone that all looked the same in the 40's 50's 60's 70's and 80's. In the 80's however they were sued that it was unfair to hold the patent and make people pay for the phone... then all these new shaped phones came out... and the cords got longer which was great.. then they got tangled ... which was bad

              Absolutely nothing to do with patents. Also the rules requiring AT&T open up their networks to third party devices came in the 1960s, not 1980s. Most people still rented the phones because of ease (and the fact the phones were built like tanks), not because of "patents".

            • Longer lasting bulbs actually cost more to operate than to buy a new bulb. They produce significantly less light per watt.
        • Yeah, but notice how real patents expire, and "scammer guy whose followers claim was shut down by evil industry" lasts forever? Who cares if they buy the patent and slow it down, it is still a giant advancement and will still make it to market, even if the patent-holder sits on it.

          The reality is that battery tech is not developed by battery companies. The companies with their names on the batteries mostly are engineering and product development companies. The biggest name in battery technology is Panasonic,

          • by jafiwam ( 310805 )

            Moller Air Car is just around the corner!

            Everyone will fly to the grocery store!

          • Panasonic is one of the worst battery manufacturers, at least for the common carbon-zinc cells. Expect failure rates in excess of 10%, new from the blister-pack.
        • it would most definitely make me a lot of money to buy the patent for a few million dollars and sit on it until it ran out and keep selling the batteries that have to be replaced.

          No, it doesn't make sense to do that. The patent only gives you protection for 15 years, while you keep selling batteries at existing volume, at a small margin, whereas the superior batteries would give you a much bigger market and much higher margin. Sure, after a while you may have to look for a different business, but with a few billion of profit in the bank, there's a lot of opportunities.

        • ... buy the patent for a few million dollars and sit on it until it ran out ...

          You can't. The people who made the discovery are at the University of California (UC). UC owns the patent. They don't sell, they license. They don't license to people who sit on it, you will lose your license, or at least any exclusivity. Matter of fact their policy is actually to favor small local companies. So if you are a giant national or multinational corp you have a disadvantage even licensing.

        • And while the use it or lost it idea sounds good in theory, what if a small inventor doesn't have the means to produce it? Said inventor should be able to sell his idea to someone for money to be compensated for advancing technology, no?

          With the use it or lose it....the big bad battery corp would see the inventor couldn't do it and just wait for the 'lose it' to happen and use it for free.

          It's a tricky thing to get right.
      • Re: Who cares? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The patent is very irrelevant to the Chinese. They will likely copy it and flood the market with them. Even if you are the copyright owner, you will need a lot of money to sue them and it is highly unlikely to win the trial.

    • Unless you are using some sort of Hippie All Open Hardware. The devices that most of us have come from companies with rather big pockets.
      Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, Microsoft... Will pay those big usage fees for the ability to make their products with better advertised battery life and reliability.

      As well the Electric Auto Market would love to have a long term Lithium battery. As most electric cars are still using less efficient batteries just because they cannot get the expected 10 years out of a Lithium Batt

      • by suutar ( 1860506 )

        This right here. I would bet money that Elon Musk has already got someone looking into this.

    • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NatasRevol ( 731260 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @01:19PM (#51965697) Journal

      On the plus side, China doesn't really respect patents.

      That has good and bad consequences, so let's play both sides.

    • Elon Musk should buy it out, patent it and make it available to anyone who asks, just like a lot of his other electric car patents.

    • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @02:48PM (#51966495)

      Greedy bastards will patent it and demand huge fees to license the technology ... Greedy fuckers will make sure this never makes its way into anything I own.

      Wrong and Wrong.

      As these researchers are part of the University of California system (UC), UC owns the patent. UC's policy for licensing considers the nature of the company seeking the license. Some preference is given to smaller local companies over large multinationals for instance. Also UC retains ownership, they only license. So there is no burying the technology problem.

    • See, I'd normally agree with you, but in this case there is a push for more and more electric vehicles, and reducing the overall cost and raising the efficiency is a priority, and it's all being pushed by the government, so they'll have to use technology like this at least in electric vehicles or lose their market share. Since it's then in electric vehicles it'll end up in everything else, too. Having battery packs for your electric car that last the entire lifespan of the car itself is a great selling poin
    • That seems doubtful. Even assuming you go with the "compelling people to buy new stuff" angle, they'd probably just make them more easily transferable between devices, and make you buy the phone and battery separately. And the people who patent it may well charge high fees, but only if people are willing to pay those fees. There's no point in demanding irrationally large sums of money if it won't get you anywhere.
    • Greedy fuckers will make sure this never makes its way into anything I own.

