Chemistry research moves at a snail’s pace, and battery innovation is no exception. It needs a catalyst. Pardon the pun, but the world is clamoring for alternatives to gasoline-powered vehicles, and today’s batteries have a long way to go.
Contributing Editor Robin Tichy muses about the hopes that batteries hold for a U.S. manufacturing rebound, as well as about John Goodenough, an Enrico Fermi Award winner for his contributions to the underlying science behind Li-ion technology.
Many applications need lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery packs with high cell counts. Large-scale arrays based on Li-ion batteries can provide the high voltage, current, and capacity required by many emerging markets. Yet designers of larger battery packs face
Most people involved in the design and manufacture of portable devices have heard that there are significant restrictions and in-depth testing associated with the shipment of lithium-based battery packs. However, the details of the regulations are
The continuing growth of portable handheld devices has spawned a healthy selection of aftermarket battery pack suppliers. Yet aftermarket vendors may resort to activities that compromise the end-user experience or safety to make the battery pa
In recent years, the news of individual battery incidents such as cell-phone and laptop fires has been eclipsed by factory fires and large recalls of lithium-ion (Liion) cells. Several large, well-known Li-ion cell suppliers have been affected
Historically, the nickel-cadmium (NiCd) cell has been the best solution for handheld applications with usage profiles requiring large current pulses. But new environmental regulations may have a marked effect on cells containing heavy metal
Batteries based on lithium polymer (Li-polymer) have been “the next big thing” in portable power for the last 10 years. Li-polymer batteries started appearing in small consumer electronics applications, such as wireless headsets, several years
As portable electronic systems become more sophisticated, selecting the optimum battery requires an intensive analysis of the entire power-management system. Many manufacturers now consider lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries because they hold advantages over
The automated external defibrillator (AED) is one example of a medical product that's experiencing extremely fast adoption. These growth rates are due to improvements in the ease of use and to the battery technology that enables mobility and remote use. I