The topic was suggested during a lecture on electric vehicles, when problems with heavy batteries were being discussed. My analysis was ultimately derived from the study on shoals of krill by Brierley, A. S., and M. J. Cox. 2010 that I have already featured.
[A] Battery needs to have greater charge density
[B] Charging heats the battery, reducing charging rate and charge density
TRIZ equivalents in the ontology define this trade-off at a broad level:
Parameter [A] (1) net energy
Parameter [B] (1) durability (2) thermal condition (3) external source of harm
NOTE – This trade-off is the DEFINITION of a technical problem. We use the BioMimetic Ontology to find a biological solution to the same basic problem, then convert that solution into technical terms.
From the ontology,
[A](1) vs [B](3) is the most productive trade-off yielding six examples from the database, all with the same Parameters and reveals the following Principles:
Segmentation – divide the bulk or the surface into lots of separate zones or parts. This could be adventitious.
Consolidation – bring together a large number of identical objects
Defence – change shape or size
Reversal – change the organisation from regular to chaotic
These suggest a battery with a lot of internal surface area formed of identical particles that can change shape or size in a chaotic (responsive?) manner.
This case study was put together before I searched the literature to discover the latest technology. I found a paper by Stephenson who was working on the theory of high-performance batteries.
Stephenson suggests making one component granular in a continuous matrix – but capable of reforming itself to change the specific surface area. Allow charged particles to move towards a heat sink that can radiate heat. Modern batteries have a porous or granular electrode
Stephenson, David E., et al. 2011
I suppose it’s possible that my analysis could force further improvements.