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LG Builds Working Flexible Cable Battery

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the warning-electro-bracelet-may-explode dept.

Power 45

MrSeb writes with news on work toward flexible batteries good enough for Real World use (you have to power those flexible electrionics somehow). From the article: "LG Chem ... has devised a cable-type lithium-ion battery that's just a few millimeters in diameter, and is flexible enough to be tied in knots, worn as a bracelet, or woven into textiles. The underlying chemistry of the cable-type battery is the same as the lithium-ion battery in your smartphone or laptop — there's an anode, a lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) cathode, an electrolyte — but instead of being laminated together in layers, they're twisted into a hollow, flexible, spring-like helix. flexible batteries have been created before — but they've all just standard, flat, laminated batteries made from sub-optimum materials, such as polymers. As such, as they have very low energy density, and they're only bendy in the same way that a thin sheet of plastic is bendy. LG Chem's cable-type batteries have the same voltage and energy density as your smartphone battery — but they're thin and highly flexible to boot. LG Chem has already powered an iPod Shuffle for 10 hours using a knotted 25cm length of cable-type battery." Original paper (Extreme Tech claims it is paywalled, but it looks like it's not). The hollow core seems to be the key: "Moreover, a nonhollow anode proved to have serious problems with penetration of the electrolyte into the essential cell components such as the separator and active materials ... However, we were able to overcome these drawbacks by devising a unique architecture comprising a skeleton frame surrounding an empty space, that is, a hollow-spiral anode with a multi-helix structure This design enables easy wetting of the battery components with the electrolyte and the hollow space allows the device to compensate for any external mechanical distortion while maintaining its structural integrity. In addition, this helical architecture possibly enables the battery to be more flexible, owing to its similarity to a spring-like structure."

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45 comments

Quick, somebody patent this (4, Funny)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 2 years ago | (#41194229)

Before Apple 'invents' it!

Re:Quick, somebody patent this (1)

kav2k (1545689) | about 2 years ago | (#41194291)

Too late. They have a case of patent infringement. They invented powering up iPod Shuffle first!

Re:Quick, somebody patent this (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#41196219)

Jokes aside, with all the recent patent trolling, we're beginning to forget that there are indeed genuine inventions on which a patent would be fully deserved. And this here is one of them.

At the same time, this also provides a nice contrast with your typical "one click" or "slide to unlock" patent. When you talk about why that BS shouldn't be patentable because it's so obvious, and your opponent asks for an example of something that's non-obvious, well, here it is.

Re:Quick, somebody patent this (4, Insightful)

citizenr (871508) | about 2 years ago | (#41196507)

Jokes aside, with all the recent patent trolling, we're beginning to forget that there are indeed genuine inventions on which a patent would be fully deserved. And this here is one of them.

Except genuine invention would be describing particular manufacturing method of said cable battery. NOT an idea of "battery in a shape of cable used to power _mobile_ device" as apple likes to do it.

Re:Quick, somebody patent this (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#41196667)

Yes, certainly. I didn't even think this was something that needed clarifying, but you're right - in context, it certainly is.

It's been cold lately, so I've worn a battery-coat (1)

Esteanil (710082) | about 2 years ago | (#41196333)

I mean, my battery coat has a warming function, but I mostly don't need that because the coat gets plenty warm when I use batteries heavily. And if I do get cold sitting on a bench, or that cute girl next to me does, the warming function is a nice touch. I imagine if you're living in a cooler climate it can be a lifesaver. Mostly I use the jacket for my infinite and frantic mobile gaming habit. Got the glasses too, but mostly I prefer to use my imagination and the little screen for details - I imagine that will change when the graphic world overlays get better...
Oh, the clothes... The jacket's loaded with kinetic energy generators. But when I feel sporty I put on my heavy kinetic pants. That way I *will* exercise on the way to work. And produce a ton of useful energy as a practical side result. Battery low? Start working, boy!

I kinda have the "wimp" version of the kinetic pants, though. Some of my friends have theirs locked to a 5+ setting - but those are the friends I almost never see wearing kinetics... And looking too damn proud of themselves when they do.

