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Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Unveiled 270

mobilemag writes "Sion Power is showing off its new Lithium-Sulfur battery design this week at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC). SION believes that its new Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) batteries are the answer to the power hungry devices on the market today."
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Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Unveiled

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  • by shaitand ( 626655 ) * on Thursday May 13, 2004 @08:16PM (#9146229) Journal cal/ultralife/
  • by ( 264791 ) < minus threevowels> on Thursday May 13, 2004 @08:22PM (#9146286) Homepage
    How about instead of making better batteries, we make it so the electronics don't use as much electricity? I think working on effeciency would be better. If someone is more knowledgable about this subject, though, feel free to correct me.
  • Mmmm sulfur (Score:-1, Interesting)

    by Mshift2x ( 686015 ) on Thursday May 13, 2004 @08:23PM (#9146292)
    Sulfur...just what we need more of in the air/water/soil
  • by Spy Hunter ( 317220 ) on Thursday May 13, 2004 @08:32PM (#9146366) Journal
    Of course they do that already. But there's only so low the power consumption can go and still provide reasonable performance.

    Personally, I think the laptop fuel cell [] mentioned in the article is a million times more interesting than this battery. Available as soon as 2007, they say, with capacity about four times higher than conventional batteries and of course the ability to be refueled instantly.

  • by deragon ( 112986 ) on Thursday May 13, 2004 @08:37PM (#9146399) Homepage Journal
    So, what will be the impact of this kind of battery on the environment, once it is disposed? Anybody can speculate?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2004 @08:38PM (#9146404)
    According to cal/ultralife/ the Lithium MnO2 battery from ultralife provide 50% more power. According, the C batteries are highest rated at 4500 mAh @ 2V. The NiMH C batteries are available upto 5000 mAh @ 1.25 V. This means that Lithium-Sulfer has only as much power capacity as NiMH.

    Did I miss something?
  • by steve426f ( 746013 ) on Thursday May 13, 2004 @08:48PM (#9146491)

    With gaming laptops weighing in at nearly 10lbs. [] and a battery life between 50 minutes and two hours, it seems they are less than portable.

    Perhaps the Lithium-Sulfur batteries can provide a reasonable amount of time without adding weight--bringing portability back to laptops. Afterall, all of the wireless technologies are useless when you're tied to an AC outlet.

  • by atrus ( 73476 ) <> on Thursday May 13, 2004 @08:50PM (#9146502) Homepage
    Generally Li-ions are packed in proprietary packages since they need some temperature monitoring (or in the case of laptop batteries, there is even more circuitry inside) while charging, since the batteries are prone to explode if charged incorrectly. But the actual Li-ion batteries are often made in cells which are pretty close to the standard AA and AAA sizes. Just pop apart some laptop batteries for an example. Of course this rule doesn't always hold, for small form fitting batteries for iPods and such.
  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Thursday May 13, 2004 @08:50PM (#9146503) Homepage Journal
    Hell, it was a *windows* hardware developing conference(or something)..

    the problem with (for example)ms smartphones vs other smartphones? battery life.

    Ms's answer to a problem that to most people seems like a software proble: increase battery. Too bad for them that doesn't really make them any better choice for os(because obviously the competing one's could go even longer on this new battery).

    the real reason for this announcement at there? they just 'need' the pr, and to start a rumour or few going on in the ms using circles that it doesn't matter that the os is more power hungry than it's competitors for no apparent reason because hey, the super battery is here...

  • by SlashHoe ( 730027 ) on Thursday May 13, 2004 @09:02PM (#9146584)
    Actually yes. A client of mine had a data center run by UPS with an undersized control unit for the batter array they were using. When said ups overheated the data center was filled by a rancid smell, evacuated and was shut down until it was cleared by the fire department.
  • Re:Light on details? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by iammaxus ( 683241 ) on Thursday May 13, 2004 @09:09PM (#9146626)
    Oops, forgot to finish my sentence: This means that it maintains the same voltage for a relatively long time, not decreasing significantly as it discharges
  • Voltage of Cells (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2004 @09:21PM (#9146728)
    Can someone point me to a list of potentials for different elements as used in a battery, to figure out the voltage from two compounds?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2004 @09:29PM (#9146776)
    Sulfur is a waste product as far as petroleum refining is concerned. There are piles of sulfur so big they can be seen from the space station, near Michigan I think.

    So we millions of tons of it just sitting around, we can't burn it, we might was well use it as batteries.
  • by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Thursday May 13, 2004 @09:49PM (#9146921) Homepage Journal
    I think that is the fault of the gamer-freaks that want a 3+ GHz Pentium 4 or 3000+ AMD rather than P4m or better, IMO, the Pentium M.
    The standard P4, K7 or K8 doesn't have a "battery mode" or any other realistic way to conserve battery power.

    I don't understand why that Hypersonic Aviator has a full-blown P4 with 800MHz FSB while also using an ATI Mobility Radeon, that seems to be an odd combination. If they aren't worried about weight, power consumption or size, the extra few chips to put in a standard Radeon wouldn't seem to matter much.

    If you aren't willing to compromise something to get decent portability, then you will be saddled with 10lb beasts that are essentially luggables.

    Even Dell's Mobile Workstation is a Pentium M device with a mobile version of a Quadro chip.
  • by Chris Carollo ( 251937 ) on Thursday May 13, 2004 @09:56PM (#9146963)
    As an owner of a 10lb "gaming" laptop (which I actually use as a workstation as well), I can attest that it is quite portable. It goes with me whenever I travel and daily to work and back, very comfortably. There's nothing that works better for getting work done both at home and at the office.

    Due to its size and battery drain, it's not particularly good for using on a plane, or at a conference, or really anywhere you don't have a table to set it on and a nearby outlet. But really, the difference between 5lbs and 10lbs isn't going to make the difference in portability.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2004 @10:12PM (#9147049)
    Since when is sulfur toxic?
  • by hazzey ( 679052 ) on Thursday May 13, 2004 @10:19PM (#9147085)
    I read that these new batteries are only good for about 300 charges. Doesn't that seem like a pretty small amount? I am sure that there are people out there who charge their laptop once a day. How would you like it if your battery only lasted one year?
  • by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Thursday May 13, 2004 @11:17PM (#9147479) Homepage
    I still think there's a lot of potential in recyclable computing. Where the bit bucket is wired not to ground, but to a secondary storage like a capacitor.

    Every time a 1 becomes a 0, the battery is charged.
    Every time a 0 becomes a 1, the battery is drained a bit.

    Only when the battery is empty would external power above the recycling overhead be required. I guess the question is whether this can be done while keeping the amount of energy needed for the recycling circuits below the amount of energy saved. /. did an article on this some time last year but I can't find it.

  • Re:Bloody Yanks... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Obyron ( 615547 ) on Friday May 14, 2004 @02:07AM (#9148387)
    That's actually a common misconception that's been the source of quite a few jokes. What's causing the s/f confusion with most people is that in certain words Middle English used a "long s" similar to the German "ess-zet". It looked sort of like a lower case f except the crossbar is only on the left-hand side.

    The Straight Dope [] tells the story.

  • by SilkBD ( 533537 ) on Friday May 14, 2004 @10:36AM (#9151206) Homepage
    Hold on here... so the fuel cell produces heat as an unwanted byproduct. Pu-238 produced heat to feed a thermocouple to create electricity....

    Why not hook up the fuel cell to a thermocouple?

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner