According to Next Energy News, work funded by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory may produce batteries capable of fueling an electrical device, like a laptop, for about 30 years.
The breakthrough betavoltaic power cells are an alternative energy technology, similar to that of a solar panel, which converts photons (light) into electric current. The betavoltaic batteries are constructed from semiconductors that use radioisotopes as the energy source. As the radioactive material decays, it emits beta particles that transform into usable electric power.
Although they sound like nuclear powerhouses, supposedly, they will not produce any radioactive or hazardous waste, as they use neither fission/fusion nor chemical processes in their energy production.
In fact, BetaVoltaic, Inc., which I found after a quick internet search, hails this process as the next big thing in clean, environmentally-safe, fusion technology -- capable of enormous energy capacity in very small packages -- stating it was originally designed to meet the high-voltage, high-current requirements of electric spacecrafts…
Now, during my internet search, I also found plenty of naysayer’s, countering with proof of how impossible this technology is, but it is definitely food for thought.
You never know… I kind of like the idea that it might provide the means for both inter-planetary space travel – which was a boyhood dream of mine – as well as unlimited cyber-space travel.