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Student develops supercapacitor that enables 30 second battery charges

first_imgEvery year Intel runs the International Science and Engineering Fair, and as part of that event the chip giant awards high school students prize money for the best science projects.The winner this year was 19-year-old Ionut Budisteanu for his low cost, self-driving car model. But it’s 18-year-old runner up Eesha Khare that caught our attention. Intel awarded her the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award and a $50,000 scholarship for a tiny device that fits inside a phone battery.Khare’s invention could potentially have a major impact on smartphones because it holds the promise of 20-30 second battery charges. So no more hooking your phone up to an outlet for a few hours, you just wait no more than 30 seconds for a full battery.What Khare has designed and created is a supercapacitor with a “special nanostructure” allowing it to store significantly more energy while charging incredibly quickly. It also remains viable for 10,000 charges compared to the more typical 1,000 charges of today’s batteries.Her experiment used the supercapacitor to power an LED, but both Khare and Intel believe the same tech can be used to similar effect on a smartphone. There’s also potential uses for car batteries, too, which could make electric cars more viable if their recharge time can be cut to a few minutes or even seconds.For now, Khare will be using the scholarship money to go to college while at the same time continuing to study science and experimenting. Who knows, one day she could be the next Elon Musk, or may actually end up working for him if this supercapacitor tech continues to hold promise.last_img read more