Ever since the iPhone launched in 2007 and ushered in the era of the smartphone, the most common complaint among users has been battery life. Lithium-ion can only go so far; leaving us all aching for the onset of graphene battery technology.
For the last couple of decades, interest in a new “miracle material” called graphene has been on the rise. Since its discovery in 2004 that secured a Nobel Prize in 2010, consumers and industries alike have been eagerly waiting for this technology to become affordable enough to mass produce.
Touted as the strongest material ever known to man – 200 times stronger than steel and harder than diamond, while being only an atom thick and of equally surprising lightness. In 2014, graphene proved better than kevlar at stopping bullets.
Strength aside, it’s also the world’s best conductor of heat and electricity, making it exceptionally suited for applications in electronics. Batteries, particularly.
So, where is it?
By now, you might be wondering why this perfect material isn’t used everywhere. What’s the catch? Well, we only discovered it 16 years ago. We’re still slowly understanding it. As with most new innovations, cost is the main prohibitive factor. Fortunately, that’s slowly becoming less of an issue as graphene gets mass produced.
A company from Los Angeles called Real Graphene has been making waves in the battery bank world over the last couple of months. Their flagship flexes its graphene prowess by fully charging its 20,000mAh capacity in 90 minutes, which is the average time it takes to charge a 3,000-4,000mAh smartphone battery. Its younger brother is no slouch either – fully charging its 10,000mAh in only 55 minutes. Early reviews confirm their claims.
Recent advancements in charging tech from the likes of Motorola and OPPO have been great, but they don’t come close. They advertise impressive times to reach 50% charge, but then the charge speed tapers off. They still require 60-90 minutes to fully charge. That’s 30-40% longer than the time it takes the smaller Real Graphene power bank to charge, at 30-40% of the capacity. And the 10,000mAh one is the less efficient of the two.
What makes this possible is graphene’s ability to receive lots of energy without overheating, allowing it to make use of high-wattage chargers. Its 10,000mAh unit ships with a 60W charger and its older brother with a whopping 87W one.
They won’t charge your phone’s battery any faster, because it’s still a Lithium one. Hopefully, now that Real Graphene showed real-world results in this area, phone manufacturers will race to adopt the material. Graphene batteries also deteriorate much slower over time than Lithium ones, lasting about at least three times as long.