Pooled development fund Strategic Elements (ASX: SOR) has announced its subsidiary Australian Advanced Materials is developing an ink battery that is able to self-charge within minutes.
The cells will be created with a printable ink and designed to generate electricity from humidity in the air or skin surface to self-charge without any manual charging or wired power required.
Strategic Elements said the batteries will be ideally suited for use in Internet of Things (IoT) devices – a global market worth about US$8.7 billion (A$12.2 billion) last year.
Australian Advanced Materials’ research and development of the technology is being undertaken through a collaboration with the University of New South Wales and the CSIRO.
Ink cells vs lithium batteries
The battery ink will be developed using the company’s Nanocube Memory Ink technology and advanced graphene oxide material.
In today’s announcement, Strategic Elements listed many strong competitive advantages of battery ink cells over lithium batteries, including the ability to self-charge within minutes compared to being manually charged or plugged into power.
By comparison, battery ink cells are also flexible, non-flammable, extremely thin and light, and considered environmentally friendly.
The growing battery market is being driven by technological advancements in IoT devices such as wearables, smart meters, sensors and home automation products.
According to market research, the global battery market for IoT is forecast to grow to US$15.9 billion (A$22.3 billion) by 2025.
Strategic Elements managing director Charles Murphy said early stage results of the development program have been “extremely promising”.
Battery ink development at the University of NSW in the next 12 weeks will focus on materials engineering and optimisation of the ink formulation, achiving scale up to a large batch size of battery ink (at least 1 litre), and the development of a successful prototype connecting multiple battery cells to produce at least 3.7 Volts.
“From the automated robotic security vehicle we are building with US giant Honeywell, the ongoing commercialisation of the Nanocube Memory Ink, this new development in battery ink and other commercial activities on the horizon, Strategic Elements is generating significant momentum,” Mr Murphy said.