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Boffins bash out bonkers boost for batteries

Lee D Silver badge

Oh look a battery technology breakthrough that will double the power of my batteries.

Can I buy it in the shops? No.

Will I be able to in ten years time? Probably not.

Will this be the last such story in that time? Definitely not.

Honestly, when you can list battery chemistries from memory, and the overall capacity hasn't changed in years, all of these breakthroughs would be welcome but it's quite obvious that NONE of them scale to production.

Ten years ago I bought a high-power handheld gaming console. It used AA batteries but you needed special, serious ones to make it work for any length of time. They were expensive. I have AA batteries from that time that I paid for a fortune for that were 2800mAh each. That's 2.8Ah. That's a lot of power for a AA.

What's the most powerful AA format battery I can buy on Amazon today? Search for "High capacity AA battery" sort by Price Highest to Lowest. The top page (excluding the stray D-cells)... 2700mAh. Now, I'm sure there's probably a stupendous capacity one there somewhere, hidden away, but it's not exactly jumping out at me, all these technological advances in the last 10 years.

Sure, the 2700mAh batteries are much cheaper than my 2800mAh ones were... but such advances have not translated into any more actual power per cubic cm.

Alkaline. NiCd. NiMH. Li-ion. Li-Po.

I can't even find a Li-Po AA battery. Only ones that cost £25 each because they are USB rechargeable and they're only 1100mAh.

Almost every battery paper ever written describes a technology that literally contributes nothing towards the technology of general batteries. Which is why we still use lead-acid in UPS, and why our AA's don't hold any more power than 10 years ago.

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