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article imageNew battery promises to double smartphone life

By Tim Sandle     Jan 6, 2017 in Technology
A new battery, intended for smartphones and other mobile devices, promises to boost power and running time. This comes about by the battery weight being reduced by half.
The concept of a more powerful battery for smartphones comes from a company called SolidEnergy. The tech corporation aims to produce what it refers to as the "holy grail of batteries". By this the company means a lithium metal battery with twice as much capacity than any available today. The company intends for their technology to be commercially available soon.
Lithium batteries are batteries that have lithium as an anode. The batteries are superior to zinc-carbon batteries, possessing a high charge density (long life) and high cost per unit. Despite the superior capacity many consumers remain frustrated with the battery life of mobile devices, especially those which connect to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth services. This acts as a drivers for technology firms and research labs to find ways to improve battery power.
SolidEnergy Systems is aiming to commercialize a rechargeable lithium metal battery with double the current capacity of batteries available today. The new product is an an “anode-free” lithium metal battery that is twice as energy-dense. This is achievable through the use of a thin, high-energy lithium-metal foil that can hold more ions (making it one-fifth the thickness of a traditional lithium metal anode, and several times thinner and lighter than traditional graphite, carbon, or silicon anodes). The battery can achieve 1200 Wh/L and 400 Wh/kg. When reviewing the specific energy, or gravimetric energy density, for batteries, this defines battery capacity in weight (Wh/kg); energy density, or volumetric energy density, reflects volume in liters (Wh/l). These figures are roughly double the energy capacity of standard batteries.
In a statement the company's founder, Qichao Hu, said to The Daily Telegraph: "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."
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