Do you love your smartphone but hate its dismal battery life? You’re not alone…
According to J.D. Power’s 2011 Wireless Consumer Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study, only 8% of smartphone owners were happy with their device’s battery life.
But short of toting your charger around at all times, there’s not much we can do about it.
Well, that could soon be a thing of the past.
Scientists at MIT recently unveiled a game-changing energy technology that would make charging smartphones and other electronic devices obsolete.
And they’ve done it by replacing the standard lithium-ion battery with a mini-generator – one that’s powered exclusively by heat.
Here’s how it works…
Generating Power From Solar Cells… With No Sunlight
You see, 92% of all the energy we consume involves heat. That’s why MIT scientists have turned their attention to photovoltaic (PV) cells.
Basically, they’re using solar cells to generate power from heat instead of sunlight.
More specifically, it works by aiming a heat source at a thermal emitter. The emitter then radiates heat to the PV cell to generate electricity.
But so far, this process suffers from one major flaw: wasted energy.
The problem is, existing PV cells can’t absorb all of the heat waves sent their way. So they’re not very efficient.
But MIT’s scientists have developed a new system that allows them to control heat wave behavior and filter only those waves needed to power a PV cell.
And with this new upgrade, they were able to create a button-sized generator that packs three times more juice than a lithium-ion battery of the same size and weight.
But it gets even better…
Transforming Excess Heat into Everlasting Power
MIT’s confident it can soon triple the current energy density levels in the cells.
As one scientist says, “At that point, our [thermal] generator could power your smartphone for a whole week without being recharged.” Not bad.
And considering all electronics give off their own heat sources, it’s only a matter of time before this technique can be used to siphon unused heat waves directly from other devices, too.
In other words, this technology has the potential to generate everlasting power!
As Fast Company puts it, MIT has pushed the “efficiency up so far that thermal PV cells are now a viable alternative to all sorts of other tech… [They] could replace the battery in your cell phone, and it may also be used to scavenge wasted heat from almost anything that normally dumps it into the environment, from your TV’s electronics to your car’s engine.”
Bottom line: Science is progressing rapidly and we might not be far from the day most electronics – even electric vehicles – run solely on their own heat at all times.
Understandably, the profit potential should be enormous for a company able to create an endless power source with zero need to plug into the grid. Rest assured, we’re tracking the space closely. So stay tuned.