View Full Version : OT: BATTERY GAME CHANGER, Dramatic breakthrough

08-10-2010, 08:16 PM
If true there is a new battery technology that has the clear potential to change the world almost overnight.

New Battery Technology makes lithium-ion batteries last 20 years
By admin, February 4, 2010 9:11 pm
Japanese Eamex researchers have discovered a technique that could dramatically extend the lifespan of lithium-ion batteries. The new approach keeps the tin inside the battery intact for much longer despite the strain caused by charging and recharging. By absorbing much of the stress through a new alloy in the tin-coated resin, the tin and the electrode structure are more stable and could last for as long as 20 years.

The figure is based on an assumption of about 10,000 complete recharges, or about 10 times more use many batteries today, including those for notebooks. Apple estimates that a MacBook or MacBook Pro battery can withstand about 1,000 cycles over about 5 years of constant use. Regular notebook batteries are estimated to last about 300 cycles.

Eamex plans to ship a battery with about 10,000W of power per kilogram (4,545W per pound) by the end of 2010 and expects the most use to come for vehicles like electric cars and scooters, where the need for a long-lasting battery is the most important. Such technology can scale down to smaller devices, however, and should be useful for storing energy from a home’s solar power and could reach portable devices like notebooks.


Do you know how often we hear about promising new battery technologies every year? Over 4 million times. That's what it feels like, anyway, even if we're way off in our estimation. But here's another number: One. That's how many battery breakthroughs we expect to materialize in an actual product in 2010.

The technology we're referring to comes from a Japanese company called Eamex, who says it has discovered a way to increase the life of high-capacity lithium-ion batteries. We tend to give this one a bit more credibility, if only because Eamex isn't talking about a theoretical tech that could eventually lead to the demise of lithium-ion.

What Eamex has done is figure out a way to stabilize the electrodes and prevent the deterioration of tin. Why's this important? Because it means the batteries can withstand a lot more charge and discharge cycles. We're talking about over 10,000 cycles with a shelf life of 20 years. By comparison, Apple says a MacBook or MacBook Pro battery can withstand about 1,000 cycles over about 5 years of constant use.

Unlike other battery technologies, you don't have to wait a decade for this one to come to market. Eamex says it will ship a battery with about 10,000W of power per kilogram (suitable for electric cars and scooters) by the end of 2010.

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/eamex_extends_battery_life_good_news_notebooks_ele ctric_cars

This is incredible even if they don't completely meet the claims. 10,000 watts per kilo is double the energy density of gasoline per pound. 10,000 full charges means that for most products batteries will never need to be replaced. Virtually any device that now requires a cord to operate becomes a viable cordless tool or appliance. It will even make portable electric heaters practical.

08-10-2010, 08:48 PM
It will even make portable electric heaters practical.

Not sure which is more impressive, the battery breakthrough, or your (almost) fantastic prediction!

Dr Stan
08-10-2010, 08:55 PM
This is way cool and should make all electric cars & light trucks quite viable.

thanks for the info which I'll also use for my Intro to Tech class.

08-10-2010, 08:57 PM
Why is it that the claim "10,000W of power per kilogram" seems like the wrong unit of measure?

A capacitor will provide a huge number of watts, but for a fraction of a second. I wonder what the kwH will be?

Important measures of a battery are how much energy it will store (kilo-watt hours), how fast it will provide that energy (watts), the number of charge cycles it can stand, how fast it self discharges and how long it will last without being used.

Last year the same company announced a capacitor providing "600Wh/L". That was announced last June. The caveat was that the capacitor they could actually produce was extremely small.

I'd love to see some gadgets based on some of these claims reach the market.


Weston Bye
08-10-2010, 09:07 PM
Batteries will only get smaller, not more powerful. At least for consumer applications. Think of the lithium D cells. Break them open to find a AA cell, some plastic and a lot of air. A genuine lithium D cell has enough energy density to be hazardous if shorted or damaged. Think of flaming Sonys - and they had the equivalent of a pack of AA cells.

