Betavoltaic Battery Teases Us With 30 Year Life Span

Posted: Oct 3 2007, 12:33pm CDT | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 4:11am CDT, in Other Stuff


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Betavoltaic Battery Teases Us with 30 Year Life Span

Research funded by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory could lead to batteries for our laptops that run for 30 years without needing to be recharged. The battery uses what is called betavoltaic power cells constructed from semiconductors and use radioisotope as their energy source.

As the name implies, the radioisotope is radioactive and as it decays beta particles are emitted that transform into electricity capable of running a device like a laptop for years. Since the batteries don’t use fission/fusion or a chemical process to produce energy there is no radioactive or hazardous waste.

The process the cells use to produce their power is non-thermal so no heat is put out. Anyone who has touched a laptop battery knows they get hot, which leads to hotter notebooks overall. The lack of heat output from the Betavoltic battery would mean cooler notebooks as well. If all goes well these batteries are expected to be available in the next 2 to 3 years. If they do come to market at a reasonable cost fuel cells are obsolete before they really start.

Via Next Energy News

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
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