A little over a year ago, a Swedish scientist learned the hard way that laptop computers do not quite live up to their name. According to the British medical journal The Lancet, the mercifully anonymous man spent an evening writing a report, periodically shifting position to avoid heat from the machine. The next day he woke to find himself blistered in a very sensitive place. He'd been well and truly fried. Anyone old enough to associate the word "computer" with 1950s-era images of the original UNIVAC, with its 5200 tubes cooled by water drawn from a river, probably won't be shocked by the news that a computer could inflict a second-degree burn. Indeed, the fabled machine once failed spectacularly when a wayward fish obstructed the water's flow. Nevertheless, engineers, lulled by the ubiquitous hum of their workstations' fans, can be forgiven for thinking that the heat thrown off by a computer's innards is no longer a burning issue. But it is. Chip designers, computer makers, assorted … [Read more...] about Beat the Heat
Hitachi automotive systems ltd
4 November 2004 -- Ten new Federal Express hybrid-electric vans that took to the New York City road in October are carrying much more than the usual surprise packages and parcels. The vans are powered partly by lithium-ion batteries -- a scaled-up version of the batteries in cameras and laptops, not the nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries that have been the technology of choice in the pioneering hybrid cars sold by Toyota, Honda, and Ford. The Fed Ex trail is a test, one of several, of whether lithium ion batteries could displace NiMH in the hybrid vehicles of the future. By growing consensus among specialists in the field, lithium batteries are markedly superior in some respects to the standard nickel-metal hydride alternative. ”You come up with a battery that's smaller and lighter,” says Michael Saft, U.S. marketing director for French battery giant Saft, in Bagnolet, France. ”We think that, long term, lithium is going to be the standard for the industry.” … [Read more...] about Can Lithium Deliver the Goods?