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Toshiba Battery Charges In 10 Minutes

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the watch-the-lights-dim dept.

Power 203

Slatterz writes "Toshiba has unveiled a battery prototype that offers a 90 percent charge capacity in just 10 minutes. The Super Charge Ion Battery (SCIB) is capable of handling 5,000 to 6,000 recharge cycles, compared to the typical 500 offered by standard lithium-ion batteries. The new battery is composed of a durable material that offers a high level of thermal stability and prevents overheating."

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203 comments

a better link (4, Informative)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226657)

Is the InfoWorld article this seems to have come from:

Right here [infoworld.com]

This is being shown in a laptop, and will be in a Schwinn bicycle next year.

This sounds good, certainly, but I'm *really* hoping eeStor's superduperultracapacitor technology works out as advertised. That will change the world.

Re:a better link (5, Informative)

szquirrel (140575) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226801)

Even better, this article [marketwatch.com] . More tech specs.

Of interest... (2, Informative)

bryxal (933863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227631)

from TFA:

3. Rapidly rechargeable The superb safety characteristics of SCiB allow recharge with a current as large as 50 amperes (A), allowing the SCiB Cell and SCiB Battery Module to recharge to 90% of full capacity in only five minutes(1).

(my bold) Personally I don't have a 50A jack lying around.

Re:Of interest... (5, Informative)

beav007 (746004) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227729)

And you won't need one.

Let's use Australian numbers (because I know them):
Available voltage from a standard wall outlet: 240v
Available amps: 10
Using Ohms law (and assuming resistance will remain roughly the same), I should be able to get nearly 100A @ 24v using a step-down transformer. Most laptops have an input of around 19v. As long as the leads can handle the amperage, it shouldn't be an issue.

It's the leads that will be an issue. IIRC, cars need 50-80A @ 12v to start. The leads that come off the battery for the starter motor are pretty big, and they only need to handle that current draw for up to 10 seconds...

Re:Of interest... (1)

PayPaI (733999) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228485)

100A is going to require at least 2 AWG wire. Good luck with that one. Also the connector on the laptop will be xbox-hueg

Re:Of interest... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25228815)

I'm pretty sure its around 500-900A @ 12v, but I could be wrong.

Re:a better link (4, Interesting)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226879)

SCiB batteries can endure 5,000 to 6,000 recharge cycles, compared to around 500 cycles for standard lithium-ion batteries, according to a Toshiba executive manning the company's booth at the Ceatec exhibition in Chiba, Japan. At the show, Toshiba showed a prototype SCiB battery installed in a Dynabook laptop. The laptop was matched

only 500 cycles, really? that seems a little low. do they mean that after 500 charges the battery begins to decrease in capacity, or that the battery will start to fail completely after 500 charges? because that seems really really low to me.

i mean, most rechargeable batteries today are Li-ion batteries, right? i just wanna know how many recharges i have left on my PSP.

does it help if you make sure to plug the battery back into the charger before it's out of charge? what can you do or not do to help preserve the capacity and life-span of a li-ion battery?

Re:a better link (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227443)

Wikipedia lists ~1200 charges on a Lithium Ion battery [wikipedia.org] , but there's a [citation needed], so I can't give you a better source :(

Re:a better link (5, Funny)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228285)

Hey, I just removed the "citation needed". You're good to go.

Re:a better link (2, Interesting)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227515)

I think it's pretty close - at a rough educated guess, I'd say that after 500 cycles without disciplined use (see below), you'll be around 30% of factory capacity. (I'm assuming a cycle every 1.5 days)

Supposedly keeping the battery between 30% to 70% charge is helpful; there are utilities for this for laptops, don't know about PSP. Running it all the way down is very bad, and when I got lazy about it, my battery life did plummet (though it may have just "aged" independently, it seems connected).

