Wait for it: A smartphone charge in five minutes

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Charging time endured is just a fact of life when you are depending on your mobile gadget. Now there is news of a phone that charges fully in just five minutes—and it could be on the scene next year.

Sit tight, as reports said the technology could translate into production phase in 2018. The spotlight is on StoreDot, an Israeli startup, which has the technology.

CEO Doron Myersdorf discussed the technology with the BBC. According to its report, StoreDot has produced mock-ups of a smartphone charging in a special dock. According to Chris Baraniuk, BBC, Myersdorf said the technology "was in pilot production at two Asian battery makers" and that "mass production" was expected to commence in the first quarter of 2018.

Tyler Lee in Ubergizmo said, "come next year, we could start seeing smartphone makers potentially adopt StoreDot's technology."

If it seems like you have heard about StoreDot and its fast-charging technology you probably have. StoreDot presented a demo of its at CES 2015.

The company said this was not just about smartphones charging faster but could serve any mobile device.

"In 2015, he told the BBC his firm's battery contained materials that allowed for 'non-traditional' reactions and the unusually fast transfer of ions from an anode to a cathode - the electrical process that charges a battery. The design involves nanomaterials, which feature extremely small structures, and - unnamed - ."

For now, tech waters are waiting and seeing—no, really really waiting and seeing. Some prefer to be skeptical until proven otherwise.

Ben Wood, a technology analyst at CCS Insight. "Taking risks with battery technology can bite you," he told the BBC. "I would say that experience has taught me to always remain sceptical. Let's see if it happens would be my view." However, Wood added that anyone who did manage to crack the "battery problem" could have a transformational effect on consumer electronics.

CNBC Technology Product Editor Todd Haselton remarked that "it's easy to imagine that the company would have a hard time finding takers, since much of the industry is already working on proprietary fast-charging technologies, and people are now well aware of what happens when batteries fail."

But what makes their battery technology stand out? Rafael Fariñas, The USB Port, delivered an especially clear summation of what is known about this company's technology.

"Back in 2015 when StoreDot presented FastBattery to worldwide audiences for the first time, founder and CEO Doron Myersdorf disclosed that the secret to its technology lied at the nanomaterial level.

FastBattery uses organic nanocomponents that allow for a faster ion transference between the anode and the cathode or the battery, best known as the positive and negative ends.

The "non-traditional" nanomaterials used by StoreDot make these reactions happen way faster, and they make batteries charge devices way faster too as a result. What these materials are, however, remains a mystery."

The company described their technology as integrating nanotechnology with "novel organic compounds."

With FlashBattery, the company believes it has redesigned internal battery architecture.

TNW, meanwhile, turned the spotlight over to their appearance at a fair in Berlin. "The company is launching its new FlashBattery technology, which promises to allow you to charge an electric car in just five minutes."

CUBE Tech Fair in Berlin was the recent venue where StoreDot talked about its Flash Battery vis a vis what it can do for cars. While current managers discuss better mileage, FlashBattery's makers are focusing on speed of charge.

Dr. Myersdorf: "Fast Charging is the critical missing link needed to make electric vehicles ubiquitous."

The company release said "While competitors seek to solve the problem of increasing the mileage per charge, StoreDot is focusing on fast-charging electric vehicles in just minutes, a solution all drivers can relate to."

According to StoreDot, the batteries "can be expected to be integrated into that will hit markets in the next three years."

Explore further

Five-minute charging for electric cars joins StoreDot agenda

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May 16, 2017
It's not just a problem of the battery.

Charging a 2,500 mAh cellphone battery in 5 minutes takes 117 Watts of power. The charger will be the size of a laptop power brick.

Charging a 100 kWh car battery in 5 minutes takes an entire substation worth of power: 1.2 Megawatts. That's enough to power an entire small village, or black out the same.

May 16, 2017
Electric car companies in Europe have specified a 350kW standard for next generation fast chargers. That will support charging in about 15 minutes. Tesla stations are currently 140kW, they require about 1 hour but it's expected that the new model 3 will charge faster- maybe 30 minutes at the current 140kW stations. But when asked about the 350kW Elon said it was "childs play". Telsa has a patent on a new automatic charging station which provides both power and thermal control though a port on the bottom of the car. This solves the big issue with fast charging - getting rid of the heat. Yes,it's a lot of power but they have stations with a dozen or more 140kW chargers now.

The e-golf and others already support 30 minute charging. 15 minute charges are on the way, and Tesla may even soon be doing 6 minutes (to 80%).

May 16, 2017
To prevent overloading the local grid, your car-port charger may need as much storage as the car. Perhaps a non-chemical tech, such as 'flywheel'...

May 17, 2017
-"But when asked about the 350kW Elon said it was "childs play"."

From his point of view, the power delivery to the car is a non-issue. Just make a bigger charger. From the power delivery point of view though it is a nightmare, because a charging station for electric cars starts to draw so much power that it literally needs its own power station.

Even a small gas station can have four or five pumps all in use with lines behind them during rush hour, and then the station goes quiet for the rest of the day. That's the worst kind of power consumption from the grid utility's perspective because it's all peak and no baseline.

-"your car-port charger may need as much storage as the car. Perhaps a non-chemical tech, such as 'flywheel'..."

It would be one heck of a flywheel. The cost of the charger and batteries is too high for personal use and residential power supply won't tolerate people with megawatt chargers in their garages.

May 17, 2017
Electric cars don't really have that issue since their use case profile is different from the old kind of cars.
You charge at home. Or at the workplace. Or while shopping. The use case of "driving up to a station for a refill" only remains for long distance travel (for which there are better alternatives and which are extremely rare for the overwhelming majority of drivers in any case)
The "weekly refill" is something that won't be much of an issue for EVs - so no real situation remains where refill times are crucial.

May 17, 2017
Right, no one needs a 350kW (or higher) charger in their home. Relatively slow charging at off peak hours in the garage will satisfy most owners. But Elon wants to see 100% conversion to electric. People living in cities often don't have garages so for some people the fueling up at a fast charger will be the only practical option. Plus, for long distance cross country trips Elon wants it to work as well or better than a fossil car.

If you have a dozen cars needing charging having 10 140kW stations or 2 700kW stations yields the same max power and throughput. With Tesla, the fast charges will be scheduled by appointment, no lines (the self driving cars can go to the recharge station on their own)

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