Summary of “The US is losing the high-stakes global battery war”

In Australia, a partnership with Tesla will equip 50,000 homes with solar panels and battery packs, transforming them into a single “Virtual power plant” capable of storing 250MW. Increasingly, batteries move us: from electric cars to pedal-assist bikes, scooters, trains, planes, and even boats.
The promise of a so-called “Super battery” is enticing: electric cars that travel many hundreds of miles on a single charge and massive battery banks that will let us effectively gather and store enough restorable energy to make fossil fuels obsolete.
Journalist Steve LeVine set out to document what he termed “The Great Battery War” in his 2015 book The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World.
His takeaway was sobering: the stakes of the battery war are sky-high, and the United States is being lapped by its competitors.
The battery race was a global decision made by big players in developed countries.
“The South Koreans have, every year, pulled more energy out of the batteries and made them cheaper.” The super battery had not been invented.
Even if the super battery were made today, you would not have the actual commercial battery on the market in five years.
John Goodenough, the inventor of the lithium-ion battery, recently announced that he’d developed a revolutionary new battery.

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Summary of “The explosive race to totally reinvent the smartphone battery”

Battery life is named by consumers as the single most important feature of a smartphone in poll after poll.
Ionic Materials is just one of dozens of companies engaged in the epic race to radically rethink the battery.
Materials are purer, and battery makers have been able to pack more active material into the same space by making each layer thinner.
The iPhone X has almost exactly the same materials in its battery as that first Sony camcorder.
Ionic Materials drove screwdrivers through their battery packs, shot them with bullets, and lop pieces off them with scissors without them heating up or halting the flow of electrons.
The fat bit of your smartphone charger is designed to slow down the amount of electricity flowing into the battery from the grid, to arrest degradation and stop it from catching on fire.
Inside, researchers are using intense beams of accelerated light to interrogate potential battery materials at the microscopic scale – probing why lithium-sulfur is failing, and searching for alternative materials for anodes and cathodes – still chiselling away at the same problem that has occupied the field for almost thirty years.
Voller waves his smartphone in the air, bemoaning the shortcomings of lithium-ion that have driven him, and hundreds of others, to join the high-stakes race to reinvent the brilliant but flawed battery.

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Summary of “You’re Doing It Wrong: 3 Bad Habits That Are Ruining Your Phone’s Battery « Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks”

From talking to individual respondents, it appears many people were like me and confused about which charging habits are actually bad for your battery.
As a result, it exacerbates many bad habits regarding poor battery mismanagement.
Often with my laptop, I would watch videos and do homework late into the night, eking out what little battery I had left to accomplish whatever task I had. Afterward, I would plug it into the charger and go to sleep for the night to wake up to a full charge – but I never stopped to think about what happens to the battery overnight after it hits 100%. Even back then, without fast charging, it didn’t take eight hours to fully charge a battery.
At 77°F, the battery capacity reduced by 20%, meaning the maximum amount of energy the battery could store was now 80% of its original capacity.
To restore your capacity, you’d need to fully discharge your battery so that your battery would remember its full capacity.
Depth of discharge is the difference between the starting battery percentage and ending battery percentage, which determines the number of discharge cycles your battery has.
Most of us have at least 30 minutes to spare while getting ready, and by that time, fast charging should have your battery up to at least 50%. Depending on the battery percentage when you began charging, 30 minutes could give you an all-day charge.
Instead of 100% capacity, electric vehicles charge only to 80% and deplete to only 30%. This way, every electric vehicle lives its entire life in the sweet zone, and when the battery capacity begins to reduce, the system slowly increases the depth of discharge to maintain the same battery life while preserving the battery.

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Summary of “How to Keep Your Devices’ Batteries Alive As Long As Possible”

Sure, all batteries degrade eventually, but you can take some preventative steps to keep them in good health for as long as possible.
To keep it operating nominally, you’ll need to occasionally participate in some time-consuming activities, or go against your habits and beliefs as to how you should charge a battery.
For the most part, batteries can take care of themselves and combat our bad habits as long as you monitor a few factors.
Here’s what you should look into when determining the health of your battery, and how to keep it full of electrons until it’s time for a replacement.
You should try to keep your battery’s temperature between 5 to 45 °C. Heat causes a battery to speed up its chemical reactions, which translates to a battery that drains faster than it should.
iPhone batteries are one of those things that no matter how long they last, it isn’t going to be.
Apple has a list of maximum cycle counts for each laptop so you can see how close you are to the limit, when battery life starts to degrade.
iOS: Apple, thanks to its unpopular decision to throttle iPhones with older batteries, is updating its battery management service in the upcoming iOS 11.3 software update.

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Summary of “The Breakneck Rise of China’s Colossus of Electric-Car Batteries”

Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd., or CATL, already sells the most batteries to the biggest electric-vehicle makers in the biggest EV market: China.
In China, the source of 99 percent of CATL’s business, the company’s lithium-ion batteries will be inside locally made EVs from Volkswagen AG, BMW AG, and Hyundai Motor Co. Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. are considering CATL batteries for planned China-made vehicles.
Using the batteries include BAIC Motor Corp., the biggest EV seller in China, and Zhengzhou Yutong Group Co., the world’s biggest bus maker.
The new battery plant is set to rise on landfilled mudflats across a lake from CATL’s sprawling headquarters.
Six electric shuttle buses, all powered by CATL batteries, trundle employees between dormitories, factories and research labs.
For the 90-minute trip to the nearest airport in Fuzhou, employees can book free chauffeured rides in a Zinoro hybrid built by BMW’s joint venture and powered by CATL batteries.
For most of his career, he worked on lithium-ion batteries for consumer electronics, including the iPhone, at Amperex Technology Co., or ATL, a subsidiary of Japan’s TDK Corp. that he helped found.
Research-and-development staff comprise a fifth of CATL’s 18,000-plus workforce, and the company plans to use 4.2 billion yuan from the IPO to develop next-generation batteries, it said.

