The 'Unexpected' Heyday of Lithium-Ion Batteries
A couple of years ago, one of the great underlying fears in the mobile community was that the limitations on powering would curtail the functionality of devices and chill innovation. Those fears led to an impressive ramp-up of industry and academic research into alternatives, from direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) to more exotic options, such as generating energy from the user’s steps while walking.
A few things seem to have alleviated the challenge. Devices, because of the advent of mobile video and the desire for bigger screens, actually are expanding. The bigger the device, the more room there is for the battery and the more energy it can store. The power scare has led to better on-device power management.
For whatever reason, life suddenly seems good for lithium-ion batteries, which are common in mobile devices. This week, IDG Energy Insights released research claiming that manufacturing capacity for lithium-ion batteries will grow 390 percent from 2011 to 2015. The report credits plug-in electric vehicles for much of the rise. The total growth in demand for lithium-ion batteries will be 447 percent during the period of the study.
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