We’re starting to see new computers running Intel‘s Haswell pop up from the woodwork, and while we know that these fourth-generation chips offer a performance boost from previous generations, Intel claims that they also offer a whopping 50% increase in battery life, allowing users to surf longer without plugging in. Intel’s Architecture Group Vice President,
Tag Archives: battery
The push notifications on our mobile devices aren’t just for convenience’s sake — they let apps stay idle and conserve precious battery life. That would explain why Google Cloud Messaging is now integrated with all versions of Chrome and Chrome OS, then. While both platforms are usually online as a matter of course, GCM lets developers refresh a web app or extension only when there are noteworthy changes, such as new chats. All end users have to do is sign in. Developers will have to build the feature into their apps before anyone sees the benefits, but we wouldn’t be surprised if our Chromebooks last for just a little bit longer in the near future.
Source: Chromium Blog
Advances like GE’s new hybrid wind turbines could make renewable energy more practical.
GE recently sold the first of a new line of “hybrid” wind turbines that comes with a battery attached. The turbine’s battery can store the equivalent of less than one minute of the turbine operating at full power. But, by pairing the battery with advanced wind-forecasting algorithms, wind farm operators could guarantee a certain amount of power output for up to an hour.
Google may be putting Intel’s new Haswell chips into its future Chromebooks. The new Haswell chip is intended to be used by ultrabooks, and it promises battery life of up to 24 hours on a single charge. Through some digging, GigaOM was able to uncover the name, Haswell, throughout various code for a device codenamed
Combining aspects of high-energy lithium-sulfur batteries with flow battery technology can lower costs.
There’s a promising new entry in the race to build cheap batteries for storing energy from solar panels and wind turbines. Stanford researchers led by Yi Cui, a professor of materials science and engineering, have demonstrated a partially liquid battery made of inexpensive lithium and sulfur. Cui says the battery will be easy to make and will last for thousands of charging cycles.
Boeing Co.’s chief engineer for the 787 Dreamliner said Saturday that changes to the lithium-ion battery system are fully sufficient to ensure the aircraft’s safety, although the company has been unable to find the cause of the original battery failures earlier this year that led to groundings of the plane worldwide since mid-January.
Without proper care batteries can wither and die like a delicate tulip roasting in the bright sun from an unseasonably warm spring day — a fact made exponentially worse when the battery in your $ 60k vehicle no longer functions properly.
With that in mind, Tesla just unveiled an impressive new warranty for the Model S battery pack. With the notable exception of a vehicle accident or a curious owner opening the battery pack, under this new plan, Tesla will replace the battery pack for any reason including user error and improper maintenance.
A Singapore clean-tech company called Gcorelab has just received $ 482,000 (S$ 589,000) in funding for a new technology that promises to control the thermal issues that have plagued lithium-ion batteries. Battery packs that use lithium-ion cells such as those found in laptops and, in larger deployments like electric cars, can suffer from cells failing. When the cells do and overheat, they can cause a chain reaction with neighboring cells, in a process known as thermal runway propagation, and this can lead to explosions. Gcorelab has patented its cooling technology. It relies on cooling plates, and the team claims that its “oblique fin technology” can achieve 50 to 80 percent better results compared with liquid cooling, while using the same amount of energy. Battery temperatures are managed by transferring heat away from components, and sensors help to regulate the cooling process, said Gcorelab co-founder, Ray Kung. It also works in cold climates, with heaters and coolers jumping in to keep things optimal, he added. (Batteries are finicky things; arctic temperatures can make them blow up, too.) “Currently, battery thermal management is transitioning from air cooling to liquid cooling systems. While affordable and easy to implement, air cooling is vastly inferior in terms of heat transfer performance compared to liquid cooling,” said Kung. So while the industry transitions to liquid cooling methods, Gcorelab is hoping its technology will provide a more affordable alternative to the latter. If successful, the company’s technology could spell revolution for the battery industry and reliant industries, because of the cooling needed to prevent overheating and explosions. Plenty of lithium-ion batteries have exploded over the years, from iPhones to electric toothbrushes. Bad enough to have something burst into flames while you’re brushing your teeth, but you can see why the airline and automotive industries are a lot antsier about safety standards regarding this. Boeing’s brand new Dreamliner 787 planes recently suffered battery overheating faults, and regulators ordered all 50 planes to be grounded—the first US fleet grounding to happen in 34 years. The grounding has reportedly cost Boeing an estimated $ 600 million, excluding other costs like compensation to airlines which have had business disrupted. Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, has commented on Boeing’s battery woes. Musk’s diagnosis of Boeing’s design fault is that the 787 batteries have large cells placed close to each other. In order to minimize the cascading effects of thermal runway, Tesla cars use smaller battery cells
There’s been a few weeks of silence following the Boeing 787′s successful battery testing, but the FAA has finally weighed in on the proposed design tweaks. Today the organization approved Boeing’s battery fix, which means the aircraft maker can take the next step in returning the fleet of 50 Dreamliners to the air. While this announcement in itself is significant, the real action will come next week, when the FAA will issue its instructions for making changes to the 787s and — according to an official statement — “publish in the Federal Register the final directive that will allow the 787 to return to service.” Airlines operating the Dreamliner will be required to install containment and venting systems for the batteries in addition to replacing the batteries with the new, modified components.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have built a new lithium-ion battery that is 2,000 times more powerful than comparable technologies.
