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Date: 04-08-15

Fast battery charging and wireless charging; two hot trends in mobile and EV

In today's world, you're extremely dependent on your mobile device which runs on a battery and need to be charged every few days if not every day. It takes your extra attention and time so that you don't miss out charging.

With the fast charging technology and also wireless charging, mobile phone users are less bothered about reminding themselves about charging their phones. The researchers are working on how to charge a mobile phone in few seconds, that too wirelessly. While these extremely fast-charging solutions is still not out in the markets, but you already have commercially available fast charging technology that can charge your smartphone at 1/3 time of what you normally used to. Fast charging and wireless charging features in smart phones leading to higher profits for high-end smartphone makers.

Let's look briefly at the technology behind these two most happening trends:

Using high input voltage, lithium ion batteries can be charged 75% faster. This technology requires generation of higher voltage as well as real-time monitoring of the battery so that the higher voltage can be bought down or switched off depending on the batteries temperature, voltage, charging current and other such parameters. Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0 is one such technology.

Huawei’s proprietary protocol Fast Charger Protocol (FCP) is also a fast charging technology for smartphones and other mobile devices .

You need semiconductor ICs to monitor the charging voltage, current and the batteries end in real-time and dynamically scale the output voltage and output current limit to drive more power through a standard USB cable.

One of the promising technology for fast charging is super capacitors. Super capacitors can be charged very fast in few seconds. Super capacitors have generally lesser energy storage capability compared to batteries, and also discharge faster even if they are not used. The combination of super capacitors along with lithium ion and any such advanced batteries can help in designing battery packs which have both faster charging feature as well as higher energy storage.

Israel based company called StoreDot is expected to launch a new organic material based battery which can be charged in 30 seconds. These batteries are expected to be available in the market sometime in 2016. StoreDot uses bio-organic raw material as nanodots inside its batteries, which are self assembled.

All the above technologies can be used in electric car or any electric driven vehicle, only difference is the battery size. In mobile phones, you need batteries with thousands of milliamps of Ampere hour (AH) storage capacity, whereas in electric vehicles you need thousands of Ampere hour storage capacity.

In fact electric vehicles are more in need of faster charging if not the wireless charging. The Tesla model S, the most successful electric car in the world is being sold well in the market due to its ability to charge around 3/4 of its capacity within 15 to 20 minutes. Wireless charging in electric cars uses a different technique where the inductor pads are buried inside the road, and the electric vehicle gets the wireless power when it passes over series of inductor pads. However this technique commercially not easy to implement and also expensive.

Vehicle to vehicle charging technology, mobile device to mobile device charging technology, or any battery to any new battery charging technology is also made possible due to the advancement in power electronics.

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