• Question: What do you need to make a really long-lasting laptop battery?

    Asked by bolzanoweierstrass to James, Marcus, Martin, Rob, Suzanne on 20 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Robert Thompson

      Robert Thompson answered on 20 Mar 2012:

      I don’t really need to make a long-lasting laptop battery. But I’d quite like it if someone did, I’m always having to re-charge mine.

    • Photo: James Boone

      James Boone answered on 20 Mar 2012:


      Laptop batteries use chemical energy to generate an electric current, and the limitation is the amount of chemicals you can put inside a certain sized battery. Therefore you need chemical reactions which generate a lot of free charges (ions), and also the ability to reverse the process so the battery can be re-charged by plugging it into the wall.


    • Photo: Marcus Gallagher-Jones

      Marcus Gallagher-Jones answered on 20 Mar 2012:

      Well I think one thing you can do is keep the battery really cool. So maybe instead of working on the specific chemical reaction we could develop better cooling systems. I know my macbook generates far too much heat. I think that maybe due t effects on discharge speeds though, the amount of current produced so maybe the battery would no longer be powerful enough.

      I’m just speculating to be honest I don’t really know so much about batteries, time to do a bit more reading.

    • Photo: Martin Zaltz Austwick

      Martin Zaltz Austwick answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      Not sure. You’d need a way to store a lot of energy in a small volume, so high-density, high-charge chemicals would seem to make sense. One way would be use something like a fuel cell: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell