How long do you have to wait before your iPhone gets fully charged? Quite long. But a teenager’s new invention could charge future devices in a blink of an eye.
The battery is probably one of mankind’s biggest challenges to improve. It was in 1749 when Benjamin Franklin, the U.S. polymath and founding father, first used the term “battery” to describe a set of linked capacitors he used for his experiments with electricity according to Wikipedia. Fast forward to 264 years later, the battery on our smartphones rarely last us more than a few days.
While scientists and engineers are working on to increase battery life, a young scientist named Eesha Khare, of Saratoga, California has invented a tiny device that allows fast and rapid charging of batteries. It fits nicely inside cell phone batteries, allowing them to fully charge within 20-30 seconds.
She calls the fast-charging device as supercapacitor, that can pack a lot of energy into a tiny space, charges quickly and holds its charge for a long time. It definitely sounds promising. Aside from that, this device also supports up to 10,000 charge-recharge cycles, compared with 1,000 cycles for conventional rechargeable batteries.
According to Khare, it was because her “cell phone battery always dies” that inspired her to work on energy-storage technology.
Khare participated the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair last week and the judges were impressed. She received USD 50,000 in scholarship funds for her ground-breaking projects, along with another student who also won the award for his research on the mysteries of astrophysics.
It will probably take a few more years before her invention can be applied on consumer products. In the meantime, we’ll just have to stick to our power hungry devices and to always bring a battery pack if you’re going to be away from the wall outlet for an extended period of time.
Image and news via NBC