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Get a $50 solar-powered 10,000 mAh power bank for $14

Posted by wicked November - 17 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off


Amazon is currently selling a highly-rated ZeroLemon SolarJuice power bank for almost 70% off. To take advantage of this incredible deal, use coupon code Q7RVCPQ2 while checking out. The price will drop to $14. It’s also eligible for prime shipping. 

mi_band_1s_xiaomiSee also: Xiaomi just released a 20,000 mAh Mi power bank with Quick Charge 2.0 for $24… AND a fitness band for $1516

This portable external battery is rainproof, shockproof, and comes with a 36-month warranty from the manufacturer. The device is perfect for hikers or outdoorsy people, as it’s capable of recharging itself completely via solar panels. It takes about 8 hours of direct-sunlight charging to get about a 50% charge on most devices. This might sound like quite a bit of time, but the device is intended for emergencies and casual use. If you’re going camping but want to keep your smartphone charged, for instance, this deal is for you!

The power bank’s capacity is 10,000 mAh. In addition, it has an LED flashlight and four display LEDs to indicate its battery levels.


Like the idea of an inexpensive external battery but don’t have any interest in the solar aspect? We’ve got a bonus deal for you, then. Kmashi is offering a 15,000 mAh power bank  for only $12.50. To redeem this offer, add the external battery to your cart on Amazon and use the code DNWS3612 before checking out. This one comes with a 12-month warranty.

Both of these are pretty incredible deals, but the ZeroLemon power bank has the added cool-factor of solar charging, even if it does have a somewhat lower capacity. It’s a hard call between the two of them, but I think I might grab the Kmashi just because last time I spent more than ten minutes outside was when I went to check the mail and accidentally locked myself out of the house.

What do you guys think? Solar or more charge?

Huawei’s new fast charging batteries can power up in 2-5 minutes

Posted by wicked November - 16 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

Screenshot 2015-11-16 17.19.57

While OEMs still haven’t found a clear cut solution to the fast draining battery problem, some have found other ways to make up for it, either by partnering with power banks or external batteries (or creating it themselves), or coming up with fast charging technology. Chinese brand Huawei has done both, with their own power banks, and now, announcing their quick charging lithium-ion batteries. They say that the batteries are ten times faster than your usual smartphone batteries, and will take just a few minutes to bring decent capacity.

They showed off the batteries’ fast charging ability through two videos at the 56th Battery Symposium in Nagoya, Japan. The first one shows a 600mAh battery that was able to get to 68% in just two minutes. The other video had a 3000 mAh battery achieving 48% capacity in five minutes. This will result in at least 10 hours of calls for your smartphone, provided that you use it prudently of course.

If you want to be technical about it, what they were able to do is to bond heteroatoms to the molecules of graphite in anode. This is actually the catalyst for the capture and transmission of lithium through carbon bonds. This tech actually increases the charging speed but not compromising its energy density or battery life.

Huawei believes that this kind of batteries and the technology behind it will eventually revolutionize the battery life of not just smartphones, but even wearables, mobile power supplies, even electric vehicles. This project was spearheaded by Watt Labs, a division of Huawei, together with their industry partners.

SOURCE: Huawei

Huawei develops quick charge battery that doesn’t diminish the lifespan

Posted by Tom November - 16 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off


Those with quick charge capable phones relish in zipping in juice on the fly but with the turbo-charged action the batteries’ lifespan can suffer.


A new Hauwei lithium-ion battery with a graphite-coated anode that claims to keep the lifespan in the green while still being able to manage 48 percent charge on the 3,000mAh battery in just five minutes.


From the same lab comes an even faster model that gives 68 percent life in just two minutes, but that’s a 600mAh battery so no use in the modern world of high-powered smartphones.


Via engadget

Researchers bring us one step closer to the ‘ultimate battery’

Posted by wicked November - 13 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off



A research breakthrough in lithium-oxygen battery development could now make the ‘ultimate battery’ a possibility, as a number of barriers to development appear to have been overcome.

Lithium-oxygen (Li-air) has been hailed as the base for the ‘ultimate battery’ due to its energy density benefits over current lithium-ion cells. Lithium-oxygen can offer ten times the theoretical energy density of current batteries, which would enable smaller, cheaper and longer lasting cells for gadgets or battery powered vehicles. The huge potential benefits with Li-air had been thought to be out of reach, but researchers appear to be getting closer to a viable solution.

