Next-Gen Tech: Small Device Batteries with 50-Year Lifespans

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.07 - 2024 2:01 PM CET

A new coin-sized nuclear battery could last up to 50 years without recharging.

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A leading battery manufacturer has developed a prototype nuclear battery, potentially enabling devices like cell phones and drones to operate for decades without needing a recharge.

This innovation, while promising, may still be some time away from hitting the market.

A Leap in Battery Technology

Nuclear batteries aren't a new concept; they have been powering space missions and submarines for years. T

he recent breakthrough by the Chinese company Betabolt introduces the BV100 model, a nuclear battery small enough to fit in various devices yet powerful enough to last for up to 50 years.

Measuring just 15mm x 15mm x 5mm, this battery can produce up to 100 microwatts at 3 volts, offering a glimpse into a future where daily charging of electronic devices could become obsolete.

Scaling Up With Safety in Mind

Betabolt's BV100 uses nickel isotopes to generate energy through the decay of radioactive isotopes—a method previously employed in medical and space technologies.

The innovation lies in its energy density, which surpasses conventional lithium batteries by more than ten times. Such capacity could allow drones, for instance, to fly indefinitely without recharging.

Despite the benefits, the use of nuclear technology in consumer devices raises valid concerns regarding safety and environmental impact.

Betabolt assures that the radiation levels from the BV100 are extremely low, posing no threat to users. Additionally, they highlight the battery's environmental friendliness, noting that the radioactive materials ultimately transform into non-radioactive copper.

Future Applications

The company is currently in the testing phase, with plans for mass production to equip phones, drones, and other small devices with these batteries.

But the timeline for widespread adoption and regulatory approvals remains unclear, as does the battery's performance documentation for consumer electronics.

Nuclear batteries represent a blend of old and new—drawing on proven energy methods while breaking ground in longevity and power efficiency.

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