The key to a good vaping experience is the battery. Without it, your e-cigarette won’t work well, or at all. Whilst an everlasting battery would be ideal, there’s still a long way to go in terms of technology and production. But what is the future of batteries for e-cigarettes? We investigate all things battery related to find out.
Most e-cigarettes run on a lithium-ion battery. These batteries work by passing ions from a positive cathode to a negative anode once charging and back again once discharging. Lithium-ion batteries are intelligent in that they can regulate how they charge and discharge, meaning they do not overcharge.
Lithium-ion batteries are useful because they are lightweight and reliable if they are looked after properly. They can also go through hundreds of charge/discharge cycles in their lifetime. But the issue is just that- they do have a lifetime, and one day it will run out. Typically, Lithium-ion batteries last for 300-500 charges depending on how well they’ve been kept. Certain factors can shorten that time dramatically, such as heat and storage. This can ruin the cells inside the battery, making them useless.
Read more: How To Maintain Battery Life
A battery breakthrough
The future of batteries could be not in Lithium-ion, but in Lithium-air batteries. There have been technical flaws such as a lot of wasted energy resulting in overheating, but more recently there has been a development in the concept. The new idea, called a nanolithia cathode battery, uses oxygen from outside in the same way as the lithium-air battery, but doesn’t allow the gas to return to its natural state and be wasted. All the reactions happen within the nanolithia particles. This means it is a lot less likely to overheat as energy is used productively, rather than wasted on heat.
One huge benefit of this new technology is it is unable to overcharge. Phys.org commented on the testing of this battery, stating ‘In cycling tests, a lab version of the new battery was put through 120 charging-discharging cycles, and showed less than a 2 percent loss of capacity, indicating that such batteries could have a long useful lifetime’. Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT, Ju Li, said ‘we have overcharged the battery for 15 days, to a hundred times its capacity, but there was no damage at all’.
Not only is the battery extremely productive and long-lasting, it is also lightweight. Its composition means we would have batteries that create twice as much energy but are much less heavy. Li described the battery as ‘very scalable, cheap, and much safer’. The nanolithia cathode batteries could really be the future for all small electronics, including your e-cigarette.
Another option for the future of e-cig batteries is solar power. There isn’t a wide range of products on the market at the moment, however with advancements in technology surrounding minuscule solar cells, this could be something great for the future. Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories have created glitter-sized photovoltaic cells which could be built into small surfaces such as clothing and technology. The obvious disadvantage of solar power is that it requires direct sunlight to work- a resource we struggle with in this country. The biggest advantage is that, once the technology is purchased, the power source is completely free. It also profits the environment which is a bonus. Solar power may not be the ideal solution for your primary charger, but an additional, portable charger could be a great option to ensure you never run out of battery whilst on-the-go.
What do you think about the future of batteries? Have your say in the comments!