Monday, August 20, 2007 Posted by Aman Jain

Batteries and Hard Drives have come to be the bane of technologies existence –hard drives are bottlenecks and batteries just don’t last as long as they should ,especially now that they are gaining in importance with everything shifting towards mobile computing .
Enter the Sugar battery .Its still a fuel cell ,but in this case fuel is anything that contains sugar –even soft drinks .If this catches on ,you will be sharing your coke with your phone and laptop!!Not only do these batteries last 4 times longer than the lithium batteries they are easy to recharge and are bio degradable , and run on sugar ,so you keep wondering when someone will yell “ April Fool”.Such innovations are desperately required in battery segment .the change this promises is redical ,because we might soon see ourselves refilling our own batteries and never running out of charge.The developers of this technology are based at St. Louis University , Missouri ,USA , and you can read their press release at Fuel cells have problems of their own .They have a warm up time which means they cannot deliver power right away in cold conditions ,which is bad for mobile devices .They also work best only at a specific rate of current pull – and this limits their use .Another major problem is longetivity ,which is far less than your standard Lithium Battery.
Researchers at MIT are investigating the use of Capacitors as Batteries Capacitors can be charged in seconds but they can’s hold enough charge .The solution is to cover the Electrodes with Carbon Nanotubes which increases their surface area and thus their charge holding capacity .Another nanotechnological advance is that of using nanotubes in conjunction with solar cells .
An absolutely different fields of research is charging by induction ,which basically means that you never have to hook up a battery to a power source ;you merely have to place it n vicinity of an induction charger .All you have to do is to place your mobile phone or laptop on the top of this pad and battery charges .Research is underway to see if its possible to do it at longer charges ,but challenges include not damaging the delicate internal components of devices from the heat generated because of induction.