Future of notebook batteries: lithium polymer?
Michael Kanellos CNET News.com
Published: 08 Dec 2006 09:15 GMT
A battery technology that was touted nine years ago for notebooks
may finally get its day in the sun.
Notebook makers are "likely" to soon choose to incorporate lithium
polymer batteries over the current commonly used type, lithium ion
batteries, Sony Electronics president Stan Glasgow said during a
meeting with reporters on Wednesday.
Lithium polymer batteries use lithium as an active ingredient. Lithium
is a volatile material, but the lithium in these batteries isn't packed
into cells as it is in lithium ion batteries. Instead, it is contained
in a polymer gel. These gel batteries can't provide the same sort of
energy density as lithium ion batteries, but that's now a plus.
Manufacturers, and in particular Sony, have pushed the energy density
(or capacity) of lithium ion batteries. When an internal short occurs,
it can set off a chain reaction and start a fire. Dell, Lenovo,
Toshiba, Apple and others, in conjunction with Sony, have offered to
take back millions of lithium ion batteries shipped with particular
notebooks in the past two years.
"There is not too much more power we want to cram into lithium ion,"
Historically, polymer batteries have not been able to provide the long
battery life manufacturers and consumers demand. Mitsubishi put lithium
polymer batteries in its ill-fated Pedion notebook in 1997. The
notebook sported several design novelties - it was far thinner than
contemporary designs and was the first notebook with a shiny metallic
chassis - but it cost nearly $,000 (3,000) and had some mechanical
Despite their struggles, industrial designers have always liked lithium
polymer because gel packs can be squeezed into devices' empty spaces.
Lithium polymer has also improved over time. Some manufacturers are
using it in phones.
Several companies are responding to the hazards of lithium ion by
coming out with nonlithium batteries. Zinc Matrix Power and PowerGenix,
for example, are promoting zinc-based batteries for notebooks and other
devices. Zinc Matrix says it will start shipping batteries in 2007.
Glasgow asserted that that these battery technologies could take a
little while to get to market.
"I don't think anything new is going to be available in the next 12 to
18 months," he said.
MTI Micro Fuel Cells and others will also try to popularise fuel cells,
which harvest electricity for notebooks by passing methanol through a
Most stock pumping SPAM.
Why don't you start a blog and post your stuff there?
I'm suprised "lkgeo1" would deign to post info on the battery technologies
that will make Hydrogen fuel cell cars (and his beloved "hydrogen economy")
obsolete before they can arrive. These batteries are over 80% efficient at
storing electricity, contrasted to electrolyzer/fuel cell combo at well
even better: http://www.oceanpowertechnologies.com/
Wave power's great but it's not a battery !
Or tidal power.
Shortly to be installed. Only 1MW AIUI but it's a start.