ASU student’s invention could help solve phone overheating

An ASU student is developing two inventions to cool cell phones and keep them from overheating in everyday life to prevent users from damaging their batteries.

Jordan Fourcher, senior specialist in technology entrepreneurship and management and founder of Fourcher Technologies, is the inventor of the CryoPad and the CryoCase. Both inventions have cooling technologies that prevent the phones from overheating, thereby reducing thermal damage to the phones’ batteries.

During Demo Day, an ASU Venture Devils competition held in December, Fourcher received $15,000, which he said he would use to develop his prototypes.

The CryoPad is a wireless charger that actively cools mobile phones down to exactly 60 degrees Fahrenheit using a micro water cooling system with a thermoelectric plate. This allows for sustained and powerful cooling even in the hottest environments, giving the phone the thermal buffer it needs to last longer and perform better.

“When your phone gets really hot, the screen dims, it starts getting sluggish, unresponsive, and then it just shuts off,” Fourcher said. “I had this problem constantly even indoors and the other problem I had was that my phone was draining really fast.”

Fourcher’s chief engineer, Akshay Soma, said: “It’s one of those things that you don’t see as a problem until there’s a solution.”

Fourcher was disappointed with the inefficiency of the pluggable cooling chargers already on the market and realized that the options available did not actually solve the problem.

“If you show it (the plug-in cooling charger) on a thermal camera, it’s actively cooling an area the size of a penny,” Fourcher said.

Unlike other cooling chargers on the market, Fourcher said its wireless micro water cooling system is powerful enough to cool a larger area thanks to the 40 millimeter arcTEC technology thermoelectric plate and the aluminum plate tailored.

Fourcher and his team of engineers initially struggled to fit large components into a very small space, but managed to slowly shrink the micro-cooling system to the point “where it is now 55 millimeters thick with a complete water cooling system, radiator, pump, fan, everything” So it can keep a phone at a constant temperature regardless of the outside temperature.

“With the CryoPad, it’s physically cold,” Fourcher said. “It’s terribly cold where people touch it and they think they’ve been shocked because it’s so cold.”

The only problem now, he said, is putting the technology into a package that looks good.

His second invention called CryoCase is a self-cooling phone case that uses passive radiative cooling paint – originally developed by the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) – to reflect heat and sunlight. According to the Fourcher Technologies website, “Radiative cooling simply means that it is good at reflecting radiation, like a mirror reflects light.”

Fourcher said the CryoCase gets cooler in the sun instead of hotter and can cool your phone up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit without using electricity.

This paint has been tested for building and automotive applications but is very fragile and brittle. Fourcher encases the paint in polycarbonate, tough “glass-like” polymers.

“I’m the only one who has a long-term solution that doesn’t require reapplying paint every month,” he said.

He is currently working on a strategy with PARC, which currently owns the intellectual property for the painting. Before he could officially launch the CryoCase, he said he would need PARC’s help to fix a problem where the paint warped the plastic.

Fourcher plans to launch the CryoPad by the end of the summer and is currently awaiting better design renders from its design team before launching a Kickstarter campaign for the CryoPad. Its goal is to receive enough funds to order between 1,000 and 2,000 units of each piece, as bulk ordering significantly reduces costs.

He plans to launch the CryoPad in physical stores like Best Buy and added that the wireless charger will work for any phone compatible with Qi wireless charging, a system where devices are charged wirelessly using a process called inductive transfer.

“We are trying to develop a compact cooling system, which can be used anywhere for all cooling applications,” Soma said. “What we plan to do next is keep the tablet-sized devices cool.”

Fourcher said its innovative cooling solutions have “an environmental benefit because you don’t have to replace your batteries as often,” resulting in greater energy savings.

“The planet needs technology to reduce global warming and its technologies could be a game-changer, at scale,” said Aram Chomina-Chavez, professor of tech entrepreneurship.

Contact the reporter at [email protected] and @minn_lk on Twitter.

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Mindy LokBusiness and Technology Journalist

Mindy Lok is a reporter for the Office of Business and Technology. She also works as a digital content producer for the College of Health Solutions.

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