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Betavoltaic Battery: 30 Years Of Power

Imagine a laptop battery that lasted thirty years without needing to be recharged. The betavoltaic battery research funded by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory shines a ray of hope.


(Betavoltaic battery)

Although betavoltaic batteries sound nuclear they’re not, they’re neither use fission/fusion or chemical processes to produce energy and so (do not produce any radioactive or hazardous waste). Betavoltaics generate power when an electron strikes a particular interface between two layers of material. The Process uses beta electron emissions that occur when a neutron decays into a proton which causes a forward bias in the semiconductor. This makes the betavoltaic cell a forward bias diode of sorts, similar in some respects to a photovoltaic (solar) cell. Electrons scatter out of their normal orbits in the semiconductor and into the circuit creating a usable electric current.

The betavoltaic power supply sounds a lot like a Shipstone, from Robert Heinlein's 1982 novel Friday.

...the place was dark as ink...

So whip out your pocket torch, Friday, powered with its own tiny lifetime Shipstone, and search.
(Read more about Heinlein's Shipstone)

Via Next Energy News.

Update: Unfortunately, this item appears to be a scam - see the comments for links.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/3/2007)

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