Strategic Elements’ (ASX: SOR) subsidiary Australian Advanced Materials will accelerate development of its self-charging battery technology.
The accelerated development will be done in collaboration with the University of New South Wales.
Australian Advanced Materials’ self-charging battery ink cells are being developed by integrating existing ink formulation and printed electronics technology from its Nanocube Memory Ink technology with an advanced graphene oxide material.
According to pooled development fund Strategic Elements, battery ink cells can generate electricity from humidity in the air or skin surface – enabling them to self-chard within minutes.
This eradicates the need for manual or wired power charging.
Under the escalated collaboration with the UNSW, the team will fast-track ink scale up to 1 litre within the next four weeks.
“To provide perspective 1L of battery ink has to capacity to produce more than 2,000 printable battery cells,” Strategic Elements stated.
Commenting on the fast-tracked development, Strategic Elements managing director Charles Murphy said it has taken “years” for the team to understand how to scale up its Nanocube Memory Ink to 1L batch sizes.
“Achieving this within four weeks of the battery ink will provide strong evidence of the potential to harness our previous electronic ink experience,” he said
“It’s an ambitious goal but it’s a challenge the team has taken on.”
Mr Murphy added the Australian Advanced Materials has agreed to pursue government grant opportunities in conjunction with UNSW for integrating memory, battery and electronic circuit ink technologies.
As well as a collaboration between UNSW and Australian Advanced Materials, the CSIRO is also involved in the technology’s development.
The Australian Government is already partially funding the research.
Battery advantages in large market
Strategic Elements claims its self-charging battery ink technology has distinct advantages to current predominant lithium-ion cells.
Battery ink cells are self-charging within in minutes, flexible, not flammable, thin and light and environmentally friendly.
This compares to lithium-ion batteries which need to be manually charged or plugged in, are inflexible, potentially flammable, comparatively heavy and come with environmental issues.
The battery ink cells will be targeting the internet of things device market. These include wearable healthcare electronics, smart metres, sensors and home automation products.
Overall, Strategic Elements estimates the IOT market was worth US$8.7 billion in 2009 and will rise to about US$15.9 billion by 2025.
Today’s news follows Australian Advanced Materials filing a patent to further protects its Nanocube Memory Ink technology.
The patent defines “ultra-low power flexible circuits” to operate and array of Nanocube Memory Ink cells.
This technology essentially increases memory potential while still using low power – a feature required on flexible electronics such as wearable health sensors.
Oversubscribed share purchase plan
To fund development of Strategic Elements’ subsidiaries’ technology, the company undertook a share purchase plan earlier this month.
Strategic Elements revealed its received strong support after receiving applications for $6.8 million shares.
The company closed the share purchase plan this week, with the board deciding to take $5.1 million-worth of applications.
Subsidiaries make big leaps during September quarter
In its September quarterly report, Strategic Elements noted its primary subsidiaries Australian Advanced Materials and Stealth Technologies had made substantial strides in advancing their respective technologies.
Australian Advanced Materials progressed its Nanocube Memory technology, which resulted in this week’s announcements.
Meanwhile, Stealth Technologies focused on preparing its autonomous security vehicle in collaboration with Honeywell for user acceptance testing and implementation at Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison.
The vehicle will be responsible for perimeter security at the prison.