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30-Year Laptop Battery is Indeed Too Good to Be True

Recently debuting at #1 on was a story on a laptop battery that could last 30 years. This story got more Diggs than a video of a monkey pwning you in Halo 3 would have, but no one seemed to buy viagra online cheap ask, "Really...for real?"

The technology is actually quite fascinating. It's a "betavoltaic" power source. These actually exist. And they work by getting together a lump of radioactive material (like tritium) that emits beta particles and overnight viagra generic then converting the beta particles to electricity. It's just like photovoltaics...except instead of photons, it's beta particles.

This device isn't a battery, it's actually a power source, and it will indeed continue producing power for 30 years (the half-life of we use it cialis online pharmacy no prescription tritium is 12 years, so it will be producing roughly 25% of its power 30 years from now.) But the article doesn't point out that there are significant problems with the technology, specifically when using it as a laptop battery.

So what are the problems?

  1. To power a laptop, you'd need about 50 lbs of tritium. Researchers plan on surmounting this by trickle charging a battery with the betavoltaic. This way, when the laptop is not in use, the battery would be recharged by the betavoltaic power source. But while using the viagra online pharmacy usa laptop, you'd experience nothing more than an increase in life...not a 30 year battery.
  2. While the article states that these laptops would run cooler than Li-ion laptops, that's quite wrong. Betavoltaics lose about 75% of their energy as heat, and as designers will be required to include Li-ion batteries anyway, I imagine, if anything they'd be hotter.
  3. At the end of its, life the power source would be completely innert, but during use, it wouldn't be. Moderate shielding can easily block beta waves, but if the battery were damaged, and then you placed it on your "lap" I would hate to think of the consequnces.

I'm not saying that this technology isn't useful. In fact, it's very useful, particularly for space missions requiring low but constant power. Or for any device that needs a low voltage for a long period of time and is buying cialis without a prescription difficult to access.

The possibility of trickle charging a Li-ion for increased life is intriguing, and certain low-power cell phones may someday be able to run 100% on betavoltaics. But a 30-year laptop battery, I'm afraid, doesn't look likely.

Via ZDNet

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Comments (9)Add Comment
30 year battery
written by net97surferx, October 05, 2007
If they ever get around the 50 pounds of tritium barrier -- and still work only on beta radiation -- your #3 is a bit wonky.

Beta radiation is an electron emitted from the nucleus rather than the generic india levitra atomic shell. It's higher energy than alpha radiation (alpha is stopped by clothes or a single sheet of online viagra drugs paper) -- but, beta is stoppable by a few millimeters of plastic or a few millimeters of aluminum foil.

Now, if the 'source' was SO damaged the tritium was leaking onto your lap -- THEN I'd think you might have a problem.

More Power Cap'n
written by Jim, October 05, 2007
So, could you apply the same concept on a larger scale and use it to brand viagra without prescription buy power a house? Bury a couple of hundred pounds of stuff in the back yard, and have it charging a battery / flywheel / energy storage device when it's night time, or during the day when you're at work. Then, use that stored energy when you need it, in the mornings and evenings. You should be able to fit that much material in a package the size of a large water heater, including a well constructed radiation barrier. I don't suppose you'd really need to bury it, that just seems like an extra barrier against a rad leak in your house.
laptop battery
written by laptop battery, October 22, 2007
Any news about the price?
30 year battery
written by battery, April 09, 2008
Did you know that detaching your main laptop battery from your laptop would increase your laptop’s battery life up to 75%? Our experience and testing have shown that even when you are plugged in with your laptop ac adapter and your battery is fully charged, the laptop will still use the we recommend how does levitra work laptop battery resources in small increments. This will put unnecessary charge cycles to your battery. Since typical li-ion laptop batteries have 375 charge cycles, having a fully charged battery inserted will put unnecessary charge cycles. The downside to removing your laptop battery maybe a loss of power when the ac adapter is accidentally unplugged or when there is get viagra online a power outage
written by batteries, May 12, 2008
Thank you for this outstanding article.I thought Centrino was the best technology for laptop battery performance.
laptop battery lover
written by laptop battery, May 15, 2008
Now has not been able to determine that this is really, but hoped that can have this technology. Our battery can use for a long time.
batter whosale price for laptop battery and adapter
written by steven lee, July 13, 2009
dell 1691p laptop batteries
written by lqbatteryshop, May 10, 2010
Rechargeable batteries undergo self-discharging when left unused for long periods of time. This is normal particularly in the case of Ni-MH and Li-Ion chemistries. The amount of runtime a dell 1691p laptop batteries produces depends on the power requirements of components in your electronic equipment.
written by lqbatteryshop, May 25, 2010
Do not expose thethinkpad r30 series battery to high heat or freezing temperatures. Do not leave your battery in your car in the summer. Hot batteries discharge very quickly, and cold ones can't create as much power. Fully charge new battery packs before use. New pack needs to be fully charged and discharged (cycled) a few times before it can condition to full capacity.

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