Table of Contents
- Phone Charger Buyers Guide
- Don’t Get Stuck Again with a Dead Cell Phone Battery…
- Who needs a Power Bank?
- Knowing the Power Bank:
- Choosing the Right Battery Size:
- All about the Capacity of a Power Bank:
- Categorizing the Power Bank:
- Price and Quality of a Power Bank:
- How to Recharge a Power Bank?
- What is Input Rating and Pass through Feature?
- What do you mean by Output Rating?
- What do the LED lights indicate while the Power Bank is on Charging?
- Temperature Range for Charging:
- Tips When Charging a Power Bank
- Number of USB ports in a Power Bank
- Explaining the Structure and Build of a Power Bank
- Solar Power Bank
- Power Banks with Built-In Cables
- LED Lights on a Power Bank:
- Why Does it Take Longer to Charge a Smartphone From a Computer USB Than From a Wall Charger?
- UL Certification
- Non UL Certificated Power Banks:
- Mistakes Made While Choosing a Power Bank:
- How to Take Care of Your Power Bank?
- One Thing at One Time:
Phone Charger Buyers Guide
Keep Your Phone Alive with a Portable Cell Phone Charger that recharges Your Phone Battery on the Go!
Don’t Get Stuck Again with a Dead Cell Phone Battery…
Each day as we step out of our front door we carry at least one electronic gadget with us, if not more. In this world of technology and development, every other person has a smartphone, a tablet, a music player and a lot more must-have gadgets.
We carry these gadgets with us almost everywhere we go from to college to offices, even our friend’s place. These gadgets have evolved over time from a mere luxury into a basic need. But keeping all these gadgets isn’t as simple and smooth as it sounds.
We are either complaining about our smartphones with low charged batteries or how and why we forgot to put our phones on the charging pod at night. Without a charged battery our smartphones and other such electronic devices are worth nothing. Of course all of us want a solution to these charging problems.
Although there is no way you can completely rid yourself of the charging problems related to phones and other devices, thanks to the jaw dropping technology developments that are making our life easier and continue to do so every day. Technologists have been working to find out substitutes to the whole charging phenomena but have not yet succeeded. However, they have come up a technique as good as the substitution of charging.
Power Banks are a whole new phenomenon in the world of charging and battery power and is being widely being discussed these days. Power Bank is a solution to your ‘Battery Low’ pop ups and charging headaches. Power Bank is a device used to store energy into a rechargeable battery by forcing an electric current through it. To put it in simple words, Power Bank lets you recharge your smartphone whenever you want and wherever you are. The charging protocol depends on the size of the battery you are charging.
Your smartphones and tablets have tons of applications installed in them and hence even if you don’t use it much, the battery is drained in just a few hours. Many people do not purchase such devices simply following their instinct that why buy an expensive device whose battery doesn’t last even a day? Power Bank is a sigh of relief for all those who hate charging their phones and are tired of dead batteries during the busy day. Power Bank energizes your smartphones and tablets giving them life thus prolonging your device usage for hours.
A Modern Day Blessing: Power Bank has become a need for many. It offers connectors for various devices such as Samsung, iPhone and Blackberry devices. Additionally it also supports quite a few brands of digital cameras as well. How can we forget the need of using phones while travelling? You obviously need charged devices to let your loved ones know you have reached your destination safely or to know the exact location of a place while you are already on the roads.
With a wide range of specifications and ease, Power Bank has become a practical life saver for the busy as well as the lazy/forgetful.
Who needs a Power Bank?
The question that arises here is who really needs a Power Bank? Aren’t we doing just okay without it? Well people who need more battery power than a single fully charged one can provide and have to stay out for a long time during which their phone battery is discharged, really need a Power Bank. You cannot carry chargers along nor does every place you go have a charging socket readily available.
However, Power Banks are small in size and you can carry them in your purse or pocket easily. They are portable, convenient and once you own one, you no longer have to worry about using your phone carefully so as to conserve battery life. Power Bank is ideal for people who work all day and stay out of home, most of the day.
Considering how the installed applications, Wi-Fi connection and other services eat your battery, a Power Bank has become a must have for almost everybody. Plus you do not need any extra accessory for it.
Let us have a look at the features and services of a Power Bank so as to analyze the potential target market for a Power Bank:
- Convenience: No more charging and recharging hustle. It lets you charge your device anywhere anytime you wish.
- Portability: It comes in a small pocket size so you do not have to create any extra space to carry it along.
- Easy to Use: The Power Bank is no rocket science and is extremely easy to use.
- Saves Time: It keeps you from leaving home late because you had to recharge your smartphone. You can charge it on your way to the destination or once you reach it.
- Solves a Huge Problem: For those who have experienced a rough situation, where you have an emergency and want to call someone and your phone is dead, need no more persuasion on the importance of a Power Bank.
- Durability: Power Bank is a one-time investment and you can use it over and over again.
Assuming from the features a Power Bank possess, given below are the kinds of people who may need a Power Bank. Look for your kind and get a Power Bank if you exist in the list!
- Excessive Usage of Smartphones and other Devices: People who use their smartphones, tablets or notebooks excessively and need to charge it more than often.