Still, with a corresponding breakthrough in battery armor and safety circuits...

08-10-2010, 09:19 PM
Armour isn't the answer. What is needed is some sort of safety mechanism that responds to either temperature or current over time and when the limit is exceeded it releases a chemical that poisons the reaction. This need to be an integral part of the battery makeup so that it cannot be removed. Otherwise a truly high capacity battery becomes a bomb.

08-10-2010, 09:51 PM
Why is it that the claim "10,000W of power per kilogram" seems like the wrong unit of measure?

Good point. Gasoline has an energy content of about 20,000 Btu/lb, which is 13 KW-hr/kg.

We need to know what the energy density of the breakthrough battery is.

08-10-2010, 09:53 PM
I wonder what the efficiency penalty is for reconstituting the tin during charge. Life time and capacity of a 10,000 kw battery won't mean squat if it takes 20,000 kw to charge it.

The other problem is the batteries need to be ready to go each circadian cycle. Or at least support a weekly commute with weekend full charge event.

There's a potentially sinister side to electric cars - much like siphoning off gas, tapping into somebody's power outlet to get a quick freebie is going to happen unless it is made very difficult to use power from a common outlet.

Todd Tolhurst
08-10-2010, 09:57 PM
So they're claiming a revolutionary tenfold increase in battery life as well as a huge increase in specific power? *AND* it's going to ship by the end of the year? Sounds great, if true. But color me skeptical.

08-10-2010, 10:04 PM
I wonder why this isn't a huge main-stream news story.;)


Dr Stan
08-10-2010, 10:10 PM
I wonder why this isn't a huge main-stream news story.;)


Because they are more interested in Bristol Palin. :(

The Artful Bodger
08-10-2010, 10:22 PM
Because they are more interested in Bristol Palin. :(

You guys really need to get yourselves a royal family!:D

08-10-2010, 10:22 PM
Looks like this is from a press release in February 2010 by Eamex, a Japanese startup. Doesn't seem to be much hard info (or progress reports) since the press release.

A little more info here:

If this is truly a startup company then product availability in 2010 seems optimistic - there's many a slip between the lab and the production line.


Dr Stan
08-10-2010, 10:29 PM
You guys really need to get yourselves a royal family!:D

Been there done that. Showed them the door in 1776. :D

J Tiers
08-10-2010, 10:36 PM
Agree that energy density is the appropriate measure..... but of course the "story" is usually mediated by non-technical editors and writers, who may let a little thing like watt-hours escape their notice.....

One does wonder why the first news is a media release.....

Tony Ennis
08-10-2010, 10:46 PM
Looks like this is from a press release in February 2010 by Eamex, a Japanese startup.

They are looking for investors.

08-10-2010, 10:48 PM
You guys really need to get yourselves a royal family!:D

I thought Oh Bummer was our "Royal Family"???

Oh wait, my mistake....He is our Royal Pain in the...

08-10-2010, 10:48 PM
Because they are more interested in Bristol Palin. :(

Very very sad, but unfortunately true....

08-10-2010, 11:04 PM
What a great thread for talking about batteries! I wonder what the disposal cost is going to be. I'll bet for the end user it becomes part of getting a replacement set to have the seller accept the old batteries, but there's surely an expense that has to be passed on.

And as with all batteries there is nothing safe about carrying that many instantly convertible joules around at 70 mph. The poisons and gases will keep first responders away for long time, and their job will be to stuff body bags.

I do think that if this technology works out it will open the door for clever personal transporters, and with so many baby boomers (the first dirt bike generation) retiring, this could be a good thing.

