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Battery vendors push ultracapacitor wrappers to give Li-ions more bite

Claim wrapping pack in wonder stuff will extend life

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A pair of battery vendors are hoping that a new design which incorporates the use of an ultracapacitor material will help to improve and extend the life of lithium-ion battery packs.

Paper Battery Company and TWS say they have developed a system which wraps a conventional lithium-ion battery pack in a sheet of ultracapacitor material. The result, the two companies claim, is a battery pack which lasts longer and better manages the power demands of mobile devices.

Designed to quickly charge and discharge energy, ultracapacitors are able to disperse power to devices quickly at times when systems require a sudden surge of power. Paper Battery touts its PowerPatch ultracapacitor line as an ultrathin, patternable material which can be adapted to various form factors and use cases.

In this case, the Paper's PowerPatch units will be wrapped around a lithium-ion battery pack from China-based manufacturer TWS. The result is a "hybrid" device which can both power a device over a long period of time and accommodate the need for sudden bursts of power when a device is performing a high-demand task.

Shreefal Mehta, CEO of Paper Battery, said that the system can help provide power to mobile devices where high-demand activities can generate sudden spikes in the needed power for devices which regular batteries may not be able to provide efficiently to a device. With the addition of an ultracapacitor, such spikes can be accommodated to provide components with the needed energy for high-demand tasks.

"This essentially enables the OEM to use batteries in a different way," he explained. "They can now allow processors to work at full power."

TWS reports that the addition of an ultracapacitor sheet has extended the efficiency of the battery as much as 15 per cent while also increasing battery life and adding RF (radio frequency) and EMI (electromagnetic interference) shielding capabilities. Additionally, the ultracapacitor sheet helps to provide thermal benefits when wrapped around the battery pack or casing.

The first integrated units are set to enter production later this year.

The companies believe that should the system prove successful, the thin ultracapacitors could eventually be integrated into other form factors, including placement within the battery casing itself. Such integrated units, however, have yet to be developed and would need extensive testing. ®

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