Tiny 'flow battery' could both cool and power future hardware

flow battery flowbattery
ETHZ
Researchers at IBM and ETH Zurich University have developed a tiny “flow battery” which is able to supply power to processors while also cooling them down. Although still in the early stages of development, this technology could help build smaller and more efficient hardware.

The concept of a “redox flow” battery is one that has been around for a while now. We talked about a system powered by “electric blood” back in 2015, but we’re still some way from it becoming a commercial reality. Typically they are used now for larger-scale power storage, but what the teams at IBM and ETH Zurich have achieved is something that could very well pioneer new generations of consumer-facing hardware.

“We are the first scientists to build such a small flow battery so as to combine energy supply and cooling,” says doctoral student Julian Marschewski of the project (via Engadget).

The flow battery in this case was built using 3D printing, creating a wedge-shaped channel that is able to supply the chip with power, while taking away excess heat with very little pumping required. It even broke records for its power generated, but at just 1.4 watts per centimeter, we need the flow battery to deliver much more power before it’s ready for consumer-grade hardware.

In terms of cooling, however, it was very effective. The flow system was able to dissipate far more heat than the chip produced, so there are very real applications for this sort of technology if it can be improved further.

If researchers are able to make much more efficient and powerful versions of these liquid batteries, we could see new designs for all sorts of hardware. Solar panels could use it for cooling and storing power directly in the battery cell and it could even help high-powered lasers which require internal cooling systems.

Emerging Tech

With cameras that know dogs from Dodges, Honda is making intersections safer

Honda and the city of Marysville, Ohio are working on creating a smart intersection. The goal would not only help better direct the flow of traffic, it could also help save the lives of pedestrians and cyclists.
Computing

Memory is still expensive, but Intel’s 9th-gen CPU lets you have 128GB of it

Intel's 9-series CPUs have a few exciting things going for them but for some, new support for double height memory modules with a maximum system capacity of 128GB could be one of them.
Emerging Tech

Get your head in the clouds with the best vaporizers for flower and concentrates

Why combust dead plant matter when you could vaporize the good stuff and leave the leaves behind? Here's a rundown of the best vaporizers money can buy, no matter what your style is.
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.
Emerging Tech

MIT is building a new $1 billion college dedicated to all things A.I.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has announced a new $1 billion college of computing designed to offer the best possible education to future machine learning A.I. experts.
Photography

Remove photo bombs, other unwanted objects with Photoshop’s new Content-Aware Fill

Photoshop's newest A.I-powered tool helps remove objects or fill in gaps for a distraction-free photo in the new Adobe Photoshop CC 2019. Here's how to remove an object in Photoshop using the new Content-Aware Fill.
Photography

Adobe Premiere Rush CC is the cloud-based video editing app you've been waiting for

On stage at Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe announced its cloud-centric, social video-editing application, Adobe Premiere Rush CC. We took some time to put it through its paces to see what it offers, how it works, and what's missing.
Web

Feed your fandom: These are the best YouTube channels for sports lovers

If you're a cable cutter who still wants to enjoy quality sports highlights and analysis, YouTube is the place to go. There are plenty of great sports-centric channels on YouTube, each of which provides great highlights and top-shelf…
Social Media

YouTube is back after crashing for users around the world

It's rare to see YouTube suffer serious issues, but the site went down around the world for a period of time on October 16. It's back now, and we can confirm it's loading normally on desktop and mobile.
Computing

Winamp eyes big comeback in 2019 with podcast, streaming support

Classic audio player Winamp is getting a major overhaul in 2019 that's designed to bring it up-to-date and make it competitive with the likes of Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, Audible, and more, all in one go.
Computing

Is the Pixelbook 2 still happening? Here's everything we know so far

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Has the Pixel Slate taken its place? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.
Photography

Adobe MAX 2018: What it is, why it matters, and what to expect

Each year, Adobe uses its Adobe MAX conference to show off its latest apps, technologies, and tools to help simplify and improve the workflow of creatives the world over. Here's what you should expect from this year's conference.
Computing

Problems with Microsoft’s Windows October 2018 Update aren’t over yet

Microsoft's Windows 10 October 2018 update is not having a great launch. More than two weeks after its debut and Microsoft is still putting out fires as new bugs are discovered and there's no sign of its re-release as of yet.
Computing

Adobe’s craziest new tools animate photos, convert recordings to music in a click

Adobe shared a glimpse behind the scenes at what's next and the Creative Cloud future is filled with crazy A.I.-powered tools, moving stills, and animation reacting to real-time tweets.