Researchers at the University of Central Florida have created a new high-powered battery capable of charging electronic devices, such as smartphones and wearables, in a matter of seconds.
The battery is small and flexible too – it’s about the size of a fingernail and is very thin, making it easy to build into small devices. Inside it are several supercapacitors, which can store an impressive amount of energy at a fast pace. This means, not only does it charge devices quickly, it will keep them powered up for days before requiring another recharge.
As if that wasn’t enough, the battery also has an incredible lifespan. It can be recharged more than 30,000 times before it fails. By comparison, most standard lithium-ion batteries don’t make it past 1,500 charges, the researchers say. Furthermore, after around 300-500 charges, lithium-ions start to lose their charge capacity, with most dropping to around 70 per cent of their original capacity.
Another downside of lithium-ion batteries is that they can be dangerous. Most recently, this was evident in Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7, as an overheating problem, which in some cases meant the device exploded, forced the company to recall the product.
Professor Nitin Choudhary, one of the researchers on the project, commented that if standard batteries were replaced with the supercapacitors, people could charge their phone in seconds and they wouldn’t need to do so again for more than a week.
“For small electronic devices, our materials are surpassing the conventional ones worldwide in terms of energy density, power density and cyclic stability,” he said.
The researchers also claim the supercapacitors could be used in larger devices, such as electric vehicles. At the moment, however, the technology is not ready to be implemented into consumer products.