A group of
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
students may have come up with the perfect solution to our
charging woes. Instead of relying on lithium or nickel, the new battery design stores its electrons in semi-solid flow cells. Charged particles are suspended in an electrolyte solution and pumped between compartments used for storing or releasing energy. The tech supposedly makes the batteries up to ten times more efficient than their traditional counterparts, and even more importantly, the new tech is cheaper to produce. Estimates say that the design could cut the size and expense of current batteries by as much as 50 percent.
That's all well and good, but the really cool part is that charging the cells is as simple as pumping the drained fluid out and pumping fresh charged fluid in. That means that getting on your way could take as little time as a standard gasoline fill-up, greatly reducing the inconvenience and range woes associated with modern
. An operational prototype is expected to be completed in the next 18 months or so.
| Image Copyright 2011 Zach Bowman / AOL]