Tagged With batteries

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In 2012, when everyone assumed that no one wanted a smartwatch, the original Pebble became the poster-child for the crowdfunding site Kickstarter when it raised just over $US10 million from excited backers. Five years later, Pebble is no more, its intellectual assets are now owned by Fitbit, and the company's CEO is returning to Kickstarter with a new product that promises to protect and charge your pricey AirPods headphones.

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Video: Can batteries power the world?

Here's a quick explanation of the physical and chemical limitations to electrolytic batteries, and how we might surpass the energy density and specific energy of lithium-ion batteries - like the Panasonic 18650 batteries used in the Tesla Model S, for example.

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Scientists have built flexible batteries for use in wearable electronics and medical implants that can operate from inside your body, powered by liquids like saline solution and cell-culture. Both the efficiency and the output of the batteries out-performed lithium-ion.

Not only that - but there's evidence the carbon housing of the batteries could help fight bacteria and cancer cells.

This is amazing.

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Home batteries have never seemed like a smarter or more viable choice for households with solar since the Tesla Powerwall burst onto the scene less than two years ago. Soon after it wasn't just Tesla — other options were popping up on the market, a vast variety of batteries for different types of homes with different needs. We set out to speak to three early adopters of battery technology to see what it's like to live with solar batteries, to measure how its changed their energy use and — most importantly — their power bills.

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With the price of energy from new wind or solar rapidly dropping below that of traditional fossil fuels, renewable energy seems like a clear way forward. Yet despite massive strides in efficiency and affordability, the nature of renewable resources means you can't generate solar while the sun isn't shining, or wind while the wind isn't blowing. What you can do, however, is store that energy while conditions are good, and save it for a rainy day.

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There's an abundance of amazing home smart tech hitting the market. From Samsung's Family Hub 2.0 fridge to the Amazon Alexa and Google Home (hopefully) finally hitting our shores. But there's more to the smart home than gadgets.

Let's take a look at how home automation and new tech like Tesla battery storage, smart thermostats, grid credits and smart meters are revolutionising our power consumption. Which also has a positive impact on both the environment and our bank accounts.

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This week's edition of Batteries Are Dangerous brings us to the great state of New Jersey, where a Bluetooth speaker recently started burning on a girl's bed and then exploded. Thankfully, nobody was hurt, and the house didn't burn down. The incident still serves as a cautionary tale for us all.

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Video: Unlike a battery, which stores power as chemical energy that's slowly and steadily discharged to keep your gadgets running, a capacitor can unload all of its juice in the blink of an eye. Even a small capacitor has the potential to stop your heart, but when it's the size of a dishwasher, well, this watermelon demonstrates exactly how destructive it can be.