Login or Join Now

Upload your photos, chat, win prizes and much more

Remember Me

Can't Access your Account?

New to ePHOTOzine? Join ePHOTOzine for free!

Air-fuelled Battery Could Last Up to 10 Times Longer

Join Now

Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!

55% OFF new PortraitPro 12 - use code EPHZROS414.
Category: Batteries and Chargers

Run your camera on air - Research carried out by the University of St Andrews means your camera may no longer need normal batteries.

Print Article Add Comment Add CommentJargon Buster: Off Jargon Buster: Off
An early demonstration model of the STAIR (St Andrews air) cell.
A new type of air-fuelled battery could give up to ten times the energy storage of designs currently available.
The air-fuelled battery could be suitable for a wide range of electronics and will run on any air.” explained Professor Peter Bruce of the Chemistry Department at the University of St Andrews.
The research work, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), is being led by researchers at the University of St Andrews with partners at Strathclyde and Newcastle.
The new design has the potential to improve the performance of portable electronic products and give a major boost to the renewable energy industry. The batteries will enable a constant electrical output from sources such as wind or solar, which stop generating when the weather changes or night falls.
Improved capacity is thanks to the addition of a component that uses oxygen drawn from the air during discharge, replacing one chemical constituent used in rechargeable batteries today. Not having to carry the chemicals around in the battery offers more energy for the same size battery.
The STAIR (St Andrews Air) cell should be cheaper than today’s rechargeable batteries too. The new component is made of porous carbon, which is far less expensive than the lithium cobalt oxide it replaces.
This four-year research project, which reaches its halfway mark in July, builds on the discovery at the university that the carbon component’s interaction with air can be repeated, creating a cycle of charge and discharge. Subsequent work has more than tripled the capacity to store charge in the STAIR cell.
Diagram of the STAIR (St Andrews Air) cell.
Principal investigator on the project, Professor Peter Bruce said: “Our target is to get a five to ten fold increase in storage capacity, which is beyond the horizon of current lithium batteries. Our results so far are very encouraging and have far exceeded our expectations.”
The key is to use oxygen in the air as a re-agent, rather than carry the necessary chemicals around inside the battery,” says Bruce.
The oxygen, which will be drawn in through a surface of the battery exposed to air, reacts within the pores of the carbon to discharge the battery. “Not only is this part of the process free, the carbon component is much cheaper than current technology,” says Bruce. He estimates that it will be at least five years before the STAIR cell is commercially available.
The research team is also working towards making a STAIR cell prototype suited, in the first instance, for small applications, such as mobile phones or MP3 players.

For more information visit St Andrews' website.

Explore More

PIXO C4 Universal Quick Charger For All Small Electronic Devices

The Battery Charger For All Small Devices

The PIXO C4 Universal Quick Charger is the one device you ne...

ProCube Professional Twin Charger For DSLR Cameras

ProCube Twin Battery Charger For DSLRs

Hähnel Industries has expanded their range of accessories wi...

New Battery Grip From Hahnel

New Hahnel Battery Grip Announced

Hahnel have announced a new battery grip for the Canon 5D MK...

Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.


22 May 2009 - 3:52 PM

Quote: ...and will run on any air

There's more than one kind of air?

Sponsored Links
Sponsored Links 
22 May 2009 - 7:20 PM

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

22 May 2009 - 7:20 PM

no need to carry extra batteries now, as I have the WIND up radio and now my camera will run, hope it doesn't need clean AIR as that would leave LA and other cities out luck.

everyone have a GREAT weekend,


Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1214378 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
22 May 2009 - 9:39 PM

Nothing that new is it, batteries have run in the past using Zinc air.

- Original Poster Comments
- Your Posts

Add a Comment

You must be a member to leave a comment

Remember me:
Un-tick this box if you want to login each time you visit.