Research is finding better ways to make batteries both big and small.
Is it too much to dream of batteries that are part of the structure of an item, helping to shape the form of a smartphone, car or building while also powering its functions?
A foldable, biodegradable battery based on paper and bacteria opens a new opportunity in electronics.
Seokheun Choi/Binghamton University
Paper-based devices with foldable, biodegradable batteries provide a new way to reduce electronic waste. But how would these new gadgets work?
Salt water is fun to swim in – but it also carries the electrical signals vital for life.
We take salt water for granted, and often overlook how important it is for our own lives and in sustaining a healthy planet.
The shrinking supply of Colorado River water is evident at the Hoover Dam on the border of Arizona and Nevada.
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
Taking millions of gallons of water permanently out of the Colorado River amid a prolonged drought would surely start an interstate fight.
Could this be the way to fill up in future?
The hydrogen economy has been touted for decades as a way to navigate the clean energy transition. Now a new CSIRO roadmap sets out how hydrogen power can become a major energy player.
More needs to be done to prevent deaths from button batteries.
Parents, carers and doctors need to be aware of button batteries in toys and household devices and ensure they can't be ingested.
Electric cars and smartphones have created growing demand – and volatile prices – for once obscure metals.
Grid-scale energy storage systems may make it easier to rely completely on renewable energy.
Saving power to use later lets consumers, businesses and utilities generate energy when it's cheap and deliver it when they need it most. There's not much of it today, but the industry is growing fast.
The proton battery, connected to a voltmeter.
A new rechargeable 'proton battery' - made chiefly from carbon and water - promises to outperform conventional lithium-ion batteries, while also being more environmentally friendly.
More blue sky thinking could help the grid get even smarter.
AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
'Virtual power plants' offer extra power to the grid by tweaking the operation of batteries and appliances right across the network. But even this might be too blunt a tool for our future energy needs.
Researchers talk to Bruny Islanders who have signed up to an experimental new method of managing energy.
Our energy system puts consumers more or less at the mercy of business and regulators. What if the future of energy meant putting the power back in the hands of households?
Since sodium is abundant, battery technology that uses it side-steps many of the issues associated with lithium batteries.
Demand for energy storage is increasing – both in Australia and around the world. But issues with the production of lithium-ion batteries mean the search is on for alternatives.
Boron is often ignored, but it’s got a lot of important qualities.
Boron is the hidden ingredient in a lot of our technology. Get to know this plucky little element.
The UK is about to miss an opportunity if it tries to take on the giants of the lithium-ion battery industry.
A share of the Edison Storage Battery Company, issued 19 Oct. 1903.
Wikimedia/Sammlung eines Mitglieds des Ersten Deutschen Historic-Actien-Clubs e.V
High energy, high power and endless life cycles: not all batteries are created equal.
Brine pools and processing areas at the Rockwood lithium plant on the Atacama salt flat in northern Chile.
We need to think about the raw materials of batteries -- where they come from and their environmental cost.
Batteries that can last indefinitely are needed to track wildlife.
Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute
Batteries that can self-sustain are needed for long-term animal tracking as well as shipping and logistics.
We need to look at batteries in-action to understand them better.
Emerging industries, from energy storage to electric cars, will need longer lasting batteries. Watching batteries in action will help us build them.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced plans to build the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery in South Australia.
AAP Image/Ben Macmahon
Tesla's new battery will be big enough to power thousands of homes, but it's likely to be just the first of many such installations.
Wireless charging means these cars could run off much smaller and cheaper batteries.