Season 11 Innovators
Riadh feels comfortable operating outside of his comfort zone. That is why he moved to France from his native Tunisia to pursue a research doctorate in electrical and electronic engineering at the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1. This important life decision made him continue challenging his technical expertise in a new environment.
Despite building a career working in France’s smart energy industry, the Tunisian engineer did not want to rest on his laurels. He turned his attention to a longtime fascination – Stars of Science. As an avid fan of the show since it began airing in 2008, he searched for a truly innovative idea that he knew would earn him a chance to enter the Top Eight.
He found the right inspiration while working on his thesis project, which focused on energy storage in electrical vehicles. While it draws from his years of expertise in electrical engineering, it is different to anything he has tackled before, giving him another unfamiliar challenge to solve.
About the Project
Power banks have become an ever-present sight in our bags, purses, and pockets, as we continue to rely on smartphones, tablets, and other compact devices to power our businesses and our social lives. They allow us to charge our gadgets anywhere, helping us overcome the limited capacities found in their batteries.
However, power banks can take a long time to recharge themselves, often for much longer than it takes to charge the actual devices. Furthermore, in a world where users often own multiple devices, power banks may spend more time plugged in to wall sockets rather than charging gadgets, turning into a hindrance for their owner.
Riadh’s Hybrid Power Bank would eliminate this problem. It can charge itself plentiful in a matter of minutes while holding more than enough power to charge idle devices throughout the day, sparing users on the run the time spent on charging the power bank while giving them the peace of mind that they can recharge their devices sufficiently whenever they need to.
Its smart power storage system combines lithium-ion batteries, found in millions of portable appliances around the world, and supercapacitor technology, which is regularly used in wind turbines and electric cars. The Tunisian’s invention leverages both the lithium-ion battery’s ability to store more energy in a smaller density and the supercapacitor technology’s fast-charging properties.
As our phones grow more capable, so does the amount of energy they consume. The rise of 5G technology promises to draw significant power from existing mobile batteries, while contact tracing and other connectivity apps that constantly work in the background add to this burden. The Hybrid Power Bank addresses this issue, ensuring that our phones always have a quick source of power to draw from.
This invention would also be a significant asset to incredibly mobile lifestyles. Creative professionals who make their living on portable gadgets, such as photographers and social media influencers, could take advantage of the invention’s impressive flexibility, as it only needs a few minutes to replenish itself before they can use it to recharge devices again.
However, this capability can also serve other professions who may need to stay connected and paired to purposeful gadgets no matter where they are. Doctors can travel long distances to visit their patients without fear of losing the ability to contact their hospital, while journalists can continue covering stories on the field and not worry about missing important moments or deadlines due to depleted power bank.