(July 2004) Sanyo Electric changes its design of Lithium-ion batteries to use less cobalt. In reviewing figures from the Metal Bulletin, cobalt prices rose to about $25.00 per pound in early June 2004 from $9.30 early September 2003.
(December 2003) Oak Ridge Micro-Energy Inc. is developing a thin film rechargeable lithium microbattery for devices which will be implanted deep inside the body. This will allow physicians to assess and treat a variety of medical conditions in a noninvasive manner. The devices will have the ability to monitor and treat potentially life-threatening conditions and to communicate with an external system. The devices can either serve as a sensor, measuring parameters such as temperature and radiation dosage, or as an activator for localized drug therapies and nerve or tissue stimulation. The battery for this family of devices measures about 0.25” x 0.08” x 0.0003” thick.
(Dec. 2003) Eaton Corporation teams up with other global suppliers to build hybrid delivery truck to Fed Ex. Eaton will supply the engine, valves, cylinders and other basic parts while Hitachi will provide the Lithium-ion battery and Freightliner, a DaimlerChrysler subsidiary, will supply thetruck. The Environmental Defense, a New York advocacy group, created the project.
(Sept 02) Sprint PCS Rolls Out 3G. Should Investors Care?
While the industry hopes that the Sprint introduction of 3G, behind Verizon and AT&T will be a shot in the arm for cellular, analysts from Lehman Brothers don’t see the business generating free cash flow because of its $16 billion debt. Pricing of the service works out to about $1.50 per megabyte. (Ed note: Using Sprint 3G would make one hi-res download of BD’s next issue cost about $10.00.) Contrarily, USB Warburg thinks the $4/share Sprint can have growth to $17/share. (09-02BD78-15)
Barron’s Technology Week, August 9, 2002, p.1
(Sept 02) ThinSOT Step-Down Regulator Delivers 600 mA and 96% efficiency.
For product designers of single-cell Lithium-ion, multi-cell Alkaline or Nickel-metal hydride power packs with input ranges of from 2.5 to 5.5 Volts, this Linear Technology IC uses internal low-on-resistance switches to provide high efficiency conversion to maximize battery run time. The price at the 1,000 piece level is $1.95 each.(09-02BD78-12)
Battery Power Products and Technology, August 2002, p.1
The author has recorded possibly the first case of Lithium-ion ‘memory.’ In a Compaq iPaq3135, the unit repeatedly was draining its battery in 24 hour periods. According to this story, unidentified Pocket PC newsgroups and Web sites confirm the iPaq problem. Since the battery is not field replaceable, a replacement battery and replacement labor cost more than the selling price of the unit. (Ed note: BD used the word ‘memory’ above as a tongue-in-cheek description following the term used by the author of the story. The event does continue to highlight the need for buyer awareness of battery design problems in products, especially those which do not allow for battery replacement by the user. The author of this story comments that a PDA with a dead battery becomes a paperweight but does not explain what distinguishes a fully operational PDA from a paperweight either.)(08-02BD77-13)
July 11, 2002, p.33
New Testing Requirements for Lithium and Lithium-ion Cells and Batteries
Inconsistent applications of current international transportation regulations pertaining to lithium and lithium -ion batteries and fires such as the Los Angeles International Airport primary lithium battery fire have caused the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety in the Department of Transportation’s Research and Special Programs Administration to develop new requirements for battery testing to be in effect after January 1, 2003. Requirements are designed to be consistent with U.N. Recommendations of the Transport for Dangerous Goods Model Regulations and other codes. A complete description of the U.N. tests is available at:
A class 9 hazardous material designation for larger lithium and Lithium-ion batteries is also included; this may cause some problem for consumer product batteries.(08-02BD77-13)
Battery Power Products and Technology
July 2002, pp. 30-31
Christophe Pilot of Avicenne Development reports that the number of battery packs to be shipped will double. He stated, “The total value of the market of protection circuits in these packs will be about US$600 million by 2006.” Believing in this market growth, Alcatel of France and MPower Batteries Ltd. signed an agreement for the design of innovative chips for battery packs to be used in applications such as cell phones, private radios, PDAs and digital cameras.(06-02BD75-8)
Protective Solid Electrolyte Films for Thin Li-Ion Cells
Thin films of LiCO3 are proposed as thin passivating layers to prolong the shelf life and increase the specific energy of thin Lithium-ion cells. The material has been found to afford excellent passivation against reactions between electrolytes and anodes and provide excellent stability against oxidation at high Voltage.(07-02BD76-12)
NASA Tech Briefs
March 2002, p. 50
Alkyl Pyrocorbonate Electrolyte Additives
for Li-ion Cells
The additives promote the formation of protective and conductive solid/electrolyte interface on the carbon anodes. The inteface is intended to exert a chemically protective effect on both the anode and the electrolytes, yet remain conductive to provide improved performance at low temperatures. The decomposition products of the additives promotes the formation of protective and conductive solid/electrolyte interfaces and contributes to the cycle life of the anodes.
NASA Tech Briefs
May 2002. pp. 37-38
Fluorinated Alkyl Carbonates as Cosolvents
in Li-ion Cells
This work is directed to extend the low temperature operation. Fluorinated solvents are perceived to lead to safer cells because of their low flammability. The partially fluorinated carbonate cosolvents used in electrolytes exhibited high capacities at temperatures from -20 0C to -40 0C for both high rates of charge and discharge. The results suggest contributions to high specific energy, long lifetime and low temperature operation.
NASA Tech Briefs
May 2002, pp38-39