      I'm betting your grandfather believed that the automakers and Big Oil were surpressing the magic carburator that would take his Ford V-8 120 miles on a gallon of gas. Forgetting that great mileage means great sales for big sedans, pick-up trucks, sport cars, travel trailers, and other heavy weight or high performance vehicles and accessories.

      New tech means new products. These new batteries will find their way into everything you own.

      Searching Amazon.com for "lithium ion flashlight batteries" --- the most g

  • Euphemisms (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22, 2016 @12:44PM (#51965353)

    "This was a serendipitous discovery as the researcher was playing around with the battery and coated it in a thin gel layer."
    Translated: Scientist was watching porn at work, accidentally got some on the battery.

  • Zacharia Sitchin was right all along. they came here to recharge their batteries and left
  • by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @12:48PM (#51965385)

    "This was a serendipitous discovery as the researcher was playing around with the battery and coated it in a thin gel layer".

    Just like Fleming's discovery of penicillin. In each case, something "just happened"; and the researcher was knowledgeable and alert enough to spot the significance of an apparently irrelevant event.

    We need a lot more of this kind of thing, and it is only likely to happen where researchers have an adequate amount of freedom to experiment and "play around". Perhaps Heinlein's "Long Range Foundation" was a bit extreme - funding only projects that are very ambitious, very far-out, and immensely expensive, and even then only on condition that no useful results are expect for a long time - but that's the true spirit of scientific research. "Cast your bread upon the waters..." Ironically, the greatest practical benefits come from research that does not aim for any practical benefits.

    • by ole_timer ( 4293573 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @01:03PM (#51965537)
      I believe the relevant quote is "...chance favors the prepared mind..." Louis Pasteur
    • by ClickOnThis ( 137803 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @01:10PM (#51965627) Journal

      The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka” but “That’s funny...”
      —Isaac Asimov

    • Fleming, however, ran a few tests, decided it wouldn't work in a human body, and shelved it. 20 years later another guy hauled it back out and did the dirty work of purifying it and testing it.

      • by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @01:23PM (#51965727)

        Fleming, however, ran a few tests, decided it wouldn't work in a human body, and shelved it. 20 years later another guy hauled it back out and did the dirty work of purifying it and testing it.

        In fact Fleming established that penicillin was non-toxic to humans. He wasn't even the first person to publish on the subject: according to the Wikipedia entry,

        "In 1897 a French physician, Ernest Duchesne at École du Service de Santé Militaire in Lyon, published a medical thesis entitled Contribution à l'étude de la concurrence vitale chez les micro-organismes : antagonisme entre les moisissures et les microbes (Contribution to the study of the vital competition in micro-organisms: antagonism between molds and microbes) in which he specifically studied the interaction between Escherichia coli and Penicillium glaucum".

        All of this actually reinforces my main point, which is that scientists often stumble across unexpected properties that can be used to advantage. Precisely because the results are serendipitous, they usually don't take any decisive steps to make products or money out of their discoveries; nevertheless the discoveries have been made, and the door has been opened for someone more practically-minded (or money-minded) to follow up, then or later.

  • ...I'm sure that's great news for Energizer and Duracell.

    • My thought as well. We won't see this in our devices any time soon unless it comes from Elon Musk via Tesla.
      • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @03:02PM (#51966633)

        My thought as well. We won't see this in our devices any time soon unless it comes from Elon Musk via Tesla.

        Not true. The University of California (UC) owns this patent. They don't allow their patents to be buried by licensees. They also favor smaller and more local licensees. UC has a pretty good system wide policy and a dedicated staff to handle everything for faculty and student researchers. Doing a social good is part of their mindset. These are the same people that gave you BSD Unix without any real strings attached.

  • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @12:51PM (#51965417) Homepage Journal

    Why am I so confused about this story?

    Did they build a Lithium battery, or a gold battery?

    Is it holding charge or chemical energy? (If it holds charge, is it a supercapacitor?)

    The article linked in the OP isn't very clear either. They made a battery, not with an anode and a cathode, but with *two* cathodes.

    Okay, the article states "this isn't a true battery". And it's just a wire loop embedded in PMMA.

    WTF? Can I get those 10 minutes of my life back?

