Recharging the battery in your smartphone sucks. Yes, it may be a first-world problem and a small inconvenience in the grand scheme of things, but it’s still annoying having to wait around while your lifeline gets its life back. But there’s good news! A new Israeli startup, StoreDot, debuted a battery at the Microsoft’s Think Next symposium in Tel Aviv that is made of green materials and only takes 30 seconds to charge!
The reason batteries currently take so long to recharge is because you’re literally reversing the chemical reactions that caused the battery to die, a process that can’t be rushed, for both safety and energy efficiency reasons. But StoreDot’s battery is made of nanodots, which are chemically synthesized bio-organic peptide molecules. These tiny molecules improve electrode capacitance and electrolyte performance, and most importantly, speed up that process by an incredible amount.
‘In essence, we have developed a new generation of electrodes with new materials – we call it MFE – Multi Function Electrode,” StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf told Gizmag. “On one side it acts like a supercapacitor (with very fast charging), and on the other is like a lithium electrode (with slow discharge). The electrolyte is modified with our nanodots in order to make the multifunction electrode more effective.”
And there’s more good news. Unlike other nanodot and quantum-dot technologies that are heavy metal based, StoreDot uses bio-organic raw materials in its batteries. This makes StoreDot’s battery safer for people and the environment. Plus, the sheer abundance of organic material on Earth makes them more affordable.
Myersdorf said that the technology could also be adapted to electric cars, by modifying the electrode so it could sustain higher currents (and, of course, configuring a large number of cells in parallel). It was impressive when JB Straubel, the CTO of Tesla Motors, said that he thinks Tesla will be able to charge electric car batteries in five to ten minutes. Can you imagine what the promise of recharging your car in 30 seconds would mean to the EV market? It would be faster than filling up your tank with gas!
Although StoreDot’s battery is impressive, the startup still faces some hurdles. For one, StoreDot’s battery capacity is lower, so it won’t last as long on a charge. The charger is also much larger and it’ll be roughly twice as expensive as a normal charger. But StoreDot says it’s working on these issues and has already set a timeline for mass production in 2016; so maybe we can be cautiously optimistic about this new technology.