Battery capacity expectations

Source: IDTechEX

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have demonstrated a new lithium-oxygen cell that is 90 percent more efficient and more stable than previous attempts, and can be recharged more than 2000 times. However, as with all these emerging battery technologies, there are a number of obstacles to overcome before we see anything close to a viable product.

As we are probably all too aware, battery technology has failed to keep pace with processors and other energy sapping components found in our gadgets, resulting in decreased use time. So we could use an alternative. Post-lithium batteries are also seen as important in the growing automotive and green energy storage industries, where large and therefore more expensive lithium-ion batteries are seeing increased demand. If lithium demand from these sectors grows as expected, a strain on supply could make existing battery technology more expensive, leading to a drive for alternatives.

Lithium-air batteries have become popular in research fields over the past decade, catching up with the likes of Sodium or Li-Sulphur. Other promising areas of research include Silicon Anode technologies, Lithium Capacitors and Solid-State batteries, but there are still compromises and technical issues left to overcome.

ZTE Blade S6 Plus aa battery

Ten times the battery capacity would be a major boost for smartphones, but would also be beneficial for the electric vehicle and green energy storage industries.

The difference between a lithium-oxygen and lithium-ion battery lies in the battery’s electrode. Rather than graphite, the researchers have developed their electrode using graphene, which you have probably heard talked about a lot before. The graphene is highly porous and is combined with lithium iodide to lower the voltage gap between charge and discharge to just 0.2 volts, making the battery more efficiency than previous implementations, which had a gap anywhere between 0.5 and 1 volt.

“While there are still plenty of fundamental studies that remain to be done, to iron out some of the mechanistic details, the current results are extremely exciting – we are still very much at the development stage, but we’ve shown that there are solutions to some of the tough problems associated with this technology,” – Professor Clare Grey of Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry

However, like some previous enhanced capacity battery research that we have seen, there’s a problem with lithium metal fibres, known as dendrites, which can form on the metal electrode, eventually leading to a short-circuit within the battery and possible explosions! The researchers are yet to find a way to protect the metal electrode from the dioxide, nitrogen and moisture in the air around the battery.

Unfortunately, this means that the team expects that we are still at least a decade away from seeing a truly practical design, but at least the technology now seems feasible. Unfortunately, our smartphones won’t be lasting all week on a single charge just yet.

Mophie announces new powerstation products

Posted by wicked November - 11 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Mophie power lineup 2

Popular battery case manufacturer Mophie is bringing more practical battery solutions to the Android community. A new lineup of powerful products just rolled out, proving once again why Mophie is the top selling mobile battery case maker in the market today. The brand has just introduced its next-generation universal power products that are said to be the slimmest to date. They are also quick-charging and are very durable so you know they can last a lot of cycles.

The latest Mophie mobile batteries are available in different sizes from 1X to 8X. Each one can juice up any smartphone with a maximum of 15,000mAh power for extra long battery life, reaching up three days of extra hours. The products work with the mophie Power app for better mobile power management. As with previous mophie juice packs, you can expect great performances, features, benefits, and reliability from these products.

Try to explore the Mophie Power app and you can start managing the battery life of your power station units, or at least, just the 5X and 8X models. You can see percentage of battery life that is left and even set notifications when battery is full or low. Other models like the 3X,5X, and 8X feature dual outputs to allow simultaneous charging.

You can get the new Mophie powerstation products from Verizon,, and the Apple Store. The most affordable mophie is only $40. Each product comes with an ultra thin design, aluminum construction, and fast charging capabilities.

Mophie power lineup 1
Mophie power lineup 3
Mophie power lineup 2

SOURCE: mophie

Power up your device through your waist with Kickstarter ION belt

Posted by wicked November - 2 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off


When they say wearable technology is the next big thing (or is already the big thing), this time they mean it literally, the wearable part we mean. A new Kickstarter project is called the ION Belt, and from the name itself, you’ve probably figured out what it is. Yes, our nomophobia (fear of being without a mobile phone) is in full swing that we’d rather that the clothes and accessories we wear be able to juice up our devices; in this case, it’s a belt.

If you’re not used to wearing belts anymore or think it’s out of fashion, then you will probably start getting used to wearing one again when you hear that wearing this one will actually get you out of a tight spot battery-wise. It has 3,000 mAh of “hidden power” that can power up an entire charge for your smartphone. It has a universal USB charging port so you can charge anything to your belt as long as you have a charging cable.

In case you’re worried that you might get electrocuted or at least slightly shocked whenever you’re charging, the makers assure us that it is using their own Encapsulpak technology that encases the battery. The belt itself is also protected from wear and tear because of it’s durable design. But it’s also not that bad-looking that you’d be ashamed to wear it because it cramps your style.


