Atomic Batteries: Energy from Radioactivity
With alternate, sustainable, natural sources of energy being sought after, there is new interest in energy from radioactivity, including natural and waste radioactive materials. A study of various atomic batteries is presented with perspectives of development and comparisons of performance parameters and cost. We discuss radioisotope thermal generators, indirect conversion batteries, direct conversion batteries, and direct charge batteries. We qualitatively describe their principles of operation and their applications. We project possible market trends through our comparative cost analysis. We also explore a future direction for certain atomic batteries by using nanomaterials to improve their performance.