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She won the $50,000 Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award

A high school student from California has created a way to charge cell phones completely in just 20-30 seconds. 

Eesha Khare, 18, of Saratoga, California, recently won the $50,000 Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award for her fast-charging device. 

The device uses an improved supercapacitor that can store a lot of energy into a small space using a nanorod electrode. It is capable of 10,000 charge-recharge cycles and can fully charge a cell phone in 20-30 seconds. 

Traditional chargers typically take hours to achieve a full charge, and are capable of only 1,000 cycles for rechargeable batteries.


Khare said her supercapacitor has been used to power an LED, and sees her invention being placed in cell phones in the future.

"It is also flexible, so it can be used in rollup displays and clothing and fabric," Khare said. "It has a lot of different applications and advantages over batteries in that sense."

This definitely isn't the first time a high school student has come up with a brilliant invention in recent years. Just last year, 15-year-old Jack Andraka invented a new pancreatic cancer test that earned him the $75,000 prize from another Intel-sponsored fair. 

Source: NBC News



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RE: Paper
By EricMartello on 5/20/2013 10:48:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Wh isn't misleading. It's also not W/h, but Wh. The same it's Ah and not A/h. There's no need to specify both U and I if you can put it in one more handy value, P.


W/h is misleading because it's irrelevant. A battery has a nominal voltage. Current is drawn from the battery at its nominal voltage, up to and sometimes exceeding its amp/hour rating.

quote:
When you know the Ah of a battery you still don't know how fast you can recharge it, some faster, some slower, depending on the technology. Just current technology lies around 1C-5C, but that's just a current limit and not a limit of future batteries.


Incorrect. All modern rechargeable batteries can change at a rate of at least 1C. Whether or not they can go above that depends on their chemistry and construction. Also, at 1C, you will need a minimum of 1 hour to charge a given battery.

quote:
And btw., we're talking about supercapacitors, which don't have such a limit at all. They get charged with a constant voltage and take what their internal resistance allows.


Voltage is the flow rate of current. A charging capacitor still draws current, and it can draw quite a bit if you have nothing regulating the current, such as connecting a battery directly to a capacitor.

The capacitor will charge UP TO the voltage of the battery or its internal limit. If its internal voltage limit is exceeded it tends to go POP.

quote:
They can't explode and you don't need a charge controller. You set it to a fixed voltage and give it whatever Ampere it wants.


Supercapacitors tend to be low voltage so you would need to regulate the voltage it receives or it can damage the capacitor.

Doesn't change the fact that you would need to feed it a quantity of electricity (amps) for a given time at its rated voltage to charge it to capacity.


RE: Paper
By BRB29 on 5/20/2013 11:18:11 AM , Rating: 2
Eric,

karim does not even know how capacitors or batteries work. At this point, I believe he is trolling.


RE: Paper
By karimtemple on 5/20/13, Rating: 0
RE: Paper
By BRB29 on 5/20/2013 12:01:16 PM , Rating: 2
you have credentials?
sounds like you have a love story with your ego

...still a better love story than twilight though


RE: Paper
By MrTeal on 5/20/2013 11:30:27 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Incorrect. All modern rechargeable batteries can change at a rate of at least 1C. Whether or not they can go above that depends on their chemistry and construction. Also, at 1C, you will need a minimum of 1 hour to charge a given battery.

That's not correct. Generally, batteries that are more energy dense for a given chemistry have much slower charge and discharge rates. Compare the Panasonic UR18650ZTA and the UR18650SAX.
http://www.panasonic.com/industrial/includes/pdf/U...
http://www.panasonic.com/industrial/includes/pdf/U...
Same manufacturer and basic chemistry, but one can be discharged at 8C without affecting the final capacity much but another starts to quickly lose capacity even discharging at 1C.

The extreme example of this are high capacity rechargeable lithium coin cells, where a 3032 sized cell can have a 100mAh capacity, but won't be able to charge or discharge more than 1mA.


RE: Paper
By EricMartello on 5/20/2013 1:12:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's not correct. Generally, batteries that are more energy dense for a given chemistry have much slower charge and discharge rates. Compare the Panasonic UR18650ZTA and the UR18650SAX.