Their Kickstarter campaign is halfway fulfilled as they’ve raised $26,000 of the $50,000 needed, with 40 days still to go. You only need to pledge $79 to get the early bird rate for 1 ION Belt. When it will be sold in retail stores, the estimated price is $130+, so that’s a pretty sweet deal there.

SOURCE: Kickstarter

Lithium-air can be the ‘ultimate’ battery, says Cambridge researchers

Posted by wicked October - 31 - 2015 - Saturday Comments Off

lithium air battery

There seems to be a move to make batteries stay longer than ever. We’ve heard of numerous scientific efforts already. The most recent we featured was the work of Waterloo researchers who discovered that using silicone anode materials instead of graphite anodes allowed them to create a low-cost battery that it also lighter and more powerful. We know Samsung has started to be aggressive by introducing new batteries at this month’s InterBattery event after months of working on a new battery technology.

There was a study before that gave the idea that solid-state electrolytes could improve batteries. Of course, let’s not forget that lithium-ion battery that can be recharged by sunlight.  This time, another lithium battery related study was conducted by Cambridge University researchers. They were able to make a lithium-air battery (still a laboratory model) that can be recharged over 2,000 times and has a high density.

The researchers published the paper that features their work about the possibility of lithium-air batteries replacing lithium-ions. While there’s also an effort to improve li-ion batteries, these Cambridge researchers are saying lithium-air batteries have potential to be the ‘ultimate’ battery because they are lighter and feature higher energy density. However, a market-ready lithium-air battery could still be a decade away. The researchers’ work didn’t even yield a working lithium-air batt but they found out some hindrances are now open for discussion and can be dealt with.

A lithium-air battery, just a demonstrator, was produced. It can contain power but sadly, can’t be cycled as frequently as current lithium-ion batteries. This one can cycle in pure oxygen only which makes it not so convenient. The Cambridge researchers explained, “The cells tolerate high concentrations of water, water being the dominant proton source for the LiOH.”  They built the battery in such a way that the lithium hydroxide (LiOH) becomes a discharge product instead oflithium peroxide (Li2O2) when experimenting with  (Li-O2 batteries).

Researchers explained that such battery  was composed of the following: graphene oxide electrode, lithium metal anode, lithium iodide (LiI) additive, and a dimethoxyethane solvent. The result: lithium hydroxide was formed and removed during charge and discharge.

Cambridge Department of Chemistry’s Professor Clare Grey said:
“What we’ve achieved is a significant advance for this technology and suggests whole new areas for research – we haven’t solved all the problems inherent to this chemistry, but our results do show routes forward towards a practical device.”

Grey further said, “While there are still plenty of fundamental studies that remain to be done, to iron out some of the mechanistic details, the current results are extremely exciting – we are still very much at the development stage, but we’ve shown that there are solutions to some of the tough problems associated with this technology.”

The lithium-ion battery used as standard today is almost 25 years old. The technology can still be improved but a new battery technology is more than welcome.  The concept of lithium-air rechargeable battery is a great idea but scientists and researchers lobbying for this one must hurry. You know how everything in the tech business can be predicted, conceptualized, manufactured, rejected, and then forgotten. In this rapidly developing world, nothing is impossible now. You just have to be quicker than quick to thrive in whatever business you’re in.

And this lithium-air battery? We’d better see the technology as soon as possible. A decade of waiting as the researchers mentioned is such a long time.

VIA: Ars Technica

SOURCE: University of Cambridge

Researchers create new technology that makes powerful, lighter batteries

Posted by wicked October - 29 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

Silicon lithium ion

The current battery technology certainly can be improved. In mobile devices, if not the display or the camera technology, upgrading the battery used will be a big leap for a phone or tablet. A new silicon battery technology was recently developed by a group of researchers from the University of Waterloo. Professor Zhongwei Chen from the Department of Chemical Engineering led a group of grad student to discover ways on how to increase the standard of batteries being used in different industries.

This new technology is believed to be a great jump from the standard. It’s also very “green” as it’s “environmentally safe”. We might see a 40 to 60% increase in energy density. That means batteries can last longer than before on a full single charge. Batteries used in smartphones and smartwatches will be more powerful than ever because someday, they will last longer than usual. For use in electric vehicles, this new battery technology will be lightweight, enabling the car to run up 310 miles per charge according to the Waterloo researchers.

