As technology proliferates, more and more people are realizing the benefits of a portable power station. Since a lot of us are dependent on on our gadgets, it is important that we carry around a portable power bank that we can rely on during urgent moments.
A lot have been written about this accessory, but we have listed down the most important things you need to know about Power Banks.
Safety is the key to choosing the right Power Bank
The main component of a power bank is a lithium ion / lithium polymer battery. Although these types of batteries are commonly used, the safety of battery product is always the utmost concern. Power Bank safety can be addressed on two fronts:
- Battery Quality Grade A is a general concept used to denote a very good quality battery. The real test is whether or not the battery has a UL Certification. Though all our power banks have many certifications, our most popular power bank batteries have passed the UL 1642 test which is a set of rigorous Electrical, Mechanical, Environmental, and Fire Exposure Tests. UL is the most widely accepted certification that denotes a battery’s compliance with recognized safety requirements in North America.
- Protective Circuitry Batteries can release high energies and the safety requirements for batteries for portable applications are harmonized under IEC 32166. The positive thermal coefficient or PTC is a basic safety device in a battery that works as a “ Safety Valve”. It protects the equipment, the charged device, and user. PTC prevents internal and external short circuit, abnormal charge/over charge, forced discharge, and more. It’s easy to reduce the costs of power banks by cutting out the cost of battery certifications and protective circuitry; but doing so creates a tangible risk to the safety of the power bank, the phone and other charged devices,and even harm the user. Before you purchase a power bank, talk to your supplier about their product safety certifications.
Li-Polymer vs 18650 Li-Ion Battery
When it comes to size and dimension, Li-Polymer is flexible while 18650 is fixed. In terms of safety, Li-Polymer is considered safer since it produces less heat than the 18650, hence it has a much lower self discharge rate than the 18650. Moreover, the Li-Polymer battery is more durable but more expensive than the 18650.
Power Bank Capacity
This is an important feature that you should check when buying a power bank. It is important that you buy a power bank that that can support the battery power requirement of your gadgets. If your phone battery is 3000mAh and is 0% now, a power bank with 2200mAh will not be able to charge your phone to full because the phone battery capacity is higher than the power bank.
EasyAcc’s article How to choose power bank for your phone and tablet? compared battery capacity using how many times a 2000 mAh, 6000 mAh and 10,000 mAh could charge smartphones and tablets, as shown on the table below:
However, the power output must also be considered to ensure fast charging for your gadgets. A 1 amp USB port will charge your smartphone or tablet but may charge slower than a 2 amp USB no matter what capacity your power bank has. In addition, a 2.4 amp usb can optimally charge two devices at a time but not at the fastest possible speed. A 5.4 amp USB can charge two devices simultaneously at the fastest possible speed.
Charging, Cycling and Storing Your Power Bank
The time it takes to charge a power bank is based on its input current and capacity. Simply, a 2200mAh power bank may take only 2‐3 hours to charge, whereas a 6600mAh power bank may take 3‐5 hours to charge. A power bank can be charged using a wall charger or a computer. The wall charger will charge the power bank at a faster rate than the computer. Computers have a smaller charging output.
Depending on the class / capacity, the power bank can be cycled between 300 to 500 times. You may keep using the power bank beyond its cycling limit but the capacity will be lower than the initial size.
When storing your power bank, it’s important to store a power bank with at least a 50% charge. Storing a power bank without any charge may reduce the life of the battery.
Input port and Output Ports
The input port is used to charge the power bank. Usually it is a Micro USB connector. The output port is used to charge your phone or mobile device. Usually it is a standard USB connector. Simply plug your device’s charging cable (USB side) into the power bank to begin charging your phone or mobile device.
Some power banks have added features to suit different kinds of lifestyle. Some users prefer stylish ones that fit perfectly in the pocket, while others prefer survival or sport power banks that can be used outdoors and has multi-finctions.
With all the amazing benefits and features that portable power banks offer, it makes sense to purchase a high quality model that suits your needs and standards. By carrying it around with you all the time, you will find it easier to ensure the integrity of your power bank and use your device whenever you need it. So, purchase a good brand that offers the best value for your money.