The Light Catcher is a cool concept that combines an AA or AAA battery profile with integrated miniature solar panels. Imagine placing your dead batteries on a sunny window sill for a few hours to recharge. Much like wind-up batteries, the solar concept makes disposable batteries a thing of the past.
Pictured here, renderings of the Light Catcher batteries show a clear exterior that lets light penetrate to the internal solar panels at the core. Besides just typical battery functionality, they also provide a 3.5mm jack for powering compatible devices on the go.
This rechargeable battery concept couldn't be simpler. Grab the top and bottom of the dead battery and wind it up! The spring inside the battery housing then turns and charges the power cell inside. Designed by Yeon Kyeong Hwang and Mieong Ho Kang, these wind-up batteries could charge anywhere without external power.
The top half of the battery is the actual power cell, described in the design as Ni-mH. The bottom half twists and loads a spring inside the barrel, which as it unwinds turns a generator that charges the battery. Of course, the battery can also be charged with an external charger to save you from having to wind it up all the time.
Research is underway on a new class of rechargeable powerpack known as a lithium-air or lithium-oxygen battery. These devices could store more than 10 times the energy found in current lithium-ion batteries, which would greatly extent the time required between recharging cycles. Because lithium-air uses freely available oxygen as a cathode reactant, the weight of the battery significantly decreased.
These power cells could even beat the energy density of hydrogen fuel cells, making one efficient lithium-air car battery able to store the equivalent energy of a tank of gasoline. The technology is not yet commercially available, although it's actively being developed in several places.
Over 15 million alkaline batteries are disposed of every year. Finally, one NiMH AA rechargeable battery promises to be convenient, affordable, and reusable. Moxia Energy won a 2008 Gold Product Design Award from International Forum Design (iF) for the product. The USBCELL plugs directly into any USB port and reaches
a full charge in 5 hours. Plugging these batteries in or using an approved standard NiMH charger for even just a few minutes provides enough juice for a quick boost. These brilliant, cordless devices can be used anywhere AA batteries are needed, and charge in any computer or gaming console. A two-pack