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Wired.com reports that a team at the University of Texas has developed a process that utilizes microwaves to simplify the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries, knocking hours out of the production cycle and dramatically reducing the heat required to create the battery’s complex phosphate structure.

Wired says that companies like A123 Systems — who was responsible for DeWalt’s high-end 36V line and those of other manufacturers as well — are working on their own version of this technology, but the UT team is already receiving inquiries.

What’s this mean to Toolmongers? Should this process pan out, we might see a significant decrease in the cost of lithium-ion phosphate batteries, which many consider superior to other chemistries. Even lower-buck li-ion power tools, anyone?

Li-Ion Phosphate Batteries Baked In Microwave [Wired]

 

3 Responses to Li-Ion + Microwave = Cheaper/More Available Batteries?

  1. BC says:

    If the Li-ion battery makers are anything like the way I run my business, they’ll cut costs and leave the price alone until new competition comes in.

  2. ShopMonger says:

    Competition seems to be on the fore front…..
    They will reduce prices, especially in this market. Not only battery manufacturers but the tools companies want to make a more marketable tool. Price is driven by inovation in tools. With LI tools they can only comptete on price point, vs functionality. Now with cheaper manufaturing costs they can compete both on price point AND function. This will allow LI to take over the lions share fo the market quicker. just like cd’s taking over tape. It was not a quck take over till companies made manifacturing cheaper. My god-father helped produce mass manufacturing for cd’s. once the process was cheap and cd’s hit the 15-20 price point….. away went the tape….

  3. Eric says:

    With the increasing costs of fossil fuels, I get the feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of innovation in the battery department over the next several years. As a nerd, that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

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