High temperature is bad too, but there's not much you can do about this usually, especially with a PSP. However, it's worth saying that my thinkpad X-series battery (which is at the edge of the laptop, at the hinge) is faring a lot better than my iBook battery which was planted right atop the circuits. :-/

Re:a better link (3, Interesting)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227803)

hrm... well i guess it's a good thing that i've only let my battery die once or twice since i got it. with replacement batteries costing $40~50 a piece, i'll have to be more attentive about my charge state.

i seem to remember seeing several different stories on /. about "revolutionary" new battery techs, but i still haven't seen any alternatives to traditional li-ion batteries being sold at commercial retailers. IMHO lithium-titanate [wikipedia.org] batteries look promising. manufacturers are claiming that these new lithium batteries can recharge in under 10 minutes--and that's for use in electric vehicles. this New Scientist article [newscientist.com] reports that mobile devices using lithium-titanate can recharge in 6 minutes, and each battery is capable of going through 20,000 charge cycles.

i'm guessing this technology is probably still too expensive to bring to market. it'll probably only be used in electric vehicles or other such applications which require much more durability and longer life-spans than traditional Li-ion batteries currently provide.

Re:a better link (2, Interesting)

shmlco (594907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228025)

Those are 500 FULL cycles. Use 33% of the battery one day, recharge, 33% of the battery the next day, recharge, and 33% of the battery the next day, and recharge, and you'll bascially have used one full cycle.

Re:a better link (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228307)

I haven't read the article. Are you saying that the battery electronically switches the cells used so that they each get the same charge/use time, like solid-state storage medium?

Re:a better link (1)

Anti_Climax (447121) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227533)

I've heard it said that Li-Ion batteries are typically rated for the number of full charge cycles it takes to reduce their effective capacity to 80% of what it was originally. Supposedly, partial charges effect the longevity of Li-Ion cells in a proportional manner so they handle 2x as many discharges to half capacity as they do full drains. YMMV

Re:a better link (1)

nmos (25822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227543)

only 500 cycles, really? that seems a little low. do they mean that after 500 charges the battery begins to decrease in capacity, or that the battery will start to fail completely after 500 charges?

Lithium Ion batteries start losing capacity the first time you charge them but I think the lifetime of a battery is the point where it has half of it's design capacity. FWIW 300-600 cycles really does seem to be about how long my various cell phone and laptop batteries seem to last.

Re:a better link (1)

abdulla (523920) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227547)

Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] says >1000, even that seems small from what I remember. I remember a Sony tech spec somewhere that said something in the few thousand.

Re:a better link (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228373)

You trust Sony to not over inflate the numbers?

Re:a better link (1)

WoLpH (699064) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228703)

Yeah but that's Sony, with Sony batteries you'll never reach the promised number because the battery will go up in flames before that ;)

I would like to see some independent news about this battery though, 5000-6000 charges sounds great but I'll believe it when I see it. I really doubt it will be feasible to pump currents like these in a laptop. Perhaps nice for electric cars though :)

Re:a better link (5, Informative)

MeepMeep (111932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227639)

only 500 cycles, really? that seems a little low. do they mean that after 500 charges the battery begins to decrease in capacity, or that the battery will start to fail completely after 500 charges? because that seems really really low to me.

i mean, most rechargeable batteries today are Li-ion batteries, right? i just wanna know how many recharges i have left on my PSP.

does it help if you make sure to plug the battery back into the charger before it's out of charge? what can you do or not do to help preserve the capacity and life-span of a li-ion battery?

Li-ion batteries are usually limited by 'calendar' life, not charge cycles - they start losing capacity the moment they are packaged at the factory and generally last a couple of years before they become too weak to use.

However, there are some strategies to extend their life:

1. Keep them cool (but not frozen)
2. Keep them at around 40% charge

Now, this probably isn't too useful for batteries that you are actively using - however, if you have spare lithium batteries lying around that you aren't using at the moment you might want to drain the charge to about 40% and zip them up in ziplock bags and put them in the fridge until you need to use them (check it once in a while to make sure they haven't drained to zero charge because that can kill them).

Also, this means that you should avoid letting your Li-ion batteries get hot unnecessarily, like leaving them in a hot car in the summer.

This is a good reference http://www.batteryuniversity.com/parttwo-34.htm [batteryuniversity.com]

Re:a better link (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228413)

so does this mean that keeping a rechargeable battery _fully_ charged (90~99%) is worse than keeping it at around ~40%?

i had thought it was the constant change/fluctuation in its stored charge that wears it down (ie. going from 100% down to 0%, then back up to 100%, so on and so forth...) since these articles always talk about how many "cycles" each battery can survive. i guess i should try to learn the chemistry behind batteries.

thanks for sharing that link. it's very informative.

Re:a better link (2, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226983)

I respectfully suggest we should call this a "Shipstone" (obligatory Heinlein reference ("Friday")).

