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Toshiba’s new Lithium-ion Super Charge  battery can recharge 80% of a battery’s energy capacity in only one minute.

by Shirley Georgi

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This is about 60 times faster than the typical Lithium-ion battery which is in mass usage today.  A breakthrough technology applied to the negative electrode uses new nano-particles to prevent organic liquid electrolytes from reducing during battery recharging.  The nano-particles quickly absorb and store a vast amount of lithium ions, without causing any deterioration in the electrode.  

The top graphic  on the cover compares the superb  characteristics of the new Toshiba battery  with a high power typical Lithium-ion battery and capacitor.  The specifications in the lower chart, shown on  the  cover, emphasize how this new Lithium-ion battery technology is not only appropriate for hybrid electric vehicles and backup and emergency power systems but also mobile devices.  

To date, the company has built two prototype batteries.  The smaller version has a capacity of 600 mAh and retains 99 percent of its capacity after being charged 1,000 times.  The larger prototype has a capacity of 3,200 mAh.  Toshiba is intending to commercialize the technology for automotive and industrial applications in 2006 and then, as a next step,  consider developing it for consumer electronics devices.  

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This battery is said to cross-the line between new and current batteries (i.e.,  high capacity Lithium-ion and Nickel-metal hydride batteries as well as capacitors).   In addition to excellent recharge performance, the new Toshiba super charge battery offers higher energy density.  This small and light,  new battery offers a high level of storage efficiency; the prototype battery is only 3.8 mm thick, 62 mm high and 35 mm deep and has a capacity of 600 mAh.  This 600 mAh capacity, laminated Lithium-ion battery was discharged and fully recharged 1,000 times at a temperature of 250 C and lost only 1% of capacity during the test.  

The new battery also operates well in extremes of temperature.  It discharges  80%  of its capacity  at -400 C, against 100 % ambient temperature of 250 C, and loses only 5% capacity at temperatures as high as 450 C after 1,000 cycles.  These characteristics assure the wide applicability of the battery as a power source for products as diverse as hybrid vehicles and mobile phones.

The eco-friendly battery  can quickly store energy produced by locomotives and automobiles.  This speedy and highly effective recharge characteristic of the battery will support CO2 reduction, as the battery can save and reuse energy that simply was previously wasted.

Information and visuals are courtesy of Toshiba’s press website, http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press2005
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