Here come ultra-fast charging batteries

Friday 31 October 2014

These batteries can be recharged up to 70 per cent in only two minutes and is 10 times more lasting when compared to existing lithium-ion batteries

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Are you frustrated by the slow charging of your battery and the fact that you need to replace your battery very often? Here’s some good news to cheer you up. Latest research and advances in lithium-ion battery technology is making it possible to charge your battery in a few minutes. And not just fast charging, the battery is expected to last for 20 years!

Scientists at Nanyang Technology University (NTU), Singapore, have developed ultra-fast charging batteries that can be recharged up to 70 per cent in only two minutes and can last more than 10 times compared to existing lithium-ion batteries. The present rechargeable lithium-ion batteries usually last about 500 recharge cycles. However the latest research has made it possible for the battery to last for 10,000 cycle times.

Technological advancement


In the new NTU-developed battery, the traditional graphite used for the anode (negative pole) in lithium-ion batteries is replaced with a new gel material made from titanium dioxide.

Titanium oxide is naturally found in spherical shape, but the NTU team has found a way to transform it into tiny nanotubes, which is a thousand times thinner than the diameter of a human hair. This speeds up the chemical reactions taking place in the new battery, allowing superfast charging.

Lithium-ion batteries usually use additives to bind the electrodes to the anode, which affects the speed in which electrons and ions can transfer in and out of the batteries. However, new cross-linked titanium dioxide nanotube-based electrodes eliminate the need for these additives and can pack more energy into the same amount of space.

Electric vehicles to get boost

This breakthrough is going to have a wide-ranging impact on all industries, especially for electric vehicles, where consumers are put off by the long recharge times and its limited battery life.

With this new technology by NTU, drivers of electric vehicles could save tens of thousands on battery replacement costs and can recharge their cars in just a matter of minutes.

“Electric cars will be able to increase their range dramatically, with just five minutes of charging, which is on par with the time needed to pump petrol for current cars,” says Chen Xiaodong, associate professor of the University’s School of Materials Science and Engineering

“Equally important, we can now drastically cut down the toxic waste generated by disposed batteries since our batteries last ten times longer than the current generation of lithium-ion batteries.”

Commercialisation

This patented technology has already attracted interest from the industry. This technology isn’t only good for smartphones, tablets, and other handheld technologies, but for variety of applications which employ power storage to function. The technology is currently being licensed by a company for eventual production. Xaiodong expects that the new generation of fast-charging batteries will hit the market in the next two years. It also has the potential to be a key solution in overcoming longstanding power issues related to electro-mobility.
 

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