Yes, they would, if you think of the batteries as buckets the bigger the bucket the longer it takes to fill or empty it using a fixed flow of water. It's not necessarily that they charge or discharge at different rates, it's just that a larger capacity takes longer to fill and lasts longer under load.

quote:
Same manufacturer and basic chemistry, but one can be discharged at 8C without affecting the final capacity much but another starts to quickly lose capacity even discharging at 1C.


One battery is 1350 mAH and the other is 3000 mAH; the larger capacity battery does not experience as much of a voltage drop under load as the smaller battery does, but that doesn't really counter what I said.

All I said is that you can charge any modern rechargeable battery at 1C, with the implication being that it is safe to do so. You will not "lose capacity" but your battery may not be suited to a high-current application.

Some batteries do a better job of maintaining their nominal voltage rating under load than others. Certain batteries can be damaged if you let their voltage get too low - but that is beside the point.

In general, a higher capacity battery will have higher tolerances for current in both charging and discharging cycles, but 1C is going to be a safe charge or discharge rate and your links support that statement.

quote:
The extreme example of this are high capacity rechargeable lithium coin cells, where a 3032 sized cell can have a 100mAh capacity, but won't be able to charge or discharge more than 1mA.


If the battery you were referring to is the only one of its kind them maybe you'd be right, but check this link below:

http://www.eemb.com/pdf/Li-ion/LIR3032.pdf

Note the "max current" for charge and discharge...but also consider that an application where 100 mAH @ 3V is sufficient would typically not incur high current draw nor would it require a rapid charging cycle.


RE: Paper
By MrTeal on 5/20/2013 4:38:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yes, they would, if you think of the batteries as buckets the bigger the bucket the longer it takes to fill or empty it using a fixed flow of water. It's not necessarily that they charge or discharge at different rates, it's just that a larger capacity takes longer to fill and lasts longer under load.

You're missing the point, the battery makers tailor the geometry of the battery to optimize for high current draw or high capacity.

quote:
One battery is 1350 mAH and the other is 3000 mAH; the larger capacity battery does not experience as much of a voltage drop under load as the smaller battery does, but that doesn't really counter what I said.

The larger capacity battery exhibits more voltage drop at high currents; a higher internal resistance is one of the trade-offs they make to get the higher capacity. Look at the discharge graphs, the high capacity ZTA has almost a 250mV drop between the 0.2C (0.6A) and the 1C rate (3A), while the low capacity SAX has only about a 100mV drop between the 0.2C (0.27A) and the 2C rate (2.7A). That's why if you pop open the battery pack of a Lithium power tool they all use high current, low capacity batteries instead of the really high capacity 18650s you can buy.

quote:
All I said is that you can charge any modern rechargeable battery at 1C, with the implication being that it is safe to do so. You will not "lose capacity" but your battery may not be suited to a high-current application.

That is the main point of what I'm getting at, not every modern battery can be charged at 1C. Standard Lithium Ion and LiPo ones you can, but there are modern chemistries used for different applications that can't be charged safely in an hour. It's a blanket statement that's not correct. You linked to a Lithium ion CR3032 that could be charged or discharged at 1C, I linked to one that cannot. Your blanket statement of "any modern rechargeable battery at 1C" is wrong.


RE: Paper
By EricMartello on 5/20/2013 6:43:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You're missing the point, the battery makers tailor the geometry of the battery to optimize for high current draw or high capacity.


You disagreed with my generalized statement about 1C being a safe charge rate for modern rechargeable batteries, then you found some batteries that you thought would support your idea - but they did not.

You are right, 1C may not always be the OPTIMAL charge rate but it's safe to say that it's VIABLE.

quote:
Look at the discharge graphs, the high capacity ZTA has almost a 250mV drop between the 0.2C (0.6A) and the 1C rate (3A), while the low capacity SAX has only about a 100mV drop between the 0.2C (0.27A) and the 2C rate (2.7A).


Despite this, they both remain within 200 mV of their nominal rated voltages for at least half of their respective capacities...but this isn't what I was talking about.

