by Staff Writers
Montreal, Canada (SPX) Apr 27, 2017
Who hasn't lived through the frustrating experience of being without a phone after forgetting to recharge it? This could one day be a thing of the past thanks to technology being developed by Hydro-Quebec and McGill University.
Lithium-ion batteries have allowed the rapid proliferation of all kinds of mobile devices such as phones, tablets and computers. These tools however require frequent re-charging because of the limited energy density of their batteries.
"With smart phones now, you can basically carry your whole office in that device, they are loaded with all sorts of applications so you need a lot of power to use it everyday and sometimes, you don't have access to a plug to recharge," explains Professor George P. Demopoulos, chair of Mining and Materials Engineering at McGill University.
This has led to the development of portable solar chargers but these hybrid devices are difficult to miniaturize due to their complex circuitry and packaging issues.
To solve this problem, scientists at McGill University and the Hydro-Quebec's research institute are working on a single device capable of harvesting and storing energy using light. In other words, a self-charging battery.
A first milestone
The study shows that a standard cathode from a lithium-ion battery can be "sensitized" to light by incorporating photo-harvesting dye molecules. "In other words," says Dr. Andrea Paolella, the study's lead author and researcher at Hydro-Quebec, "our research team was able to simulate a charging process using light as a source of energy."
Scientists will now have to build an anode, the storage component, which will close the device's circuit, allowing energy produced by the cathode described in Nature Communications to be transferred and stored. If they succeed, they will have built the world's first 100% self-charging lithium-ion battery.
Potential for mobile devices
"We have done half of the job," says Professor Demopoulos, co-senior author of the paper with Hydro-Quebec's Dr. Karim Zaghib, a world leading expert on batteries. "We know that we can design the electrode that absorbs light. "This grant will give us the opportunity to bridge the gap and demonstrate that this new concept of a light-chargeable battery is possible."
"I'm an optimist and I think we can get a fully working device," says Paolella, who is also a former post-doctoral student from McGill. "Theoretically speaking, our goal is to develop a new hybrid solar-battery system, but depending on the power it can generate when we miniaturize it, we can imagine applications for portable devices such as phones".
"Hydro-Quebec has a strong global position with regard to the development of innovative, high-performance and safe battery materials," says Karim Zaghib Director - Energy Storage and Conservation at IREQ, Hydro-Quebec's research institute.
While it may take a few years to complete the second phase of the project, Professor Demopoulos believes this "passive form of charging" could play an important role in portable devices of the future...
Ulsan, South Korea (SPX) May 03, 2017
A team of researchers, affiliated with UNIST has developed a single-unit, photo-rechargeable portable power source based on high-efficiency silicon solar cells and lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). This newly-developed power source is designed to work under sunlight and indoor lighting, allowing users to power their portable electronics anywhere with access to light. In addition, the new device coul ... read more
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|