The greatest concern with the use of non-renewable energy is that once it’s gone it’s gone; hence the need for more energy from renewable sources. With the air powered battery that isn’t really a concern because the fact is that if we manage to deplete the world of its stock of air then we’re going to have much bigger problems than finding a way to power the laptop. The STAIR (St Andrews Air) battery is actually something of a hybrid as you might imagine but inventors claim it will use ten times less energy than a normal battery and weigh less too (presumably not quite as light as air).
The STAIR battery draws energy from the air around it in the shape of Oxygen whilst it is discharging the energy that it has stored or is using directly from the AC mains. In doing so, STAIR claim that a single charge of the battery will last ten times longer than normal.
Oxygen powered cells have long been a focal point for renewable energy possibilities because of the obvious abundance around us but the problem has been that the extraction of oxygen from the air takes considerably more energy than it creates. Whether this problem has been ironed out or not we aren’t entirely sure but if it has then it could mean considerably longer lasting charges and impressively decreased energy costs – although presumably the cost of the battery, at least during the infancy of the technology behind it, will more than make up for it.