Re:a better link (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228793)

No. Shipstones were far better than even this little dandy.

Re:a better link (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228823)

True, but these puppies could conceivably be as disruptive.

Re:a better link (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25227427)

Its on a Schwinn bike now. I got to ride one last week at the Interbike trade show. This thing kicked ass up the hill and i saw with my own eyes that it charged to 100% in 7 minutes. I believe the Battery on the schwinn had 10 cells. Simply amazing!

Re:a better link (1)

Java1964 (1376457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227755)

Can't wait for this to be put in a Tesla. i might have to shift around some funds for a deposit-- wait-- what funds? Ok-- looks like i'll settle for the Schwinn instead.

Re:a better link (2, Interesting)

Timbotronic (717458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227857)

I'm increasingly sceptical of EEStor. They've just signed another "worldwide exclusive" deal with a tiny company called LightEVs for all 2 and 3 wheel vehicles. The deal they did previously with Zenn covers all small to midsized cars so they've now conceeded a big chunk of their margin to a couple of nobodies. You've got to wonder - how are these companies adding value? What's their track record? Why hasn't EEStor made deals with more established manufacturers? A single working prototype which has the performance they claim would have the majors beating the door down. I hope I'm wrong about EEStor, but it doesn't look good.

The summary neglected to mention the fact (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25226673)

That it's powered by fairy dust and was invented by unicorns.

90% = Bad Marketing? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25226689)

Why wouldn't Toshiba just under-rate the batteries- effectively making 90% = 100%?

I mean, just from a marketing standpoint, if you can say your battery charges to 100% of it's /rated/ capacity in 10 minutes, that sounds a heck of a lot better then having it charge to 90% of it's /rated/ capacity in 10 minutes.

-AC

Re:90% = Bad Marketing? (3, Informative)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226795)

That would depend some on the application, if a 90% charge in your battery bank in a electric car will get you 50 miles, then "50 miles charge in 10 minutes" would sell just fine. But if they also want to be able to boast about the total battery life and charge capacity, they can't be under rating them "This flashlight charges in to full in 15 mins and can be recharged 5000 times". If the charge rate drops significantly for the last 10% of charge, then it would behoove engineers making products that use these batteries to design around a 90% ten minute charge.

Re:90% = Bad Marketing? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227179)

I sorta don't see the problem in marketing, but maybe that's why I don't work there. Lots of rechargable products got a "Quick recharge" that's usually not ideal (less total charge, fewer recharges or whatever) and an "Ideal recharge" for regular use. Like say for example my cell phone - it's got one setting that's good for overnight, one if it's almost dead and you need it charge because in two hours you're going off to whereever. I don't think it would be that hard to grasp, in fact many probably would have a mental image of it filling up like with liquid which would be horribly wrong, but in practise the effect might not be all that different.

Re:90% = Bad Marketing? (5, Funny)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227253)

How about, "This flashlight charges to full in 10 minutes. If you leave it plugged in for another two hours, you get an extra 10% 'superboost' charge!"

This is marketing language we're talking about, after all.

Re:90% = Bad Marketing? (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228329)

for another two hours, you get an extra 10% 'superboost' charge!"

Maybe I can use this "superboost" to get through? I can combine it with a barrel roll

Re:90% = Bad Marketing? (4, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226827)

...blah blah ... of it's /rated/ capacity in 10 minutes.

-AC

The signature is a forgery.

Re:90% = Bad Marketing? (2, Interesting)

neapolitan (1100101) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226891)

Probably because then you would then ultimately charge the battery to 111% of its rated capacity, which would make people frightened.

Also, when measuring charge/discharge cycles, the rated capacity would be used, not the 111% rated capacity. I think that being straightforward is better, so I have very little problem with Toshiba's description.

Yeah, but then your battery really could go to 11 (5, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227199)

How could any geek not want a battery like that?

Re:Yeah, but then your battery really could go to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25227981)

A battery that goes to 11.1? BRILLIANT!

A hint (1)

Leuf (918654) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227373)

The 10 minutes and the full capacity are in large bold print.

