Hurray! Now you can waste even more time on your smartphone scrolling through your newsfeed courtesy a US startup that is about to double the life of your cell phone’s battery.
Hu, who was a former researcher at MIT, founded his company called SolidEnergy in 2012. He wanted to create an ‘anode-free’ battery in a bid to increase their life and decrease the size and cost. For now, they have managed to create these new lithium metal batteries extracted from components making energy storage twice as dense as lithium ion.
Hu says that this technology will give batteries twice the life of the normal one, but also iterates that their technology is safe and equally durable.
In an interview, Hu said, “With two-times the energy density, we can make a battery half the size, but that still lasts the same amount of time, as a lithium ion battery. Or we can make a battery the same size as a lithium ion battery, but now it will last twice as long.”
The anode is a compulsory part in every rechargeable lithium ion devices we use, but what Hu is commercialising has its anode replaced with a much thinner lithium metal foil. This swapping out of graphite gives it the potential to hold more ions, resulting in extra storage capacity.
To give a clearer picture, company’s battery would be half the size of the normal lithium ion battery used in the smartphones. It will also produce stronger electric currents, up to 2.0 amp hours when compared to the iPhone 6 battery’s 1.8 amp hours.
Previously these sort of batteries have been made, but they always came down with bumps in the anode called dendrites causing charging issues, short circuits, and even flammable electrolytes leading to explosions.
Hu’s product is different in that it uses a lithium metal foil that won’t be heated to function, neither it is flammable. It is several times thinner than a conventional graphite anode, making the size and weight incredibly less. Also, it is chemically modified so that it can prevent negative reactions due to which previous such attempts failed.
But the most exciting thing about the lithium metal batteries is the first battery will hit the market as soon as coming November to power drones!
“Several customers are using drones and balloons to provide free internet to the developing world, and to survey for disaster relief,” Hu told MIT News.
This makes the technology a very noble one, with a potential to create huge social impact. It also has a potential to be taken up by the electric car companies, as now they can get the double the performance in the same weight, changing the dynamics of the industry forever.
We are not sure on which technologies and companies SolidEnergy will tie up with to enhance their battery lives and performance, but it is quite exciting to know that out the world of rechargeable devices is about to change for the good!
Are you thrilled about having your battery’s life last twice as long as before? Comment below!