'Supercapacitor' could fully charge your phone in less than 30 seconds

By on May 20, 2013, 11:00 AM
intel, smartphone, capacitor, supercapacitor, science fair, eesha khare

An 18-year-old recently won $50,000 in scholarship funds for inventing a supercapacitor that could one day be used to fully charge a mobile device like a smartphone in just a few seconds. Eesha Khare and two other teens were among the top winners at the annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Her design, a tiny device that fits inside cell phone batteries, would allow them to fully charge within 20-30 seconds. The supercapacitor can last for up to 10,000 cycles which outpaces traditional batteries by a factor of 10. Intel said the invention also has potential applications for car batteries but it’s the mobile side that could have the most immediate potential.

She is one of two recipients of the Intel Foundation Young Scientists Award this year. The other winner, Henry Lin, created a model that simulates thousands of galaxies. The Gordon E. Moore Award, which honors the best of the best, went to Ionut Budisteanu who created an AI model that could eventually lead to cheaper self-driving vehicles. The 19-year-old earned $75,000 in scholarship money for his efforts.

Khare’s invention has only been used to light up an LED thus far but it was reportedly able to do a great job at it. With any luck, Khare will continue to develop the technology and bring it up to scale where it could be used inside future portable devices. After all, battery life in portable electronics is still a pretty big problem for most people – especially heavy users.




User Comments: 33

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MilwaukeeMike said:

Great job, Eesha, but I hope phones aren't the end of this technology. One of the biggest drawbacks to electric vehicles is the approx overnight charge time, if that can be brought down to a couple minutes (like the time it takes to fill a tank with gas) then a huge hurdle to EVs will have been cleared.

Of course, your phone charger only draws like 10 watts of power from the wall, so drawing 100 times more to charge your phone in 20 seconds is no big deal. Your car already needs the full 100 amps to charge in 8 hours which means you wouldn't be able to draw more power to charge it faster. Hopefully that won't stop specialized stations from providing the power.

---agissi--- ---agissi---, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Wow thats cool, I envy those smart kids.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

A flux capacitor, a galaxy navigator, and an AI that can lit a single bulb. If it all sounds to you like a familiar sci-fi flick, you are not alone in this...

Guest said:

$50K is a lot of money to this kid. Should pay for a year of college. Whoever buys it off of him should stand to make millions. Hopefully he will too.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

1745 the capacitor is invented. 2013 it's used to power LED.

Guest said:

Thats fantastic! Now I am curious what their parents do for a living? Are they scientists with PhD as well or just your average Joe stocking cans at Walmart?

cmbjive said:

Eh, nothing compares to Taylor Wilson, who created fusion at 14 and is set to revolutionize nuclear energy at 19:

[link]

Although being able to charge a cell phone in 30 seconds is a close second.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Eh, nothing compares to Taylor Wilson, who created fusion at 14 and is set to revolutionize nuclear energy at 19:

[link]

Although being able to charge a cell phone in 30 seconds is a close second.

Only to those inbred to the point they have been stripped of the genetic ability to shut their mouth.

That likely doesn't matter though, as the only "prey" they're capable of sneaking up on are candy machines, which are plentiful and slow moving....

Guest said:

This is so horrible. This is exactly why I don't allow my children to eat chicken tacos after midnight. If we don't come together as americans and fix this problem soon our children will pay for this!

2 people like this | MilwaukeeMike said:

This is so horrible. This is exactly why I don't allow my children to eat chicken tacos after midnight. If we don't come together as americans and fix this problem soon our children will pay for this!

Yes, my thoughts exactly. And whatever you do, don't get them wet or expose them to bright light.

cmbjive said:

Only to those inbred to the point they have been stripped of the genetic ability to shut their mouth.

That likely doesn't matter though, as the only "prey" they're capable of sneaking up on are candy machines, which are plentiful and slow moving....

You know something, I didn't even think about that cell phone capacitor's ability to let kids keep on talking. I can just imagine the bill once my son and daughter get their cell phones...I am all for the government suppressing this invention!

