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Designing Smarter Batteries for Our Smart Gadgets

The rechargeable Prieto battery can hold twice as much energy as a standard battery, and charge in as little as five minutes.

Even though devices like cell phones keep evolving at record speeds, the batteries inside them aren't that much different than the ones in use 100 years ago. A new startup launched by a chemistry professor from Colorado State University is trying to change that. The rechargeable battery designed by Amy Prieto can hold twice as much energy as a standard battery, and charge in as little as five minutes.


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KAlNKd3xio

The new battery design uses a three-dimensional surface, unlike current batteries, so energy can flow through it more quickly. It also uses nanowire and copper foam substrate, which can hold more power than the common lithium-ion battery. The manufacturing process also considers sustainability: the battery uses non-toxic chemicals, and a water-based, low-cost process.

Think about your current cell phone battery, and then imagine fully charging your phone in minutes, and not having to charge again for days. Because the battery can support more power, it can also enable new features on phones. The batteries can also be scaled up for use in electric vehicles, which can last 300 miles on the road and recharge in 10 minutes.

The batteries are not yet commercially available, but are now in third-party testing.

Image courtesy of Prieto Battery.

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