Re:90% = Bad Marketing? (3, Interesting)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227419)

oh i dunno, maybe honesty has something to do with it? not everyone is obsessed with advertising/marketing double-speak.

besides, why intentionally take 10% off of your advertised battery capacity? i think most consumers would be able to do the math and see that the competitor's 10 min. 90% charge is exactly the same as your 10 min. 100% charge--except the competitor's battery has 111% the capacity of your battery. that could be an extra 2 hrs. of music or games.

on a somewhat related note, a came across an interesting article while researching Li-ion batteries on wikipedia. apparently some Li-ion batteries [businesswire.com] are capable of being _fully_ charged in 10 minutes. so maybe this isn't as big of a breakthrough as it initially seemed?

Re:90% = Bad Marketing? (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228735)

Probably something to do with the way charging works.

Fast Charge (0, Offtopic)

QuadEddie (459328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226699)

That's about how long it takes me to recharge.

Oh Cool! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25226703)

Will this battery explode or just burst into flames?

Re:Oh Cool! (4, Funny)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227151)

Depends on how charged it is... less than 90% it bursts into flames, greater than 90% it explodes.

Re:Oh Cool! (1)

Wild Bill TX (787533) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227679)

What happens at exactly 90%?

Re:Oh Cool! (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227893)

flip a coin... or maybe somewhat explosive flames... like a flare...

Re:Oh Cool! (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227225)

C'mon now, this is from Toshiba, not Sony or Apple.

Everyone knows that Toshiba laptop "heat events" are caused by their mobile modules provided from Intel [cnet.com] .

Although, to be fair, it appears Toshiba is hedging their bets... to determine if your Toshiba laptop's battery might explode, just check the fan motor and make sure it's not this model [ohelectro.com] .

Re:Oh Cool! (2, Interesting)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227599)

Actually, the incendiary Apple batteries are manufactured by Sony as well.

Neither (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25227521)

It sublimates into toxic particles.

But noone will know that for years.

Re:Oh Cool! (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228799)

That depends. Is it made by Sony? If so, probably.

90% Frosty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25226731)

in 10 mins

Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25226745)

But you have to recharge it in an hour.

OK, now it's a prototype... (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226747)

A) When can we BUY it?

B) When can we buy it in QUANTITY for a REASONABLE PRICE?

Re:OK, now it's a prototype... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25226777)

Barack Hussein Obama: The Black Jimmy Carter

Re:OK, now it's a prototype... (-1, Offtopic)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227309)

Jimmy Carter was a far, far better president than George W. Bush, on every single level.

Re:OK, now it's a prototype... (0, Offtopic)

DougF (1117261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227569)

Really? A score of 2 for something that's A: Offtopic; and B: Completely ludicrous?

Re:OK, now it's a prototype... (-1, Offtopic)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227665)

Many posts *start* at 2, like this one.

And Jimmy Carter did personally arange the schedules for use of the Whitte House tennis courts by all White House staff. Clearly, in some respects, such as tennis court efficiency, Carter did a better job.

Seriously, though, it's an interesting contrast: both presidencies had problems as a result of their management styles, but those styles were quite different. In 20+ years, when we have some idea which of Bush's ideas actually worked, and when the emotional heat about Bush has died, we might see a reasoned comparison.

Re:OK, now it's a prototype... (-1, Troll)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227923)

Jesus Christ, are you a fuckwit.

That's not intended as an argument, and it shouldn't be construed in any other way except to say, "holy fuck, you are a fuckwit."

Re:OK, now it's a prototype... (-1, Offtopic)

swb (14022) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227647)

That's really a measure of how much Carter sucked, and it doesn't take into the years of high approval ratings for Bush. It's not that it's rosy -- clearly it is pretty much all over as we once knew it, and Bush helped. But comparing Bush to Carter really just reminds us of what a gutless fuckup Carter was and how little time it took him to mismanage everything.

Don't get me wrong, he's a fabulous benevolent humanitarian. But he was an impossibly bad president.

Re:OK, now it's a prototype... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25228073)

...But he was an impossibly bad president.

So like George W. Bush then.

Re:OK, now it's a prototype... (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227555)

Altairnano [phoenixmotorcars.com] has developed a lithium titanate battery used in the Phoenix Motorcar Sport Utility Truck that they claim fully recharges in under 10 minutes. but we'll have to wait till 2010 when the Phoenix electric SUT goes into production to see if these claims are really true.

still, it's pretty impressive that they've made a new type of Li-ion battery [wikipedia.org] that can recharge in such a short amount of time.

overheating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25226751)

if it prevents overheating, then it can't be vaporware!

