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The batteries of the first mobiles weighed like an eleven-year-old child

Phones, tablets, clocks, toys. Most devices we use every day can only work with batteries. Just because of their indispensability, the batteries even earned their own international day, which falls on February 18th. But where did they come from and where does their development go? Will we need them in the future or are they forgotten?

Although mobile phones are a matter of the past for about twenty years, their history is much richer and longer. Similarly, the battery history, which makes it possible to transfer the phone from one place to another, and is no longer tied to plug-in power. The predecessors of today's mobile phones used taxis and police cars in the 1940s. "The first primitive cell phone was used in 1946 by the Swedish police department. They used a car battery to which the phone was directly connected, " says Radim Tlapák ( The car phone handled about six calls before it got rid of it. Even with the use of car batteries, they were really the frontrunners of today's smart phones. In the 1950s, the phone weighed over 36 kilograms.

Long distance calls and longer battery life

The fundamental shift in mobile phone and battery development has brought the 70s and Bell Labs work. In 1973 he introduced a prototype of an enhanced mobile phone that managed to call for longer distances. In addition, it lasted for up to half an hour. But for 30 minutes, it was ten hours of charge. Even in the 1980s, portable telephones were mainly found in cars because they still needed a lot of power. Reduction and prolongation of the endurance brought about 90 years. Nickel-cadmium batteries were used, but they were still relatively large and heavy. In addition, after several charging times, battery life has begun to significantly shorten. The use of nickel and cadmium was also problematic for two other reasons. One was the rapid warming and the high temperatures the battery had reached. The other was cadmium itself, which is toxic. There was a problem with the disposal of old batteries.

From nickel to lithium

Because of these problems, researchers have begun to look for more suitable materials to use in their batteries. At the end of the 1990s, they moved to nickel-metal hydride batteries that are non-toxic. They held a large amount of recharging, and they were lighter and narrower, so the phones themselves could be smaller and look closer to those we use today. At the same time, however, demand for a number of phone features, a larger screen, or the use of the Internet has begun to grow, and this type of battery has become insufficient. There is a transition to lithium-ion batteries that you will find on your phones until now. However, according to the manufacturers, they are no longer enough for smartphones.

Unpredictable future

Existing batteries are hard to handle screen size, high-quality camera and all applications running on the phone. "Although lithium is still very attractive because it is the lightest metal that can store a large amount of renewable energy, it may in some cases cause the battery to ignite. In addition, this type of battery loses capacity when charging repeatedly. After a year, our mobile will not usually be as crowded for as long as the beginning, " adds Radim Tlapák.
But the future of batteries is still unclear. Researchers have to learn a lot on the march. Often a breakthrough discovery will be reported, but during experiments, it turns out that the new technology has significant limits. "Lithium is not so easy to replace yet. Certain substances are dangerous and you need to look very carefully for their ideal ratio. Other substances will not be able to recharge again, " says Radim Tlapák.

At the moment, great hopes are placed in silicone . Graphite in the anode could also be replaced by sulfur in the future. The pushing up of the so-called LiPo batteries , which are very light, can withstand repeated charging and can hold up to 40% more energy.
Where exactly the future of batteries to smart phones or electric cars will shift so far no one can accurately estimate can not. However, all researchers have the same goal. Offer batteries that are lightweight, charged in seconds and last for several weeks.

Source: tz, edited editorially

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