- Too Lazy to Charge Via Circuits: People who are too lazy to get up and charge their smartphone and tablets through a circuit board.
On the Roads: People who travel and are mostly on the go.
- Too Much to Handle: People who have a lot going on at one time and have a busy schedule, use more than one device.
- Abundance of Devices: People who use more than one or two devices and literally have no time to worry about recharging them.
- Find a new excuse to give to your life partner, because a low battery is so not going to work anymore!
Don’t forget that if you have a Power Bank with high capacity, you can also charge your laptop using it so no more missing the important emails just because you ran out of battery power. Power Banks are built with Lithium batteries and hence perform excellent, even after they are charged a hundred times.
Knowing the Power Bank:
Before buying a Power Bank you must know certain things to choose the best one for yourself. Here are some of the things you should know about Power Banks.
Power Bank Battery Types:
Power Banks use two types of Lithium batteries for battery storage. Lithium batteries refer to disposable batteries having Lithium compounds or Lithium in its metallic form as anode.
- 1. Li-Ion Battery:
Lithium Ion Batteries have minimum capacity of 8.000mAh. Power Banks which use the lithium ion battery have slight bulky body.
- 2. Li-Polymer Battery:
The old models of Power Banks use this kind of battery having lithium polymer and have comparatively slim body than the ones with Lithium ion battery. This kind of battery usually has 250mAh.
- 1. Li-Ion Battery:
Power Bank Capacity:
Capacity of a Power Bank means the extent to which the Power Bank can store power in itself and then deliver to the devices. The capacity of Power Banks is not definite; rather it varies from brand to brand and model to model. The greater the capacity of a Power Bank greater is the power that can be saved to recharge your device later.
Power Banks consume 3.7 Volts for recharging device and 5 Volts for charging itself.
To have a more thorough understanding of the Power Bank Capacity, you must know the following formula:
Power Bank Capacity x Power Bank Voltage = Power of Power Bank
Power Bank Ports:
Usually the Power Banks have 2 ports, with 1A and 2A, where A means ampere. The power used for charging will determine how long it will take for the Power Bank to be fully charged.
Be Aware of Fake Power Banks:
Remember, you cannot label anything a five star just because it is costs your pocket a great deal. Do not use price as a standard or else you will fall prey to the fakes. Make sure you do not buy any Power Bank which is faked up in any way, because it can cause severe damage to your smartphone or any other device you charge from it. Usually Power Banks come with a one year warranty.
Choosing the Right Battery Size:
The Power Bank you are buying should have at least the same battery size as the battery size of your device, so that it provides you with a full charged device for once or else it won’t do you any good.
Let us say you have an iPhone 5 with a battery of 1440mAh. Your Power Bank should have at least this much to offer in order to ensure it charges your device just the right amount.
Abbreviation for: mAh stands for milli ampere per Hour
Definition: mAh stands for ‘The electric charge transferred past a specific circuit point by a current of an ampere in an hour’.
OR ‘A milliapmere hour is 1000th of an ampere hour’, which means 1000mAh = 1.0Ah.
It is often misunderstood that mAh is a unit of energy. However it is actually used to describe the energy charge that a battery will hold and the approximate time a device will run before the battery needs to be recharged.
Importance: It is an easy way to distinguish the capacity or strength of a battery. If you have a rechargeable battery, your mAh battery will show how long your battery will last or how much will the Power Bank recharge your device, every time it is fully charged. The higher is the mAh, the longer will be the life of your battery upon charging. Also, the age of the battery and the temperature it is being used at, regulate the battery life. Higher temperatures damage the battery and reduce its life span. Also, the battery needs to be kept away from moisture and dust to ensure a healthy and long life.
Consumption: The Battery Capacity does not mean how much current will be used in one operation, but the total current capacity which can be utilized to recharge your smartphones or tablets, depending upon the circuit and the device to be charged.
The number of charging cycles does not matter, but the amount of power used, does. A circuit might instead need only 950 mA of current for a certain operation. Let us says that the battery supplies 950 mA for 2 hours. Since 950 x 2 = 1900, we can say that the battery can supply 475 mA of current for 4 hours, since 475 x 4 = 1900. The product of the current consumed multiply by the number of hours in use must equal to the mAh specification.
All about the Capacity of a Power Bank:
Difference between Branded Capacity and Marking Capacity: Some of the frequently asked questions by a common user are:
‘What is the difference between a Generic Power Bank and a Branded Power Bank?’
You need to know that the word ‘branded’ in this context does not mean the literal branded. Branded Power Banks are sold in Real Capacity, while the Generic Power Banks are sold in the Marking Capacity, where real and marking are used in their actual context.
- You will never see a Branded Power Bank have a capacity as high as 30000mAh –50000mAh. A good Power Bank of capacity of 12000mAh–50000mAh can charge about the same as a Power Bank of capacity 30000 mAh-50000mAh.
How much Capacity of a Power Bank do you need?
We all have different needs to charge our smartphones and tablets, depending upon the required recharging and our device capacity. Devices have their own requirements of charging, some require a lot of time to charge, some need less. To know the capacity of a Power Bank best suited for you, you first need to determine your usage.
