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Power Hardware

Toshiba To Launch "Super Charge" Batteries 202

Posted by kdawson
from the fill-'er-up dept.
ozgood writes in to let us know about Toshiba's announcement that it has developed a new type of rechargeable battery dubbed the Super Charge ion Battery, or SCiB. Toshiba claims the new battery will mainly target the industrial market, though they hint the technology may eventually find a home in electric vehicles. The SCiB can recharge to 90% of total capacity in under five minutes, and has a life span of over 10 years. "Toshiba also says the battery has excellent safety with the new negative electrode material having a high level of thermal stability and a high flash point. The battery is also said to be structurally resistant to internal short-circuiting and thermal runaway."
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Toshiba To Launch "Super Charge" Batteries

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  • awesome! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kranfer (620510) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @01:35PM (#21685707) Homepage Journal
    Awesome, I would get one of these. I hate sitting in an airport recharging my laptop battery for eons at a time. 10 minutes to get 90% of the charge back eh? I want one now! ::jumps up and down::... Now if only my cell phone could do this too... and my Digital camera, and camcorder too... I like how they point out that it has more safety features too. Although, I am wondering if we will still see these batteries exploding at the most inopportune time... like a presentation on how awesome it is...?
  • by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday December 13, 2007 @01:54PM (#21686017) Homepage Journal
    Presumably, the battery cells of say, a car, could be charged in parallel. So let's say that a recharge takes about 15-20 minutes. Seems that the "pumping station" of the future would take the Convenience Stores of today to their logical conclusion.

    Instead of a few pumps, you see a small parking lot. You pull into a space and hook up the charger. Then you go inside and get a meal, some coffee for the road, or just make a pitstop. You then go to the counter to check if the charge is complete and pay for the electricity you used. Go back out to your car, disconnect the charger, and you're ready to hit the road again.
  • by afidel (530433) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @02:00PM (#21686097)
    I would think one of the first uses for this type of thing would be for contractor grade cordless powertools. With current battery tech any heavily used battery lasts less than 2 years with the kind of abuse construction guys give em. Of course you're going to need one heck of an extra alternator to charge em that quickly, more likely a separate generator.
  • by JediTrainer (314273) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @02:22PM (#21686443)
    Personally, I'd like to see some sort of inductive charger for batteries like this that I can use for a laptop. Rather than cabling everything up, you just rest your laptop on the mat within range for 10 minutes, and you're good to go.

    Now things are getting interesting, with that suggestion. Take it a step further - why not embed these inductive chargers (in cities) right into traffic intersections? Give yourself a boost while you're waiting on the red. If anything, it could be used for everything from cars to buses, I would suppose.
  • by shmlco (594907) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @02:42PM (#21686709) Homepage
    "You then go to the counter to check if the charge is complete and pay for the electricity you used."

    As long as you're setting things up from scratch, why not go a step further and put some sort of RFID system/sensor into the car/charger. Just stop anywhere, plug in your car, and electricity is automatically billed to your account.
  • Re:awesome! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rei (128717) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @02:49PM (#21686827) Homepage
    Bah, this is nothing. EEStor's EESU [freepatentsonline.com] ultracapcitor prototype gets charge times like this, a leakage rate of 0.1% per month, virtually no degradation over time, and has over twice the energy density of the best lithium-ion batteries on the market, with half the cost of lead-acid. The science behind it is sound (a lot of these titanates have crazy permittivity from the perspective of individual crystals, and if you can eliminate the voids traditionally left by sintering, as they appear to have done, it can't arc discharge through them when you make bulk ceramics). The economics looks sound, too (nickel electrodes aren't that expensive, nor is anything needed to produce barium titanate). The only real question is whether they can actually commercialize them rather than just make and operate them in the lab (the typical sticking factor). Their mass production facility has hit its milestone for barium titanate purity, as tested by an outside lab, but they haven't yet hit their mass produced ceramic permittivity testing milestone. The company is abnormally tight-lipped; both scammers and legit companies are typically shouting about how great they are in order to get more money, but EEStor is being so quiet that the only way you can generally get info about what's going on is to talk to the company that gets their first units, ZENN Motors.

    Either way, here's to hoping. :) Something like that would basically change the world. Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Beyers (the main funders, a major investment firm famous for early buys on tech companies that made it big -- Amazon.com, AOL, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Google, Intuit, Macromedia, Netscape, Sun, etc) calls it their "highest risk, highest reward" investment. Its a shame that ZENN has the initial exclusive rights to their capacitors for electric vehicles; I find ZENN's vehicles to be the ugliest, least interesting electrics being put on the market.
  • Regenerative Braking (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @04:46PM (#21687880)
    I think what would make these super for cars is that they would appear able to handle any regenerative braking load placed on them. I don't believe you can say that about the current cells in use.

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