Organic Battery Could be UPS of Future

Japanese electronics maker NEC said on Friday it was in the process of developing a high-power organic radical battery, or ORB, that could be used in standard desktop PCs as a built-in emergency power source in the event of a power failure.

The company says it could also be used in other ways across a variety of household appliances.

NEC originally proposed the technology that powers the battery back in 2001. To create power, an electrochemical reaction of organic radical compounds is initiated within the battery and allows it to produce a high amount of power, as well as the ability to be recharged repeatedly without power loss.

In tests, the battery was able to successfully power-down a test PC running at an average power of 96 watts. According to tests by NEC, 1.7 watt-hours of energy are required to power a 100-watt PC for 60 seconds. A single ORB battery, weighing only 88 grams, can produce one watt-hour of energy at 100 watts.

The battery is connected to the power source of the computer and will automatically turn on and start a shutdown process when it detects a loss of power or voltage drop.

NEC also offered other advantages to the technology, such as its environmentally safe composition and the fact that the materials within the battery are both non-flammable and non-explosive, unlike other batteries.

NEC said it believes that the market for backup sources of power will grow as society becomes increasingly dependent on computers, and the company will accelerate research and development into the technology. Also NEC will begin to test the market feasibility of the product.

No date was given, however, on commercial availability of the technology.

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