If you are away from the charger for the whole day, you need a Power Bank with a huge capacity, however if like many you ‘might’ need extra charging during the day, or do not have high consumption of battery recharging, you can opt for a Power Bank with a relatively smaller capacity.
The key is to know the capacity of the devices you will use the Power Bank for. For example, if your smartphone has a battery of 1500mAh, a Power Bank of capacity 1500mAh will fully charge it once.
If you buy a Power Bank with less capacity than 1500mAh, it may not do you any good. Of course a Power Bank with a larger capacity will provide you with more charging, but do not purchase a Power Bank which has ‘too much’ more capacity than you need.
Does Capacity of a Battery affect the Charging Speed of a Power Bank?
If you think that a Power Bank having a battery with high capacity will charge your smartphone or tablet faster than the one with a battery of low capacity, then you are quite wrong. The speed of charging is not determined by the capacity of the battery, but by the output current.
Power Banks with lower and higher capacity will charge your devices at the same speed or rate, if the output current remains same. To sum up, at the end of a specific time let us say half an hour, devices being charged from Power Banks with different capacities will be equally charged. However, Power Banks with higher capacity will charge more than their opposite other over time.
Categorizing the Power Bank:
There is no specific way to categorize a Power Bank. You can place them into different categories, by segmenting them on the basis of price, capacity, brand, size and more. Here is one of the classifications of Power Bank:
Special Class Power Banks can charge Tablets and Notebooks along with iPhones and other smartphones. To your surprise they can even start up the car when the battery is worn out. They usually start at higher capacities, while some models are tailored only to specific market sectors. They are costly but worth the features they provide.
The Business Class Power Banks cost less than the Special Class Power Banks. They have a capacity range of 3000mAh to 10000mAh. They can charge phones and tablets and are mostly equipped with two ports, one each for phones and tablets.
Economy Class Power Banks are the lowest in cost. However they do not provide full charging to the phone, but charge up to 50%. They have a capacity range of 2200mAh to 3000mAh and are perfect for charging phones in an emergency. They are however not meant to charge devices with batteries of high capacity like tablets and iPads.
Price and Quality of a Power Bank:
You must be wondering if the Power Bank is a solution to such big problems we face every day regarding our smartphones and tablets, then it must be really expensive. But alas you are wrong. Power Banks are very conveniently affordable are do not burden your pocket.
Price and quality go hand in hand. The better the quality the greater will be the price. Of course better quality is expensively manufactured and hence charged more. Also, the price of a Power Bank depends upon the capacity it is offering. The greater the capacity the greater will be the price of the Power Bank.
But a heartbreaking price tag and a high capacity grade is not an insurance of quality. Some companies charge you more and pay you less, which means they label their devices for a high amount, to create the aura of quality.
Let’s have a look at one of the best Power Bank available on amazon.com and their price tags:
Mophie Power station Mini for iPhone/iPads/Tablets/USB device
This Power Bank offers great features. It is beautiful in appearance and can charge all Apple and Android devices, hence you can call it an Apple portable charger. Nevertheless it is only tagged for £39.95.
How to Recharge a Power Bank?
When you buy a new Power Bank, it will already be charged about 40 %, for your convenience, so you can use it immediately. However, you need to charge it for a whole lot of hours the first time.
To use the Power Bank and recharge it, you can employ the following ways:
You can charge your Power Bank by plugging one end of the USB cable to an electrical adapter which accepts a USB cable and plugs into a wall socket directly and the other end to your Power Bank.
Micro USB Way:
You can charge your Power Bank by connecting the Micro USB end of the cable to the Micro USB port on the Power Bank, and the standard USB end of the cable to a computer, with power ON. You can also connect the standard end of the USB cable to any other USB source, other than the computer’s port.
In short, you need to follow the given steps to charge your Power Bank:
- Connect one end of the Cable to the USB port on the Power Bank.
- Connect the other end of the Cable to the electrical adapter.
- Switch on the button on your circuit.
- The Power Bank will now charge.
- To charge your Power Bank from a computer, connect one end of the Cable to the Power Bank and the other to the Power Bank.
- Make sure your computer is ON.
What is Input Rating and Pass through Feature?
The key to recharging the Power Bank is Input Rating. The higher the Input Rating of your Power Banks, the faster your Power Bank will charge. Some Power Banks also offer a Pass through feature, but you have to pay extra for that. Pass through allows Power Banks to function as a USB hub, which means you can simultaneously charge you mobile and Power Bank. So you don’t even have to wait for the Power Bank to recharge itself, rather you can recharge the Power Bank and the smartphone or tablet together.
Nevertheless, it makes sure that the Power Bank is always energized and ready to charge your device, whenever and wherever you go, making it a win-win situation.
What do you mean by Output Rating?
Output Rating reflects how fast the Power Bank will charge your device. Usually Power Banks offer 1A and 2A output ratings. 1A is for smartphones while 2A serves to recharge your tablets. You can however use any of the outputs USB ports to charge any of your USB devices.
Remember that it will only use the power it needs. But there is a possibility that certain iPods and other tablets will not charge from the 1A output due to their greater capacity needs. If the Power Bank has more than one output, than the maximum total capacity will be the key.