With price reductions on both sides of the Atlantic, and a battery replacement promise, Nissan is clearly keen to lure you over to the EV side of the fence. The latest ploy comes in the form of a battery leasing scheme in the UK market. Dubbing them “Flex” models, cars bought with a leased battery will start at £15,990 (about $ 24,000) thanks to a British government grant scheme that knocks £5,000 ($ 7,700) off the price. It’ll then cost £70 ($ 108) and upwards a month to rent the battery depending on the contract and mileage. The new British-built version also comes with a swathe of improvements (over 100 claims Nissan), with top-billing going to the extended range — from 109 to 124 miles. With charging times also said to be close to 50 percent of those of the original Leaf, the car certainly seems to be moving with the times. Those who prefer to buy the car and battery together as one, can still do so, at the expense of the £5,000 grant. Still undecided? Remember even more improvements could be on the way.
Filed under: Transportation
The official T-Mobile iPhone 5 doesn’t release until April 12, but those with unlocked models can take advantage of T-Mobile’s network right away. For those customers, T-Mobile is rolling out a software update that enables LTE on unlocked iPhone 5 models, as well as improves battery life and enables Visual Voicemail. As expected, T-Mobile updated
Aquion Energy lands $ 35 million to commercialize its novel grid-storage battery, bringing in Bill Gates as investor.
When it comes to disruptive battery startups, one of the best endorsements you can get comes from software tycoon Bill Gates.
Energ2’s nanostructured carbon anodes can boost lithium-ion battery capacity by 30 percent.
A Seattle-based startup, EnerG2, has developed a carbon anode that significantly improves the storage capacity of lithium-ion batteries without requiring a new battery design or a different manufacturing process.
Thinking of picking up the budget Tesla Model S? Think again: the electric automaker just announced that it won’t be sending its 40 kWh battery pack option into production, citing a lack of customer demand. Customers who opted for the lower range configuration will still get a car, of course, but it will be a 60 kWh machine with software restrictions on range. It sounds like a raw deal, but Tesla promises customers that the artificially limited Model S will reap unexpected benefits from the battery swap — that is, improved acceleration and a higher top speed. All of the company’s 60 kWh cars will be built with Supercharger hardware, too. Finally, the company announced that it surpassed its first quarter sales goal, having delivered 4,750 Model S vehicles on its planned 4,500. This gives it a head start on its year-end goal of delivering 20,000 cars in 2013 and presumably secures the Q1 profits it promised shareholders back in February. Curious onlookers and Department of Energy collectors can find the details after the break.
Filed under: Transportation
EnerVault later this year will test its first grid-scale flow battery that uses low-cost materials and proprietary pumping system.
Flow batteries have emerged as one of most promising ways to store many hours of energy on the electricity grid. To make costs more competitive, startup EnerVault is pursuing a novel chemistry and unique mechanical design.
Last May Nokia announced a serious patent offensive against several companies, one of which is HTC. According to FOSS Patents, today a German court awarded Nokia a patent injunction based on power saving technology it has patents for, and it claims is infringed upon by Qualcomm chips used in HTC’s phones. While some of its other cases in Germany were stayed or dismissed, this ruling could be used by Nokia against HTC even during a potential appeal. We’ll see if this is resolved in the courtroom or by some sort of license agreement, in the meantime we’ve contacted both companies for more information on the latest round of patent lawsuit bingo.
Update: Nokia has responded, mentioning that it has 30 other patents asserted against HTC in the US, UK and Germany, with a US case scheduled to start in two months. You can read its response in full after the break.
Source: FOSS Patents
Boeing says it has a fix for the battery problems that grounded its new 787 Dreamliner, and tonight executives are answering questions about the fixes. A Q&A live streamed on Boeing’s website features president and CEO Ray Conner and VP / Chief Product Engineer Mike Sinnett talking about why they believe the airplane is safe to fly. According to Sinnett, the design of the battery has been changed, an enclosure was added and the charger has had its maximum charging levels reduced. For his part, CEO Conner plans “to fly on the very first flight.” Hit the link for the ongoing stream, and see if their explanations satisfy any doubts you may have.
