In today’s world, it’s becoming increasingly important to stay connected at all times. Whether it’s for work, communication with friends and family, or entertainment, our devices play a vital role in our daily lives. However, all of that usage takes a toll on our devices’ batteries, which is where power banks come in. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at power banks, what is?, how it works?, what it contains, and more.
What Is Power Bank?
A Power Bank, as the name suggests, is your personal bank where you can withdraw power as and when needed and keep your devices charged. Also, just like a money bank, Power Bank needs to be charged/filled-up once, and you can keep on withdrawing as and when you want till there is a power balance left.
A typical Power Bank is a simple device that has four components – A Li-Ion battery, internal electronic circuitry to control the charging and discharging, USB ports for power discharge and a port for charging. The entire assembly of these four components is fixed in a strong casing to make this device light-weight and portable.
Due to the smart internal circuitry of the Power Bank, it is able to differentiate between the ‘charge vs. discharge’ and also understand the recipient devices power specs before starting the power transfer. The devices are smart enough to prevent overcharging itself, over discharging when connected to a device, over voltage, short circuits, over current discharge and over-heating in either of the activities. For a smart phone to really function smartly, besides internet, one needs to be invest in a Power Bank for sure.
What Power Bank Contains?
Usually, power banks are consists of:
- A rechargeable battery.
- A circuitry board to occure charging and discharging process.
- Single or multiple input and output ports for input and output charging.
How Power Bank Works?
A power bank is a portable battery that stores (when you plug it into a charge) and discharges (when you connect your smartphone or devices to charge with the power bank) electrical energy via circuit board through USB cable.
Portable power banks consist of a battery placed in a case which stores electrical energy and have a special microprocessor circuitry connected to a PCB to control the power flow. These are usually made of cylindrical lithium ion or low profile Lithium polymer. It receives power through a dedicated input socket. This power can come mainly from USB socket or a computer. It uses a mini or Micro USB sockets for charging and a full-sized USB for discharging. Even though power banks can use the same USB socket for input and output, frequent practice of the same can damage the battery.
The output has to be stepped up to 5V to be able to charge the smartphone. For the same, there is a DC-DC step up transformer inside the Power bank. The time taken to fully charge a power bank depends on its capacity and its current power level. In general, smaller units take less time (3-4 hours) to charge while high-capacity ones take around 15-18 hours. The LED indicator inside a power bank shows when they are at capacity. It also has a safety cut off in the circuitry itself to prevent overcharging, over discharging, short circuit, over current and overheating.
What Are The Features OF Power Bank?
These are the features you need to understand about power banks-:
1. Understanding Battery & Capacity:
Generally, a power contains lithium polymer (Li-po) or lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries to store electrical energy. And batteries are the main components of power banks.
The capacity of the power bank is usually measured in milliampere-hour (mAh) for example 5000mAh, 10000mAh, 15000mAh, 20000mAh, and so on. The more the mAh number the more a power bank can able to store electrical energy.
2. Understanding Circuit Board:
A circuit board is an essential component of any power bank since it controls the flow of electrical energy in or out (while charging itself or charging any mobile). It also ensures the safety and efficient charging of each connected device.
In addition, a good-quality charging circuit prevents heating, gives high charging conversion, controls high voltage current in or out, and saves your devices from damage.
3. Understanding Ports & Connectivity:
Power bank ports are ports that are used to charge the power bank’s internal battery or to connect devices to the power bank and charge them. There are typically two types of ports on a power bank: input port and Output ports.
Input Ports: Input port is a port that is used to charge the power bank’s internal battery. Those ports are may be Micro-USB or USB Type-C.
Output Ports: Output ports are ports that are use to transfer power bank’s energy to mobile or devices. Usually, output ports are USB Type-A (single or multiple) and USB Type-C.
4. Understanding Fast Charging & Compatibility:
Power bank fast charging is a feature that allows a power bank to charge a mobile or device battery at a faster rate than a standard power bank. It is achieved through the use of higher current or voltage, which can increase the rate at which the device’s battery is charged. Fast Charging measured as 12Watt, 18Watt, 20Watt and so on. Some power banks also supports Power Delivery, Quick Charge, etc fast charging protocols to charge your mobile in relatively less time than standard power bank.
To fast charge your mobile with power bank you must need:
- A fast charging supported Power Bank.
- A fast charging supported USB cable.
- And, fast charging supported Mobile or Device.
5. Understanding Power Indicators:
Power Indicators are in-built in the power bank to show power percentage of the power bank. Usually, a power bank has four LED power lights: one light shows 0-25% energy which means if the power bank glows it all four lights then it means the power bank has 100% charged. Power indicators are helpful to make out whether the power bank needs to be re-charge or not.
You should be able to see how much juice your Power Bank contains just like you can see that in your smartphone. This will help you make sure that you are not stepping out with a power bank that itself is not charged. Having an indicator will also help you keep an eye on the power available on the power bank with you so that you know how much use you can make of your mobile before you get to a power socket.
6. Understanding Power Auto-cut Feature:
A Power Bank stops supplying enery to each connected device if the device would fully charged. This is the essential work of Power Auto-cut feature. If this feature is missing in the power bank then the power bank keeps supplying energy even the connected mobile or devices got fully charged.
7. Size & Portability:
In most cases more size will mean more battery backup but that would also mean most size. Most good power banks in India which average out both the requirements – capacity and size – come at around 6 inches. You can find smaller sizes if you travels are short and you need the power bank for short periods and less number of charges but if you will be away for longer period from a power socket then it makes sense to give our power bank that extra space in your pocket or bag.
Types Of Power Banks:
1. Wired Power Banks:
Wired power banks are power banks that require a USB cable to charge devices. Wired power banks are typically more efficient at charging devices compared to wireless power banks, as they can deliver a higher current and charge devices faster. They also tend to be more widely compatible with different devices, as most devices have a USB port for charging.
2. Wireless Power Banks:
These power banks use wireless charging technology, such as Qi, to charge devices without the need for cables. They are convenient and easy to use, but they may be less efficient at charging devices compared to wired power banks.
3. Solar Power Banks:
It uses sun rays to store and collect the power which can be used for charging other devices. These power banks are in-built with small solar panels that allow them to be charged using sunlight. They are ideal for outdoor use and for charging devices in areas where there is no access to electricity.
With the developments in technology, smartphone, tablets etc have become essential parts of our life and many of us have already been in situations where these gadgets have gone battery dead. Hence it is important to have something which can help you keep these devices ON during the times when you don’t have a power socket to charge these devices. This is where external battery/portable charger/power bank can come to your rescue. There are various types of power banks like solar power banks, power bank with flashlight, wired, wireless, etc. So the above things are most basic things that you need to know about a power bank if you’re a beginner user.