Tag Archives: Charging Devices

Super Efficient Diamond Batteries from Nuclear Waste

So far, we have been dumping our dangerous nuclear waste into oceans or deep inside the earth, hoping they will stay there. Now, there is a better way out. Scientists are now confident they can use nuclear waste as a source of energy to convert radioactive gas into diamonds of the artificial type, not as jewelry, but to be used as batteries.

Scientists claim the diamonds can generate their own electrical current. As they are made of radioactive material with long half-life, the batteries could potentially provide power for thousands of years. According to Tom Scott, a geochemist from the University of Bristol in the UK, the batteries will simply produce direct current, without emissions, and without requiring any moving parts or maintenance.

The radioactive material, encapsulated within a diamond, will turn the long-term problem of handling nuclear waste into a nuclear powered battery producing a long-term supply of clean energy. As a demonstration of their claims, Scott’s team has developed a prototype diamond battery using an unstable isotope of Nickel-63 as its source of radiation.

The half-life of Nickel-63 is approximately 100 years. That means after 100 years, the prototype battery would still be retaining about 50 percent of its original charge. However, the scientists claim they have an even better source for making these batteries. They want to use the huge quantities of nuclear waste generated and stockpiled by UK.

From the 1950s through the 1970s, the first generation of Magnox nuclear reactors in the UK used graphics blocks to sustain nuclear reactions. However, the graphite blocks turned radioactive and generated an unstable carbon isotope, the Carbon-14.

Although UK had retired the last of these Magnox reactors by 2015, the decades of power generation has left a huge amount of nuclear byproduct as waste—nearly 95,000 tons of radioactive graphics blocks need to be safely stored and monitored.

Additionally, as Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 years, UK may have to take care of this dangerous waste for a long, long time. However, it also means this material could be used to make batteries that last an amazingly long time—provided scientists could repurpose them into the diamond structure, just as they did with Nickel-63.

Carbon-14 emits only short-range radiation, one quickly absorbed by any nearby solid material. According to Neil Fox, one of the researchers, although touching or ingesting Carbon-14 would be dangerous, encasing it within diamond would prevent any short-range radiation from escaping. Moreover, diamond would offer the ultimate protection, as it is the hardest substance known to man.

The team presented their ideas at a lecture at the University of Bristol, but has yet to publish their research. The researchers claim that although Carbon-14 batteries would be good for low-power applications, their endurance would be on an entirely different scale.

For instance, an alkaline battery weighing 20 grams has an energy density of 700 Joules/gram, giving a life of 24 hours of continuous usage.

On the other hand, a diamond battery with 1 gram of C-14 will deliver only 15 Joules per day. However, it will continue to produce this level of output for more than 5,730 years—giving a total energy density of 2.7 TeraJoules/gram.

The Rezence Standard for Wireless Charging

Typical wireless charging technologies depend on magnetic induction to transfer power from a ‘mat’ to the specially designed mobile device under charge. However, Rezence holds forth the concept of spatial freedom, which extends the wireless power applications to go beyond the mat to any surface and into almost any mobile device. Unlike magnetic induction, Rezence works on the principles of magnetic resonance. With Rezence, the wireless charging ecosystem has a number of unique benefits.

The Rezence standard allows superior charging range. This amounts to a true drop and go charging experience, with charging taking place through almost any surface and through several objects such as clothing and books. The new standard is able to charge many devices simultaneously even when they have different power requirements – including Bluetooth handsets, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

The Rezence standard is an ideal choice for charging in situations involving kitchen appliances, retail and automotive applications. Rezence powered charging surfaces do not conflict with metallic objects such as coins and keys. Additionally, use of this new technology minimizes the hardware requirements of the manufacturer as it leverages the existing Bluetooth Smart v4.0 technology. Therefore, users can have Smart Charging Zones in the future.

The world already has multiple wireless power standards. Ultimately, the consumer will decide the most popular wireless power technology it will use. Presently, wireless power is undergoing the same process of certification and testing that other technologies such as 4G, 3G, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi have had to go through. Although technology selection and adoption is primarily a market-based mechanism, development of standards is a process separate and distinct from the former.

The Rezence standard is actually the released version 1.0 of the A4WP specifications, released in January 2013. Only when an outside standards organization accepts a specification, it is truly considered a standard. Therefore, organizations, including the A4WP, sometimes use the two terms interchangeably – as a matter of semantics.

Other organizations, including A4WP, are technically at the stage of development of the specifications. Additionally, A4WP is working actively with standard bodies around the world to ensure their technology will be adopted regionally as well.

Various organizations have promoted their wireless power technologies over several years. However, most of the older technologies have proven to be impractical in real-world applications. For example, they work well for single devices when these are positioned perfectly on a charging mat. Moreover, the charging range remains limited and the inability to handle differing power requirements at the same time makes this technology impractical.

When working with wireless power system design, heating and power absorption are dependent upon metal thickness and magnetic field strength. The older wireless inductive charging systems mostly use 115 KHz, at which frequency common household objects such as metal stickers, paper clips and even coins have higher power absorption and consequently, heat up. The Rezence system, with its operating frequency of 6.78 MHZ, does not cause similar heating up of common metal objects.

Therefore, unlike the older charging systems, in the Rezence method of charging, common metal objects do not heat up to create a hazard or trigger the termination of the charging process.