Guest said:

Most cell phone batteries are in the 1-2Ah range, so to charge one up in 20-30 seconds would require at least 100A or more of charging current. That much current will require some fat wires, which I suspect the average consumer will not like. How did the intel people miss this?

TheDreams TheDreams said:

This Supercapacitor could really revolutionize the cell phone/Apple products industry, I really want to see what might become of this technology in about 5-10 years. A few things like this and Google Glass have really surprised me and I am quite excited for things to come out of the beta stage.

JC713 JC713 said:

These teens are pretty impressive. I just dont feel like these inventions are as significant as the cheap cancer detecting paper (I think that is what it was) that another teen created last year.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

You know something, I didn't even think about that cell phone capacitor's ability to let kids keep on talking. I can just imagine the bill once my son and daughter get their cell phones...I am all for the government suppressing this invention!
Just don't fall for the bulls*** from the kids about you'll "know where we are at all times". Just have them micro-chipped like you would a pet, and make them get jobs after school to pay for their own phones. Then you really will know where they are at all times...

Most cell phone batteries are in the 1-2Ah range, so to charge one up in 20-30 seconds would require at least 100A or more of charging current. That much current will require some fat wires, which I suspect the average consumer will not like. How did the intel people miss this?
Yes, and passing that much electricity through anything creates heats. Oh well, since we already have exploding laptops due to batteries, I think it's high time this level of "progress" found its way to the cell phone arena.

Although I think you could bypass the heat issue by charging your phone submersed in a tank of liquid nitrogen. And just think, it will stick to your ear when you first pull it out. Verily, a new milestone in, "hands free operation".

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

$50K is a lot of money to this kid. Should pay for a year of college. Whoever buys it off of him should stand to make millions. Hopefully he will too.
Yes, this is one area where patents have potential for failure.

You know something, I didn't even think about that cell phone capacitor's ability to let kids keep on talking. I can just imagine the bill once my son and daughter get their cell phones...I am all for the government suppressing this invention!
Great at the risk of allowing teens the chance to talk longer, your going to minimize your own chance to talk longer. What ever happened to talking the kids toy away in the event of forcing them to cooperate? Would you allow teens to continue their disagreeable habits, to minimize confrontation?

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

The issue isn't charge speed, its charge life.

Give me a battery that fits in my Droid 4 and lasts 20 days and I'll be impressed :P.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The issue isn't charge speed, its charge life.

Give me a battery that fits in my Droid 4 and lasts 20 days and I'll be impressed :p.

I hear you.

We keep embracing new tech that greatly decreases battery life as we strive to minimize power consumption. If we would stop introducing new ways to drain power, perhaps we could increase battery life. But then where would that get us? They would still proportion the battery size with how long it last. Longer battery life would equate to smaller batteries, so your device stays charged the same length of time.

Batteries used to be half the size of the phone. How long would battery life be, if that was still the case with the average cellphone?

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

"Intel said the invention also has potential applications for car batteries but it?s the mobile side that could have the most immediate potential."

Intel... talking about car batteries? ....and the fact that's all they could think of?!?!

lolwut

cmbjive said:

Great at the risk of allowing teens the chance to talk longer, your going to minimize your own chance to talk longer. What ever happened to talking the kids toy away in the event of forcing them to cooperate? Would you allow teens to continue their disagreeable habits, to minimize confrontation?

The good news is that the son and daughter are eight and six, respectively. The bad news is they're not afraid to get smacked upside the head when they get out of line. I can only imagine them when they're fifteen and thirteen. Maybe passive aggression will avoid active aggression.

1 person liked this | Mikymjr Mikymjr said:

You know technology isn't bad. It can be used in a good way. But it always ends up being used bad in some way or another. And it's unbelievable for me to hear people say: " it's the technology's fault for letting this happen". Oh please! It's the one wielding it or the one that has the power to monitor it that has the responsibility to use it in a good way. If your kid has problems with controlling certain habits, then help them overcome it. That's why you are the parent. And please people we are striving to be IT-pro's here. So let's be wise and wait and see what this has to offer instead of talking it down

Guest said:

Great job, Eesha, but I hope phones aren't the end of this technology. One of the biggest drawbacks to electric vehicles is the approx overnight charge time, if that can be brought down to a couple minutes (like the time it takes to fill a tank with gas) then a huge hurdle to EVs will have been cleared.