The low-cost battery made using silicon was done by using silicon anode materials instead of graphite anodes. This swap resulted to a greater capacity for lithium, allowing batteries that have ten time more energy. “But as batteries improve, graphite is slowly becoming a performance bottleneck because of the limited amount of energy that it can store,” noted Professor Chen.

This is just one of the many efforts of scientists, companies, and researchers to improve the battery technology. A few months ago, we mentioned that solid-state electrolytes could improve battery technology. Samsung has been working on new battery technology with double capacity too. Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology has greatly improved charging times. Other researchers even created a li-ion battery that can be recharged by sunlight.

More new things and improvements will be developed in the coming months and years. Maybe someday, it would only take a few seconds to charge a battery that’s very sleek and thin in form. Who knows someday, there’s no need to charge at all because super efficient batteries are coupled by fast charging that you won’t have to wait.

VIA: SlashGear

SOURCE: University of Waterloo

Lithium revolution: what you need to know about the vital resource of tomorrow

Posted by wicked October - 29 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off
Lithium Ion Batteries AA

Batteries are a rather old technology, but if anything we are becoming increasingly dependent on the little cells for portable power. Not only are they essential for our everyday gadgets, but batteries are becoming increasingly important for keeping the lights on and possibly even saving the planet.

I’m sure you have heard about the Volkswagen emissions scandal that hit the headlines recently and are aware of global efforts to gradually wean developed economies off oil dependence and onto greener energies. While these trends may push old materials and technologies out of favor, new ones will need to step up to take their place, and lithium looks poised to witness a gold-rush of its own.

Why lithium?

The lithium-ion battery has proven crucial for the advancement of portable electronics and is also finding new uses as economies look for cleaner automotive and energy solutions. Most notable though, lithium-ion batteries have contributed to the huge growth in the smartphone industry over the past few years.


Lithium based batteries are key for smartphones, wearables, laptops and various other gadgets.

The resulting battery offers a number of benefits over competing materials. Lithium-ion batteries have the highest output of energy for its weight and therefore last longer than similar sized rival cells, due to their higher energy density, which can be up to three times greater than other materials. Lithium-ion cells have a longer runtime from a single charge and also don’t suffer from decreased charge capacity over time, unlike nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal hydride batteries.

Lithium-ion technology hasn’t stood still either, advancements have increased the energy density of cells by 5% per year and decreased their cost at roughly 8% per year. Research into silicon anode batteries, lithium air batteries, solid state batteries and lithium capacitors is looking to improve on the current capacities offered by lithium-ion cells further still.

Technology driving future demand

The growth of the smartphone market in emerging economies, such as China and India, will continue to ensure high demand for lithium and other battery materials. However, the decline in laptop sales and older portable gadgets means that demand from this segment may not grow as quickly as expected. New technology markets such as wearables and smartwatches will also contribute to the growth from gadgets, but emerging markets in automotive and renewable energies are anticipated to eclipse the growth rate of consumer electronics over the next decade.

Hybrid and electric powered vehicles require large rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and are expected to be one of the fastest growing sectors increasing demand for lithium. Advancements in lithium battery capacity and quality continue to make these vehicles more viable, although improvements are still needed, and every major car manufacturer now sells at least one fully electric car. Toyota, Nission, GM, Volkswagen and others are anticipated to add a further 40,000 tonnes per annum of lithium carbonate equivalent consumption to the market by the end of 2015.

GM Chevrolet Chevy Volt 2016 Android Auto-39

The push for efficient, green electric vehicles is expected to increase demand for high capacity lithium batteries.

Increasingly tough legislation on vehicle emissions and a greater social consciousness about looking after the environment are expected to increase demand in this market. This is also leading to growth in related projects, such as charging station infrastructure and features such are wireless charging.

Renewable energy drives are currently only a very small market segment, but this is also expected to be one of the fastest growing causes for lithium demand, as the market is still in its infancy. Many renewable energy sources, such as solar energy for example, require infrastructure to store energy while the collection is disabled, to regulate the supply of electricity out into the wider grid.

Li ion battery demand long term outlook

Tesla Motors is a well-recognised brand associated with these emerging technologies and the company’s Giga-factory, which is currently in development in Storey County, Nevada, US, is expected to require 20,000 to  25,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide to manufacture nickel-cobalt-aluminium batteries. Once fully operational come 2020, the factory is expected to produce more lithium ion batteries on its own than were manufactured worldwide in 2013.

