For many years, lithium dominated the power bank technology. It had the highest capacity, fastest charging speed, and was lightweight. Then came graphene, presenting a serious challenge to the status quo. It is changing the way we look at all battery-carrying devices, including power banks.
Manufacturers have been working hard to implement graphene into their products for many years, but the graphene power bank is relatively new to the market. Smartphone brands have not found similar success yet, but some are close to the finish line.
Being a relatively new technology, graphene-based devices are still relatively pricey. But despite coming at a higher price point, many find the added value that it brings to be worth the higher cost.
What Makes Graphene Better Than Lithium?
Graphene is derived from graphite, the crystalline allotropic form of carbon. It is made of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice pattern, essentially giving it a two-dimensional appearance. Modifying the graphite from 3D into 2D configuration sounds like a minor change, but it is the key to unlocking graphene’s incredible properties.
Despite being just one atom thick, graphene is deceptively tough. Compared to steel, it is 1000 times stronger. To give you an idea, two layers of graphene are enough to stop a speeding bullet.
Graphene is extremely light, which makes it easy to integrate into any applicable technology. But with its lightweight, it has very high conductivity and very little internal resistance. This allows graphene to tolerate a lot more electricity without heating up.
With the combination of these characteristic advantages, graphene can charge at a much faster rate than lithium. It also lets graphene-based batteries hold more charge and for much longer.
What to Expect From a Graphene Power Bank
During the earlier stages of development, industry experts believed that graphene power banks could be charged to 100% in 20 minutes. Available models today are not too far off, with many claiming that they can get their graphene-based power bank from zero to 100% in 30 minutes and with a lower wattage than normally used. Some even offer additional features such as wireless charging. In today’s heavily gadget-reliant lifestyle, graphene power banks are game-changers.
Not all brands are the same, but whichever you pick would surely have a higher power density than any existing lithium battery in the market. This translates to a much higher capacity, allowing you to power more gadgets in a single charge cycle.
Graphene power banks are more expensive upfront than lithium power banks, but they do have a longer lifespan. A traditional lithium power bank is capable of 500 to 1000 charge cycles before starting to fail. Graphene power banks can easily go up to 1500 charge cycles. If you do a quick computation, you could get the value of up to three lithium power banks for one graphene power bank.
Lithium-based devices are relatively safe, except for a few outliers where some people experienced excess heat while charging. Graphene is several times safer. It is an excellent conductor of both heat and electricity, making any subsequent devices virtually immune to heat.
Make the Switch
Graphene power banks are all the rage today, and for good reason. They hold the advantage over their lithium counterparts in every category except the price tag. Give manufacturers a few more years and they would be able to close this gap. When that time comes, it would change the landscape of gadget technology.
Author’s name: Alison Lurie.