What do the LED lights indicate while the Power Bank is on Charging?
Power Banks usually come with LED lights of different colors, which indicate different things. Usually the Red lights illuminates while the Power Bank is charging. Once your Power Bank is fully charged, the Red LED light will turn OFF.
Power Banks have automatic shutoff feature which prevents the Power Bank from any over-charging damage. Also Power Banks have different energy levels which are indicated by LED lights as well.
Temperature Range for Charging:
The operating temperature range is between 32o C to 100o C, while temperature below 0o will lengthen the charge time and temperature above 100o will reduce the battery life and decrease the performance of the Power Bank.
Tips When Charging a Power Bank
Here are some of the things you need to be careful of while charging:
- Keep it Dry: Do not use the Power Bank with wet hands, while charging or otherwise.
- Keep Away from Children: Do not let children play with the Power Bank; it is not a toy any ways.
- Do Not Let the Power Bank Overheat: Do not charge your Power Bank under blankets or pillows. This may lead to overheating and damage the health of your Power Bank.
- Let it Breathe: Use your Power Bank in a well-ventilated area to avoid heating during charging.
- Cleanliness is Half Faith: Prevent your Power Bank from any sort of dust or dirt.
- Do Not Leave the Power Bank on its Own: Do not leave your Power Bank in the car when it is hot outside. This may cause the Power Bank to overheat and damage the battery.
- Do Not Operate: Do not open the casing of Lithium battery or try to discover the mystery of your Power Bank by disassembling it.
- Charge and Only Charge: Do not use it for any other purpose, than charging your device.
- Say a Warm Goodbye: When the Power Bank is not anymore of your use, dispose of carefully and properly. Remember Power Banks have batteries inside them and need to be get rid of properly.
Number of USB ports in a Power Bank
How many USB ports does a Power Bank have? Well, there is no specific number of ports that a Power Bank has. The number of ports varies from Power Bank to Power Bank and model to model.
The least number of ports in a Power Bank is 2; one to charge the Power Bank and the other to charge the device from the Power Bank, for example smartphones, tablets and notebooks.
Usually the Power Banks widely used have 2 USB ports, one input USB port and one output USB port. The smaller port you can see in the picture is to charge the Power Bank while the larger ones are to charge the smartphone or tablet.
Input USB Port: The smaller port used to charge the Power Bank is referred as Input USB Port as it brings in the power and charges the Power Bank.
Output USB Port: The relatively larger port used to charge smartphones and tablets, is called the
Output USB Port as it flows out the power of the Power Bank and charges the smartphone or tablet.
However, this is not it about USB ports. Certain Power Banks come with 3 USB ports as well, one to charge the Power Bank, one to charge smartphones and one to charge tablets, or let us call them 1 input USB port and 2 output USB ports.
Since tablets smartphones and tablets have different charging needs and for a safer mode need to be charged with different powers, Power Banks provide separate charging ports for each.
Also, if you are wondering about the situation otherwise, a mutual port for smartphones and tablets has also been doing great in many Power Bank, unless of course the Power Bank possesses the capacity to charge the tablet.
Charging the Power Bank and the Devices at One Time: At this point a question might arise in your mind. Can I charge the Power Bank and my smartphone or tablet at one time? Some Power Banks support this feature, some don’t.
We however do not recommend recharging the Power Bank and the device at one point from a Power Bank which has one output USB port only. It may harm the Power Bank in a longer run. With 2 or more output ports, of course you can easily recharge various devices together, but even then avoid recharging them while recharging the Power Bank.
Dealing With More Than One Output USB Port: You know that the Power Banks with 2 or more output USB ports have larger capacity than the ones with 1 output USB port. Hence you don’t have to worry about dividing the total capacity into various devices and not charging any of them fully.
You can easily and conveniently charge the Power Bank and 2 or more devices with Power Banks having 2 or more output USB ports. Both the devices being charged will get equal share of power.
Explaining the Structure and Build of a Power Bank
To make you understand the apparent structure and build of a Power Bank, we have taken the example of a Power Bank, one of the finest Power Banks available in market today. Please refer to the diagram to understand the build of a general Power Bank.
Input and Output USB Ports: You can clearly see a 5V/2.4A output USB port to charge the devices and a 5V/1.3A micro-USB port for charging the Power Bank.
ON/OFF Button: There is a button provided to switch ON and switch OFF your Power Bank.LED
Light for Power Level: The Power Bank has lights to display 4 levels of power still left in your Power Banks. This helps you to know how much power is stored in your Power Bank, how much will it charge your smartphone or tablet and when is there a need to charge your Power Bank again. This keeps you from wondering about how much power must be left in the Power Bank.
Built-In Output Cable: A built in cable means a cable which comes along with device and has space to stay attached with the Power Bank and hence is so named. As you can see in the diagram given above, the output cable grey in color is attached to the Power Bank and is a part of the body of the Power Bank, hence referred to as a ‘built in cable’.
You no longer have to worry about forgetting either the Power Bank or the USB cable at home. It actually gets irritating to ensure keeping the cable with the Power Bank and in case it is not provided with Power Bank, spending more dollars for it.