At which point do you demonstrate where a 1C charge or discharge rate would be unsafe for either of these batteries? You seem to be hung up on the difference between 'optimal' and 'viable'.

quote:
You linked to a Lithium ion CR3032 that could be charged or discharged at 1C, I linked to one that cannot. Your blanket statement of "any modern rechargeable battery at 1C" is wrong.


I'd be willing to bet money that the one you linked to could be charged at 1C even if the spec sheet says no.

I would also say that what's commonly accepted by most people as a 'rechargeable battery' is not one of these niche button cells, rather it would be a cell phone, camera battery, AA or AAA type - all of which will charge and discharge safely at 1C.


RE: Paper
By MrTeal on 5/20/2013 7:59:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'd be willing to bet money that the one you linked to could be charged at 1C even if the spec sheet says no. I would also say that what's commonly accepted by most people as a 'rechargeable battery' is not one of these niche button cells, rather it would be a cell phone, camera battery, AA or AAA type - all of which will charge and discharge safely at 1C.


Actually, you're right there. I thought I'd inserted a link to the 100mAh coin cell I was talking about, but I obviously missed it.
http://www.panasonic.com/industrial/includes/pdf/P...
A button cell is hardly niche, there's billions of them made each year. They're just tailored to a different market, low self discharge and high capacity in a small size without a need for much current draw.

1C isn't some magic number, it's just that rather than choose to list energy storage in joules or some other unit, they settled on Ah. That many batteries can be charged in an hour or less doesn't grant some special physical significance to 1C.


RE: Paper
By EricMartello on 5/20/2013 11:24:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A button cell is hardly niche, there's billions of them made each year. They're just tailored to a different market, low self discharge and high capacity in a small size without a need for much current draw.


What I meant by niche is that coin cells are not a common type. They're used in motherboards, clocks and compact devices that require something to preserve backup memory or whatever. Often they're installed by the factory and the consumer never worries about it until it dies, which can be years. A typical battery-powered device is going to use AA or AAA type batteries...but anyway I know what you were saying.

quote:
1C isn't some magic number, it's just that rather than choose to list energy storage in joules or some other unit, they settled on Ah. That many batteries can be charged in an hour or less doesn't grant some special physical significance to 1C.


EXACTLY! It is nothing special which is why I made my original statement in response to another poster's comment claiming that there was some wide discrepancy as to the typical charge/discharge rate for a battery.

The C in 1C refers to the capacity of a given battery in amp-hours, so 1C means 1 times capacity rating. You could have any number there to describe a particular charge or discharge current.


RE: Paper
By UpSpin on 5/20/2013 12:15:39 PM , Rating: 2
Again, it's not W/h, but Wh!
Your whole post is full of misleading stuff and it seems you haven't even read what I wrote.
Of course does a battery have a nominal voltage and specific capacity, I never denied it.

And not every modern battery can get charged with 1C. That's just wrong!
A Li-Ion battery with 3.7V and 1Ah has a energy of 3.7Wh!
So if you charge it with 1Ah for one hour, it's almost full.
The same if you put 3.7W in it in one hour it's full, too. (for example by connecting it to a 3.7V 1Ah power source)
It's nothing different, it's the same, expressed in a different unit.

Supercapacitors: Just read what I wrote! I wrote:
'They get charged with a constant voltage and take what their internal resistance allows.'
your answer:
'The capacitor will charge UP TO the voltage of the battery or its internal limit. If its internal voltage limit is exceeded it tends to go POP.'
Are you joking with me? Why should you charge a SC above it's rated voltage? Why do you connect it to a battery at all? The idea is to replace a chemical battery with a SC in future devices, nothing else. And she never claimed anything else. Just read her paper:
quote:
This work is an important initial step in introducing this new electrode material in supercapacitors to replace conventional batteries in flexible electronic devices.


RE: Paper
By EricMartello on 5/20/2013 1:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And not every modern battery can get charged with 1C. That's just wrong!
A Li-Ion battery with 3.7V and 1Ah has a energy of 3.7Wh!
So if you charge it with 1Ah for one hour, it's almost full.


By your example, that would be charging at 1C. C equals 1 a/h in this case.

quote:
The same if you put 3.7W in it in one hour it's full, too. (for example by connecting it to a 3.7V 1Ah power source)
It's nothing different, it's the same, expressed in a different unit.


