These days, a person wants to keep his phone charged to the fullest because you never know when a phone runs out of battery. In such a case, it becomes difficult for a person to cope up with a dead phone because an emergency can occur at any time. Not only does your phone require to be charged, but also other devices such as battery-powered headphones, MP3 players, portable speakers, etc, need charging as well.
With an increase in the usage of battery-powered electronic devices, there has been a significant increase in the usage of a power bank. With the help of a power bank, you can charge anything you want such as your mobile phone, speakers, MP3 Players, etc. However, it is essential that these devices have a USB Charging Interface without which you cannot use a power bank.
What is a Power Bank?
Power Bank is basically a portable battery that uses circuitry to control all the power going in or going out. This is charged with a USB charger and with this, you can charge other devices such as mobile phones, speakers, etc.
Power Bank Types
Power banks are of different types that you can buy. There are different criteria added to this including the size of the power bank. Different kinds of Power Banks include the following:
Universal or Standard Power Bank
Universal or Standard power banks are those power banks that are easily available to users like in an online store or an offline store for that matter. These power banks are charged from a normal USB source like USB chargers. In these power banks, you will get to know the current state of your power bank with the help of an indication, which is usually a small LED lamp or some alphanumeric display which shows that the power bank has been charged. Once fully charged, you can use it to charge other devices.
Solar Power Bank
As the name suggests, these are the power banks that use sunlight to charge up. It is done by photovoltaic panels and they are only able to trickle-charge the internal battery when you place it directly under the sunlight because of relatively smaller solar cells. However, these still prove to be quite fruitful to you but you need to keep in mind that these work potentially under sunny or bright conditions.
Since charging via solar power is quite slow, there is another way with which you can charge this power bank and that is the usage of USB Charger. Solar charging could be a great backup, especially during traveling. Some of the advanced solar power banks come with solar panels that fold out to dish out a larger Sun area. With this, the maximum amount of solar energy is converted. It can take over 24 hours for you to charge your solar power bank and with no sunlight during the evening and night, it might take longer.
Wireless Power Banks
These days, there are a lot of electronic devices that could be charged wirelessly such as ear pods, phones, etc. The Power Bank industry also picked up the trend and have introduced Wireless Power Banks, which are easier for a user to carry around. You can obtain power banks that could be charged themselves from a USB source, but they can charge phones and other devices wirelessly.
Just like every other wireless device, Power Banks also uses the same Qi standard to charge wirelessly. To charge a device, you will have to place the device on the power bank. You must read the instructions carefully where you will know exactly what to do. Usually, there is a button that you need to press, which will enable the charging capability of the device. Once your device is charged, it is advisable to turn off the power bank so that the charging circuitry is disabled and you do not waste any energy of your device.
Power Bank Lifetime
Power Banks have two different forms of a lifetime which include:
Charge Discharge Cycles
All rechargeable batteries wear out eventually. Usually, the battery life is measured by the number of charge-discharge cycles it completes before the performance starts wearing off. Cheaper power banks have a short life with something around 500 charge-discharge cycles whereas better ones have a better life.
All the battery cells, no matter whether they are rechargeable or are primary, have a level of self-discharge. To keep the rechargeable batteries alive these days, you only need a small amount of power, because of which they have a limited time where the battery remains charged and after that, it discharges itself.
Good power banks tend to hold up the charge for about 6 months and incur only a small loss. However, low-quality chargers are useful for about a month only.
Power Bank Battery Technology
The Power Banks run around only one form of battery, which is the lithium-based technology. The most commonly used lithium-based technology is Lithium-Polymer and Lithium-Ion batteries. However, newer technology will definitely hit the market soon enough. These two technologies have different properties which are as follows:
When you use a Lithium-Ion battery, you get a higher energy density. This means that these batteries are capable of storing more electrical energy in a certain volume or size. These do not cost a lot to the manufacturer, however, they might face an aging issue.
Lithium-polymer power banks, on the other hand, do not face any such aging issue and a lot of other things that make them a better choice for the user. However, these kinds of Power Banks cost more to the manufacturers and thus, it will cost you more, which might affect your budget. Thus, it is better if you spend less on a power bank because there is also always an issue of you accidentally losing your power bank.
All in all, these both are excellent performers in their own area and eventually, it goes down to the cost to performance ratio. If you are a gamer and play games on your mobile then battery drainage is high and you will require a good power bank!