A built in cable helps both the friends stay together, minimizing the chances to lose or forget any one of them. A built in cable adds to your comfort and convenience.
Dimensions: The Power Bank clearly satisfies the definition of ‘Portable’. It is just 0.68 inches in width and 2.59 inches in depth. The Power Bank is 5.23 inches in length, which means it can easily fit in your pocket and you can conveniently carry it with you anywhere you go.
Power Banks with Lithium Ion Batteries
Power Banks differ in their batteries and capacity. The batteries can be distinguished and defined by the battery type, output delivery and capacity they possess.
Almost all of the batteries used in Power Banks are based on Lithium Ion or Lithium Polymer technology, the most efficient and the safest one among the available choices. Also while purchasing a Power Bank, make sure it has a Lithium supported battery.
Lithium Ion Battery: Lithium Ion batteries have a high energy density, no memory effect and slow loss of power when remain unused. Due to the excellent features and convenience they provide, Lithium ion batteries are commonly used in consumer electronics.
These batteries use an intercalated lithium compound as an electrode material, compared to the metallic lithium which is used in a non-rechargeable lithium battery.
A Lithium Ion battery charges in three steps:
- Constant Current
- Voltage Source
Let’s have a rough look at some of the Pros and Cons of a Lithium Ion battery:
Pros of Lithium Ion Batteries:
- Has high energy density
- Low maintenance
- Potential for higher capacities
- Very low self-discharge
Cons of Lithium Ion Batteries:
- Expensive manufacturing
- Shipment of larger quantities has transport restrictions
- Subject to aging
- It requires protection circuit to maintain voltage and currents within safe limits.
Power Banks with Lithium Polymer Batteries:
A Lithium Polymer battery is a rechargeable battery of lithium ion in a pouch format. Yes, you read it right. The ‘lithium polymer’ confuses the battery users a lot.
The lithium polymer is so called because the technology using a polymer electrolyte is used in making the batteries rather than the usual liquid electrolyte, resulting in a thin and flexible battery.
The lithium polymer battery has a different shape than the lithium polymer battery and has no risks of electrolyte leakage. There are no significant differences in the features though.
Here are some of the pros and cons of a Lithium Polymer Battery:
Pros of Lithium Polymer Batteries:
- Light in weight
- Packed with aluminum plastic
- Can be recharged thousands times, without any effect on the efficiency.
- Can be molded in a variety of shapes
- Works good within a wide range of temperature
Cons Lithium Polymer Batteries:
- High risks of exploding in case of overheating or overcharging
- Expensive than others
- They are very delicate and require a strict supervision
- These batteries are covered with a plastic or metal casing, and connected to USB ports.
Batteries are the most important aspect of a Power Bank. You need to consider Power Banks which have batteries produced by trusted manufacturers. Samsung cells are great to consider, with fast charging capability and better safety characteristics.
However we have already told you that the deciding which battery capacity you need depends upon your usage. If you need to charge devices more than once a day, or devices which require higher capacity like Notebooks and iPads, you need to get a Power Bank with a high capacity.
Solar Power Bank
Solar Charger: Solar means anything related to Sun, the forever Goddess of energy. A solar charger uses solar energy to supply electricity or power to devices or to charge batteries. Solar chargers are mostly portable.
How do Solar Chargers Work? Solar chargers are capable of charging lead acid or Ni-Cd battery bank up to 48 V and hundreds of ampere per hour. Charge controllers are used for such chargers. A series of solar cell array plates are placed separately on rood top and are connected to battery bank. A solar panel is able to produce a range of charging voltages, obviously depending on the intensity of sunlight.
A voltage regulator is hence necessary in the charging circuit to regulate and control the voltage supply. Solar energy has high capacity while the use may be less; therefore charge regulators are a must security measure as well.
Portable Solar Chargers: Solar chargers which are portable are widely being used to charge cell phones, tablets and other electronics. The solar Power Banks use different types of solar panels, like the inefficient thin film panels with an efficiency of 10 % or even less. The solar Power Banks also use the solar panels which are way more efficient, like the mono crystalline panels which have an efficiency of up to 19 %.
What are the Plus Points of a Solar Power Bank?
Well, the name Solar Power Bank speaks for itself. Imagine a portable charger which you can recharge and use again and again, that too with sunlight. No carrying cables and adapters along. All you need is a solar Power Bank, sunlight and you are good to go. No more dead batteries, no more forgetting cables at home, no more paying for charging devices. The comfort and convenience is unmatched.
Lets have a look at some of the Pros and Cons of a solar Power Bank:
Pros of Solar Power Bank:
- Convenience: Solar Power Banks are convenient and easy to use. You are free of any hustles of capacity, cables, limited charging and overheating.
- Quick as a wink: The Solar Power Banks charge the devices. The Solar Power Bank will fully charge your smartphone in about 2 to 3 hours due to the high capacity of the solar energy.
- Unmatched Capacity: Since the Solar Power Bank energizes itself from sunlight, it is high capacity. Way more than any other portable charger.
- Batteries Have a Long Life: The batteries have more power than any other charger and a long lifespan as well.
