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Nokia Files Patent for Self-Generating Piezoelectric Batteries

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ALEXANDRIA, US – Leading handset manufacturer Nokia has filed a patent with the US Patent Office for its innovative battery technology, which it terms as “Piezoelectric Kinetic Energy Harvester”.

The kinetic energy based self-charging technology is most commonly found in piezo-electric based wrist watches and Nokia is the first manufacturer to direct this technology to mobile phones.

While wireless and mobile technologies have evolved at a striking rate over the last decade, mobile battery technology is stuck at the same level it was the last decade with Lithium-ion batteries being the most-widely used power source for mobile devices. As mobile devices are increasingly becoming more powerful, batteries with higher capacity are needed to power these devices. Further, with miniaturization of devices, size of batteries have also shrinked, calling for low-power usage and/or portable charging technology. Manufacturers have been on the look-out for a feasible mobile charging technology, with Samsung betting on solar panels, but Nokia has now opted for piezo-electric based charging technology.

As per the patent filing with the US Patent Office, Nokia envisions a phone housing in which the heavier components, such as  the battery and radio transmitter circuits travel along a pair of rails perpendicular to one another, and finally coming into contact with the capacitor, which charges the battery. The technology is still at the conceptual stage and will take at least a couple of years to mature into a usable solution on a market-ready product.

While the double-chamber housing seems plausible for on-the-go self-charging of mobile batteries, it may come at the cost of compromises on miniaturization as the new charging technology needs more housing space. A market-ready device based on this technology will largely depend on whether engineers and designers at Nokia will be able to overcome this design obstacle.

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By , Chief International Correspondent on Mar 10th, 2010 GMT +2

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