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back to article Samsung slurps up full charge in 30 seconds with bio-battery

A two-year-old Israeli startup, StoreDot, thinks it has cracked the problems of limited battery life with a smartphone battery made of biological structures that can recharge in around 30 seconds. StoreDot sprang from research into Alzheimer's at Tel Aviv University which identified naturally occurring crystals two nanometers in …

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What you sayin' about battery size, el Reg?

What do you mean nobody would want a brick-phone! Its the perfect cellphone theft deterrent!

A) The phone presents many heavy blunt object self-defense options.

B) Should daring crooks avoid head trauma and contusions and actually get the phone from you, the cops will catch them 3 blocks away, exhausted from carrying their ill-gotten gains!

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Devil

Re: What you sayin' about battery size, el Reg?

If you want a self defence phone, the titanium shelled Nokia 8910 is probably a good choice for hurting people. Being olde worlde phones, they're also small enough grasp properly so you can put some force behind them without them flying out of your hand.

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It wouldn't be too big though to use it as a backup charging resource. If you're out and about, all you need is 30s to get enough juice for a full charge on the go.

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What about heat?

Sure size is a factor.

So is getting rid of waste heat.

Battery charging is, at present, a highly inefficient process, which generates heat, which is why batteries heat up while being charged. If their process is still as inefficient as current battery technologies, then these batteries will have to dump all the heat generated during a charge in 30 seconds. That's generating 50-100 times the heat power of current battery technologies. That is going to be hard to get rid of and will cook electronics.

To make something viable they will have to crack this nut and reduce the waste heat by at least an order of magnitude, if not two. So even if they only end up with brick sized batteries, they might have something useful for the alternative energy sector just through having far more efficient battery technology.

I'll be skeptical, but hopeful, until some independently verification shows this process can work.

Right now it looks like a delayed April Fool's joke, or VC scamming.

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Re: What about heat?

I was going to say exactly the same.

Even if you get a 99% efficient battery (and I doubt they have that), the heat would fry it.

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Devil

Re: What about heat?

That's probably why there's an industrial scale cooler running just out of sight. Well what else can explain the 'wind tunnel' soundtrack?

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dual purpose

Battery charger come coffee flask

Where do I sign?

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Re: What about heat?

I think it's just a question of trade-off of charging speed vs capacity. Say they can charge a current battery of approx 2000 mAh in 30 seconds instead of 1 hours (X 120 speedup). They don't necessarily need to get 120X efficiency improvement. Say you tweak the charging capacity so it can charge in 2 minutes, or 5 minutes instead of 30 sec, that's still a huge boost in charging time and gives more time to dissipate heat.

Secondly, if it were possible to charge a battery to full in 2-5 minutes or half a charge in 1-2 min, you don't need such a large battery. 2000+ mAh have evolved to accommodate full-day heavy usage since phone needs to be charged 'overnight'. But if you can top-up quickly (and also because nowadays usb-based chargers are standard, pretty much everywhere there's a socket), many phones won't need such a huge battery, 1000mAh will do.

Thirdly, many phones now have a super-low power use setting so some phones might work with an even smaller-capacity battery.

Wouldn't work for all phones especially high-end. But for phones that are only used as smartphones a minority of the time and in an urban environment where charging points are everywhere (which let's face it, covers probably a majority of smartphone users) , they don't need that much of a charging efficiency improvement.

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Not phones..

This would be much more interesting for electric cars.

Thing is would you want to hold onto a cable capable of delivering enough electrical power to run a car in a few seconds?

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Battery?

"The crystals, short chains of amino acids called peptides, can store a charge..."

I am not a chemist but to this layperson it sounds more like a hyper-capacitor than a battery, which would be consistent with other capacitor technology. It would also go some way towards explaining why the waste heat doesn't cause an explosion.

Also, I did not see any explicit mention of just how much charge is stored. I understand that battery meters assume charge based on the output voltage, rather than measuring actual joules.

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Re: Battery?

indeed . my galaxy s2 battery would need 5000 ish joules to charge. In 30 seconds that means it will be fed at 166watts. That assumes 100% efficiency. Even given a rather generous 80% efficiency, where is that extra not insubstantial 42 watts of heat going to go? Certainly enough to make small PCB tracks go poof, enough to make a phone go poof too.

99% efficiency still needs 2 watts to go bye bye which is still a barrier to most small devices.

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Re: Battery?

The first thing I thought of was 'how long does the charge last?' I can understand the information not being in a press release from the company (because it probably is not great), but I think the author did not do his job by not even mentioning charge life.

The heat thing would not be a problem if the charge life is only an hour.

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Sidestepping the heat and efficiency questions for a moment,

what is the duty cycle currently rated at?

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Pass on that one. If the batteries are cheap to make from abundant materials and biodegradable, then it is less important if they need to be replaced annually.

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Must Be a Patent Workaround

I'm sure the technical details are fascinating, but the end result isn't really anything that special. I had a ThinkPad, as well as numerous mobile phones, with batteries that could completely charge and completely discharge in 30 seconds.

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One implication

If meltdowns aren't the typical result of such a charge, our current *cough* conception of a battery will have to be changed *cough*.

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