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Summary of “How to check if Apple is slowing down your iPhone”

Apple recently admitted that it has been throttling the performance of certain iPhones with older batteries to prevent unexpected shutdowns.
To prevent unexpected shutdowns that sometimes occur when processors don’t get enough power, the company dialed down the speeds of iPhone processors in units with those batteries.
Apple rolled out its performance-throttling measures for the iPhone 6 and newer models to prevent unexpected shutdowns.
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: 1.4 GHz. iPhone 6S and 6S Plus: 1.84 GHz. iPhone SE: 1.84 GHz. iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: 2.34 GHz. Note that your older iPhone may not be throttled if you’re running an older version of iOS. For the iPhone 6, 6S, and SE, Apple’s performance-throttling feature was introduced in iOS 10.2.1.
Even if your older iPhone isn’t being throttled, it could still be worth getting a battery replacement by Apple.
Chances are the battery capacity in your older iPhone model has degraded over the months and years you’ve owned it, and you can get improved battery life with the new $29 replacement Apple’s offering.
The best way to check your older iPhone’s battery life is to take it to an Apple Store.
Set up an appointment, and an Apple Genius will run your iPhone through the company’s tests.

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Summary of “Apple apologizes for iPhone slowdown drama, offers $29 battery replacements”

Apple says in its letter that batteries are “Consumable components,” and is offering anyone with an iPhone 6 or later a battery replacement for $29 starting in late January through December 2018 – a discount of $50 from the usual replacement cost.
This is a significant change in attitude around iPhone batteries – a decade ago, when the first iPhone came out, Apple said most iPhone users would never need to replace their batteries.
iPhone owners have long believed Apple artificially slows down older phones to drive new sales.
Apple had actually announced this change to performance along with iOS 10.2.1 a year ago, as the fix to a problem with the iPhone 6 that caused unexpected shutdowns if older batteries couldn’t provide enough power to the processor.
For its part, Apple continues to insist that it’s never artificially slowed down phones – just that it’s aggressively managing phone performance to maximize the lifespan of iPhone batteries.
Processor speed is just one piece of the battery- and performance-management puzzle, according to Apple: iPhones with older batteries may also more aggressively dim their screens, have lower maximum speaker volumes, and even have their camera flashes disabled when the system needs more peak power than the battery can provide.
In any event, Apple has a long way to go rebuilding trust with its customers – this story broke well past the tech press and hit TV morning shows and local news with zero nuance about “Smoothing instantaneous peaks” and battery chemistry degradation.
In its letter, Apple says “We’ve always wanted our customers to be able to use their iPhones as long as possible.” If Apple is serious about that, and equally serious about the battery being a consumable, these first two steps are just the beginning of a major reset in the way we think about maintaining the most important devices in our lives.

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Summary of “Apple admits it slows older iPhones, confirming Geekbench report”

Apple on Wednesday said a software feature released last year makes your phone operate more slowly to offset problems with its aging lithium ion battery.
As batteries get older, they don’t hold their charges as well as newer batteries, and can have worse problems when the charge is low or the temperature is cold.
The operating system slows down your device to prevent it from shutting down, Apple says, but only in cases of cold temperature, a low battery charge or very old batteries.
“The battery life issue for Apple, and iPhones, is a fascinating one because the average life of an iPhone is so much longer than other devices,” he tweeted.
For some people, the solution to a slower, older iPhone may be to update the battery instead of purchasing a brand-new device.
Apple charges $79 to replace the battery of an iPhone that’s no longer covered by a warranty.
Apple has faced criticism about how difficult it is to replace iPhone batteries.
If you opt to replace your iPhone battery, the feature that slows down the phone will automatically turn off.

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Summary of “Why you shouldn’t charge your phone in your car”

The INSIDER Summary: Turns out, charging your phone in your car could do more harm than good.
Plugging your phone into a car’s USB port could stall the charging and even damage the charger.
The best thing to do is to get home to charge your phone at an outlet.
Why? For starters, the USB port in your vehicle probably provides less electricity than your phone really needs to charge.
By plugging your phone into a low-power USB port like the one in your car, you allow the device to swallow up power at a rate that’s much too fast for the port’s capabilities.
As a result, your phone might stall while it charges, or worse – barely charge at all.
While the extent of the damage depends on the type of phone you have and its battery, the odds are high that your device is depleting your car’s battery as it charges.
If your car is an older model, you might want to avoid charging your phone through its USB port.

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Summary of “Airline plans to use electric airplanes in 10 years-is that possible?”

As a result, while a conventional airplane can travel thousands of miles before refueling, electric airplanes can only travel a fraction of that distance before they run out of juice.
Electric airplanes push the limits of battery technology.
Clarke, a leader of NASA’s own experimental X-57 electric airplane project, told Ars that, despite the limitations of battery power, electric airplanes have real promise.
There are efficiency gains to be had by re-designing airplanes to work with the strengths of electric motors, which are lighter and more reliable than conventional jet engines.
Zunum plans to start small by building airplanes designed for 10 to 50 passengers.
Electric airplanes won’t replace conventional airplanes any time soon.
So if battery technology improves faster than expected-and the billions pouring into the electric car business might speed up battery development-then hybrid airplanes might become feasible relatively soon.
It will be a long time before electric airplanes will be able to compete with conventional airplanes on longer routes.

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