Watts are a unit of energy. We do not know how much energy there is in a battery; we calculate this based on its known capacity and voltage. Nobody who knows what they're talking about is going to be referring to battery capacity in W/H. I suppose you're one of those people who measures car engine performance in HP per liter.

quote:
Are you joking with me? Why should you charge a SC above it's rated voltage? Why do you connect it to a battery at all?


If the battery is part of the circuit and there is no other type of voltage regulation in said circuit, then the nominal voltage of the circuit will equal that of the battery. If you have a typical 12V battery and a 2V "super" capacitor, the battery will overload that capacitor.

That was in response to your comment that a super capacitor could not explode. Both a super capacitor and normal electrolytic capacitor can be damaged if you exceed their rated voltage.

quote:
The idea is to replace a chemical battery with a SC in future devices, nothing else. And she never claimed anything else. Just read her paper:


No, that's not the idea. Capacitors were never intended to replace batteries and never will, however battery technology may advance further as new designs allow them to store more energy, perhaps even generate energy by means of a chemical reaction.

It's not really her paper, is it? Not that it matters because until she has a functional prototype it's all just conjecture. She did not deserve a $50K prize for articulate speculation and theorizing - that prize should have gone to a contestant who did their own work without help.


RE: Paper
By UpSpin on 5/20/2013 2:21:05 PM , Rating: 3
My last reply to your ignorant dumb posts:
Watt is not a unit of energy . Watthour is a unit a energy . And I never used Watt/hour (W/h) as you constantly did, I always wrote Watthour (Wh). If you don't believe me, then take a look in your physics school book, or
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilowatt_hour
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watt
quote:
The kilowatt hour, or kilowatt-hour, (symbol kW·h, kW h or kWh) is a unit of energy

quote:
The watt is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units (SI), The unit, defined as one joule per second, measures the rate of energy conversion or transfer.


So again, Wh (Watthour), because Wh is a unit of energy, gives you the amount of energy stored in a battery!

quote:
Nobody who knows what they're talking about is going to be referring to battery capacity in W/H.

I never wrote W/h, I always wrote Wh and pointed you, several times, to this fundamental mistake you constanstly did.

quote:
If you have a typical 12V battery and a 2V "super" capacitor, the battery will overload that capacitor.

Of course, if you're an idiot you can bring everthing to explode. But it's a fact, a supercapacitor does not need a charging circuit, just a constant voltage (of course the correct voltage). That's all I said. Everything else you wrote came from your wrong imagintation.

quote:
No, that's not the idea. Capacitors were never intended to replace batteries and never will

That's exactly the use case of a super capacitor: To replace a chemical battery!
They get used instead of batteries already (toothbrush, backup memory, regenerative energy storage of racing cars) and will replace chemical batteries once they get a higher energy density. (which they will: see her work, see aerogel, carbon nanotubes, ...)

quote:
however battery technology may advance further as new designs allow them to store more energy, perhaps even generate energy by means of a chemical reaction.

of course battery technology will advance further, and btw. chemical batteries (ni-mh, li-ion) store the energy chemically, they release it with a chemical reaction! You seem to be living in the medieval. (maybe you wanted to sound smart and wrote some non-sense, whereas you meant some biological batteries?)

quote:
It's not really her paper, is it? Not that it matters because until she has a functional prototype it's all just conjecture

It's what SHE wrote. It's her work! You must be really jealous.
She also build the prototype, shown in the picture of this article, produced in the lab with a Prof supervising her (of course wasn't she allowed nor able to produce it totally on her own)quote


RE: Paper
By karimtemple on 5/20/2013 2:32:11 PM , Rating: 1
Thank you for at least trying. It makes me feel a lot better that at least someone here isn't a crazy person.


RE: Paper
By HoosierEngineer5 on 5/20/2013 3:11:35 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed.

Plus, capacitors are more likely to explode if the polarity is reversed. Simply exceeding their voltage rating usually is not nearly as exciting.