- LED Display: The LED display shows how much power is still stored and also the charging status, like how much has the Solar Power Bank been charged.
- Portability: The Solar Power Bank sounds like something huge with a complicated system.
- However contrary to popular belief, the Solar Power Bank is easy and portable. You can conveniently carry it with you wherever you go. Charges Devices with High Capacity: Since the Solar Power Bank is charged from the sole energizer, it can easily charge your laptop and other devices with high capacity like notebooks.
- One Time Investment: The Solar Power Bank is free after purchase. You can easily charge it by exposing it to sunlight, without spending even a penny. Although regular chargers also do not consume a lot of electricity, still ‘free’ sounds way better than ‘negligible price’.
Hybrid System: Solar Power Banks are hybrids, meaning they can also recharge from sunlight as well the regular electric charging. However some Solar Power Banks do not offer regular electric charging and recharge from sunlight only.
Cons of Solar Power Bank:
- The Greatest Advantage is the Greatest Drawback: The Solar Power Bank charges from sunlight, which means the Solar Power Bank cannot charge itself in the evening and later. The Solar Power Bank can hence not help you always.
- Price Tag: The Solar Power Banks are expensive than the regular Power Banks.
- Long Self Charging Time: The Solar Power Bank although charges the smartphone and tablets very quickly, but it takes a long time to charge itself.
How to Use the Solar Power Bank?
The Solar Power Bank is used the same way a non-solar Power Bank is used.
1. Press the switch ON button.
2. The LED display will light up.
3. Choose the USB port and connection wire for the device you wish to charge.
4. Plug one end of the connection to the device you are about to charge and the other to the Output USB port of the Solar Power Bank.
5. Your device is already on charging!
Safety Measures for the Solar Power Bank:
Given below are some of the security measures you must take, for your Solar Power Bank to perform with the best of its abilities:
Keep it dry: Keep your Solar Power Bank away from water, rain, fire and moisture.
One Device at One Time: To have your Solar Power Bank working for a long time, you need to charge one device at one time. Do not use the output USB ports simultaneously.
Do Not Try to Disassemble the Power Bank: Do not open the casing of the charger or try to disassemble it.
Keep away from children: Keep the Solar Power Bank away from children.
Discharge and Recharge: If you do not plan to use the Solar Power Bank for a long time, fully discharge and recharge it before putting it on hibernation.
Power Banks with Built-In Cables
Built In meaning: Built in means being an integral part of the structure.
Built in Cable of a Power Bank: A Power Bank having a built in cable or a cable which is attached along the Power Bank, will be referred to as a Power Bank having a built in cable.
Importance of built in Cable: Well, a built in cable keeps you from forgetting your cable somewhere and saves you from purchasing a cable otherwise. Nobody wants to carry tons of accessories for one device. We all want convenience and one thing that ensures it less things to deal with.
How does a Power Bank with a Built In Cable Makes your Life Easier?
Power Bank constitutes of a battery bank and a cable. That’s it. Just the two of them will make your life easy. But how about minimizing the two to one? Sounds perfect, right? A Power Bank with a built in cable makes your life easier than ever before.
Listed below are some of the greatest advantages of a Power Bank having a built in cable:
- Let your Memory Rest: The Power Bank with a built in cable gives your memory glands a rest. You don’t have to worry about keeping all your accessories of a Power Bank together. Do not worry. You will forget the cable at home, because the Power Bank will itself ensure that the both stick together.
- Saves Space: It saves space in your handbag and pockets. Especially the built in cable of a Power Bank eases men. Men do not carry bags along, their drawer is their pocket, and an over filled pocket looks ugly. The cable is built in the Power Bank, hence occupies less space.
- Adds to your accessory: The built in cable can be detached from the Power Bank, which means you can use it for other personal purposes as well. (That’s our secret)
- Convenience: What could be more convenient than two essential devices minimized into one? We all look for smartphones which are thinner, so a reduced size of Power Bank is a blessing for us.
LED Lights on a Power Bank:
Usage: LED lights on a Power Bank indicate how much power is still stored in the Power Bank. Many Power Banks have 4 power levels indicating the amount of power still stored in the Power Bank. Power Banks have LED lights of different colors for different purposes.
Mostly the red light blinks when the Power Bank is charging itself and the blue light when the Power Bank charges the smartphone, tablet or any other device. Also, some Power Banks have different colored LED lights for different power levels of a Power Bank.
Nevertheless, certain Power Banks also have LED light as a torch. You don’t have to search for your phone lost in the blankets, at night. Just pick up your Power Bank and boom!
Is LED light an essential feature of a Power Bank?
Well, it is not essential, but it’s a plus point for a Power Bank. It is always good to know how much power or energy you still have in the Power Bank. It helps you know when you have to charge the Power Bank, and helps you make an approximation of how the Power Bank will charge your smartphone or tablet.
You don’t have to assume and calculate how much you used it and how much might still be stored in the Power Bank.
However, it is not a must have for a Power Bank. Without LED light feature, Power Banks still help you the way they do with those sparkling lights.
Knowing the LED lights
Abbreviation: LED stands for Light Emitting Diode.
