Sony's Battery With 40 Per Cent More Density in Works

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Battery life remains the bane of the technology world. But Sony has announced that it’s working on a new kind of lithium-and-sulphur energy storage that will provide 40 per cent more life for a given battery volume, and should be ready as soon as 2020.

Sony tells Nikkei that it’s working on a battery that uses sulphur at the negative electrode (and plain old lithium at the positive one) to provide an energy density per unit volume of 1,000 Wh/L. For comparison, most conventional lithium-ion batteries have an energy density of around 700Wh/L. That means a new cell of equivalent size to a current-day battery could last 40 per cent longer than at present.

According to the newspaper, Sony plans to create a commercial version of the new lithium-sulphur battery as soon as 2020. It’s planned to be a laminated battery, of the sort you find in mobile phones.

If 40 per cent sounds like a modest jump, bear in mind that battery innovation has been slow in recent years. Most energy source advances have seen step-changes in rapid charging, rather than improvement of batteries themselves. If Sony can actually crank out a battery which holds 40 per cent more juice for a given volume, we’ll all notice a pretty significant difference. [Nikkei]

Top image of an existing Sony BA800 battery by TechStage under Creative Commons license

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