The Next Battery

It seems that almost everything now is powered by batteries and everything that isn’t has a USB port to charge up batteries. Those of you who have been around long enough know that every few years a new generation of batteries is developed. There were alkaline batteries, then Nicad batteries and now there are Lithium-Ion batteries. Each generation of battery is better than the last generation but they never seem to catch up with the ever increasing demand for more power.

Our electronics, while they consume less power per task than they used to, continue to evolve in power and need more and smaller sources to drive them. From what I have read recently the next generation of batteries is on the horizon. Here is a quote from the article:

New research out of a Columbia University Engineering team, via, has uncovered a method to stabilize solid electrolytes in lithium metal, a.k.a solid-state batteries. Utilizing a boron nitride nano-coating can produce batteries that offer up to 10 times the charge capacity of graphite based Li-ion batteries. In addition, ceramic electrolytes often used in solid-state battery design are non-flammable, reducing safety concerns.


Ten times the capacity and are finally non-flammable! Maybe that will meet our need for at least a few years. 🙂

Finishing this post off slightly off topic, I want to give you a short history lesson about electricity. In the early days, meaning the late 1800s there was a battle for what would be the standard for distributing electricity. It was similar to what has happened recently, well at least my recently, between BetaMax and VHS. Edison started the distribution scheme with DC electricity, but since it could not be transmitted more that a few miles it required power stations in almost every neighborhood. Along came Tesla. No, I am not talking about the auto manufacturer who simply borrowed his name, I am talking about the one who invented AC electricity. The very distinct advantage of AC is that it can be transmitted for almost unlimited distances. Long story short, Tesla won. But, given what the future might be, maybe not.

Now that alternative energy source are getting a major market share, it won’t be long before individual households with have the own power generating capabilities and that power will be DC electricity. Finally getting to the point here, when batteries are able to store the household energy everything will likely turn to DC powered. I don’t know how long that will take but I for one can certainly see it as a reality.