How Pass Through Charging Lets You Use Power Banks In Creative Ways

power bank charged

When movies imagine the future, they fall into two broad categories: sleek and cyberpunk. Sleek is the Star Trek model, where everything is almost obsessively cleanly and the technology is miniature, powerful and self-contained. You seldom see how the communication devices attached to their lapels are charged between uses, for example, or pilots worrying whether they have enough to power to keep their music going through a long interstellar trip. Cyberpunk tech on the other hand is modular, jerry-rigged, various parts slapped together to enhance functionality. The reality of tech falls somewhere between these poles. Our subject today, keeping power banks charged, is an apt example.

Pass Through Charging

One of our most popular posts last year looked at pass through charging. In a nutshell, pass through charging is when you charge your power bank via a wall outlet or secondary device, while simultaneously charging other devices connected to the bank. What’s being passed through, in this scenario, is electricity. Our previous post on keeping power banks charged explains:

“Pass through technology… is in essence a series of power regulating circuits inside a power back that helps match the draw of energy needed by an output device to the amps being pulled from a wall outlet. If done right, pass through will move power directly from the wall outlet to the connected device, via the power bank. This is called prioritization. Depending on load balancing performance in the power bank, the latter should charge at either a regular or slower speed than normal when working with an output device.”

Now, you may rightly be asking yourself why someone with access to an outlet would continue charging their devices through the power bank when they could just plug into the wall directly. And you’d be correct: if you have enough outlets (or a power bar) and enough wall adapters for each device, then you’re better off “passing” on pass through charging.

However, there are plenty of scenarios where this might not be feasible: if you only have access to a single outlet, at a coffee shop for example, you may need to get creative. You may also only have USB/Lightning cables to connect to the bank, but no adapters.

How Does The Tech Keep Your Power Bank Charged Safely?

Pass through charging is not entirely without risk to your devices. Excess heat is battery kryptonite, which is why Rav engineers have taken such pains to develop chips that can regulate temperature by manipulating energy intake. The longer something takes to charge, the more at risk it is of building up damaging heat. Under normal use, even our beefiest models like this gargantuan 27000mAh bank can be fully charged hundreds of times without a significant performance hit.

Pass through tech poses an extra challenge to safely keeping your power bank charged however. The normal charge time is extended because the bank is generously offering a portion of its juice to the devices plugged into it. If you’re only passing through for a few hours, our products are built well enough to take it. Longer than that, though, and you’re risking doing some damage to even top-tier products, regardless of the manufacturer.

 

Going Full Cyberpunk

The nice thing about highly adaptable tech is that it lets users apply their imagination. If you’ve ever watched a hardcore cyclist weave through a traffic jam, you’ll know they have something outside the box in their DNA. That’s why we weren’t surprised that cyclists have been among those really getting the most out of how pass through lets them keep their power bank charged with flair. Look at this biker who uses our rechargeable units to turn their wheels into something straight out of TRON!

Tokyo Shinjuku Cyberpunk Bike LED Mod Pass Through Charging keeping power banks charged
This tron-inspired bike comes from infern0yut0. You can use a portable charger to power the lights.

 

We had a commenter on a past post ask some great questions about using Rav products for a complex rig. He was using one of our 24W solar panel chargers to trickle charge his power bank during a long bike tour. The power bank was in turn keeping his GPS, GoPro and iPhone in the green. Although when you’re in motion variations in sunlight will effect how much the panel is able to capture, it’s still a great way to collect extra charge throughout your trip, and particularly during rest stops. When it comes to keeping your power bank charged and you’re off the grid, every little bit can help.

 

Be Creative Your Way

Are you using power banks in an unusual way? We’ve love to see more of your photos and anecdotes. Send them to us and we’ll try and feature them on our blog, Facebook, or Instagram!

2 Replies to “How Pass Through Charging Lets You Use Power Banks In Creative Ways

  1. The fellow you cite using the solar collectors is in the minority of bicyclists who need pass through batteries. Most touring cyclists use front hub dynamos which power USB chargers.

    1. Ahh that’s interesting. Seems like something like a hub dynamo would be better, however, we wanted to provide a quick example of a set up using RAVPower. Thanks for letting us know for future! 🙂

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