Why device batteries are holding us back

Devices use energy, as do humans. We need to eat every day to keep our body functioning, and it’s the same with the batteries in the devices that keep us moving and communicating – they need to be charged up.

That said, there is a growing frustration that battery technology cannot support the increased demands of a modern device.

We all know that the daily phone charge has become a familiar routine. For smartphone and tablet users, maintaining battery power when you’re nowhere near a power source is the work of a genius.

Very few have mastered the ways of the force, but there are plenty of guides out there with hints and tips to help you. So, what exactly is the problem here? Why are the batteries in our everyday devices such a cause for frustration?

Why we need batteries more than ever

A range of different technologies have been developed that render the battery problem more significant than ever before. In response to the global climate change crisis, more emphasis has been placed on battery-operated vehicles.

This technology has advanced quickly in just a few years, but there remains a barrier in that battery-powered cars don’t have adequate capacity for long journeys, and charging points are still relatively few and far-between.

More intricate and powerful devices are continuously being released to market – devices that are online 24/7, and therefore constantly using power. Wearable technology like the Apple Watch are powerful, yet small. Powering these devices is tricky for designers, and users regularly complain about the lack of battery life.

As we immerse ourselves even further in a digitally-enabled world, battery power becomes ever more important in everyday life.

The problem with battery technology

In many ways, battery technology hasn’t changed dramatically since 1799. Volta’s invention contained zinc and silver, separated by a saltwater-soaked cloth. In modern times, we have a liquid electrolyte that separates lithium and carbon.

There has been detailed research into entirely different methods of energy storage, which would involve a structural material containing the charge itself, but this is far away from introduction to the mass market.

General wear and tear

Another common frustration is the diminishing performance of batteries over time. We often expect battery life to remain a constant, so that we always know what to expect. However, it doesn’t quite work like that.

The action of charging your device is to actually cause a chemical reaction, which won’t always remain perfect over time when conducted repeatedly. There will inevitably be deterioration in the battery’s performance.

Battery maintenance

Some experts are campaigning for the better maintenance of batteries over time, to increase their lifespan. Many argue that more considerate treatment of the humble battery will lead to long-term performance improvements.

It is said that batteries age just like living creatures, and that to understand how to better treat them, we should study the performance of batteries over time, beyond the point at which we consider them to be unusable.

Tips for better maintenance include charging your device little and often, maintaining charge at between 30% and 80%. Further to that, you should never let your device overhead, and ensure it’s turned off when unused. Basically, don’t work your battery too hard!

What can be done?

Some experts are working on creating super batteries, whilst some are working on making devices use less battery power. Some are even testing supercapacitors that fully charge batteries in a matter of moments. Generally, there is a hive of activity in the energy storage market at the moment, with all major players recognising that one of the key problems in technology is that of the battery life.

At the moment, the best way to combat the battery problem is to take care of maintenance and acquire the right battery for you – based on your specific requirements. Unfortunately, this is usually impossible for those looking to improve the battery life of their handheld consumer device – but for industry and enterprise, custom designed battery packs offer far better results.

What we do

At Creasefield, we have an ever-growing range of battery products that are developed, approved, and ready to ship. We work with a range of leading battery manufacturers and suppliers, as well as developing our very own products.

Every sector has specific requirements for battery products, and our experience and expertise across a range of industries puts us in the best position to provide genuine competitive advantage.

For more information about what we can offer, call +44 (0) 1460 980 100 or contact us online today.