Everyone has experienced at one time or another, the frustrating death of a cell phone battery and the several hours of vigil to resurrect it back to full charge. Now, this may become a thing of the past as scientists revealed a battery capable of charging in one minute.
Developed by Stanford University researchers, the aluminum battery is a substitute to the current lithium-ion batteries used in smartphones. Researchers claim it does not combust neither does it damage the environment.
Hongjie Dai, a chemistry professor at Stanford said in a statement, “We have developed a rechargeable aluminum battery that may replace existing storage devices, like alkaline batteries, which are not environment friendly, and lithium-ion batteries, which on occasional burst into flames. Our new battery does not catch fire, thoug you drill through it.”
Two important features of the battery are, it can bend, which allows it to be used in potential flexible devices, and costs efficient to produce.
A feasible aluminum battery has been the subject of years of research but the key challenge has been to locate materials with the capability of producing sufficient voltage after repeatedly charging and discharging it, researchers said.
Stanford scientists’ battery can weather more than 7,500 charging cycles without loss of capacity, as compared to previous attempts at the aluminum battery which expired after merely 100 charge-discharge cycles.
Typically lithium-ion battery lasts around 1,000 cycles.
Given the durability of the device, Dai said, the aluminum batteries could be used to store renewable energy on the electrical grid.
“The grid needs a long life cycle battery which can rapidly store and release energy. Our latest unpublished data suggest that an aluminum battery can be recharged tens of thousands of times. It’s hard to imagine building a huge lithium-ion battery for grid storage,” he explained.
But researchers admittedly revealed that more work needs to be done before the battery can become a worthwhile consumer product. Dai said the aluminum prototype is able to generate about two volts of electricity, more than 1.5-volt of the AA and AAA consumers batteries use, but more or less, half the voltage of a usual lithium-ion battery.
“I see this as a new battery in its early days. It’s quite exciting,” Dai said.