30-year battery may be too good to be true

According to reports, a team of scientists have developed a battery which uses "betavoltaic" cells to keep chugging along for up to 30 years without the need for a recharge. If you believe what they say (and that's a big "if"), the battery uses a non-nuclear form of radioactive material as the basis for power, and that material gives off energy as it decays. Apparently, the batteries are small and thin, and when they've cashed in their energy-producing chips, they're totally non-toxic and inert. Sound too good to be true? Well you're not alone. Rupert Goodwins, of ZDNet, cleanly separates the wheat from the chaff by pointing out a number of problems with claims being made over the batteries, pretty much dashing any real hopes that these things will end up in your next laptop. Raining on the parade, Mr. Goodwins says that the atomic structure of the cells tends to fall apart when hit with high energy electrons, the "inert" battery would still be toxic should its housing ever crack, conversion efficiency would be 25-percent (an abysmal number, which also means 75-percent is heat), and finally, the cells would weigh something like 72-times more than conventional batteries. Guess we'll get back to watching the Orbo progress.

Read -- Scientists Invent 30 Year Continuous Power Laptop Battery
Read -- Radioactive laptops? Perhaps not...