What is an LED? An LED or an LED light is a two lead semiconductor light source. It is a pn-junction diode and emits light when activated. As in other diodes, the current flows from the anode to the cathode. The electrons carry charge and flow with different voltages.
Colors: An LED light is usually of the following colors:
Why use LED lights?
Lets have a look at the Pros and Cons of LED lights, to know why they are preferred over the usual lights.
- Greater lifespan than the usual lights
- Durable and versatile
- Electrical efficiency is great as compared to the incandescent lights
- LED lights do not need warm up time
- Save a lot of electricity
- Does not contain any hazardous material
- Bulbs do not heat up much, during usage
- LED lights are comparatively expensive
- They are not widely and easily available
- Has limitations when used for illumination with white light
- LED lights may not be efficient in high temperature
Why Does it Take Longer to Charge a Smartphone From a Computer USB Than From a Wall Charger?
Well, this is an established fact that a device charges slower when charged from a Computer USB compared to when charged from a wall charger. Why is it so?
The Voltage and Amperage Drama: Your device charges slower from a Computer USB because the Computer provides a lower amperage and voltage than by a normal wall charger, hence your device charges slower.
Low milliamperes: The Computer USB port has a limited delivery of milliamperes and is limited to 500milliamperes only while the regular wall charger delivers a 1000milliampere or more. Let us take the example of a device which uses 300 mA The Computer USB port will have 200 mA left to charge the battery while the wall charge will have 700 mA left.
These days, a regular smartphone has a capacity of 1500mAh, which means that a current of 1500 mA will charge the smartphone in an hour. However, the same battery will charge in 5 hours over the Computer USB 2.0 port and in one and a half hour from the wall charger.
Distributed Power: A Computer has a lot of going on at one time. It performs tons of functions even when it is just ON. On the other hand a wall charger is just meant to perform one function; charge your device.
Hence the power of a Computer is distributer among various functions being performed, while the wall charger simply delivers the power into your device, undisturbed and unaffected by anything else.
Abbreviated For: Underwriters Laboratories
History: Founded by William Henry Merril in 1894, UL is an American based company for consultation and certification. Underwriters Laboratories has 200 inspection centers and more than 46 laboratories across 70 nations.
Underwriters Laboratories applies about 750 of its standards to about 18000 different types of products and services manufactured and provided by 60,000 different names
Working Field: UL provides validation, auditing, inspection and safety related certification to various clients which include policymakers, manufacturers, consumers, retailers and service companies. To make it simple to understand, UL has standards setup to judge and analyze different products and service.
UL certification refers to an approval by Underwriters Laboratories as to whether the product or service is safe enough for the consumer and the environment or not. However the UL certification refers only to the safety while the product or service is in use and is not a trademark of performance and quality.
Non UL Certificated Power Banks:
Batteries are usually judged and analyzed on the basis of whether or not is the battery UL certified. A battery undergoes Mechanical, Environmental, Electrical and Fire Exposure Tests to get a UL certified.
Some Power Banks reduce their expenses by not applying for a UL certification, but it marks a question mark on the safety of the Power Bank and the devices to be charged from the Power Bank.
Every company will have its device UL certified if it cares about the consumer. Since the Power Banks deal with batteries and lithium and God knows what, you must always buy a Power Bank who has a UL certification. Why risk your safety when you have safer options available?
Mistakes Made While Choosing a Power Bank:
The market has various Power Banks, offering great features. In a market of high demand, where the white hats are trying their best to provide their customers with the best product, the black sheep also exist, wanting to earn a great amount of dollars, while compromising on the quality.
Hence, it as a customer, it is your own responsibility to buy products from your trusted dealers and shop keepers, in order to stay safe from the fakes. A common customer who does not know much about the technology can make quite a lot of mistakes while choosing a Power Bank for himself.
Here we are making you aware of certain mistakes you might do while purchasing a Power Bank. Make sure you do not make them.
- Cheap Price and the Attraction: Lesser price attracts us all. That is simple human nature. However what you need to know is that you do not have to fall prey to the cheap price stimulus. Some Power Banks are using refurbished batteries, to produce their Power Banks in a less budget and hence compromise on the quality.
- Choose a Power Bank which offers warranty or a brand you trust: It is always fine to pay a little more and get the service you need, than pay less and get less in return.
- Avoid Power Banks which do not have UL Certification: UL Certification ensures that the Power Bank has standard quality control and real output, which ensures the safety of your Power Bank. Never buy a Power Bank without a UL certification.
Power Bank which suits your device: While purchasing Power Banks you need to be careful with the capacity of the device you have to charge. The Power Bank should be compatible to your device, with no less and no more capacity than your device.
Consider the Features being Offered:
- Following features need to be strongly considered and not avoided while choosing a Power Bank:
- Heat detecting feature to avoid overheating during charge and to avoid any damage to the smartphone or tablet which is being charged.
- Over charging protection
- Protection against short circuit
- Battery Consideration:
- Battery is the most important feature of any Power Bank. Some people do not lay an eye on the battery of the Power Bank. Make sure your battery is compatible to the charging needs of your device.
How to Take Care of Your Power Bank?
You do not just have to be careful while buying a Power Bank, but you also have to take care of the Power Bank throughout its stay with you. As they say no matter how much money you have saved, if you stop earning, the treasure sooner or later ends one day.
