Scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have created a microbattery small enough to be injected, but which holds twice the energy -- about 240 watt hours per kilogram -- of that of other such devices (see figure below).
Developed for salmon-tracking acoustic fish tags, the microbattery improves upon the "jellyroll" technique used to create standard cylindrical batteries by using a lamination process to build its layers, resulting in an increased electrode area -- and minimized impedance -- without increased battery size. For more, see the paper in Nature, "Micro-battery Development for Juvenile Salmon Acoustic Telemetry System Applications."
The microbattery created by scientists at PNNL, shown with grains of rice.
Researchers at Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have developed a new "pomegranate-inspired" battery electrode that addresses reliability issues hampering the development of silicon-based lithium-ion batteries. The electrode is designed using silicon nanoparticles clustered like pomegranate seeds encased in a carbon rind (see figure below), reducing exposure to -- and unwanted reactions with -- the battery's electrolyte. According to the researchers, the new anode design operates at 97% efficiency after 1,000 charge/discharge cycles. For more, see the paper in Nature Nanotechnology, "A pomegranate-inspired nanoscale design for large-volume-change lithium battery anodes."
A pomegranate-inspired battery electrode design for silicon-based lithium-ion batteries uses silicon nanoparticles clustered like pomegranate seeds in a tough carbon rind.
(Illustration by Greg Stewart/SLAC)
A report from research firm Navigant Research forecasts that worldwide revenue from advanced batteries -- including lithium ion, sodium metal halide, sodium sulfur, flow, and advanced lead acid batteries -- for utility-scale energy storage applications are forecast to grow to more than $2.5 billion in 2023 from $164 million in 2014. The report -- "Advanced Batteries for Utility-Scale Energy Storage" -- predicts that growth will be strongest in the Asia Pacific region over the next 10 years, followed by North America and Europe.
In product news, Cadence Design Systems has announced the availability of Tensilica HiFi Audio Tunneling for Android, which takes advantage of the Android 4.4 KitKat audio tunneling feature. The solution is claimed to cut audio processing power by up to 14x and double smartphone playback time. The Tensilica HiFi Audio Tunneling for Android can be used with any of Cadence’s HiFi Audio/Voice DSP IP cores.
Linear Technology has announced a 3-A buck-boost supercapacitor charger and balancer IC. The LTC3128 features accurate programmable average input current limit, active charge balancing and programmable maximum capacitor voltage. The company also announced the LTC3784 60-V polyphase synchronous boost controller, featuring a 4.5 to 60-V input supply range (down to 2.3V after startup).
Diodes Inc. has introduced high-voltage linear regulators for use in 48-V DC power systems. The ZXTR1005K4 (TO252-4 package) and ZXTR1005PD8 (PowerDI5060-8 Type B package) provide a fixed 5-V output and a drive capability of 50 mA.
A plug-and-play street lighting power controller reference design from STMicroelectronics offers a configurable solution to develop and efficiently control a dimmable, high-brightness LED string up to 100 W. The STEVAL385LEDPSR demonstration board is based on the company's STLUX385A digital power controller.
Avago Technologies has introduced gate drive optocouplers capable of driving high power MOSFETs or IGBTs directly. The ACPL-336J and ACPL-337J offer a 2.5- and 4-A rail-to-rail output, respectively.
A new GaN FET from Efficient Power Conversion is optimized for high-frequency applications with positive gain into the 3-GHz range. The EPC8010 has a VDS of 100 V, a maximum RDS(on) of 160 mΩ, and input gate charge in the hundreds of pico-coulombs.
Finally, Renata Batteries has expanded its ICP line of rechargeable lithium polymer batteries to include the 1.7-g, 19.5 x 10.2 x 3.7-mm ICP341018PA 35-mAh battery pack, the 52.0 x 34.5 x 3.5-mm ICP303450PA 500-mAh battery pack, and the 71.0 x 62.0 x 6.7-mm ICP606168PRT 2700-mAh battery pack.