Smartphone battery capacity could double as early as next year

By Shawn Knight · 22 replies
Aug 19, 2016
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  1. Smartphones, drones and electric vehicles may soon be able to last twice as long between charges thanks to a promising battery technology being developed by MIT spinout SolidEnergy Systems.

    Led by MIT alumni Qichao Hu, researchers have developed a battery that swaps out the common battery anode material for a very thin, high-energy lithium-metal foil that’s capable of holding more ions.

    The problem with this approach, however, is that lithium metal reacts poorly with a battery’s electrolyte (the liquid that conducts ions between the cathode (positive electrode) and the anode (negative electrode). The result of their reaction is increased resistance, reduced life cycle and the risk of short circuits created by dendrites.

    The solution to this and minimum heat requirements (the battery would only work at 80 degrees Celsius or higher) was to coat the lithium metal foil in a liquid hybrid electrolyte solution that eliminates the temperature constraint. Chemical modifications to the separator and cell design further curb negative reactions with the lithium metal.

    In layman’s terms, all you really need to know is that batteries from SolidEnergy have two times the energy density. This means that batteries can be shrunk down by 50 percent and still offer the same level of performance compared to today’s batteries. Conversely, batteries could stay the same and simply last twice as long.

    SolidEnergy aims to bring its technology to market later this year with batteries for drones before turning its attention to the mobile and wearable industry early next year. Come 2018, the company plans to set its sights on the electric vehicle industry with the vision of an EV packing a range of well over 500 miles of range between charges.

    While it’s easy to get excited about SolidEnergy’s plans, “holy grail” breakthroughs like this aren’t uncommon and sadly, most never make it out of the lab. With any luck, SolidEnergy will succeed where most before it have failed.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2017
  2. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 814   +371

    ... said by the industry every year since batteries have existed. We all know it isn't happening.
  3. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 990   +233

    Unfortunately why I take every news bit about new battery technology with a massive block of salt... :'(
    thelatestmodel, DaveBG, misor and 6 others like this.
  4. Timonius

    Timonius TS Evangelist Posts: 647   +58

    And even if it is implemented some yahoo is going to unnecessarily incorporate some silly 4k+ res on a 5" screen that drains the battery twice as fast anyway.
    mosu, cliffordcooley, EClyde and 2 others like this.
  5. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 390   +668

    So it'll be another +5-10% improvement which will be wiped out with the obsession of making phones another 0.5mm thinner...
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,350   +1,991

    Developing the technology and getting it into the hands of the consumers are two very different and distant things. We've heard about water burning engines (yes there are two working prototypes I know of) for nearly a century, but they've never made it to the market place for obvious reasons. There is a fortune invested into the Li-ion battery that may not be fully recouped as of yet. Hard to believe that industry is going to re-tool and re-vamp now at a tremendous debt, write off the previous investment at a loss and still expect to make money before the "next great thing" shows up. While the masses may demand it, industry and it's investors are not about to take a bite out of that bitter fruit.
    skipmichael and saracenrush like this.
  7. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,320   +1,412

    So I've been playing with 18650 batteries for about 6 years now and in that time I have seen REAL capacities go from 1000mAh to 3000mAh. Just because you think battery tech is stagnant doesn't mean that it is.
    Greg S, Kibaruk and Skidmarksdeluxe like this.
  8. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 814   +371

    You mean batteries have got physically larger in the 6 years? Odd, one would have never imagined that technology. Amazing!
    SirChocula, veLa and Kibaruk like this.
  9. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Yep, but in less than 6 years. Nevertheless I take this news with a grain of salt, I'll believe when I see it.
  10. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,320   +1,412

    18650 is a standard size, just like AA is a standard size of battery. And I planly said capacity in my post.
    hahahanoobs likes this.
  11. MarkHughes

    MarkHughes TS Addict Posts: 143   +73

    Ill take this news with a pinch of lithium.
    Hammayon and mosu like this.
  12. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +902

    It's been part on the larger side but they've also improved in tech, maybe not big breakthroughs like this one but they have.
  13. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,072   +428

    Li-ion batteries have actually improved significantly in the past few years, just not anything like these articles would lead you to believe. In the past 10 years, there has been at least a 50% increase in capacity and longevity of standard cylindrical li-ion cells used in rechargeable devices such as laptop batteries, cordless drills, and other power tools.
    Hammayon likes this.
  14. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    Even in the CRAZY unlikely event that this actually happens smart phones will just get thinner and smaller and the battery will still only last 5-6 hours with heavy use.
  15. namesrejected

    namesrejected TS Guru Posts: 398   +299

    I was very interested in fluorine based battery research being done, but haven't heard any progress in years. Its a shame, there is the technology out there, but it all seems to be stopped by...... illuminati !!!!

    Anyhow, hopefully this will make it to the smartphone so that I can finally buy a smartphone with a tazer built into it.
    Hammayon likes this.
  16. JonnDoe

    JonnDoe TS Rookie

    AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHa......I'm sorry HAHAHa...Yeah and monkeys are going to fly out my ***.
    They were working on a fuel cell that would power my laptop for 6hrs.....20YRS AGO, haven't heard a peep since but, It was just 3-5yrs from being common place then.
    So please....forgive my slight dis-belief.
    Unless the plan Is to double the thickness of the phone to accommodate a larger battery.
    DaveBG likes this.
  17. war59312

    war59312 TS Booster Posts: 131   +11

    Every year we get a battery story about some new battery that is suppose to safe the world.

    Ugh, getting old!
  18. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,285   +243

    isn't Li-Po (lithium polymer) the better upgraded tech of the older Li (lithium) battery?
  19. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 860   +874

    Even if this holy grail were to work perfectly, companies would just cut the physical size of batteries in half, and makes their phones even thinner. Nobody, it seems, wants to make a thicker phone with amazing battery life =(
  20. SirGCal

    SirGCal TS Maniac Posts: 365   +136

    Just make my phone bigger and give me a bigger battery... Seriously... I HAVE to have a damn case on my phone JUST to hold it steady. I cannot handle the micro-thin phones everyone MUST have today... GIMME SOMETHING THICK! ... There's a perverted joke there...
  21. skipmichael

    skipmichael TS Enthusiast Posts: 30   +15

    Some how get the technology and turn it over to India. They will develop it for the masses.
  22. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 814   +371

    you may be a fan of zerolemon batteries.
  23. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 303   +97

    Sure sure. I have heard this story and we know it is fake vapor.

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