Flexible batteries — ones that can be repeatedly flexed without losing integrity — are nothing new in the lab. But Panasonic now says it will start shipping sample units of a flexible LiIon battery at the end of this month.
The batteries, about 0.5mm thick, retains more than 99 percent of its capacity when flexed more than 1000 times, even around a 25 mm radius or twisting more than 25 degrees. It loses only 20 percent of its charging capability when power cycled 1000 times.
Panasonic sells the batteries in three sizes: 28.5x39mm, 35x55mm, and 4-x65mm. Power capacities are 17.5mAh, 40mAh, and 60mAh, respectively.
The primary market for these batteries — particularly the larger ones — seems to be powered card devices. But the potential applications in medical patch wearables, particularly in the smaller size, seem obvious.