Strategic advances “moisture powered” battery quest

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Matt BirneySponsored
Strategic Elements’ battery ink printed on a carbon cloth.
Camera IconStrategic Elements’ battery ink printed on a carbon cloth. Credit: File

Venture builder Strategic Elements’ trailblazing “battery ink” cells have generated over 250 milliamp hours or “mAh” of electrical charge solely from humidity in the air and over 5 milliamps or “mA” of electrical current under load across a 3-day testing period. The company says its latest results from the prototype represent a 150 percent increase in electrical charge compared to tests.

The company’s battery ink technology can be used to produce small-footprint battery cells that can be printed on plastic. The patent to produce the technology is held by Strategics’ wholly owned venture, Australian Advanced Materials.

The battery ink technology project is a collaboration between Australian Advanced Material and the University of New South Wales and will see the duo develop the bleeding-edge technology. Strategic Elements looks to have formed a capable brain trust to carry out the venture with the university boasting over a decade of experience in electronic inks and energy storage.

The company is presently investigating the technologies application across a suite of sectors and is developing its printable computer memory and self-charging battery technology as part of its renewable energy and storage divisions.

Strategic Elements believes the first electronic devices to be powered by its battery ink cells technology will likely be electronic skin patches that monitor health, well-being and sports performance.

The Battery Ink technology is at an exciting stage of development where fundamental limits of aspects such as battery cell size, power output, duration, energy density, etc... are still unknown. One of the challenges with printed electronics is that the processes are so new that trial-and-error and testing is critical to success. Fortunately, this does also provide significant opportunities for unforeseen breakthroughs.

Strategic Elements Managing Director Charles Murphy

Despite the relative anonymity of the segment, the printed electronics space is being touted as the future of the electronics industry. The technology permits electronic circuitry to be printed on a number of unconventional surfaces including plastic and glass and differs from traditional practices that utilise rigid silicon. The process takes in traditional printing techniques and incorporates progressive functional inks to print on pliable surfaces.

Strategic Elements says the health related skin patch sector could be worth around US$40b by 2030 – a figure that will likely first grab the attention of those in the technology space. However, should the advances continue, it won’t be long until others in the market start to take note of a technology that would have been labelled impossible only a few short years ago.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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