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Why are Phones Good But Batteries are Terrible?

A common fact is that cell phones have poor battery life. The curse of the external battery pack will not go away soon.

Why can’t batteries keep up with the development?

A common fact is that cell phones have poor battery life. Even if we carry huge batteries and external battery packs, most modern smartphones are difficult to use throughout the day, and the best devices can only scratch twice.

But this is not the way it used to be: in the past (relative) days, mobile phones have excellent battery life, which can last several days at a time without charging. And yes, today’s mobile phones are much more powerful than the Nokia 3310, but why can’t the batteries keep up with the development?

Why can’t batteries keep up with the development?

According to Venkat Srinivasan, director of energy storage science and expert in battery technology at Argonne cooperation center, the core of the problem is simple: Moore’s law just exceeds battery technology, which means that our mobile phones have better access to – and demand more power – much faster than the development of batteries.

This is not to say that there is no improvement: by reducing the internal components, we have been able to steadily increase the energy density over the past few years. But according to Srinivasan, “five years ago, it was clear that we couldn’t move anything else. It was on fire. We have reached a stage where the changing battery materials will bring new improvements in energy density, and the development of new materials is always slower than what I call engineering progress. “

That’s because today’s rechargeable cell phone batteries are based on lithium cobaltite, a battery technology we’ve been using since the early 1990s, and we’ve reached the limit of how much power we can extract from it. The future is full of hope. Researchers are already working on new battery technologies, such as solid-state batteries, which could open the door to more energy intensive materials that could provide more power for future devices.

However, there is a trap: when these new batteries come out, our mobile phones may be more advanced and require even more power, which may bring us back to the same day of battery life as at the beginning.


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