Sounds like LiFePo4 (4, Informative)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226761)

Well, the stats itself sound pretty much like A123 or similar cells: Lithium with an ironphosphate instead of cobalt anode material.

They have higher cycle times, and they can be charged at up to 5C without much problems (which would agree with the 10 min stated).

But they have a drawback: Only about half the energy density compared to normal Lithium Ions.

Not to mention that in order to really charge them that fast, you will need a much higher rated, and thus bigger/heavier PSU brick for the notebook...

Re:Sounds like LiFePo4 (2, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227155)

But they have a drawback: Only about half the energy density compared to normal Lithium Ions. Not to mention that in order to really charge them that fast, you will need a much higher rated, and thus bigger/heavier PSU brick for the notebook...

On the other hand, this is only (to become) the first commercial version of this battery. Give it a few years and we might be seeing promising things.

Having said that, I don't think this product is directly targeting the laptop industry. For starters, as you mentioned, it requires more space. Secondly, when and if it gets commercially available for laptops, we'll be seeing fuel cell batteries as well. They offer more performance and that instant recharge factor as well.

I think this is an excellent product for items like lawnmowers, bikes and cars. But there is also another incredibly useful product segment. Think of things like electric toothbrushes and other small peripherals which don't require huge batteries and dozens of hours of usage. On one hand you get less power than Li-on batteries, but it makes up for the fast recharge.

Re:Sounds like LiFePo4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25227829)

Fuel cells for laptops are bad for everyday use. 10-20 hours per discharge cycle? Charging from your outlet is cheaper. I can see it being used as an alternative to Li-ion when you don't have electricity. It would be very nice in disaster scenarios. Most people don't need anything more than 3 hours. For everyday use, we just need batteries that charge much, much faster.

Re:Sounds like LiFePo4 (1)

thestuckmud (955767) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227463)

half the energy density compared to normal Lithium Ions.

Indeed. The SCIB pack used in Schwinn bicycles has an energy density of about 50 watt-hours/kg. My lithium ion (cobalt) pack: 125.

Re:Sounds like LiFePo4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25227491)

Correct. Such cells like you mention can be charged in 10 minutes if you accept the reduced cycle count of 5-7k cycles as mentioned. These cells are available today off the shelf for RC models and in power tools if you want to play with them. If you don't always need 10 minute charge you can slow charge (1 hour) and have your cells last longer than what they power. Look again at the specs, some of the cells can do 0 to 100% charge in that 10 minutes. If you're going to play, the one thing never to do is overcharge them so you will need a balance circuit (again, available pre-built). Just remember these are not toys and you can get hundreds of amps short circuit from even a single cell so think about what you are doing as it is very easy to space out a moment and get a very nasty burn.

In a car rapid charge is a problem. Consider even a first generation 20 kWH pack: a 10 minute charge takes 100 kW of power and (do the math) you're not going to do that at home.

All these cells will show significant improvement in the next few years. Also remember that cells of a given chemistry can be optimized and built for high power density or high energy density so cells for your rail gun project aren't the best ones for running your laptop a week.

Re:Sounds like LiFePo4 (2, Funny)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227525)

So you are saying that this may charge 90% in 10 minutes, but in my new quad core dual SLI 20" laptop it will be fully discharged in 10 minutes?

R&D in the US (2, Interesting)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226775)

I really wish more such news came out of American industries...

Sorry to play nationalist card here. Anyway, it is what it's cracked up to be, kudos to Toshiba.

We do (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227213)

but W and the neo-cons KILLED the majority of our long term research and throw most of it towards coming up with hi-tech close term solutions for the DOD. In essence, they shutdown a lot of long-term multi-discipline research in our universities and various companies like GE, IBM, Lucent, etc and channeled it into a number of companies (GM, L-MART, Rathyeon, Halliburton, etc).

Re:We do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25227651)

And socialists cut babies up and feed them to their dogs for breakfast.

Kill the socialists, cut their throats.

Why 90% (3, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226791)

What is the purpose of giving us the time to charge to 90%? Is there something about the final 10% that takes longer to charge than the rest of the battery?

Or are they charging while running - and perhaps not able to get all the way to 100%? The article was lousy (to be generous) and doesn't say what it would take to reach 100%.

