New Batteries Power Mobile Phones
—Charging your smartphone in about one minute, does that sound appealing? For many years the battery technology that powers the electronics in your phone has lagged behind the electronics technology itself, but that might be about to change. Radical new developments in batteries are in the pipeline that will allow you to do just that.
If the iPhone was made using old electronics technology, such as valves and mercury filled relay switches then, after allowing enough space between components to prevent overheating, it would be so large that you would just about be able to fit it in the new Wembley Arena.
Electronics development appears to follow what is known as Moore’s Law. This states that computing power doubles every one and a half years. This means that we can now pack into the area of a chip that would have held ten transistors in the mid sixties approximately 80 billion of them today.
On the other hand, if battery technology had kept pace with the advancements in electronics that allows you to carry such an awesome computer and communicator such as the iPhone in your pocket, then a single battery charge would power your phone for at least a decade.
The latest batteries that are being developed for the mobile phone are known as nano-ball batteries. When you charge the lithium battery in your phone lithium ions are removed from the cathode and are re-deposited on the anode and this is a slow process. Instead of the usual cathode the nano-ball batteries have cathodes made of millions of tiny balls of lithium iron phosphate and these give up their lithium at a much faster rate.
In fact these new batteries are so efficient that theoretically a standard sized phone battery could be recharged in just 10 seconds. As it would take a very powerful and large charger to do this, the charging rate is likely to be reduced below the theoretical maximum, though expect to be able to charge your phone in a minute.
These new batteries will also operate far more efficiently that normal lithium cells during the discharge part of the cycle, so they should substantially increase battery life too.
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