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Batteries on a roll

Ever wondered why conventional batteries are often so bulky and inflexible and often dictate the shape of a product in one way or another? Well, the wondering may be over, as Enfucell’s SoftBattery technology is just the opposite – thin, flexible, and capable of operating in a wide range of temperatures.

Enfucell’s thin, flexible, and environmentally friendly SoftBattery™ represents a new generation of battery technology, offering a completely new level of performance in terms of small dimensions and cost efficiency. The SoftBattery achieves this using printing and lamination technology, rather than conventional battery technology.

A SoftBattery can be easily attached to paper or fabric surfaces as well. The size and shape of a SoftBattery can be selected very flexibly, and units can even be supplied on a roll, just like labels – with the difference that these ‘labels’ power things too.

SoftBattery is currently available as a 1.5 V power source, working at temperatures from -25 °C to + 50 °C.

Broad application potential

SoftBatteries can be used in a very wide range of new applications and locations, much wider than conventional batteries. Areas that immediately come to mind as potential applications include RFID and sensor-based tags, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products, such as transdermal drug delivery patches, electronic printing, and intelligent packaging.

An RFID sensor powered by a SoftBattery incorporated into food packaging, for example, could be used to monitor that products do not pass their sell by date on a supermarket or warehouse shelf – or to ensure that they are always transported and stored at the appropriate temperature.

In the health care area, SoftBattery technology has the potential to make a valuable contribution to improving the rate at which wounds heal. Studies in the US and elsewhere have shown that electricity can speed up healing significantly, and SoftBatteries could easily be integrated into bandage and plaster products to provide this benefit, anywhere any time.

Low environmental impact

Compared to conventional dry cell batteries, Enfucell’s SoftBattery is both more cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Thanks to the low environmental impact of its components, a SoftBattery can be disposed of safely after use together with other household waste.

SoftBattery technology offers very low costs, flexible sizes and shapes, easy integration and delivery, and a low environmental footprint.

International recognition

Founded in 2002, Enfucell really began to make the headlines in 2007, when it became the first Finnish company to receive a Technology Pioneer award at the World Economic Forum in Davos. It was also highlighted by Red Herring as one of the 100 most promising technology companies in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Enfucell plans to follow this up in 2008 by opening offices in the US and China, two markets with the largest potential for SoftBattery technology, alongside Europe.

Following some five years of technology work, Enfucell signed its first commercial contracts in summer 2007, and is currently in discussions with a number of leading companies worldwide to introduce its technology in their products.

> Risto Huvila
(Published in HighTech Finland 2008)