If you have been following the blogs on batteries, then you are aware we are paying attention to their evolution. We explained lithium ion batteries, including their pros and cons. We have discussed how scientists are combining metal matrixes and Nano technologies with Lithium-ion batteries to improve them, but that is where we have stopped because they stopped. Scientists seemed to be stuck with a few designs that solve one or two problems at the cost of creating other problems. Well the Nano scientists at our very own University of Central Florida must have seen the current battery situation as a challenge because they solved it.
What issues were scientists facing with current batteries?
Technically they were working with two types of energy storing devices like batteries: batteries and supercapacitors.
- The energy in the battery comes from the chemicals within it allowing it to hold the energy for a longer period of time but requiring a longer time to charge and sometimes a battery design has been found to become dangerous over time.
- The energy in a supercapacitor comes from an electric field that can be used up and recharged very quickly but over time the amount of recharge it can contain declines quickly.
These scientists were not the first to consider combining the battery and supercapacitor. The problems scientists constantly faced was attempting to combine the positives of these two without keeping the negatives but UCF has now succeeded.
What did the Nano scientists at UCF create?
They saw the different designs using graphene metal matrixes for more durability and better use of the electrical current within the battery. They also saw the new chemicals being used to improve the batteries’ function and overall lifespan. What they didn’t see was what they created. A combination of these two ideas, in the proper amount, put together using just the right formula, which of course they aren’t releasing, to create a battery that combines the abilities of a Lithium-ion battery and a supercapacitor.
- Their battery can recharge in just a few seconds.
- Their battery can maintain a charge for up to a week.
- Their battery can be recharged over 30,000 times, where current batteries can usually be recharged a maximum of 2,000 times.
- Their battery’s current working prototype is tiny, flat, and bendable.
Other new battery designs have had a variety of problems including warping, buldging, catching fire, and even exploding. When they were creating this battery, UCF scientists were the most concerned about this particular flaw so they made sure their design does not have any signs of temperature fluctuations regardless of how long it is used in order to prevent those accidents. They may have created a perfect design that can be applied to all types of batteries including cars, but UCF scientists insist it is only a prototype and not ready for mass production. It will be amazing to see what kind of new technologies will be available once it is.