Source: MIT Technology Review
Rather than trying to build a better battery, startup Qnovo bets it can improve the one that’s already in your smartphone.
By: Rachel Metz
One of the most frustrating things about smartphones—how long they take to recharge—could soon be one-third as frustrating. A startup called Qnovo, based in Newark, California, uses a technology that constantly checks and adjusts the flow of power during recharging to charge batteries faster and increase their lifespans.
As smartphones, tablets, and even electric cars have become more popular and powerful, batteries have become a huge problem: they never seem to last long enough; they take too long to recharge; and they hold less of a charge over time.
Some hope to solve these issues using new battery materials. Qnovo, in contrast, has developed a chip and software that can charge a phone’s battery in a third of the normal time. While a phone normally connected to a wall outlet with a five-watt charger may get an hour and a half of talk time after 15 minutes of charging, Qnovo’s technology could yield three or even six hours of operation from that same charge.
The company also says its technology can help lithium-ion batteries—which degrade over time due to chemical reactions that can occur during the normal charging process—hold up for many more charging cycles.