RE: Paper
By EricMartello on 5/20/2013 7:20:35 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
My last reply to your ignorant dumb posts:


Aka correct and factual.

quote:
Watt is not a unit of energy . Watthour is a unit a energy . And I never used Watt/hour (W/h) as you constantly did, I always wrote Watthour (Wh). If you don't believe me, then take a look in your physics school book, or


If you're going to link to something at least read the link:

Watt: a derived unit of power ... defined as one joule per second, measures the rate of energy conversion or transfer .

Do you understand what the word "derived" means? It's a synonym for CALCULATED. That means WATT is purely conceptual. Amp/hour is the CORRECT unit to express a given battery's capacity, because without knowing the AH rating the W/H label is ambiguous.

To put this another way, you cannot determine the horsepower of an engine without knowing the torque at a given RPM.

W/H is for people like you who think there are such things as 1500W "peak power" desktop speakers for $3.

Amps are the units of electrical energy a battery has "available for transfer" and volts tell us the rate of said energy transfer. By multiplying voltage times amps you get...WATTS. WATTS UP WITH THAT!?

quote:
So again, Wh (Watthour), because Wh is a unit of energy, gives you the amount of energy stored in a battery!


A W/H can be a measure of energy consumed in an hour, as it pertains to companies in the business of selling electricity and whose pricing is based on watts used per hour.

Fortunately, batteries do not charge us a fee for transferring their energy to our devices so using W/H to refer to their capacity is wholly inaccurate.

quote:
I never wrote W/h, I always wrote Wh and pointed you, several times, to this fundamental mistake you constanstly did.


Actually its w/H.

quote:
Of course, if you're an idiot you can bring everthing to explode. But it's a fact, a supercapacitor does not need a charging circuit, just a constant voltage (of course the correct voltage). That's all I said. Everything else you wrote came from your wrong imagintation.


An "empty" capacitor that is exposed to voltage will draw current until it "fills up". The capacitor's voltage will be that of the circuit it is connected to. I don't know how to make that any simpler.

If you had a capacitor that could store enough energy to power a device like a smartphone for any reasonable length of time, it would need to draw either a lot of current for a short time or be fed a lower current for a longer time to reach full capacity.

What you seem not to get is that the capacitor's ability to charge quickly does not mean it will require a lower quantity of electricity (amps) to reach its full power.

If you had a theoretical super capacitor that had a 3.7V rating and the equivalent of 2000 mAH capacity, it would draw over 360 AMPS @ 3.7V to charge itself in 20 sec. Get it?

You would not be able to reduce the current by increasing the charge voltage without damaging the capacitor.

You could use a capacitor with a high voltage rating, which would then require that you use a voltage regulator when powering the device. A VRM would reduce the efficiency and generate quite a bit of heat.

Clearly you, the guy who desperately searches wikipedia and google just to attempt to have a discussion on this topic, is qualified to declare that I am making incorrect and/or imaginative statements.

quote:
That's exactly the use case of a super capacitor: To replace a chemical battery!


No, not really. They're more of a bridge between electrolytic caps and rechargeable batteries, but they'd fall closer to standard capacitors than batteries on the capacity spectrum.

Using capacitors to replace batteries may become possible some day, but this girl and her $50K prize will have had nothing to do with it.

quote:
chemical batteries (ni-mh, li-ion) store the energy chemically, they release it with a chemical reaction!


And I suggested that in the future, there may be batteries that are capable of generating their own energy rather than having a requirement of being charged.

It would work like this: battery "self charges". You use it and deplete it. You stop using it, battery "self charges" again. Repeat. Did I lose you again?

quote:
It's what SHE wrote. It's her work! You must be really jealous.


Now we can see who's posting incorrect and imaginary information...

quote:
She also build the prototype, shown in the picture of this article, produced in the lab with a Prof supervising her (of course wasn't she allowed nor able to produce it totally on her own)quote


She built "something"; she didn't even have a working demo on hand and the level of her contribution was never disclosed so how exactly are you going to sit there and tell us what she did and didn't do?

Facts:

- She claims her "device" lit an LED. She did not say for how long.

- She believes that the lighting of an LED somehow proves that her "device" can power cell phones. Why not test something other than an LED?

- None of the articles talking about this girl mentioned even slight technical details of what she is taking credit for, but they were quite boisterous about announcing that she "invented" something so revolutionary.

