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Batteries beaten by ‘campfire’ generator

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 15:30 -- Paul Crompton
URABat, the super-fast rechargeable aluminium battery from ITRI

Two new battery systems were beaten to the top spot in an international energy and sustainability competition by a hand-held thermoelectric generator that converts excess heat from any stove or fire into useable electricity.

The JikoPower Spark is designed to keep mobile phones, LEDs and radios ready to use when their owners go off-grid in remote areas.

The Spark took the gold medal in the power source category at the 2017 Edison Awards in New York, beating URABat, the super-fast rechargeable aluminium battery developed by Taiwan-based Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), into second place.

The URABat impressed the judges with its ability to become fully charged in 1 minute for more than 10,000 cycles, with a CE of 98% throughout its life.

Frank Bonafilia, executive director of the Edison Awards, commented: “There has never been a significant development in battery technology quite like the ITRI.”

The bronze medal went to the Immotor Super Battery which powers the California- and China-based company’s scooter and has a built-in M2M operating system designed to be a programmable, rechargeable source for high-power consumer and industrial electric devices.