Home Technology Here is the battery that never recharges, lasts 50 years: soon on the market

Here is the battery that never recharges, lasts 50 years: soon on the market

by Andrew

Beijing Betavolt New Energy Technology has announced that it has successfully developed a small battery with an astonishing range. The declared value is about 50 years, half a century, but probably even if it lasted 45 or 40 years without even a small recharge, no one would complain about anything. In short, the battery would last enormously longer than the average life cycle of a smartphone, so much so that the main fields of application could be others: aerospace or medical devices (such as pacemakers), sensors, micro robots or small drones.

The secret of the battery that Betavolt wants to introduce to the market soon is the “fuel” that allows it to last so long. It is a nuclear battery capable of using the radioactive decay of the nickel isotope 63 (63Ni) and a diamond semiconductor, which converts nuclear energy into electricity, to provide energy to devices for civil use, i.e. to everyday objects. Chinese designers have managed to miniaturize and keep production costs down to levels acceptable for commercial adoption of such a device.

Betavolt’s atomic energy batteries produce electricity safely and autonomously for about 50 years without the need for recharging or maintenance. The project will reach the market once the experimental phase is over. The Chinese company will soon start mass production – and it is the first time for a nuclear battery – of BV100, a cell of about 1 cubic centimeter (measures 15 x 15 x 5 mm, to be clear a 2 euro coin is 2.2 mm thick and has a diameter of about 23 mm) with a voltage of 3 volts and a power of 100 microwatts. A 1-watt battery is scheduled to be launched in 2025.

This innovation will help China take the lead in the artificial intelligence revolution.
The astonishing range, however, is not the only selling point of Betavolt’s nuclear battery:

It has an energy density more than 10 times greater than a lithium battery
It doesn’t explode or catch fire if it aims
The energy generation is stable over time, so the amount supplied does not depend on operating conditions or wear, as is the case with classic electrochemical cell batteries
operating range from -60 to 120 degrees Celsius
It does not emit radiation, so it can also be used in the medical field.

At the end of its life cycle, the isotope 63Ni – the energy source – will have been transformed into a stable isotope of copper, so it does not generate radioactive waste and does not give rise to environmental problems. Betavolt assures that the recycling processes of its batteries are not particularly expensive, unlike what happens with existing ones.

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