Re:Why 90% (5, Informative)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226837)

Yes, there is:
Typically, the last few % take a as long as everything before together. Its just that the nature of the chemical reactions involved: During the charge, the battery voltage increases. The charger OTOH cannot push more than 4.2V (for normal batteries) respectively 3.7V for LiFePo4, in order not to damage the cells. This means that effective voltage drops during the charge, and duringe the last bits of capacity, there are only some 0.1V left. Add internal resistance, and its clear why it cannot fill up completely fast

Other comments suggested downrating, but that doesnt really make sense: as long as you leave it in the charger, it will gain charge for a while, so the real capacity is truely higher.

Re:Why 90% (4, Funny)

NaturePhotog (317732) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227313)

It's based a long-standing rule of project cycles, known as the 90/90 rule: the first 90% of the project takes 90% of the time, and the last 10% of the project takes the other 90% of the time. Or at least that's how most software projects seem to end up... :-)

Re:Why 90% (1)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228091)

I just spat Newcastle all over my keyboard reading this post. Luckily it still appears to be work

Re:Why 90% (4, Funny)

NaturePhotog (317732) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228185)

I just spat Newcastle all over my keyboard reading this post. Luckily it still appears to be work

Keyboard, shmeboard...won't somebody think of the Newcastle!?! Let's all have a moment of silence for a nice brown ale gone to waste.

Re:Why 90% (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25226901)

It's the 90-10 rule. There are similar, but heretical versions of the true rule - do not be swayed.

Re:Why 90% (4, Interesting)

Spoke (6112) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226915)

If you think of a battery as a bucket where the battery charge is indicated by the amount of water in the bucket.

Now imagine that you are trying to fill that bucket as fast as possible, which means using a firehose, and that spilling any water means damaging the bucket.

Getting the bucket close to full without making a mess is a lot easier than getting it 100% full which means you need to slow the fill down to trickle to make sure you don't over flow or splash water everywhere.

Charging the last 10% of battery capacity is difficult because the battery does not readily accept a charge as it's nearly full. This means to get the last 10% of capacity you need to slow down the charge rate, which means that in this case, it may only take 10 minutes to get to 90% full, but it may take another 30-60 minutes to charge up that last 10% without damaging the battery.

Re:Why 90% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25227021)

Yes, it's because those writing the article couldn't handle the 11.111111111... minutes it takes to charge fully.

Re:Why 90% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25227107)

I beleve this is how alot of Lithium Ion charging systems work. They very quicky charge the battery to around 80-90% capacity, then they slow the charging rate for the final 10-20% to keep the battery from having over charging issues.

If i remember correctly the user manual for my standalone sony infolithum M series battery charger states something simlar. Im pretty sure it said something about when the charging indicator goes out the battery is at about 80% charge. The battery would be fully chared about 1 hour after the indicator goes off. I dont have that manual handy thoough so i cant quote it exactly.

Im guessing such as system as Toshiba has developed would probably actually take 30-45 minutes to get the battery topped off.

Re:Why 90% (1)

Macman408 (1308925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227211)

Others have given more technical details, but for a real-world example; the iPod Classic charges to 80% in 2 hours, and 100% in 4. The other iPods are the same, except the nano charges to 80% in 1.5 hours and 100% in 3. Any lithium ion battery should be charged in a similar manner.

You can find more information about charging LiIon batteries here [batteryuniversity.com] .

Previously on Slashdot: (3, Informative)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226809)

Not impressed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25227337)

My 6-year-old Toshiba Laptop take 10 minutes to charge to 100% of it's actual charging capacity... ... and it dies about 10 minutes later!

Bullshit Meter (5, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25226925)

Story about battery tech + 7
InfoWorld + 5
"prototype" + 10
" in just " + 15
"Super" + 3
A new acronym + 6
"capable of ... compared to standard ..." + 4

Total - 50.
It stinks, but who knows - it may just be a fine cheese or chocolate.

On the other hand, the Vaporware Meter is off the charts, and the "durable material" and it's claims broke the poor Economic Feasibility Meter.

Re:Bullshit Meter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25227575)

Just because you are uninformed doesn't make it bullshit. Take some time, search the websites, and find the actual datasheets for the cells. Then go to Sears and buy a replacement pack for a DeWalt power tool or a hobby shop and get an A123 pack for a RC model.

Do some tests and report back when you have something real to discuss.

