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Reload this Page Batteries obsolete in six years
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Old 06-20-03   #1
Feroluce
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Batteries obsolete in six years

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Engineers at the University of Birmingham have made the smallest petrol engine that can replace conventional batteries. The engine is so minute that it can be balanced on a fingertip.

According to a report in The Sun, the device produces 700 times more energy than a conventional battery despite being less than a centimetre long. It can be used to operate laptops and mobile phones for months on end, doing away with the need for recharging.

The mini-motor runs for two years on a single squirt of lighter fuel. At present, charging an ordinary battery to deliver one unit of energy involves putting 2,000 units into it. But since energy is produced locally in this little engine, it is far more effective.

One of the main problems faced by engineers who have tried to produce micro motors in the past has been the level of heat produced. The engines get so hot that they burn themselves out and cannot be re-used. The Birmingham team has overcame this by using heat-resistant materials such as ceramic and silicon carbide in the device.

The future use of the device can be to help run heart pacemakers and mini reconnaissance robots. Experts believe that this device would phase out batteries within just six years. Dr Kyle Jiang, lead investigator from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, says, "We are looking at an industrial revolution happening in peoples' pockets. The breakthrough is an enormous step forward."
Sell your shares in battery companies
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Old 06-20-03   #2
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Hmm, nice, but I see a few problems:
1: Combustion engines require air. In some enviorments (space, below water) these engines are unusable. In airtight enviorments it's not recommended either...
2: Combustion engines produce heat. While the devices themselves may be heat resistant, the applications they will be put in will most likely not be. I don't think you want a cell in your pocket that is quite literally setting your pants ablaze...
3: Combustion engines, like all engines, have moving parts which are prone to wear out. Breakdowns will be more frequent then in batteries methinks.
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Old 06-23-03   #3
Feroluce
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The real problem they've overcome with this one is number two on your list, they see the others as fixable.

The heat one was the real hurdle in this technology, even if they did break down more than batteries, they'd cost almost nothing to recharge so it should pay off in the end.

We'll have to wait and see, judging by the fact that every paper and site worked from ther same press release and there were no follow ups, I'd say the company was bought by someone big and are amalgamating them before they release anything else (just a hunch).
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Old 06-25-03   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Aeternus
Hmm, nice, but I see a few problems:
3.moving parts which are prone to wear out. Breakdowns will be more frequent then in batteries methinks.
Eddy bitty Mechanics made by the Genetic Engineering Mines.
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Old 06-26-03   #5
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screw internal combustion engines!
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Old 06-27-03   #6
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If you want to burn your weener at the exhaust be my guest Lazarus
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