08-10-2010, 11:34 PM
That figure of 10,000--- could be anything. Could be 10,000 kwh, or 10 kwh, or 10,000 delivered watt capacity at peak- per kilo of battery. 10kwh would mean just over 13 horsepower for one hour per kilo of battery. That's hard to believe, and 10,000 kwh would mean 13 hp for one hour from a two gram battery- I think it's a pretty safe bet that's not the case. Could a 2 lb battery deliver a 10,000 watt pulse for a short term- possibly.

If one were to believe that this new batterys capacity is 10kwh per kilo, then my bicycle could smoke the back tire for probably five hours (if the tire could last that long) with a battery that could fit in the bottom half of the water bottle.

Not sure what to think here. I'll have to brush up on the various capacities of batteries. Lead acid I believe is at best 40wh per pound, or about 90 wh per kilo- and we're talking about a battery here that's maybe 100 times better than that. Hmm

08-10-2010, 11:35 PM
I found their Japanese only page on the battery and Googletrans is good enough to discover that the energy density is 200 watt hours per kilogram. The power density is 10000 watts per kilogram.

The battery is optimized for long life and the ability to provide very high current. They seem to explain that high energy density and long life are mutually exclusive goals.

http://translate.google.ca/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&u=http://www.eamex.co.jp/capa2.html&ei=QRhiTLu-K5KmsQP5g42vCA&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CCIQ7gEwAQ&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dbattery%2Bsite:eamex.co.jp%26hl%3Den% 26sa%3DG%26prmd%3Di

08-11-2010, 04:10 AM
Will it power a swine flu monitor ?


08-11-2010, 06:10 AM
For at least 20 years. While the truth is not as presented in the news articles that I also doubted the energy density is nearly twice that of current lithium batteries that store about 128 watt hours per kilo. Add in the 10,000 recharge lifetime and this still is a big story. There are no other battery technologies that come remotely close to that spec. You can forget the cordless heater though.

08-11-2010, 07:37 AM
Kokam cells are about 130 Whr/Kg and with power outputs around 600 W/Kg (continuous) for their 'high power' series. Their 'high energy series are more like 180 Whr/Kg, but at lower power density.

They were used (high power) in the winning bike at the inaugral TTXGP that put in an 87.4 mph lap of the 38mile Isle of Mann 'mountain' circuit.

They are not 'vapour ware', you can actually buy them.

A123 cells are in the 110 Whr/Kg range, but 3000 W/Kg power output.

They are used in quite a lot of power tools.

08-11-2010, 08:34 AM
The limit on electric vehicles is not so much range as it is total cost of ownership. Buying a battery pack that is half the cost of the vehicle every 2-5 years isn't something most consumers are interested in. That is on top of the increased power bill for charging the thing. Oil didn't kill the electric car, TCO did.

If this battery technology can match current capacities but last 10k cycles and be similar in costs, then electric vehicles that could to 100-250k on original power trains/batteries are feasible. That'll keep TCO much closer to pump fed vehicles.

08-11-2010, 09:03 AM
Lots of other battery technology has come up in the last few years.
Canbon nanotube technology is one, ceramic super caps (EESTOR - caution this one is very speculative) and several variants in Lithium polymer.

As others have suggested the LiFePO4 cells in the A123 are real and being used today in power tools. Significantly safer than earlier Lipo technology and much longer lasting.

08-11-2010, 09:27 AM
The big item is the 10,000 cycles. That is what is stressed on the Japanese language page too, not the power density although that is very good as well. The developers explain how they have managed to make a thin polymer film electrode that allows for expansion and contraction of the electrode caused by temperature differences during operation without those differences causing migration of the metallic tin element gradually and destroying the operational properties of the material.

They are looking for partners to develop the technology. They are not a battery maker. They make thin film conductive polymers and this appears to be an accidental discovery in the development of conductive polymers for "synthetic bio muscle" electrical actuator technology.

08-11-2010, 10:27 AM
Here's a background article on batteries. It has the Wh/kg figures for common batteries. It does not have the New batteries. There is a table near the end of the article that compares different styles and cost.