This Phone Battery Could Last 50 Years; Chinese Company Unveils 50-Year Battery

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A Chinese start-up claims to have created a battery that can generate electricity for 50 years straight. According to a report by The Information, the Beijing-based firm Betavolt has developed a nuclear battery smaller than a coin’s size. The battery is currently under testing, and if everything goes right, it could soon power battery-operated devices such as smartphones, drones, etc.

How The Tiny Atomic Battery Works

How The Tiny Atomic Battery Works

The battery relies on the energy emitted from decaying isotopes (or radiation). With the help of tiny semiconductors, it converts the energy into usable electricity. It consists of ultra-thin layers of Ni-63 nuclear isotope and diamond semiconductors. With that chemical composition, it can generate 100 microwatts power at 3V. However, that doesn’t fulfill the energy requirement of modern-day devices. Hence, Betavolt aims to increase the output to 1W by 2025.

The Battery Can Work In Different Environmental Conditions

The layered design prevents the battery from catching fire or exploding. Further, the company claims that the battery can withstand temperatures ranging from -60 degrees Celcius to 120 degrees Celcius, making it weather-resistant and, to some extent, heat-resistant. In comparison, the lithium-ion batteries in our smartphones, or most gadgets, can only operate from a few degrees Celcius to 45 degrees Celcius.

Betavolt’s Atomic Batteries Are Smaller Than A Coin

Betavolt's Atomic Batteries Are Smaller Than A Coin

The battery measures 15 x 15 x 5 mm. For reference, the tiny Betavolt battery is smaller than the popular CR2032 battery (20 x 20 x 3.2 mm). Moreover, the Betavolt Atmoic battery is lightweight, has a long service life, and could deliver high energy density by 2025. Further, it can also work under extreme weather conditions. However, naturally, one would have radiation concerns, given the battery’s radioactive nature.

The Company Says It Doesn’t Emit External Radiation

Betavolt says that the battery doesn’t produce any external radiation, which makes it suitable for medical devices like pacemakers and cochlea implants. After the decay period ends (in about 50 years), the isotopes turn into a stable isotope of copper, which makes the battery non-radioactive, eliminating any environmental threat. With this, the company also mentions that mass production is expected to begin after it gets all the necessary regulatory clarifications.

Other Nations Are Already Working On The Technology

While China is the first to claim the technology, scientists in the United States and the Soviet Union are also working on miniaturizing batteries. While the latter have already developed such batteries for underwater systems, spacecraft, and remote scientific stations, thermonuclear batteries are way more expensive and bulky. China took up the technological challenge as part of its 14th five-year plan to boost its economy.

“Betavolt atomic energy batteries can meet the needs of long-lasting power supply in multiple scenarios, such as aerospace, AI equipment, medical equipment, microprocessors, advanced sensors, small drones, and micro-robots.” It could also revolutionize the smartphone industry if it reaches the required power threshold, eliminating the need to carry chargers and bulky powerbanks.

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Shikhar MehrotraShikhar Mehrotra
A tech enthusiast at heart, Shikhar Mehrotra has been writing news since college for an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. Over the last four years, he has worked with several national and international publications, including Republic World, and ScreenRant, writing news, how-to explainers, smartphone comparisons, reviews, and list-type articles. When he is not working, Shikhar likes to click pictures, make videos for his YouTube channel, and watch the American sitcom Friends.

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