Student Wins Intel Award For Device That Could Charge Phones In 30 Seconds Or Less

By Nick Venable | 7 years ago

capIt’s sad that the world I live in is so privileged (relative to impoverished people) that seeing my phone’s battery hit below 10 percent capacity brings about genuine disappointment, as if plugging my phone into its charger is going to kill me. But then I can’t text people, or check my e-bills, or read 10 pages of a novel while waiting for water to boil. I need my podcasts!

Sarasota, California’s Eesha Khare, age 18, invented a supercapacitor — not a flux capacitor, mind you — that recently won her the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award at an international science fair, which also included a $50,000 prize. Khare, who has an interest in nanochemistry, created the tiny device because “My cell phone battery always dies,” she told NBC News. Though she has so far used it only to power an LED, the device is small enough to fit in a phone, and would completely demolish all currently existing batteries.

It reaches maximum energy storage in 20-30 seconds, and can last for 10,000 charge-recharge cycles, compared with around 1,000 cycles for everyday rechargable batteries. Her supercapacitor also holds its charge longer. Beyond cellphones, these things could be a boon for the electronics industry and the thousands upon thousands of mobile products out there.

If that’s not enough for you, “It is also flexible,” said Khare, “so it can be used in rollup displays and clothing and fabric. It has a lot of different applications and advantages over batteries in that sense.”

If we could just find a way to get it connected to this solar outlet, we could spend all of our time playing games, instead of just most of it. Excuse me, I have a call…No, it’s just an email from a bill company. Man, I wish my phone would die. (sad trombone sound)

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