Of course, your phone charger only draws like 10 watts of power from the wall, so drawing 100 times more to charge your phone in 20 seconds is no big deal. Your car already needs the full 100 amps to charge in 8 hours which means you wouldn't be able to draw more power to charge it faster. Hopefully that won't stop specialized stations from providing the power.

Up until petrol lasts why would you think oil company's and government would allow that ?

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

why would you think oil company's and government would allow that ?

Because I would like to think they have no choice but to offer people what they want. But in reality your insinuation is likely correct.

Bulto said:

I hope this kid will invent a new engine that is still powered by oil (gasoline or diesel) but at the efficiency rate of 1 mL per 100 kilometers.

Guest said:

"Intel said the invention also has potential applications for car batteries but it's the mobile side that could have the most immediate potential."

--> the most potential application can give huge impact on military applications, like railgun, pulsed laser, or weaponized particle accelerator

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

the most potential application can give huge impact on military applications, like railgun, pulsed laser, or weaponized particle accelerator
Are we leaking classified topics? lol

Guest said:

Lol if anyone in that forum and you actually heard him say that his reactor currently takes more energy to produce fusion than it gives out, you might want to rethink the whole his invention is greater idea. Thats the basic reason why its not built on a large scale.

At the same time you have this girl who invented a energy storage device that can power up a cell phone in 20 seconds vs the few hrs it currenty takes and it is a working model that just needs to be refined but is capable of being reused 10 times more than current batteries thus being eco friendly. This is the best invention compared to an AI that can drive a car which already exists and is being tested or a galaxy simulator which google already has which it showed 2 years ago to show its computational power of its online work station.

wiyosaya said:

Kudos to her for the development. However, the article I read elsewhere on this gave me the impression that this is nowhere near ready for the commercial market.

cmbjive said:

Lol if anyone in that forum and you actually heard him say that his reactor currently takes more energy to produce fusion than it gives out, you might want to rethink the whole his invention is greater idea. Thats the basic reason why its not built on a large scale.

At the same time you have this girl who invented a energy storage device that can power up a cell phone in 20 seconds vs the few hrs it currenty takes and it is a working model that just needs to be refined but is capable of being reused 10 times more than current batteries thus being eco friendly. This is the best invention compared to an AI that can drive a car which already exists and is being tested or a galaxy simulator which google already has which it showed 2 years ago to show its computational power of its online work station.

If you're referring to Taylor Wilson his invention is to produce nuclear fission; even he admits processing nuclear fusion will take much longer.

Indeed, his invention, underground smaller nuclear reactors generate electricity via molten salt vs above ground large reactors that boil water to produce electricity, would make her invention even more viable. There is a place for both, provided the government doesn't have an attitude of choosing one technology over the other.

Which brings me to a point someone mentioned earlier. Guest thinks the government would actually suppress the girl's technology with collusion from oil. Let me remind Guest this is the same government that gave out billions to renewable energy companies as well as electric car manufacturers and bailed out GM provided it bring Volt to the market. I may have joked earlier about having government suppress that girl's invention, but if anything the government would actively give her money to bring it to market because our government is currently gung ho about electricity replacing gasoline.

veLa veLa said:

Oh look, new battery related technology. I can't wait until it's not adopted.

It seems every month I hear about some new break through in battery related technology, and it's never utilized because nobody cares.

Guest said:

Please invent an Ironman suit.S

edmond chapple said:

This dude is gunna be a mega-billionaire if this tech cant work for cars too

Guest said:

to cliffordcooley

"Are we leaking classified topics? lol"

--> pssst, it's classified. Remember, you don't hear anything :D

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