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Small, Printable, Cheap Battery Tech Developed


Small, Printable, Cheap Battery Tech Developed

For the most part, batteries are pretty boring. Occasionally, however, something interesting comes along, like the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS' printable battery tech.

The cells developed aren't going to be of much use in a laptop, offering 1.5V a piece. Multiple batteries can be linked in series, though, providing 3V, 4.5V and 6V (as if you couldn't work out those steps yourself).

The cells are made using a silk-screen printing process similar to that used of printing t-shirts. The result is a battery weighing less than a gram and of negligible thickness.

The materials used in the teeny cells - a zinc anode and manganese cathode, to be specific - degrade over time. The batteries are therefore, for now, limited in use to applications where the relatively low power and short lifespan aren't a problem; such as greetings cards.

Of wide application? Probably not. Funky in a geeky way? Definitely.




July 7, 2009, 5:59 pm

How about powering the Labour party - Cheap, low power and not designed to last more than a few weeks :)

Lord Comben III

July 7, 2009, 6:35 pm

ZING!!! :)


July 7, 2009, 7:38 pm

I can see this being used in disposable e-ink applications. Daily newspaper with changing headlines? With printable batteries and silicon, it could in time get cheap enough to implement. Bang in a bluetooth module and you could even have it update with breaking news using your mobile to hook into the internet.

Or a lightweight alternative to a book - many people buy paperback books to read once. A single sheet paperback could be a winner, holding a single book on a small low capacity flash chip, a simple processor to render it, and a printed power cell with enough charge to get through a couple of reads (e-book readers are famously frugal on power). You could have a book seller working from a stall with a hundred thousand choices of book, any of which is quickly transferred to a one use e-book reader for a few pounds. Cheap enough to throw away, or part exchange for a new one and send the reusable components back to the factory for reprocessing into a new one.

I am a genius.


July 7, 2009, 8:24 pm

Ah political satire, never thought TR would have it. not complaning though!


July 7, 2009, 9:27 pm

Opinions stated in comments are not representative of TrustedReviews, it's staff or it's parent company, IPC Media =)

Tony Walker

July 7, 2009, 10:58 pm

And the environmental cost of these?


July 8, 2009, 2:56 pm

I love the disposable eReader idea but I really think that environmental impact of throwing away after a single use would be bad. Shame the technology isn't quite there yet.

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