- She received access to equipment that is not typically available to high school students, giving her an unfair advantage over other entrants in the contest (sham).

Bottom line - this girl is no genius but she's smart enough to game the system and is now $50K richer.

Scientist? Not.

Con artist? Probably.

Liberal? Definitely.


RE: Paper
By DerMack on 5/21/2013 9:13:43 AM , Rating: 3
Eric you are seriously messing up SI units...

There are 7 base units, metre (m), kilogram (kg), second (s), ampere (A), kelvin (K), mole (mol) and candela (cd). ALL other units are derived from these. Being a derived unit doesnt make them any more conceptual than these base units.

derived units include among others these:
watt (w) unit of power, J/s or kg·m2·s-3 ;
joule (J) unit of energy, N·m or kg·m2·s-2.

Wh is basically just joules (J/s·3600s=3600J) and thus energy.
W/h would be joules per second per hour. I suppose it could be used to describe the rate of change in power output...

quote:
Amps are the units of electrical energy a battery has "available for transfer" and volts tell us the rate of said energy transfer.

SI system says amperes are units of electrical current, volts electrical potential difference. (but I get the point you were trying to make, just had to nitpick)

and for the last time, stop using W/H as watthour, it is not watt per hour, check your electricity bill if you ever get confused about the units again, seriously...

MSc


RE: Paper
By StanO360 on 5/21/2013 1:47:41 PM , Rating: 2
I use the analogy of a river. Volts being the width and depth of the river and amps the speed of the current.


RE: Paper
By EricMartello on 5/22/2013 12:26:57 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Being a derived unit doesn't make them any more conceptual than these base units.


They are conceptual in the sense that they do not represent something that can be measured as the base units you listed do.

We can measure mass, distance and we can track time, so if we have an object with a known mass moving a known distance, we can calculate it's velocity as well as kinetic energy. Meters per second and KE (expressed as joules) are conceptual values - they express the concept of energy and motion, but neither energy nor motion themselves can serve as a basis for measurement.

These units being conceptual doesn't undermine their utility in terms of physics calculations any way - the point I was making is that using WH instead of aH to describe a batteries capacity is just bad.

Why do I say this? Watts are calculated based on the current being drawn from a source at a given voltage. When you draw current from a battery, the voltage will fluctuate inversely to the current being drawn.

If a battery maker claims 100 "watt hours" it assumes that the current draw will remain constant, and therefore you may end up with more or less "watt hours" based on the current drawn from the battery.

By correctly referring to battery capacity in amp-hours, we can infer that regardless of voltage fluctuations, a battery will provide current up to its rated amp-hour rating. If I have a 12 volt 5 Ah battery, I can draw 5 amps @ 12 volts from it for 1 hour and fully expect it to deliver...and if it doesn't I would complain to the manufacturer.

quote:
and for the last time, stop using W/H as watthour, it is not watt per hour, check your electricity bill if you ever get confused about the units again, seriously...


I will as soon as people stop referring to battery capacity in WH. lol


RE: Paper
By catmanq on 5/20/2013 11:18:06 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Watt is not a unit of energy . Watthour is a unit a energy


You obviously have no idea watt you are talking about. Eric obviously does.


RE: Paper
By karimtemple on 5/21/2013 9:08:52 AM , Rating: 2
I really don't blame you for not understanding this; electricity is not an easy subject. You'll get no disdain from me on that front. I just have two problems:

One, talking about things you have no idea of. When I don't know about something, I just refrain from talking about it or I say "I don't know." You obviously don't understand the difference between energy and power, and yet you choose to speak on it. That's why UpSpin chose to stop responding; Eric won't understand what's being said to him.

Two, the posts in this thread in general, and the massive number of downvotes I received simply for trying to be a voice of reason and of anti-sexism, make me really sad for what dark ignorance might lurk within this site. I guess that's what I get for expecting intelligence and civility from the Internet. lol, Silly, in retrospect.


RE: Paper
By StanO360 on 5/21/2013 1:42:21 PM , Rating: 2
The term is used all the time for AC UPS's btw. When you need to calculate the the backup time a given UPS will provide based on your power usage.


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