Upcoming Breakthroughs in Battery Technology

By: Bobby George

Batteries have been an extremely integral part of our daily lives for many years now. And with more and more devices going portable every day, it is easy to see that batteries will continue to be needed for quite some time. However, as research and development continues in fields of science and technology, we may see battery usage change dramatically in the coming days.

Battery breakthroughs are not a new concept by any means. As with all areas of technology, some of the things we take for granted today were once on the cutting edge of technological battery development. Rechargeable batteries are one example of this, and the fact that small lithium batteries could be manufactured to fit into portable devices like telephones was a shocking notion to some people while the technology was still new. Now we hardly see anyone without a small lithium battery in their pocket or purse. With this in mind, here are some promising areas of development that we may take for granted sooner than we think.

Scientists have discovered a way to make a battery that charges in minutes and lasts for years on a single charge. At the time being, size is an issue, although the developers hope to make the batteries economical for devices such as electric cars, laptops, and cell phones. Imagine never having to worry about your computer dying in the middle of a project or your phone going dead while you're alone on the road. Also, with the energy issue we face as a nation, such technology in vehicles is a top priority.

Batteries are also still becoming smaller and more versatile in their application. The increasing use of lithium batteries in phones and computers has driven developers to design new batteries that are as thin as a piece of paper and also as flexible as one. This will more than likely begin to show up in portable devices very soon since it will allow manufacturers to decrease the size and weight of these devices and allow more freedom in the development process due to their flexibility.

Finally, alternate forms of battery chemistry and technology are constantly being researched in order to find cheaper, more efficient forms of portable energy. Perhaps the most exciting of these is the development of the nanobattery. Nanotechnology deals with energy on the atomic level, and recent advances in this area have created opportunities for such things as wearable battery clothing. Something like this would mean great things for many people as devices would eventually be able to be plugged directly into clothing.

Batteries are moving from being a necessary afterthought of electronic development to an exciting opportunity for advancement and versatility. But hopefully these advancements won't put companies like ours out of business!

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