The Future of the Battery

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Your smartphone is wonderful. It can steer you to that trendy new fusion restaurant if you are lost. It can play your favorite sitcom as you head to work on the train. It will play your favorite song at the touch of a button. But it can’t do any of this if its battery is dead.


A Better Battery on the Way?

Thankfully, a better battery might soon be on the way, thanks to the work of a team of engineers at Chicago’s Northwestern University. A recent story reports that researchers at this Big 10 university are attempting to create a battery that lasts longer and can recharge itself within minutes. Smartphone users across the country ought to be thankful.

What they are concentrating on is a new lithium-ion battery that has more then 10 times the life of present-day batteries. Additionally, after a year of operation, which the researchers estimate to be about 150 charges, these new lithium-ion batteries would continue to be 5 times more effective then today’s lithium-ion batteries.


A Charged Battery for a Week

Here’s the bottom line: The new cell phone battery could stay charged for more than a week and then recharge itself in just 15 minutes. This is excellent news for you: It could mean that your iPod won’t run out of juice while you’re working the treadmill at the gym. But the new, better battery may have a much larger impact: Based on the Northwestern story, this new battery technology could result in smaller and more efficient batteries for electric cars. This may help the United States—and other countries—cut its reliance upon fossil fuels.


Batteries Powering Technological Change

Advancements in battery technology are not something we usually pay attention to. But this one may have a huge positive affect our lives, and not just where convenience is concerned. This new lithium-ion battery may provide the key to a greater technological shift.