But what I'm really looking forward to looks ready to hit prime-time in about 3-4 more years - fully user-safe versions of the synthetic lung... Unlike the shit the Special Forces are using today, this will actually be safe. It pumps oxygen into your blood at a ridiculous rate, and will eventually come with an optional add on - Hæ+ full blood transfusion. Haemoglobin Plus enhanced blood cells grown with your own stem cells and having the new and better oxygen carrier protein, that also as a benefit *doesn't* turn toxic if the protein leaves the cell like normal Haemoglobin does... I can already imagine the eventual ads... "It just might save your brain".
There's already all these blood variants that are really useful for hypothermic heart surgery and the like, and they're saving tons of lives.

I really do need a new lung to hold off the heart&lung transplantation, though, and it looks like I'll get it before most potential users.
That's the tech which sold me on getting used to wearing battery clothing: I do not want my synthetic lung to run out of power. Ever.

Re:It's been cold lately, so I've worn a battery-c (1)

davewoods (2450314) | about 2 years ago | (#41247153)

What even are you talking about, and where can I read the rest of this book?

That will wear out even quicker than... (3, Interesting)

pointyhat (2649443) | about 2 years ago | (#41194253)

That will wear out quicker than the display cable on an 80's digital diary...

Re:That will wear out even quicker than... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41194419)

Yes, we are all familiar with your digital diary cable problems. The Book, Tv miniseries, video game, movie and the subsequent sequels have filled us in nicely, thank you.

Re:That will wear out even quicker than... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41194891)

I don't think the advertised use is to bend it a billion times, but just mold it to what you want it to look like and leave it like that.

Re:That will wear out even quicker than... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41197741)

The truth is somewhere in the middle. Like being bent 50000 times at let's say a 1 cm radius.

Re:That will wear out even quicker than... (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | about 2 years ago | (#41199977)

. . . Those 50,000 bends being a proxy for the bends that, for example, it would get from being bent by your knee as you cycle to work. Which neglects the fact that you'd probably design the device with bulky elements like batteries around the waist. Or in some other location where it is not (much) subject to bending. My big question for all these technologies is, how do you wash it? Posted from /. Mobile Alpha

Re:That will wear out even quicker than... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206235)

You made me spit tea everywhere damn it!

*Fondly remembers his Psion Siena... with a broken display cable.*

Has already powered an.... iPod Shuffle (3, Insightful)

popo (107611) | about 2 years ago | (#41194275)

It's a cool technology, but the iPod shuffle can run for a billion years plugged into a potato. Can we get some actual performance data please?

Re:Has already powered an.... iPod Shuffle (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#41194369)

hmm can you actually get enough wattage from a Zinc/Copper Spud cell??

anybody have the numbers on this??

Re:Has already powered an.... iPod Shuffle (2)

hamjudo (64140) | about 2 years ago | (#41194441)

The linked article shows the capacity as 1mAh per cm of length. A 20cm chunk would have 20mAh. They charge them to 4.2 volts, but I assume the nominal voltage is probably around 3.7volts. So 74milliwatt hours in 20cm.

Re:Has already powered an.... iPod Shuffle (3, Funny)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#41194517)

"but the iPod shuffle can run for a billion years plugged into a potato. Can we get some actual performance data please?"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potato#Nutrition [wikipedia.org]

Re:Has already powered an.... iPod Shuffle (2)

CSMoran (1577071) | about 2 years ago | (#41194733)

It's a cool technology, but the iPod shuffle can run for a billion years plugged into a potato. Can we get some actual performance data please?

Thing is, potato is not bendable.

Re:Has already powered an.... iPod Shuffle (3, Funny)

popo (107611) | about 2 years ago | (#41195073)

This poor deprived soul knows nothing of curly fries.

Re:Has already powered an.... iPod Shuffle (2)

sco08y (615665) | about 2 years ago | (#41195859)

It's a cool technology, but the iPod shuffle can run for a billion years plugged into a potato. Can we get some actual performance data please?

Thing is, potato is not bendable.

Pretty sure MacDonald's can figure that one out.

Re:Has already powered an.... iPod Shuffle (1)

Cyberllama (113628) | about 2 years ago | (#41198121)

My potatoes never last that long before rotting. What am I doing wrong?

Double jointed fun. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41194311)

LG Builds Working Flexible Cable Battery

Got to power those flexible vibrators somehow.

Need high power version (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41194367)

I don't care if it's a couple meters long, I just want a fat-ass cable made of four of these in series (possibly several parallel) with an alligator clamp on each end for jump-starting cars.