    • by mspohr ( 589790 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @01:07PM (#51965587)

      No, you can't get those 10 minutes back and you will spend even more time trying to sort this all out.
      One minute summary:
      It appears that they improved the wires that collect the electrons. (They tested this in a capacitor, not a battery)
      The breakthrough is that they were able to use nanowires which have a large surface area (more efficient) but are normally very fragile. They coated them with "gel" which kept them from breaking.
      This should lead to better batteries.

    • Because it was written by a journalist. (One of those 'worthless' degrees).

      Without knowing the energy-density of the battery (both volumetric and gravimetric) and the cost, it doesn't mean much - probably venture vultures looking for low-hanging cash.

      Most Lithium batteries can be short cycled to greatly increase their cycle life. But with this paper it might be a capacitor?

      A key battery specification is the cost/ (cycle-life x capacity). This tells you the cost of the power while assuming you can charge it

    • If a battery is rechargeable, it has two cathodes and two anodes, though not at the same time.

      Capacitor is a technical word, but battery might not be. A good enough capacitor would be a battery. No need to introduce engineering jargon as an attempt to understand the journalistic representation.

      You could have preserved those minutes by not clicking the shit, and just commenting instead.

  • what type? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @12:58PM (#51965493) Homepage

    the article is missing a lot of details.. lithium polymer? standard Lithium Ion? or the current best battery the LifePo4 that already has insane battery cycle life as well as extreme tolerance to being charged poorly so you don't need a special high cost charger.

    Read the article.....

    Ahh, this is not even a battery but a wire loop in acrylic.. Nothing to see here kids but hype.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's a wire in a gel as an electrode. That is a pretty significant advancement. Lithium electrodes tend to degrade because they fracture apart as they charge and discharge (the effect looks like they form hairs over time) - stopping that process means infinite charge cycles (assuming the electrolyte doesn't break down, but that has been solved for some time.)

  • Can Elon incorporate this discovery quickly enough into his Giga-Factory to make the Tesla 3 an assured success, where people don't worry about wear and tear on the battery?

  • by linuxguy ( 98493 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @01:14PM (#51965655) Homepage
    I know it takes time from discovery to production. If this discovery is actually as good as it sounds, I hope Elon puts this in the batteries for Model 3. I placed an order for two of them and not expecting them until 2018. I wouldn't mind waiting a little longer if it meant that it came with improvements like this one.
  • Gold nano-wires? (Score:5, Informative)

    by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @01:21PM (#51965711)

    "Gold nanowires"? They are saying they coat them so they don't corrode but isn't one of the main properties for which gold is valued the fact that it is highly non-reactive and doesn't typically corrode? Plus I've never heard of wires being used as an energy storage medium, nano or otherwise. I'm certainly no expert in chemistry but Popular Science isn't usually where I go to for reliable information about the latest in battery research. If this were real I'd expect to see the research come from some sort of peer reviewed source.

    • The article is light on the kind of information that would explain what's going on, but I'd guess that once you get just about anything down to the nano-scale it doesn't behave in quite the same way as it normally would in larger quantities. However, it sounds like it's the magnesium oxide coating over the gold nano-wire that's corroding as that's what the gel is coating is interacting with and given the last part of the summary that states the gold could be replaced with nickle makes me think it's not the
    • The researcher constructed electrodes that do not wear. The proof of concept was a capacitor but the electrode design could also be applied to battery electrodes constructed from lithium. At least I believe that was the point. So it is a big deal, but the article title is horribly misleading. It is also a very long way to being used in practical applications.
  • by Lucas123 ( 935744 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @01:37PM (#51965861) Homepage

    Divide that by one charge every day for 365 days and that's 275 years of battery life.

    Yes please.

  • by kimgkimg ( 957949 ) on Friday April 22, 2016 @01:54PM (#51966001)
    A marching band drum playing rabbit was seen in the hours leading up to the disappearance...
  • "...playing around with the battery and coated it in a thin gel layer."

    Exactly what was he doing with that battery anyway!

  • > Also from the report, "Penner suggests that a more common metal, like nickel, could replace the gold if the technology catches on."

    What about Silicon? It is my understanding that this kind of tech is exactly what silicon needs to be viable, and silicon has up to 10x the storage capacity.

  • Penner suggests that a more common metal, like nickel, could replace the gold if the technology catches on.

    An adventurous suggestion, having into account that :

    We don't understand the mechanism of that yet.

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