Industrial production and opportunities

Given that lithium battery demand is expected by some to increase by up to 20 percent each year until 2015, prices are expected to rise accordingly. Industry consultant Navigant estimates that the lithium market could reach nearly $16 billion a year by 2024, up from $675 million in 2014. This extra demand will also place a strain on current production capacities and could open new opportunities in this side of the industry.

Global lithium production is highly concentrated, with over 80 percent of the world’s supply coming from Chile, Argentina and Australia. Lithium brine accounts for around 61 percent of production, while hard rock accounts for the remaining 39 percent. Lithium may be in abundance the world over, but economically viable deposits are few and far between.

Lithium X Nevada

Nevada already has a strong legacy in mining, and is quickly becoming a center for emerging lithium exploration companies.

As is the case with the United States, which has its own substantial reserves too, but the nation’s current global production contribution only stands at 4 percent. The country has reserves that are thought to be close in size to those of China and substantially larger than those of Australia, the leading single nation in production.

In the US, Nevada is seen as the most promising reserve, rich in lithium brine, which is the most cost-effective type to extract. Nevada is the center of growing interest in potential lithium production in the US, where a number of public and private companies are staking ground and making acquisitions. LithiumX is one such company looking to locate and develop lithium assets specifically for the reasons stated above. The company already have 77 placer claims adjacent to Albemarle’s Silver Peak mine, currently the only commercially producing lithium project in North America.

Lithium Price Forecast RoskillLithiumX is also looking to make use of modern solvent extraction technologies, which should allow for faster and superior lithium extraction rates over convention evaporation ponds. Furthermore, the site is only 3.5 hours from Tesla’s giga-factory. There’s a good reason why Tesla Motors chose Nevada for its first lithium battery factory.

Tesla’s Elon Musk announced earlier in the year that the company would try to acquire as many of its resources as possible in the United States. A TSX-V listed company has also recently received an off take agreement to provide Tesla with lithium hydroxide. Domestic supply looks like it is going to have to ramp up to meet this growing demand in the coming years.

Lithium driving forces Visual Capitalist Visual Capitalist

Tesla Motors does have established competitors in the battery market though. Samsung SDI, LG Chem, SolarEdge Technology and Panasonic are just a few of the companies looking to diversify their battery technology into larger cells, ranging from automotive to industrial applications. The race is on.

Lithium, the new oil?

Oil sunset

Oil certainly isn’t going anywhere yet, but it might not be the most important resource for near future technologies.


This rush for lithium doesn’t just have risks and potential gains for investors and mining companies. Much how countries like Russia have positioned themselves thanks to their oil wealth, the vast lithium producing countries in South America, known as the “Lithium Triangle” could amass notable economic and political power if they control a resource that is critical to the growth of developed economies and new markets.

Between 2010 and 2013, the US imported 96 percent of its lithium from either Chile or Argentina. Tesla Motors, which was granted around $1.3 billion in tax incentives to develop its Gigafactory in the US, has signed lithium deals with Bacanora Minerals and JV partner Rare Earth Minerals in northern Mexico, creating a tense situation with law makers. Nevada’s rich resource of lithium brine could be key to avoiding dependence on expensive foreign imports of lithium.

Between the new gadgets, industry changing developments and geopolitical ramifications, there are plenty of reasons to keep an eye on this little element.

Devices required to disclose all battery info by Android Marshmallow

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off


If you’ve always wanted your OEM to be more open and honest with you when it comes to battery usage, now you will be able to do so because of a new requirement by the latest Android update. In a section on Power Consumption Accounting, Android 6.0 Marshmallow is requiring manufacturers to disclose information like hardware component power usage and which apps are consuming that power as part of the “Compatibility Definition” requirements when upgrading.

The Power Consumption Accounting section states that to be able to update their devices to Marshmallow, they “MUST be able to track hardware component power usage and attribute that power usage to specific applications.” In the past updates, Google wasn’t that strict with what they could hide from consumers with regards to battery usage, but now, they’re putting their foot down. End users will now be able to see battery time used, which apps used said battery time, as well as the CPU power consumption.

Another thing noticed in the CDD (Compatibility Definition Document) is that Google is calling for “Professional Audio” in devices. There are certain requirements for a device to reach the audio requirement before they can update to Marshmallow. This is bad news for older smartphones that have less than stellar quality, so expect that not all older devices will be upgraded.

These new requirements will be good for consumers in the long run as we’ll be able to compare the battery drain and battery life on all Android devices. Well, at least those that would receive the Marshmallow update. It will also show us all the more which apps are causing our devices to constantly run out of juice.

VIA: SlashGear

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