(Yeah, I know you can trivially rig up a box with IMR26700 or IFR26650 cells, or even good Li-polymer cells, to do this. But I don't want it to look like a box, I want it to look like a paraplegic jumper cable.)

Re:Need high power version (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#41197933)

I wonder how many AAA's you can shove in a garden hose (with bypass wires to create parallel circuits for more amps).

Re:Need high power version (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41201415)

You might be able to use NiMH AAAs, but you'd be better off with LiMnNi cells. In a garden hose, you could probably use IMR16340 (CR123-size). It's an interesting thought...

Combustible clothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41194475)

worn as a bracelet, or woven into textiles

Just what we need, clothing that overheats and combusts.

Re:Combustible clothing (4, Funny)

Antipater (2053064) | about 2 years ago | (#41194521)

worn as a bracelet, or woven into textiles

Just what we need, clothing that overheats and combusts.

"Is it getting hot in here?" "OH GOD! TAKE OFF ALL YOUR CLOTHES!!"

Re:Combustible clothing (2)

TheEffigy (2666397) | about 2 years ago | (#41195447)

You're wearing it wrong!

Re:Combustible clothing (5, Interesting)

hamjudo (64140) | about 2 years ago | (#41194661)

When I worked at a lithium battery factory, we were taught to call it "out-gassing", and never to think of it as "fire". This is because a fire extinguisher would be worthless against an out-gassing battery. Just as rocket engines contain the perfect ratio of fuel to oxidizer for truly spectacular, and dangerous failures, charged batteries contain all they need to ruin your day. Smothering them in water, foam, or CO2 is not going to slow them down.

This is why you don't see many lithium batteries in steel cases anymore. They figured that the pipe bomb configuration was a bad idea.

Re:Combustible clothing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41195489)

I work on the same principle. When I get charged up and start out-gassing I'll most certainly ruin your day.

Re:Combustible clothing (2)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about 2 years ago | (#41195401)

"Dry clean only. This time, we mean it."

Flexible Batteries (2)

houghi (78078) | about 2 years ago | (#41194499)

Perhaps finally something that makes women interested in science.

Do the editors even read submissions any more? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41194633)

you have to power this [sic] flexible electrionics [sic] somehow

Good grief. Also, linking to the article inside a quote from the article? Very meta.

Re:Do the editors even read submissions any more? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41199747)

The summary was so long, they only skimmed through it.

Good energy source for OLED products (2)

joelwhitehouse (2571813) | about 2 years ago | (#41194699)

Flexible lithium power source combined with flexible OLED display means you could have a woven, wearable, textile display. Could be handy as a safety garment for construction workers, and probably fodder for an ugly sweater contest.

Bad Idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41194707)

Judging by my headphone wire failure rate, I'd say this idea sucks balls.

Re:Bad Idea (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | about 2 years ago | (#41194997)

Headphone wires are external and directly subject to tension. These batteries would be internal to the device they are used in, so they wouldn't be tugged on directly.

This,,, (1)

flappinbooger (574405) | about 2 years ago | (#41194755)

Will change things. Big time.

Wc00t fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41194837)

Voltage of Flying Spaghetti Monster? (1)

tralfaz2001 (652552) | about 2 years ago | (#41194885)

Finally FSM batteries. We are saved. But what will the voltage be?

Re:Voltage of Flying Spaghetti Monster? (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about 2 years ago | (#41195437)

What's the voltage, Kenneth?

Can I borrow your charger? (1)

InfiniteBlaze (2564509) | about 2 years ago | (#41194971)

I forgot to plug in my jacket last night.

And where's the protection circuit? (1)

fisted (2295862) | about 2 years ago | (#41195517)

...given that lithium batteries are notoriously unstable? I'd sure as hell not wear that.

Flamable clothing? (2)

RecycledElectrons (695206) | about 2 years ago | (#41195629)

Given that the US nanny-state has outlawed pajammas that can catch fire when placed in the flame of an acetaline torch for 20 minutes, I wonder how they will respond when faced with clothing that can outgass, catch fire, and explode under the right circumstances?

bracelet? (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#41196223)

"Worn as a bracelet." Oooooooh. Live Strong would really mean it if I could attach electrode brass knuckles and taze someone with my epic battery bracelet.
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