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USAF develops 30-year notebook battery tech

updated 04:25 pm EDT, Tue October 2, 2007

Betavoltaic Battery

The US Air Force Research Laboratory has revealed a new battery technology that could effectively end the need to constantly recharge notebooks, handhelds, and other portable devices in the near future. Called a betavoltaic battery, the advancement would be based on silicon chips but take advantage of the decay from radioisotopes to catch beta electron emissions, using their electricity to power the chips and generate a steady, powered current. Though it would use a decaying substance, the battery would not be radioactive and would be extremely efficient; the energy released is so strong that a notebook could run for 30 years before requiring a new charge, says one estimate.

The technology would have additional side benefits, according to the research lab. Battery reactions are non-thermal and so would not generate the heat that adds to the overall temperature of a given device or could trigger fires. The radioisotope, an extraction layer, and the semiconductors are all thin and could allow for extra-thin shapes. Users could also dispose of the battery themselves since the entire compound would be non-hazardous.

Despite its government-funded nature, the betavoltaics project is intended to be used both by the military and the public at large, and should be turned into a commercial product within two to three years. No companies were specifically included as part of the announcement. [via Next Energy News]



By Electronista Staff
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  1. l008com

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: Jan 2000

    0

    wow

    That seriously just blew my mind! Thats f****** awesome!

  1. climacs

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    amazing

    that would be something else

  1. climacs

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    not so fast there

    check this out and decide for yourself how viable this thing is

    http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2007/10/02/30year-betavoltaic-b.html

  1. Jordan

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jun 2001

    0

    deleted

    deleted

  1. Jordan

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jun 2001

    0

    Check your sources....

    No reference on the AFRL site.

    No other credible news reference.

    Very dodgy physics behind this. (If it's even remotely possible) http://www.phact.org/e/z/betavoltaic.htm

    I'd probably remove the article if I were you....

  1. Jordan

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jun 2001

    0

    deleted

    deleted

  1. automorrow

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2000

    0

    Betavoltaic Batteries

    Have been around since the mid 90's .. use nuclear waste . .. and was invented by Dr. Paul Brown from Utah ... who happened to die in a odd car chase / race.

  1. Rezzz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    0

    coincidence?

    I'm not one for conspiracy theories but...

    Oct. 3, 2007 "Procter & Gamble, the largest US consumer goods company, might raise as much as $13.5 billion selling its Duracell battery [...]"

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-2423215,prtpage-1.cms

  1. lepton

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2005

    0

    Qynergy

    All the news on this today seems to come from the same source, but the real scoop is the AF is not producing this, the Qynergy company is, check http://www.qynergy.com/technology.htm

  1. himself

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Jan 2002

    0

    that's great, but...

    how long will it take to recharge?

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