Cycling of lithium ion batteries? (4, Informative)

tuttleturtle42 (1234802) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227019)

Comparing to the number of cycles for a lithium ion battery doesn't make sense as lion batteries don't primarily degrade from cycling. Unlike some other battery technology, there is a major difference between the battery life when you cycle a lithium ion battery 100 times repetitively, and cycle it 100 times keeping it at 100% for a month between cycles. While the first would have degraded some, the latter could have degraded enough to be mostly dead.

In other news (4, Funny)

FriendSite.com (1208220) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227049)

Sony has just released a battery that goes from 90% to 0% charge in 10 minutes, but they get rather hot as a side effect

And if the battery known as (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227055)

"The Super Charge Ion Battery (SCIB)" blows up on/in your lap, you will have what will be called:

SCAB-- Super-Charged Area Burn

and be known as:

SCAB-- Super-ComBobulating Alpha, Burning

(Class A fires include anything that leaves an ash after complete burning: paper, wood, mattresses, clothing, and people. Live people running around on fire, as I was taught in the USN, are affectionately known as "Screaming Alphas"...

And it's powered by babies? (1)

Cormophyte (1318065) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227273)

First thing through my mind when I saw the headline. I've been hanging around the internet far too long.

so whats new ? (3, Informative)

savuporo (658486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227311)

A123 LiFePO4 batteries have been charged [horizonhobby.com] at 10-15 minute rates by RC crowd for a couple years by now.

Only 500 cycles? (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227501)

What the hell are people doing to Li-ion batteries that they only last 500 cycles? I have several Li-ion devices and none of them have ever needed a battery replacement after 500 cycles.

Re:Only 500 cycles? (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227871)

Perhaps a better question to ask is, "What are YOU doing (or not doing) to your Li-ion batteries so that they last for so long?"

Consider the question asked.

-FL

Been there Rode that- Schwinn E-bike (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25227573)

I was one of the lucky few that got to see this battery in action last week at the Interbike show. I can vouch for the Kick ass factor of the Schwinn bike they had it set up on. I saw with my own eyes that the Schwinn battery was charged in 7minutes (although it was done with in a 220 outlet) I was told it would take 30 minutes in a 110v outlet to bring the 10 cell Schwinn battery to a full charge. Not too shabby.
For what its worth, the production cells Toshiba had on display were about the size of a deck of cards. I'm assuming they'll be able to shrink it down to a smaller size for laptops, ipods, etc..

More importantly, (3, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227623)

How long does it take to discharge?

Build it! (1)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227933)

Okay, we've all seen the friggin super batteries they've come out with. Take your pick between this one and the 90 other prototypes. When will they actually put them into anything?

And (1)

metalcoat (918779) | more than 5 years ago | (#25227963)

Only catches fire in 2!

my mp3 suppose to recharge in 3minutes (2, Insightful)

holywarrior21c (933929) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228677)

Guess what, my mp3 [sonystyle.ca] gets recharged 80% in 30minutes. This is sufficient for me. And one full charge lasts 50 hours on my mp3 player. i listen to the music on my mp3 very often and quick recharging really comes in handy. i no longer need to buy dozens of batteries each time i go to the walmart. but i wouldn't see this helping that much when it comes to power hungry laptops. my 4 year old laptop lasts less than 50mins without power. i don't think i wanna move around charging for 3minutes and work for other 40 mins. Raw battery time is more important than how quick it charges when it comes to case like my laptop. if my laptop lasts good 2hours than quick recharge time would worth having so. This would be a good application for electric cars also. quick visit to the station or nearby outlet for couple of minutes every 100 mile wouldn't be too much of hassle.

More details - this tells me nothing (3, Insightful)

theBike45 (1006073) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228685)

It's almost a given that any details about some new battery technology always avoids the negatives. Those hopeful or shilling simply avoid the bad stuff. other li ion batteries can be recharged quickly and either 1) cost a fortune and weigh a ton (Altair) or 2) diminish their lifespan by so doing. Regardless, it all comes down to cost.This article says nothing about practicality, weight, etc.

Computer battery (1)

theBike45 (1006073) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228719)

TYhe battery is for computers - it is NOT of a cell format suitable for cars, unless you want to build a brainless Tesla style battery pack with 8671 batteries.

Charge time...blah (1)

oljanx (1318801) | more than 5 years ago | (#25228803)

It's the on the go time that really matters. Generally if I'm in a location where I can plug in my laptop, I'm going to be there for a while. So charge time doesn't matter. Give me long battery life!
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