Although there has been a raft of changes in the mobile world in recent years, one thing that has stayed the same is battery technology. But that could all be about to change, with claims that SolidEnergy is on track to release a new battery for smartphones, based on lithium metal technology, in 2017.
SolidEnergy is headed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) alumnus Qichao Hu, and the company itself was created as a spinoff from MIT.
The claims have come out of MIT News, which reports that SolidEnergy is well on the way to commercialising its battery technology.
SolidEnergy has declared some highly impressive results from its battery technology, which if realised commercially could revolutionise a number of industries. The company states that it is able to achieve two-times the energy density of today’s lithium-ion batteries, which provides options for either much smaller batteries or significantly longer battery life.
“With two-times the energy density, we can make a battery half the size, but that still lasts the same amount of time, as a lithium-ion battery. Or we can make a battery the same size as a lithium-ion battery, but now it will last twice as long,” Hu said.
Turning SolidEnergy’s work into a commercial proposition will be a hugely demanding challenge.
Hu believes the approach SolidEnergy has taken will help it in this area, as it looks to develop materials that can be used within existing battery manufacturing processes.
Although talk of such radical improvements in battery life may seem a long way from reality, Solid Energy plans to have its technology in use by November. It will first be deployed in two different use case scenarios – balloons which deliver free internet access to the developing world, as well as powering drones.
Next year the company intends to integrate its batteries into smartphones and wearables, before moving into the electric vehicle market in 2018.