Batteries have been a huge setback for recent devices which are powered by them, new devices emerge, but the battery technologies to make them more efficient are way behind, several companies have come up with techniques to bridge the gap, fast charge, as well as other battery technologies such as that created by Oppo, a super VOOC which can fully charge a 2500mAh smartphone battery in 15 minutes, Sony on the other hand are working towards a smartphone battery that could last 40% longer and Apple…. well they made a smart battery Case which is engineered to extend the battery life of the iPhone.
What if i told you, that there is a new battery technology which runs on gravity? You have to agree to this, almost everything is possible with technology. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are building a new type of liquid battery that uses gravity to generate energy.
This brilliant concept was described in a recently published journal Energy and Environmental Science titled “A low-dissipation, pumpless, gravity-induced flow battery,” this showed a new liquid flow battery that uses gravity to generate energy.
This isn’t entire a new concept though, as a matter of fact these type of battery design date back to the 1970s but rely on a similar concept. The positive and negative electrodes are in liquid form which are separated by a membrane. The particles which travel from terminal to terminal in a liquid slurry (thick mixture of water and another substance) generate electricity. As said earlier, earlier designs had something in common; They rely on systems of tanks, pumps and valves to move the chemical compounds contained within the system, which is complex and expensive
Thanks to the MIT researchers; Xinwei Chen, Brandon J. Hopkins, Ahmed Helal, Frank Y. Fan, Kyle C. Smith, Zheng Li, Alexander H. Slocum, Gareth H. McKinley, W. Craig Cartera and Yet-Ming Chiang who now completely eliminated the need for complicated pump systems. The new concept developed by them uses a simple gravity feed to move the slurry (thick mixture of water and another substance) down a narrow channel and generate energy. Additionally the rate of energy produced by this new type of liquid flow battery can be increased or decreased just by adjusting the angle of the battery, this will either speed or slow the rate at which it flows.
The new design should make possible simpler and more compact battery systems, which could be inexpensive and modular, allowing for gradual expansion of grid-connected storage systems to meet growing demand. Such storage systems will be critical for scaling up the use of intermittent power sources such as wind and solar
Ok, now its time for the bad news…. the prototype built by the MIT team is just the concept, the researchers are not close to commercializing it at this point. Chiang shows confidence that the design will definitely lead to a real product, and also it to have applications across a number of industries.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, MIT adopted a European polytechnic university modeland stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. Researchers worked on computers, radar, and inertial guidance during World War II and the Cold War. Post-war defense research contributed to the rapid expansion of the faculty and campus under James Killian. The current 168-acre (68.0 ha) campus opened in 1916 and extends over 1 mile (1.6 km) along the northern bank of the Charles River basin.
MIT, with five schools and one college which contain a total of 34 departments, is often cited as among the world’s top universities. The Institute is traditionally known for its research and education in the physical sciences and engineering, and more recently in biology, economics, linguistics, and management as well. The “Engineers” sponsor 31 sports, most teams of which compete in the NCAA Division III’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference; the Division I rowing programs compete as part of the EARC and EAWRC.