Israeli startup StoreDot claims that a bio-organic battery capable of charging a smartphone in under 30 seconds could be commercially available within three years.
The company held a demonstration at the Microsoft Think Next Conference in Tel Aviv in which its prototype battery charged a dead Samsung Galaxy S4 to full power in 26 seconds. the demo has been widely publicised but few details are available.
The demonstration used a battery somewhere in size between a cigarette packet and a brick, and it is not clear what capacity that bettery had, so we can’t know what current the demonstration system required. However, a Galazy S4 is supplied with a 2600mAh battery. To charge that in 26 seconds, would require 100mAh of charge to be delivered every second. Put more simply, that’s 360A of current, which sounds a lot but is of course only delivered in the secondary circuit of the charger (transformer). so your household wiring will be safe.
According to the BBC, StoreDot was keen to point out that the battery was an early model, still very large, and external. However, it claimed that manufacturing a commercial product should be an easy process, providing that a suitable facility for chemical processing can be found.
These include memory chips which can write three times faster than traditional flash memory, while nano-crystals could be used as a non-toxic alternative to cadmium in displays.
However such speed doesn’t come cheap. The bio-organic batteries are likely to be between 30 and 40 percent more expensive to produce while they will be twice as expensive to purchase compared with regular batteries.
StoreDot’s efforts are the latest attempt to charge power-hungry mobile devices quickly using novel methods.
Scientists from the University of East Anglia are also working on bio-batteries. Their research says proteins on the surface of bacteria can produce an electrical current by touching a mineral service, which could lead to the efficient generation of clean electricity.
Nokia, a long-time supporter of wireless charging, has also been looking into the matter. The Finnish manufacturer was able to charge a Lumia 925 smartphone in a matter of seconds by harnessing hundreds of volts of electricity created from simulated lighting.
However the Bristol Robotics Laboratory has gone one step further and created a microbial fuel cell which is powered by human urine.
Editor’s note: A lame error which I introduced has been corrected. See comments below for the amusing details. – Editor and supposed physicist, Peter Judge
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