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New ‘air-filled’ battery to revolutionise how appliances are powered

May 19, 2009

airbatterygraphic have revealed details of a new air-fueled battery that could change the way technologies from mobile phones and laptops to even electric cars are powered.

 The battery, considered to be a huge step forward in the renewable energy field, is being fine tuned by researchers at the University of St Andrews with partners at Strathclyde and Newcastle.

The batteries will enable renewable sources like wind turbines and solar panels to work better, especially when night falls or the sun goes in. It also has an improved capacity that could give up to ten times the energy storage of current batteries, thanks to its ability to draw oxygen straight from the air.

Other benefits of the battery include fewer chemicals needed inside, which allows the battery to either be smaller, or carry more energy in the same sized capsule. The battery is also cheaper to make because it uses more readily available chemicals.

The project is not complete yet, with efforts to further improve capacity and adapt the battery to suit small applications like mobile phones and MP3 players.

It seems that the researchers are taking their time to make sure they get it right because Principal investigator on the project, Professor Peter Bruce of the Chemistry Department at the University of St Andrews, says it will be at least 5 years before this battery will be made commercially available.

Bruce continued, “Our target is to get a five to ten fold increase in storage capacity, which is beyond the horizon of current lithium batteries. Our results so far are very encouraging and have far exceeded our expectations.”

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