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Old 03-28-2007, 12:41 PM   #1
NatCh
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So now we can put the battery in *front* of the display?

See-Through Plastic Batteries
From the Sci-Fi channel's Tech Blog:

Apparently, some really smart folks over in Japan have come up with a way to make a transparent plastic battery, which is allegedly fast charging, long lasting, low leakage loss, etc., etc., etc.

Quote:
But this isn't your normal rechargeable battery that you have to replace in a year or two — the flexible plastic has been specially treated to retain its charge over much longer periods of time. The three scientists who developed the polymer claim it has a life exceeding 1,000 rechargings. Even more impressive is the claim the battery can reach full charge in only a minute.
This is all still quite experimental, of course, but there you go.


Full article
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Old 03-28-2007, 01:04 PM   #2
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Well, maybe this could solve all our Iliad problems?
Just coat that nice and big screen with these batteries and you're ready to go for 21+ hours...

Sorry...I just couldn't resist...
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Old 03-28-2007, 01:08 PM   #3
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Electric cars with their batteries in the windshield and windows? And all our house windows could store what's produced from the roof panels.
Nice do dream once in a while. In the mean time I'll care to my MS Windows crap storage.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:07 AM   #4
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I read somewhere that what prevented technology to go much further is the battery size. Which that kind of battery, a roll-up polymer e-ink newspaper is nearer to reality...
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:53 AM   #5
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Thinking a little more about it, I don't think it would be good for our current eink displays to add an other thickness. They already suffer from a lack of contrast due to the concept itself of the 'grids' that orient the colo(u)red particles. Adding an other layer over would further the loss of transparency however transparent this battery system may be. Do a test with ordinary glass, just pile panels atop one an other and compare light coming through. Plastics are even worse.

But they would work wonders on backlit displays.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdbenoit
I read somewhere that what prevented technology to go much further is the battery size. Which that kind of battery, a roll-up polymer e-ink newspaper is nearer to reality...
Wired ? They had a whole article about this point.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh
...the flexible plastic has been specially treated to retain its charge over much longer periods of time...
And there it is again... the word "flexible" which already almost sounds like a buzz word to me. Why is that we can only read about flexible but don't experience it yet?
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:59 AM   #8
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Ooooo, I hadn't even thought about the implications of a roll-up battery on portable electronics! They could be ... significant. When the battery is just a layer (or layers) between other components in the case, things could get very interesting.


As for putting the battery in front of the screen, yvanleterrible, I meant that tongue-in-cheek as an attempt at an eye-catching headline, not necessarily as a literal suggestion. Although if an application came along where it made sense to do it (and I agree that e-ink isn't one, not at the moment, anyway), then more power to 'em. Until then, I think the battery can stay safely out of site, even if did happen to be transparent.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:16 AM   #9
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Hey! Watches would be a good application!

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Old 03-29-2007, 11:46 AM   #10
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I'd think that watches could be an excellent application.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:18 PM   #11
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I think the size and flexibility are more interesting than the transparency. How many items need to be completely transparent? Most have some part that can be opaque without hindering the functionality of the item in any way. But the other characteristics of this battery technology (especially charge time and capacity) are very attractive.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:44 PM   #12
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I don't really see the big whoop about transparency either, unless somehow the battery can become the display (limiting the number of layers), or if the transparent layer can absorb energy like a solar cell. Solar cell windows are being researched now... if they could store their own power...

However, flexible batteries can mean power in many more configurations, and that sounds great.
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:08 AM   #13
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Hm. The main point of windows is to pass light. The main point of solar cells is to capture energy in the form of light. Seems like a basic purpose mismatch here... though I know there are many occasions in which we want windows to block some light, so I assume that's the effect they're going for.

That being said, I still don't see the advantage to having the battery in the same layer. Windows have frames, after all. But if the transparency could allow the battery to be integrated with the display, yes, I could see that this could make units thinner and lighter, and possibly less expensive to manufacture (though I somehow doubt it!)
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:16 AM   #14
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Any component that can do double duty performs a weight and space savings. Of course it is a capital feature of miniaturisation.
In bigger projects it will save on wiring by bringing power source closer to energy storage. In this case I would also see some insulation values since plastics in general beat glass in this respect.
In automotive applications there would be weight savings because again of double duties but the main feature still is to make electric cars available; a reluctance forced upon us by petroleum consortiums.
The actual energy storage concepts of today still use as a base the dreaded lead/acid cell. How backwards. This new format of storage, if keeps to its promises, will drastically improve many aspects of energy consumption.
Of course, as of now, we know too few of the economic and practical aspects of this concept. We will have to know of environmental, durability, costs, effectiveness, transparency and diffraction, toxicity and availability factors just to decide how and where to use this promising concept.
Looking at it closely I can not with all the fiction I've read, remember an occurence of such features. It borders on genius. Are we so indifferent or blind to notice?
I look forward to the new devices this concept will release from fiction to reality.
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Old 04-02-2007, 11:36 AM   #15
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For me, the bar on electric cars has been range and recharge time. I don't see much point in a car that can only go, say 200 miles and then needs 12 hours to re-charge -- a 400 mile trip would take a full day longer than it does now! Fortunately, there seem to be a lot of advancements in the battery realm lately, as yvanleterrible alludes to: better capacity, ridiculously short charge times -- the practical reality is getting closer. Of course, I'll likely run up against price as a hurdle next.

The only blind spot most folks seem to have with e-cars is that the electricity still has to be generated at some point, which is still mostly a fossil fuel driven operation, so you just move the 'emissions' from the car itself, to the generation plant. Additionally, you have efficiency losses at all four points of the chain (generation, transmission, charging, and actual use), so e-cars still have a bit to overcome before they pass the ICE on efficiency.

However, I've been keeping a gimlet gaze on these folks who are working on Quantum Electron Tunneling devices that should get conversion 70-80% efficiency (compared to ~40% for conventional generation facilities). As I recall, they've taken out a patent for a 'Thermionic Car' that would use their devices to convert heat -- from the burning of whatever fuel (pure ethanol, anyone?) -- directly to electricity (at ~75% efficiency, thank you) to power the car's electric motors.

I wants some of these things. I has plans for them, I does.
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