March 15, 2013

New Battery Technology: Will the possibilities be greater than the risks?


On the heels of the battery related safety incidents aboard  Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplanes (read more about this here) in January comes news that researchers at Stanford University have made groundbreaking progress in lithium-ion battery technology (read more here).

Creative problem solving led Stanford scientists to design a “yolk shell” energy storage system that may result in lithium-ion batteries with a much longer life than current technology allows.

So much of today’s technology is dependent upon rechargeable lithium-ion batteries; any advance in the technology can have an impact on everyday consumer gadgets. However, these new technologies can backfire if batteries overheat, as shown in the Dreamliner overheating. The exact cause of the Dreamliner overheating has not been isolated. Lithium-ion batteries have caused fires in laptop computers also.

While the yolk shell technology, which can store five times more energy than in current technology, is a wonderful advance in battery technology, will it carry its own set of risks?

 

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