The “Thinergy Micro Energy Cells”, as they’re called, are placed somewhere between classic rechargeables and ultracapacitors. The incredibly small size (12mm² and 0.2 mm thick) and fast recharging (90% in 8 minutes) make them a serious competitor for standard lithium-polymer units already on the market.
These batteries can bear about 10,000 full recharge cycles and about 100,000 shallow cycles. The best part is that they have almost no self-discharge! They keep their charge for years, if you don’t use it.
Because they are so much alike supercapacitors, the Thinergy Micro Energy Cells can be charged with the slightest amounts of current, ranging from tens of nanoamperes to milliamperes, at a constant 4 volts. This property makes them perfect candidates for low-energy harvesting systems, where only small amounts of energy are generated and can’t be used in normal charging circuitry, because of their small power – vibrations, walking, low-level photovoltaics.
Generally, I don’t believe small currents will save any important carbon amounts to be released into the atmosphere whatsoever, but implementing this kind of technology in pacemakers or low-current medical devices would definitely improve some people’s lives. On the other hand, if this technology is up-scaled and batteries are made to hold high currents with high power densities, we might have something green here.