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back to article Sony to make rechargeable batteries last 4x longer

To read the Sony press release, you’d think that it had virtually invented the Lithium Ion battery in the first place, but now it has come up with a breakthrough next step – with a battery that will survive far more charges and discharges without its performance decaying. Sony says it has come up with a battery which will have a …

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Flame

Fire?

Just wondering if they burn easily.

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Bronze badge

Not again

Rechargeable batteries are somewhat like washing powder. You know the ads I'm talking about, the ones where the new improved version washes whiter and shows it in comparison to conventional powders that wash greyer than white. I doubt there's anybody in the world who even notices this sort of advertising anymore.

It's the same with batteries. Every so often a new type of rechargeable battery comes along that won't degrade or have memory problems like the old ones did. And then that version is superceded by a battery that won't degrade or have charge memory problems, like the one that didn't degrade or have charge memory problems. Sooner or later even the most tech gullible amongst us will become immune to this stuff.

Why the big deal about Lith Ion batteries conflagrating anyway? When they first cropped up in RC aircraft it became well known that treating them rough could lead to catastrophic results. Why should this be any different in the world of consumer electronics?

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Yay

The Mrs erm "Back massarger" will last 4 times as long....

More time on Xbox for me then :-))

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Boffin

this is a title

and will almost certainly find their way into Netbooks, portable gaming players, laptops and of course handsets and cameras,

And cars?

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Coat

Ahem, none of that please, we're British

"Sony is being cautious and says that early applications of the new type of Lithium battery will be for power tools and devices which need to drive motors"

Women of the world rejoice.

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Longevity

Curious, then, that I have a ten-year old cordless drill and an old mobile phone only two years younger, both with batteries that still hold a reasonable charge. Our three laptops have done less well, suggesting that the charging circuits are perhaps more to blame than the batteries...

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Flame

Since it's Sony...

So how long till they explode?

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Boffin

Hash

"To read the Sony press release, you’d think that it had virtually invented the Lithium Ion battery in the first place"

I didn´t get that from the press release, however they virtually did invent the Li-Ion battery. They were the first to manufacture them (as in manufacture, not make 1 or 2), and certainly did some of the work on this, even though they did get a lot of help from John Goodenough.

As far as the cells themselves go, they are good, and do have a much longer cycle life (I have some); although at a lower voltage, and hence store less energy. Expect your laptop to have about 1/3 to 1/4 the runtime with these particular cells, so I don´t see them going into laptops anytime soon.

As for power tools or Li-Ion portable vacuum cleaners, they would give similar runtime to the cells currently used in them, but offer a much longer product life. I expect to see the cells in this type of application very soon, unless the manufacturer is a cost-cutting vacuum cleaner manufacturer who manufactures everything in Malaysia from cheap low-quality Chinese copies.

Oh yeah AC, and in cars / delivery vans soon too.

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Flame

wonder if

they called this new battery Zippo and if they burn 4X brighter and explode 4X faster seeing how well sony batteries have done in the past.

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Boffin

@ greasy

actually, early NiCd AA cells were all 600mAh, and lasted for maybe 50 charge cycles, and had memory effect.

NiMH came along and pushed up to 1200mAh, no memory effect, and available now at ~3000mAh.

the cycle life is strongly dependent on temperature and depth of discharge, not easy to give a figure, but lets say 200 cycles

Li-ion is lighter with a higher capacity, and more volts - less problems when one cell in a pack of 3 goes low-capacity. the capacity is about 5x NiMH (from memory) - and the cycle life goes out to 500 cycles.

so a continuous improvement marred only by the parallel increase in expectations...

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@Grease Monkey

"Why the big deal about Lith Ion batteries conflagrating anyway? When they first cropped up in RC aircraft it became well known that treating them rough could lead to catastrophic results. Why should this be any different in the world of consumer electronics?"

You often stuff a remote controlled car or plane in your pants then go for a run or lift things do you? Do you often accidentally drop them then sit them on your lap?

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Coat

Bully for Sony...

...now I ask, can these batteries be safely retrofitted into existing Li-Ion devices, such as iPods, notebook computers, and (since we're talking Sony) PSPs and the like?

I'm sure I have more than a few of those things somewhere in my coat pockets...

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Joke

Apple should get involved.

Put these in iPod and iPhones.

... What cha reckon?

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Grenade

RTFA

@Rik Hemsley, Dave Murray, Kevin 6:

If you actually read the article, you'd have noticed that lithium-iron-phosphate batteries are not prone to thermal runaway, and so will not catch fire or explode.

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The whole idea of a battery ...

... is that is should last just longer than the guaranty and cease production after a year so a replacement battery can cost as much as a whole new gizmo.

Unless manufacturers agree a standard shape, voltage and charger interface then I will stay with AA's wherever possible.

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