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We are in the 21st century (2016) after the big revolution of smartphones and portable devices and Tesla cars are slowly getting on the roads. We became very needy for batteries for all kind of things, and they come with big flaw till this day which is they run out of power.

Is there any way we will be in the next couple of years -- by couple I mean in 2-5 years-- that a battery that never runs out of power is invented ? Also is there anyone around the whole world caring ( study fields, projects, experiments ) about this?, cause apparently Elon Musk does not have this on his project plans.

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closed as off-topic by Hohmannfan, Josh King, Thucydides, TrEs-2b, Frostfyre Sep 9 '16 at 19:43

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – Hohmannfan, Josh King, Thucydides, TrEs-2b, Frostfyre
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Maybe you talk about batteries lifetime issue, that cause a battery to run out of power quickly, even after full charge, when the battery as gone through too many charge/discharge cycles. $\endgroup$ – Metushael Sep 9 '16 at 15:41
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    $\begingroup$ This seems to have some issues, especially because of an apparent lack of basic concepts ; maybe rework the phrasing or rethink the question. Perhaps something along the lines of "minimum number of years into the future should I set my story so that batteries with unlimited storage do not violate verisimilitude?" $\endgroup$ – Marky Sep 9 '16 at 17:49
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site, AndrewMk. Please note that the Worldbuilding SE is dedicated to the development of fictional worlds and is not a forum for the discussion of modern science and research thereof in our real, existing Earth. I would suggest taking the tour to get a better understanding of how the site works. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Sep 9 '16 at 19:42
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Short answer: no. The energy has to come from somewhere (see "conservation of energy"), and batteries don't create or harvest energy; they only store it. If you want a device that never runs out of energy, it needs some means of gathering energy from somewhere, such as solar panels or scavenging from the wearer's body heat or motion or even (for implanted devices) their blood sugar. Or it can "make" energy by destroying matter, as in a nuclear reactor. All of these things are being studied, but a battery that just never runs dry isn't physically possible.

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The closest thing we currently have is atomic batteries, which will last for a few decades, although they only produce a small amount of electricity. They are used mainly in space exploration to power electronics in situations where solar power isn't viable.

The real problem is that a "battery that never runs out of power" isn't really a concept that makes sense. A battery is a device that has a store of potential energy and transforms it into electrical energy. If we wanted the battery to never run out we'd need to store an infinite amount of energy in it.

More reasonably, we could transfer energy to recharge the battery. In fact, wireless chargers are already available today, so having wireless chargers with a range measured in whole metres isn't unreasonable. We could then recharge the "infinite battery" whenever it came in range of a charging point.

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  • $\begingroup$ In fact, wireless power transmission was Tesla's idea. FortyCakes is alluding to the fact that the range on that is probably terrible, because you have to beam out power in all directions and most isn't "caught" by a device that can use it. I had an electric razor with a wireless charging cradle, though, and like he says you could probably make something like a wireless gas pump for a battery. $\endgroup$ – Snow Sep 9 '16 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ You can also get wireless charging "mats" or "pads" nowadays, that you lay a (specially adapted) mobile phone on to recharge them. From experience, the effective charging range is <= 1cm. $\endgroup$ – fortyCakes Sep 9 '16 at 15:25
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The most favorable answer in the realm of the correct that you could get on this is "it might not be completely impossible to get free energy someday. But it probably is." There are some theories that offer a possibility of free energy, but they are generally regarded as crackpot theories. However, since the very question you're asking is about free energy, and these crackpot theories are rejected most stringently on the grounds that they offer a possibility of free energy, it turns out that this is actually a question-begging response.

So, let's talk about our direct reasons for believing in the conservation of energy: We have never seen it violated. Wow, that's impressive, right? Well, a little less impressive when you actually peer into the history of science and notice that it is actually more like "every time we've seen it violated, we've been able to rework our models to account for it within an energy-conservation paradigm. Still, though, really impressive. The worst you could say about these models, actually, is "well, okay, clearly there's some sort of conservation principle in play, but why dig in on energy?" And the answer is that energy is really not a rigorously defined concept. It's an abstract thing that falls out of the mathematics we apply to the events we observe.

So, it turns out that what you want isn't really free energy, but rather free labor. You want your phone to function for you without you having to recharge or replace the battery. We're a lot more likely to get that in the near future than free energy. Between incremental electronic refinements, the possibility of a room temperature superconductor, and the popularization of induction charging, you might wind up with a phone you needn't ever charge within the next few years. But it won't be free energy.

Even the crackpot theories that say we'll someday get free energy devices out of the zero point energy field don't really deny conservation of energy: what they mean is we'll extract energy from outside our local universe. (Some even worry that using this energy would hasten a vacuum collapse of our universe.) But they aren't doing particularly well. There is ongoing research, but it isn't going to put a device in your pocket in five years. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-point_energy#Utilization_controversy)

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What you are asking about is, by definition, not a battery. Google "miniature power sources" for things that might inspire you.

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No... batteries will always run down.

The solution is actually wireless electricity and a better power distribution system. The way things work now is that Power Generators are on continuously and they send out the electricity whether it is used or not which means we lose a ton of electricity, but then also the infrastructure can only draw so much power before the wire burns out or you're at max out and you have a power outage.

If we can't turn off our generators then you need to have some place to store that energy. Ideally it would be in the batteries wirelessly connected to the grid and have all batteries draw off each other and the grid as needed. As a result you have effectively batteries that don't run out so long as the the battery capacity/usage in the whole system is higher/lower than than the power generated on the grid and stored overall, which it should. Of course if the storage capacity with all the normal things on the grid is too low we can create a giant battery too...

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