Most of today’s technology is either mechanical or electronic. When it comes to the mechanical technology, it’s easier to talk about advancements. On the other hand, electronic technology is using batteries, which are a lot more chemical than mechanical tech is.
New battery technologies are in development all the time, but just a small part of them actually get out of the lab and into the world. Why is that? Well, there’s a number of reasons why it’s still impossible to advance with battery tech at a rapid pace, but by far the biggest problem is the low density of the energy stored in the batteries.
So what does the future bring when it comes to new battery technologies?
Samsung’s Graphene Battery
When it comes to the traditional lithium-ion batteries, you can either have high charging speeds or high capacities. Researchers at Samsung have figured out how to get both by using graphene. They were able to produce a battery that could be fully charged in just 12 minutes with up to 45 percent more capacity.
This is just a first step, because if it works out in the smartphone industry, we’re one step closer to faster-charging electric vehicles.
The Electric Car
It’s being said that by 2030, an expected 20 million vehicles will be sold every year. According to recent research, there is an intention to replace the traditional lithium-ion batteries with sodium-ion based batteries, which will be 80 percent cheaper. Nowadays, electric cars work just fine with lithium-ion batteries, but given the fact that the demand for these vehicles on the market will only get higher, lithium-ion based batteries might not be accessible for everyone.
Of course, there has been a lot of progress in this field when it comes to supercapacitors and hydrogen fuel cells, but that’s the more expensive alternative. We could talk about a big price drop when referring to the new sodium-ion battery technology.
If we look past how expensive it is to own an electric car, there is an important reason why people are still reluctant when it comes to buying one: there is a maximum limit of 300 miles that you can drive on one charge. However, the researchers at the University of Waterloo claim that the use of negative electrodes made of lithium metal, could really increase battery storage capacity, which is what we need in order to advance with electric-powered vehicles technology.
In order for it to advance, the emerging marketing of wearable technology is also in need of battery innovation. Some wearable devices’ progress, like the smart watches or the smart glasses, are still held back for the same reasons as smartphones or tablets.
But there are also some technologies that can’t work with rigid batteries, like the smart clothing technology. Researchers at the University of Manchester have developed technology based on graphene-oxide, meant to create and ink-like substance that can be printed on to fabrics. Being as flexible as cotton, the ink can charge electronic components at a rapid pace.
In order to stop battery technology shortcomings, that slow down tech world, a Dutch company has created a sustainable battery using only water and salt. Researchers at AquaBattery are positive that they discovered a technology that can store energy for use when the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine. This technology can be used to facilitate the growth of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.
No matter how fast the tech world is advancing, there are certain things that have to change. For example, smartphones that have to be recharged every day or even more than once per day are really slowing down the evolution of the mobile phone industry. Also, there is a strong chance that electric-powered vehicles will save the planet in the future, so advancements in this field are kind of necessary.
Despite current progress, batteries haven’t really changed that much. Big companies are investing heavily in order to develop battery technology that performs well when it comes to storage, but the typical battery is still fundamentally the same. However, one thing is for sure: when a new battery technology that is more efficient will get out of the lab and on to the world, a lot of industries are likely to flourish and advance at a rapid pace.