Similarly if you have bought an expensive Power Bank and you do not take care of it properly, it will decay. Your responsibility does not end at buying a good Power Bank, but continues to ensure its good health and long life.
Given below are some of the great tips to keep your Power Bank as good as ever, for a long time.
- Frequent Usage: For the Power Bank to work fine for a long time, you need to use it more than often. If you do not feel the need to use it frequently, discharge and recharge the Power Bank completely at least once a month. Using it frequently will help increase the life of the Power Bank and improve its battery health. The more it is going to stay in business, the better it will perform and keep on performing.
- Keep Away from Fire:
Never throw the Power Bank into fire, or bring it in contact with fire. The Lithium batteries can explode and cause serious damage to your whereabouts.
- Use the Original Power Bank Charger Only: To keep the Power Bank safe, only use the original Power Bank charger provided. Usage of any external chargers can damage the Power Bank and the device you will charge from it.
- Do Not Disassemble: Don’t try to disassemble the Power Bank or modify its configuration. Any such action can lead to overheating, short circuit and other consequences.
- Keep away from Water: Water can damage the Power Bank. Keep the device away from water and avoid exposing it to high temperatures which may cause water and moisture damage to the Power Bank. To protect it from water, you can use protective cases for your Power Bank, which are easily available in the market.
- Use it with Compatible Devices Only: Do not use your Power Bank to recharge a device of higher capacity than that of the Power Bank. Also avoid using it with devices of lower capacities. Always look for a compatible Power Bank for your device. Too much and too little of anything is fatal.
- Avoid Overcharging: Although Power Banks come with protection against overheating, you still need to avoid charging it for a very long time in order to keep it safe and durable. Do not put your Power Bank on charging and forget it like it never existed.
- Handle it with Care: Avoid dropping your Power Bank and handle it gently. Power Banks are sensitive to external or shocking forces. Dropping or knocking the Power Bank can damage the internal circuit of the Power Bank charger and affect the performance and health of it.
Avoid Usage in Case of Unusual Conditions
- Color Change
- Electrolytic liquid leakage
One Thing at One Time:
We advise you to use charge the Power Bank first and then use it to recharge your smartphone or tablet, one at a time. Do not charge the Power Bank and the device together.
However, certain Power Banks conveniently support this feature, but unless not mentioned its expertise in the concerned area, do not use the Power Bank to recharge your device while it is busy charging itself.
Maintain Cleanliness: Clean your Power Bank to keep it from any dust and dirt.
The Child Guide: Keep it out of reach of children.
Power Banks are a great possession to have. They ease your life and make it convenient. We all hate charging our devices every day, and now that the smartphones and devices consume a lot of battery we need to charge it more than once.
Power Banks are a solution to our laziness and busy and hectic schedules. We sleep while using our electronic gadgets and absolutely forget to connect them to the charger.
In such cases, Power Bank is of great help. It is simple and easy to use and yet comes with great features to facilitate us with the latest technology development.
Power Bank simply charges itself first, stores the energy and later thanks you for charging it, by delivering the stored energy to your smartphones and tablets.
Nevertheless the manufacturers have developed Power Banks with higher capacities to let you charge you charge your Notebooks and laptops as well. What more could you ask for?
Who had thought we could charge laptops with portable external battery chargers? Thanks to the technology attributes which make our life easier than yesterday. The fact that we no longer have to wait to get back home and continue with our work on smartphones and laptops, is such a bliss.
Many of us get frustrated when our laptop battery drains during completion of an assignment, but it seems like we no longer have to worry about it.
Power Banks come in different capacities. You can decide which Power Bank to purchase depending upon your usage and selecting your Power Bank accordingly. As we told you earlier, you need to purchase a Power Bank which is compatible to your device.
Getting a Power Bank with a greater capacity than your device will not give you extra charging or power, rather it can damage your device. Too little and too much is not to opt for.
Power Banks use Lithium Ion and Lithium Polymer battery. However it is essential for your Power Bank’s battery to have a UL Certification, else your Power Bank can be dangerous for yourself and the environment. Since it has Lithium and batteries have chances of explosion, you must ensure that you purchase a Power Bank with UL certification.
Solar Power Banks charge from sunlight, directly. No data cable, no hustle. You just have to expose them to sunlight and boom. Your Power Bank will recharge and then deliver the power to your device. However they only charge from sunlight so if go campaigning, make sure you charge at day time, to avoid any inconvenience when the Sun is resting.
LED lights are also a great feature of the Power Bank. They let you know how much power you have and how much you need. They also let you estimate how much the Power Bank will charge your smartphone or tablet and how much more you need for a full recharge.
The market has numerous Power Banks on sale but you need to be smart enough to choose the right for yourself. This guide covers all the possible mistakes consumers might make while purchasing a Power Bank. Do not rush for a Power Bank with 3 Output USB ports just because it is big and oh-so-cool.
If your ready to shop for a phone charger check out these Amazon Best Seller List:
- Best Sellers in Portable Cell Phone Power Banks
- Best Sellers in Cell Phone Batteries & Battery Packs