The Future of Batteries Report

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Moore’s law states that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit will double every two years, and with advances in nano-tube technology and fiber optics that could accelerate. The one thing that could hold us back from taking our next big technological leap is power. John Goodenough and his colleagues invented the rechargeable lithium-ion battery in 1980 at Oxford University. The CPU was developed at Intel by Ted Hoff in the early 1970’s. Although compute power has compounded exponentially, battery technology has remained stagnant in comparison.

The most promising advancement is solid-state batteries. Unlike lithium-ion batteries, solid-state batteries will not catch fire when damaged. This will open up the possibilities of “wearable batteries”. Imagine having batteries sewn in hats, shoes, pants, shirts, jackets…. (I’m thinking exoskeletons and power suits)

Why hasn’t that happened yet? First of all, lithium-ion batteries are not very flexible. Secondly, lithium-ion batteries don’t respond very well to damage. With solid-state batteries we’ll have small light-weight flexible batteries. But more importantly, solid-state batteries wont blowup in your pants.

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