Because of the risk of overheating, the U.S. Government recently recalled thousands of Lithium-ion batteries used inside cameras, laptops, cordless tools, tablets, and even some types of winter jackets. Now, Stanford University may have discovered a way to address these issues.
Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used batteries, but they are also the cause of fires affecting electric cars, cargo planes, and many common devices. Hoverboards, self-balancing scooter-like devices, are one of the more common technologies harmed by these batteries. It doesn't happen often, but a house in Louisiana recently burned down because one of the residents kept a hoverboard using lithium-ion batteries running for too long. Because of incidents like this, people started researching new, safer battery ideas.
One of the first newly-crafted replacements for these batteries is a Lithium-ion battery that shuts down before overheating and restarts when it cools down. But users of this perhaps safer battery could get stuck somewhere while waiting for it to restart. The second supposedly better option is a “smart” battery that gives off a warning as it heats up. The only issue is, what if this battery's user doesn't hear the warning? Both of these alternatives have their flaws and aren't necessarily long-term solutions.
Because of this, Stanford University decided to try working with nano-technology. “Our design provides a reliable, fast, reversible strategy that can achieve both high battery performance and improved safety,” said the Stanford research team. This battery has a nano-shield surrounding the Lithium-ion, which thus increasing its safety. This may be a huge step to resolve the issue at hand.
This new strategy brings us much further in the battery technology industry and may help battery-users feel a whole lot safer. Now, if we could only keep those mischievous hoverboards from falling into pools.
[Sources: National Geographic; Stanford Report]