A self-charging battery has been one of the dreams of many people for decades. We've been fantasizing about flying cars, self-driving motorcycles, and even a smart house. Now, most of them have become within our reach. The technologies are still pricey but that's expected during the early stages of implementation. Once we look at the core of these newest innovations, having a power source that doesn't require its users to periodically replace it is something really desirable. Imagine too the good effects this will have on our environment. We can significantly reduce the waste we contribute to landfills.
Oh, and did we mention this battery will come from recycled nuclear waste?
Self-charging battery: How is it even possible?
NDB, a California-based company claims that its nano-diamond batteries act like tiny nuclear generators. The company claims its self-charging battery can last for up to 28,000 years without the need for recharging. This development will certainly change the portable-power-source game forever. If this new technology expands, we will no longer be surprised to see smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other handheld devices packing the same tech inside. Imagine not worrying about waking up in the morning and realizing you weren't able to charge your phone overnight.
There's a catch you might think. But NDB also mentions that despite the looooong battery life, these batteries will also have higher power density compared to lithium-ion batteries. This new kind of batter will also be almost indestructible and totally safe even during an electric car crash. Speaking about cost, despite having these advantages, they will still be cheaper than current Li-ion options currently available in the market.
Every battery cell of this new technology will have a small piece of recycled nuclear waste. NDB utilizes graphite reactor parts for this self-charging battery. These parts have already absorbed radiation from being exposed to nuclear fuel rods. As a consequence, they, themselves, have become radioactive. Being rich in carbon-14 radioisotope, this graphite undergoes decay, becoming nitrogen. This chemical reaction releases an anti-neutrino and a decay electron.
This is where NDB injects its processes. It takes this graphite and after purifying it, the company then uses it to produce tiny carbon-14 diamonds. This diamond structure acts as the battery's semiconductor and heat sink. Protecting this structure is carbon-12 diamond. It's cheap, safe, and non-radioactive. This sort of capsule contains energetic particles. It, too, acts as a very durable protective layer and prevents radiation leaks.
Once everything's all set, NDB claims that the first commercial version of a self-charging battery will be available two years from now. A more high-powered version is expected to arrive after five years. The company says it is planning both low- and high-power versions of the revolutionary battery. However, we're still yet to see actual proof of this. Until then, these would still remain as just claims.