Filed under: Transportation
We know you’ve got questions, and if you’re brave enough to ask the world for answers, then here’s the outlet to do so. This week’s Ask Engadget inquiry is from Bernard, who wants an answer to the age-old question of ensuring you get the most out of your batteries. If you’re looking to ask one of your own, drop us a line at ask [at] engadget [dawt] com.
“It’s said that you should always leave brand-new electronics plugged in for ‘a few hours’ after being fully charged, but how do you decide that period of time? Is there a calculation depending on the capacity of the battery, or what? Help me, please!”
Nowadays, do you even need to? While memory effect was an issue on NiCad batteries, Lithium Ion units don’t suffer from the same issue. It could also be tied to the belief that most chargers only re-juice batteries up to 95 percent, but we can’t find any authoritative proof on the matter. Let’s turn it over to the electrical engineers and battery experts who read Engadget on a regular basis so we can sort this out, once and for all!
The MIT spin-off had hoped to enable the hydrogen economy in developing countries, but is now at work on a flow battery using “designer molecules.”
MIT spin-off Sun Catalytix has had to put its bold vision of enabling the hydrogen economy on hold. But it still has aggressive technical goals.
Stretchable batteries that can be recharged wirelessly offer a power source for wearable electronics and health monitors.
Flexible, stretchable electronic devices will help monitor athletes on the field, take medical monitoring away from the hospital bedside, and make portable electronics more comfortable—perhaps even wearable. But to do anything at all, they need a power source. Now researchers have demonstrated a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can be stretched by as much as 300 percent.
John Rogers, a physical chemist and materials engineer, and Yonggang Huang, a mechanical engineer, teamed up to develop something that sounds like it is straight out of a science fiction novel – a lithium-ion battery that can be stretched and folded. Because of its (pardon the pun) flexibility, this battery could be used in devices
Mophie has announced an expansion of its product offerings with a juice pack air sleeve for the iPhone 5, giving owners of Apple’s latest handset an extended battery option. With this device, users who are often on the go and find themselves in situations where recharging their phone is not possible or inconvenient have a
NeverVotedBush writes in with the latest installment of the Dreamliner: Boeing 787 saga. “A probe into the overheating of a lithium ion battery in an All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 that made an emergency landing found it was improperly wired, Japan’s Transport Ministry said Wednesday. The Transport Safety Board said in a report that the battery for the aircraft’s auxiliary power unit was incorrectly connected to the main battery that overheated, although a protective valve would have prevented power from the auxiliary unit from causing damage. Flickering of the plane’s tail and wing lights after it landed and the fact the main battery was switched off led the investigators to conclude there was an abnormal current traveling from the auxiliary power unit due to miswiring.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
A tiny startup called Ambri wants to transform our energy system with massive liquid-metal batteries.
Standing next to the Ping-Pong table in the offices of the battery startup Ambri, chief technology officer David Bradwell needs both hands to pick up what he hopes will be a building block for a new type of electricity grid. Made of thick steel, it’s a container shaped like a large round cake pan, 16 inches in diameter. Inside it are two metal pucks and some salt powder; a round plate has been welded to the top to make a 100-pound battery cell.
BMW has recalled almost 570,000 cars due to an issue with one of the battery cable connectors, which is prone to failure and could result in a perma-stalled vehicle. The failure results from gradual degradation, which is why the earliest vehicle models being recalled go back to 2007. You can check out which models and
It’s been quite a dramatic beginning for the 787 Dreamliner, probably one that Boeing and the airlines weren’t hoping for, but reoccurring failures to the lithium-ion batteries in several 787 aircrafts resulted in the entire fleet getting ground in order to investigate the issue. However, after a few weeks of investigating and troubleshooting, Boeing has
Multiple users on Apple's iPhone support forum are reporting big drops in battery life after upgrading their handsets to version 6.1 of the iOS operating system.
In a question-and-answer session on Reddit Wednesday, Microsoft’s Surface Pro team ignored most questions about the tablet’s battery life, but hinted that the company might sell an add-on battery pack in the future.
Pebble, the smart watch that set the world on fire with its Kickstarter project, is already encountering a few growing pains as its device begins to trickle out to the earliest backers. Chief among those issues is a problem that sees iOS notifications for email turn off whenever an iPhone or iPod touch has its Bluetooth connection interrupted. Problems are also cropping up around different Android OEMs and the stock email apps they use not necessarily being compatible with Pebble, iOS caller ID issues and differing support for various Android ROMs, among others.
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a solid electrolyte to replace flammable ones used in lithium-ion batteries.
An electrolyte developed by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory could enable lithium-ion batteries that store five to 10 times more energy and are safer than the ones that recently caught fire on Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.
As 21st century technology strains to become ever faster, cleaner and cheaper, an invention from more than 200 years ago keeps holding it back. It’s why electric cars aren’t clogging the roads and why Boeing’s new ultra-efficient 787 Dreamliners aren’t flying high.
In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you’d like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with “Insert Coin” as the subject line.
It’s been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Improving on a good idea, however, is truly the ultimate homage, according to the makers of the new Pinoccio microcontroller. Inspired by the Arduino, the brain trust behind the Pinoccio decided to take the stuff they liked about the popular platform — ease of programming and low cost — and add some features to make it even better. These include a rechargeable battery, a temperature sensor and a built-in radio that allows one Pinoccio with a WiFi shield to communicate wirelessly with other Pinoccios. The microcontroller also delivers performance that stacks up well with an Arduino Mega but at a smaller size — the Pinoccio only measures a couple of inches long and an inch wide. The project is currently trying to raise $ 60,000 at Indiegogo, with supporters netting the standard Pinoccio by pledging $ 49 and a microcontroller with a WiFi shield for $ 99. For more details, feel free to check out the video after the break or peruse the project’s Indiegogo page by clicking at the source link.
Filed under: Misc
A charred lithium ion battery at the center of the worldwide grounding of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner showed evidence of “thermal runaway,” indicative of a design problem, experts tell FoxNews.com.
LG’s Optimus G won the hearts of our reviewers, while finding the barely-different Nexus 4 is a feat worthy of a mythological hero. A tipster has sent us the above leaked slide, revealing that there’s a new(er) kid on LG’s block in the form of the Optimus G Pro. The 5-inch handset comes with an upgraded 1,920 x 1,080 display and is packing a 1.7Ghz Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064, 2GB RAM, 32GB Memory, LTE and a 3,000mAh battery — tallying with a separate leak we’ve spied on Blog of Mobile. Reportedly weighing in at 160 grams and measuring 139 x 70 x 10.1mm, there’s talk of Jelly Bean, a 13-megapixel rear camera and 2.4-megapixel forward-facer for even better self portraiture. Naturally, as a Japanese phone, you’ll also find One-Seg and NOTTV functionality baked inside — which only adds to our complex that those in the Far East get all the best toys.
Source: Blog of Mobile
We’re one step closer to seeing bendable phones hit the market.
The materials could make batteries that store more than twice as much energy as lithium-ion ones.
Some of the most promising battery chemistries—which, in theory, could store several times more energy than today’s lithium-ion batteries and cost much less—have a fatal flaw. They can’t be recharged very often before they stop working, making them useless for applications such as electric vehicles. Now researchers at Stanford have created novel nanostructures that greatly increase the number of times one of these chemistries can be recharged, even to levels high enough for many commercial applications.
Google’s Project Glass is still on track to arrive with developers “early this year,” project lead Babak Parviz insists, with the wearable computer still undergoing work to refine the hardware, boost battery life, and develop compelling apps. “The feature set for the device is not set yet. It is still in flux,” Parviz told IEEE Spectrum, suggesting that
Nissan hasn’t been having the best of luck with its all-electric Leaf. The vehicle hasn’t sold in numbers like the automaker had hoped. Out of the consumers who purchased the Leaf, nearly 18,000 complained of battery capacity loss and poor performance of the vehicle battery packs. To address the complaints of Leaf owners Nissan has
Those who can switch to making lithium ion hybrid batteries could tap a fast-growing market.
Worldwide, lithium ion battery production capacity for electric vehicles and hybrids is five times larger than demand for them from automakers, according to a report from analyst Menahem Anderman, president of Advanced Battery Consulting. As we noted this fall, the problem is particularly bad in the United States, where stimulus dollars pushed the build-out of battery factory capacity (see “Too Many Battery Factories, Too Few Electric Cars”). Some of the companies who built those factories hadn’t lined up enough orders to justify them. Others struggled as a result of sluggish vehicle sales. As a result, some, such as A123 Systems, have declared bankruptcy or idled their factories (see “A123’s Technology Just Wasn’t Good Enough”).
Lithium-sulfide batteries could store far more energy than lithium-ion ones.
For the roads to start filling up with electric cars, batteries will need to get much cheaper—as much as 80 percent cheaper by some estimates (see “How Improved Batteries Will Make Electric Vehicles Competitive”). Two recent advances that make an experimental type of battery much more practical could lead to such cost savings.
Android Phones And Tablets Ranked By Battery Life: Longest Lasting Smartphones Aren’t Top-Tier Devices
Android smartphones can have a pretty bad reputation when it comes to battery life, though that reputation has definitely improved in general over time. A new report updated today ranks the top 15 and worst 15 Android devices based on statistics shared through their app. There’s a huge variance between the best and the worst, and the ones on top might not be the flagship devices you’re looking for.