In today’s fast-paced world, power banks have become essential in our daily lives. They charge our smartphones, tablets, and other USB-powered devices on the go. A portable power bank gives your devices an extra lifeline. You don’t worry about running out of power during an important meeting, call, or navigating to a new location. This article looks at battery technologies and how to enhance your power bank’s battery life and capacity.
An Introduction to Power Bank Battery Technology: Lithium-Ion, Lithium-Polymer, and Lead-Acid Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries have a high power density and can house more power cells than Li-Po batteries. They can hold more power while maintaining a slick design profile. These batteries also have no memory effect and maintain their peak recharging ability throughout their lifespan.
After a certain period, Lithium-ion batteries stop producing maximum energy and begin discharging quickly. But because they have a high capacity and are safer, they are more common than Lithium-polymer batteries.
Lithium-polymer (Li-Po) batteries have a similar structure to Lithium-ion batteries but are made of a gel-like material (Silicon graphene) which is lightweight. Because of this, the batteries are used in laptops and some high-capacity power banks.
Li-Po batteries don’t leak but suffer from the memory effect problem. Over time, their gel-like substance gets harder, resulting in a shorter lifespan. Also, they can’t hold a lot of power density without being large. They need to be replaced after a while.
Lead Acid Batteries
These rechargeable batteries use lead and sulphuric acid. The lead is immersed in the sulphuric acid to produce a controlled chemical reaction. The chemical reaction causes the battery to produce electricity.
However, the useable energy in a lead acid battery is minimal compared to other batteries. You can only use up to 50% of its energy before it needs recharging. A full discharge causes strain, and each charge cycle robs the battery of some capacity.
Understanding Battery Capacity Loss and Charging Cycles
A power bank typically loses 1/3 of its capacity due to voltage conversion. Additional capacity is lost during charging as heat. So, the true capacity of a power bank is about 2/3 of the capacity indicated.
For example, a power bank with 10,000mAh has 37000VA storable power. The built-in lithium battery has 3.7V. 3.7V*10000mAh=37000VA. A power bank’s output is 5V, so 37000VA/5V=7400mAh. The unit also loses power as heat and can only output 7000mAh at most.
Now, let’s talk about power bank charging cycles. A power bank completes a charging cycle when it goes from completely charged (100%) to completely discharged (0%). A high-quality power bank has about 500-1,000 charging cycles. But the devices you can recharge and the number of times you can recharge them depends on the power bank’s capacity and power ratings.
How to Properly Charge, Discharge, and Store Power Banks
- Don’t Overcharge: Never leave your power bank to charge for too long as this may cause it to overheat. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If it becomes excessively hot while charging or discharging, unplug it immediately. Also, don’t charge the power bank in places that can build up heat, like your bed.
- Don’t Use Excessive Force: Doing this can damage the internal components, or worse, create a short circuit when the device is used. Regularly inspect the power bank and don’t use it if it’s leaking, deformed, producing a strange odor, or has changed color.
- Avoid Metal Objects: Keep your device away from metal objects such as paper clips, coins, and keys to avoid creating a magnetic field. Don’t insert metal objects into the USB outputs or joining terminals as metal can scratch delicate parts and cause short-circuiting.
- Store It Well: Keep your power bank in a cool and dry place. Avoid moisture, dust, and heat sources. Don’t leave the device in places with high temperatures as it can catch fire or explode.
Common Power Bank Usage Mistakes That Can Shorten Battery Life
Using Incompatible Charging Cables
This can affect your power bank’s charging efficiency and safety. Some power banks come with charging cables that aren’t compatible with all devices. Using an incompatible cable can result in slow charging, overheating, or even short circuits. To avoid this, use the charging cable that came with your device or purchase one from a reputable manufacturer.
Improper Charging or Discharging
If you want your power bank to last, it’s essential to charge and discharge it correctly. Overcharging the device can lead to overheating and shorten its lifespan. Also, don’t let the battery completely drain before recharging it. Charging levels between 20% and 80% are recommended for optimal battery health.
Not Keeping It Cool
Electronics hate heat, and it can severely reduce the lifespan of your power bank. Always keep your device cool during charging and discharging, and don’t expose it to high temperatures or direct sunlight. The battery and other components may get damaged.
Mobile power banks come with a capacity limit, so it’s essential to avoid overloading them. Do not charge many power-hungry devices simultaneously as this can cause excessive heat and damage the battery. Also, avoid using your power bank as it charges because the circuit can overload and cause damage.
Troubleshooting and Solutions for Common Power Bank Battery Issues
Power Bank Not Charging Some Devices
If this happens, try using another charging cable with the power bank to charge your devices.
Power Bank Not Recharging
A power bank may not recharge if you use a specific type of cable, wall charger, or wall outlet. Use a different option and see if the problem persists.
Power Bank Keeps Overheating When Recharging or Charging Devices
If your power bank gets hot when recharging, use another wall charger and cable to recharge it. If it gets hot while charging other devices, use a different power cable or try charging another device as the device you’re charging could have an issue.
First, check if you’re using the power bank’s fast-charging technology. If the problem persists, try using a different cable or charging another device.
The Best Power Banks for Fast Charging
RAVPower’s 30W USB-C Power Bank perfectly strikes a balance between power, weight, and price. Weighing just 9.9 ounces, it’s one of the lightest units on the market and won’t take up a lot of space in your bag. It can charge two devices at once via USB-C and USB-A outputs. The 15,000-mAh capacity is enough to power an iPad and a smartphone.
This USB-C power bank will fast-charge everything you test it with, just be sure to use the USB-C port and a USB-C to lightning cable. You can charge it from zero to full in four hours. A snazzy digital display on the side shows the remaining battery percentage. Advanced safety protections keep your devices charged.
A high-capacity power bank doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, and this unit from RAVPower proves it. Impressively versatile, it has two ports with a total output of 100W. Its PD charging port supports all fast-charging devices. It packs 30,000 mAh of energy, which is enough to fully charge phones, tablets, laptops, and gaming consoles.
The high-capacity USB-C power bank has enough juice to recharge an 11-inch tablet twice from 0%. It can dish out 65 watts of power for fast charging via the USB-C port. The USB-A port delivers 18W to USB-A-powered devices. The power bank recharges in record time, 2.5 hours, if a 60W USB-C PD wall charger is used.
Apply RAVPower’s Power Bank Usage Tips to Protect Your Device
Feel like your power bank can’t keep up sometimes? You’re not alone. As technology advances and our gadgets become more powerful, we need more powerful power banks. Use RAVPower’s power bank maintenance tips to keep your power bank in tip-top shape. Our high-capacity power banks have built-in safety protections and features to protect your devices.
Meta Description: Power banks have become a necessity in the digital age but buying them frequently doesn’t sound too great. Use RAVPower’s tips to extend the battery life of your power bank.