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Betavolt Unveils Revolutionary Micro-Atomic Energy Battery

4 February, 2024

Betavolt Unveils Revolutionary Micro-Atomic Energy Battery

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On January 8, Betavolt Technology, a Beijing-based startup, made waves in the tech world by announcing the successful development of the world’s first micro-atomic energy battery. The breakthrough involves the integration of nickel-63 isotope decay and China’s pioneering diamond semiconductor module, resulting in a revolutionary power source poised to redefine the energy landscape.

An atomic energy battery? Yes!

Betavolt’s BB100 battery, measuring a mere 15x15x5 mm (smaller than a coin), has the capacity to produce 100 microwatts of energy consistently and safely for an impressive 50 years without the need for recharging. The nuclear battery generates 8.64 joules of energy per day and 3,153 joules per year, making it a compelling option for various applications.

The battery has a modular design, which means miltiple batteries can be connected to enable increased output. At the same time, there are zero-emissions, which is a bonus in any battery. With such a small size, it can power AI and autonomous technologies, or any other device that doesn’t require a lot of juice to work.

At the heart of Betavolt’s achievement is its unique ability to dope diamond, a semiconductor holy grail, into large wafer-thin sheets of only 10 micrometers. What they can achieve with that innovation is to efficiently convert radioactive nickel decay into electricity. Even though the battery is currently in the pilot production stage, Betavolt are planning to move to mass-production, catering to the power supply needs of aerospace, AI devices, medical equipment such as pace makers, MEMS systems (such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, microphones, displays, sensors etc.), small drones, microrobots, seismic and earthquake sensors in hard to reach places or wildlife tracking devices. Unlike traditional thermoelectric nuclear batteries, which are large, heavy, and expensive, Betavolt’s approach utilizes a single-crystal diamond semiconductor capable of generating a current through β particles emitted from the radioactive source nickel-63.

What’s the big deal with an Atomic Energy Battery?

Betavolt’s ambitious roadmap includes the launch of a 1W battery in 2025, with the potential to power devices like phones indefinitely, pending regulatory approval. Atomic batteries, with their significantly higher energy density of 3,300 watt-hours per gram, outshine chemical batteries in terms of safety, longevity, and environmental impact. Even though Atomic Batteries have been around for over 48 years now (the Voyager I and II had plutonium batteries fitted), this atomic energy battery has about 3600 times the energy density of an electric vehicle battery! The stable power generation, resilient performance in harsh environments and absence of external radiation make atomic batteries like this one suitable for applications like medical devices implanted in the human body.

Atomic Energy Batteries are the future in powering all sorts of devices

Betavolt’s micro-atomic energy battery marks a significant milestone in the world of power technology. With its game-changing features, this innovation not only positions China at the forefront of the AI technology revolution but also offers a glimpse into a future where devices can operate indefinitely without the need for recharging. The convergence of miniaturization, efficiency and environmental friendliness makes Betavolt’s atomic energy battery a groundbreaking development with far-reaching implications for various industries. An atomic energy battery will be able to power small appliances for years. Just imagine a phone that never needs recharging…

But isn’t atomic energy potentially dangerous? What happens if…

Although an atomic battery uses radioactive materials to produce power, these are of very low energy. Any potential leaking can easily be prevented with only a few millimetres of aliminium shielding, which this type of batteries always has. This means no radiation risks at all. Of couse, a leak would impose health risks, but this is the case with all batteries if they are not handled carefully. The biggest danger would be if a battery was severely damaged and a human would ingest a piece of it. But this would also apply to any battery anyway.