A company called Boston Power is showing off a battery at the Demo 2007 show today in Palm Desert California that they claim can charge to 80% in 30 minutes, be charged 1,000 times without reduction in storage capacity and is safe from the exploding issues seen this year in other Li-Ion batteries.
On top is a picture of the Boston-Power Sonata Li-Ion battery, on the bottom a standard Li-Ion battery used today
Boston Power is a start-up company that has been doing research and developing an improved notebook battery they dub "Sonata" for the past couple of years. This battery is mechanically and electrically the same as existing Li-Ion batteries used in notebooks, and could therefore be used with current notebook designs. The company claims the Sonata can be recharged 1,000 times or more and not lose storage capacity. Most Li-Ion batteries today start losing their storage capacity after 150 – 300 charge cycles and need to be replaced after a year or two. The Sonata battery is also claimed to be able to charge to 80% capacity in 30 minutes, less than half the time for today’s notebook batteries. This is especially eyebrow raising because if you fast charge today’s batteries they will warp and wear out much faster than usual.
In addition to these performance claims, Boston Power says the battery is safer. The battery uses a metal alloy casing instead of iron used in traditional batteries, this would help prevent some of the nasty explosions seen in other notebook Li-ion batteries this year. Furthermore, the Sonata will have an interrupt system that will shut the battery down permanently if any damage is done to the battery or danger of a fire-starting reaction is sensed.
Great, so when might we see this battery or be able to get it?
HP is working closely with Boston Power and is interested in potentially using the new battery. However, HP must do rigorous testing in their labs before deciding to sign any contracts with Boston Power for actually using the battery. The CEO and Founder of Boston Power, Christina Lampe-Onerud, says HP could be using the battery inside some of its notebooks as early as this Summer.
Boston Power is working with contract manufacturers in China where the battery would be produced. They have recently secured $15.6-million more in funding and are in talks with other laptop makers outside of HP.