Panasonic recently began mass producing high-capacity 3.1Ah lithium ion batteries for notebook computers that are noteworthy for their higher levels of safety and high capacity. The design, known as 18650, has an insulating metal oxide layer between the positive and negative electrodes Panasonic calls Heat Resistance Layer that adds no added bulk to the battery but prevents the battery from overheating and catching fire, even if a short circuit occurs.
The battery also has a positive electrode made of nickel and an energy density of 675Wh/L. Another advantage of the new design includes increases in durability and charge retention, allowing the batteries to be stored for extended periods of time thanks to its low self-discharge properties. In contrast, current modern lithium ion batteries for notebooks produce about 2.9Ah of power.
It is not yet known when these new batteries from Panasonic will begin showing up in consumer electronic devices, however. Panasonic makes its own portable devices but is expected to sell batteries to other companies.