posted on May, 13 2005 @ 04:18 PM
Scientists have demonstrated a new way to make batteries last for 10 years and contain 10-200 times the energy of current nuclear batteries.
A battery with a lifespan measured in decades is in development at the University of Rochester, as scientists demonstrate a new fabrication method
that in its roughest form is already 10 times more efficient than current nuclear batteries—and has the potential to be nearly 200 times more
efficient. The details of the technology, already licensed to BetaBatt Inc., appears in today’s issue of Advanced Materials.
“Our society is placing ever-higher demands for power from all kinds of devices,” says Philippe Fauchet, professor of electrical and computer
engineering at the University of Rochester and co-author of the research. “For 50 years, people have been investigating converting simple nuclear
decay into usable energy, but the yields were always too low. We’ve found a way to make the interaction much more efficient, and we hope these
findings will lead to a new kind of battery that can pump out energy for years.”
The technology is geared toward applications where power is needed in inaccessible places or under extreme conditions. Since the battery should be
able to run reliably for more than 10 years without recharge or replacement, it would be perfect for medical devices like pacemakers, implanted
defibrillators, or other implanted devices that would otherwise require surgery to replace or repair. Likewise, deep-space probes or deep-sea sensors,
which are beyond the reach of repair, also would benefit from such technology.
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Man is increasingly thirsty for energy and this new technology is a leap forward for many scientific and medical applications.
Perhaps this type of battery will hit the consumer market eventually and I will no longer have to be paranoid about my iPod running out of power on
long road trips.
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