Battery technology Batteries do not have to explode

Battery technology Batteries do not have to explode

Battery technology Batteries do not have to explode
Caught on fire: a Samsung Note 7. Source: REUTERS

They’re often empty before the day is over. They take forever to load. And now they also explode in rows, without the reason being clarified. No question about it: batteries are the Achilles’ heel in modern smartphones today. While the displays are getting sharper and the processors twice as fast every two years, batteries remain a nuisance.

But that could change soon. The big battery manufacturers and start-ups worldwide are investing heavily in the development of new batteries – so that they run longer and become safer. “The technology is advancing very quickly,” says Professor Egbert Figgemeier, an expert on batteries at RWTH Aachen University. New materials promise threefold advances: Batteries will soon be able to store more electricity, charge faster and last longer. They will soon be able to exchange electricity wirelessly with one another.

This is also urgently needed from the customer’s point of view. If you ask the users of, etc., as the market researchers from IDC have done, then the most important reason for choosing the next cell phone is: the battery life. However, this is limited as ever: the iPhone 6 is 50 times faster than the first iPhone, but the battery only supplies 1.3 times more power.

So your battery stays fit longer
With the right tricks, the battery performance can be maximized.  Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your performance.  Source: rtr
Fast battery charging thanks to the original charger iPads and other tablets have larger batteries than cell phones, for example.  The original charger of an iPad offers an output of 2100mA, i.e. about double the current that a typical USB connection supports.  This additional performance is also noticeable.  The iPad is charged in around five hours with the original charger, while it takes a good ten hours with an iPhone 5 charger, for example.  This only charges with about 1000mA.  What didn't work with the iPhone 5 is now possible with the iPhone 6: the device charges faster with an iPad power supply.  In contrast to the iPhone 5s, it gets more energy from the more powerful charger.  Source: REUTERS
Charging via a USB port takes longer If you use a third-party USB travel charger, it can take up to 24 hours to fully charge the iPad.  Some chargers also contain circuits that prevent full power.  For example, an original Samsung charger slows the charging process of an iPad.  It's the other way around.  Charging from a computer's USB port is also slower.  The reason for this is that the charging current only rises to just under half or even less of what the charger can provide for the socket.  However, charging via a USB port is not harmful.  The battery is charged more slowly, but also more gently.  Source: dpa
Many cell phones do not need specific chargers, but most cell phones do not need special chargers.  The small batteries are also fully charged at about the same speed with other devices.  An iPhone 5 is charged in around two hours with the original charger.  Two hours and four minutes with an HTC travel charger and around three hours with a Samsung charger.  A tip for iPhone owners who are in a particularly hurry: if flight mode is activated, the battery can charge twice as fast.  Source: dpa
The first charge The first charge cycle is particularly important for every battery: it determines the condition of the battery.  When the device is charged for the first time, it should charge for at least twelve hours.  Then you should use the device until the battery runs out of juice.  Source: obs
Long battery charging allows batteries contain circuits that control the flow of energy.  This enables a continuous charging process.  If the battery is fully charged, a battery management controller ensures that the battery is not overcharged.  Lithium-ion batteries could explode in the process.  Source: REUTERS
Treat the battery well and leave it in the device If you handle the battery well, you will enjoy it for many years to come.  Therefore, it is best to always transport the battery in the device and make sure that the battery does not receive any external impacts.  After all, there are chemicals inside the battery that should be protected.  Only in notebooks that hang on the power cable all day should the battery be removed so that it does not overheat.  Source: REUTERS

Surf twice as long on the go

Because manufacturers have been using the same technology for 20 years: lithium-ion batteries. For years they made the electrodes thinner and thinner and the separating layers in the battery cell flatter. The strategy is now almost at the end. “The physical limits are almost exhausted,” says researcher Figgemeier. And the thinner the components, the greater the risk of a short circuit and the battery catching fire. “Real progress,” says Figgemeier, “now only brings new materials.”

This is exactly what the start-up SolidEnergy in den, a spin-off of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is working on. The founders want to bring a battery for cell phones, drones and electric cars onto the market that stores twice as much electricity as today’s cell phone batteries: 400 instead of 200 watt hours per kilogram. “We can build a battery that is half the size and still lasts just as long,” says SolidEnergy founder Qichao Hu.

The key to this is a new type of anode, the negative pole of the battery, which accepts electrons and conducts the current out of the battery. So far, manufacturers have mostly used graphite for construction. The SolidEnergy founders have now replaced the material with a lithium metal foil, which stores significantly more energy. The researchers have also redeveloped the electrolytes, the substance between the battery poles.

The new battery is expected to come onto the market for smartphones as early as 2017. Many battery start-ups have made similar promises in recent years – and then failed because of the mass production and the costs. But the SolidEnergy battery should be able to be built with conventional machines – which should make it easier to enter the market.