Sony to make rechargeable batteries last 4x longer
No more exploding handsets?
To read the Sony press release, you’d think that it had virtually invented the Lithium Ion battery in the first place, but now it has come up with a breakthrough next step – with a battery that will survive far more charges and discharges without its performance decaying.
Sony says it has come up with a battery which will have a lifetime of four times as long as previous rechargeable batteries, and will almost certainly find their way into Netbooks, portable gaming players, laptops and of course handsets and cameras, all of which Sony makes.
To be clear we’re not saying they will go four times as long on a single charge, but that they won’t stop working efficiently after a year; it’s more likely to be three or four. Sony is being cautious and says that early applications of the new type of Lithium battery will be for power tools and devices which need to drive motors, but there seems to be no reason why it won’t then get applied to handsets and smartbooks.
The technology relies on using Olivine-type Lithium Iron Phosphate as the cathode material which, Sony says, combines high-power and long-life performance, and shipments have already begun.
The Olivine-type lithium iron phosphate is in a more robust crystal format which remains stable even at high temperatures. No more exploding handset batteries which have to be recalled then on handsets and laptops.
The new battery combines this new cathode material with Sony's proprietary particle design technology to minimize resistance and this lets it deliver high power output. Sony says it has achieved a power density of 1800W/kg and extended life span of approximately 2,000 charge-discharge cycles. These batteries retain 80 per cent of their charge after 2,000 recharges and the batteries can recharge in just 30 minutes. The lifetime of the batteries will be around four times those in use today.
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The whole idea of a battery ...
... is that is should last just longer than the guaranty and cease production after a year so a replacement battery can cost as much as a whole new gizmo.
Unless manufacturers agree a standard shape, voltage and charger interface then I will stay with AA's wherever possible.
"Why the big deal about Lith Ion batteries conflagrating anyway? When they first cropped up in RC aircraft it became well known that treating them rough could lead to catastrophic results. Why should this be any different in the world of consumer electronics?"
You often stuff a remote controlled car or plane in your pants then go for a run or lift things do you? Do you often accidentally drop them then sit them on your lap?
Bully for Sony...
...now I ask, can these batteries be safely retrofitted into existing Li-Ion devices, such as iPods, notebook computers, and (since we're talking Sony) PSPs and the like?
I'm sure I have more than a few of those things somewhere in my coat pockets...