What are Power Banks?
Power banks can be defined as portable batteries that use circuitry to control any power in and power out. They can charged up using a USB charger when power is available, and then used to charge battery powered items like mobile phones and a host of other devices that would normally use a USB charger.
Power banks are used for providing portable power to charge battery powered items like mobile phones and other similar items that have a USB interface. Power banks are commonplace and with our increasing use of battery powered equipment: everything from mobile phones to battery powered headphones, portable speakers, MP3 players can be charged via a power bank. They are effectively a portable charger. All they need is a USB charging interface.
Power banks come in a variety of shapes and sizes and to suit many different people and their needs. The name power bank can be likened to a financial bank where funds can be deposited, stored, and withdrawn when needed. These items are also often referred to as portable chargers, as they can charge items like mobile phones without the need to be connected to the mains during charging, although they will need to be charged, and this normally requires a mains charger.
Power bank battery technology
All power banks use rechargeable batteries based around lithium technology. Lithium-Ion and Lithium-Polymer batteries are most commonly used for power banks but don’t be surprised if other types start to hit the market before long. Battery technology is key to many new developments: everything from mobile phones to electric vehicles, and as a result it is quite likely there will be some spin-offs into power banks.
These two technologies that are currently used have slightly different properties:
Lithium-ion: Lithium-Ion batteries have higher energy density, i.e. they can store more electrical charge in a given size or volume, and are cheaper to manufacture, but they can have issues with ageing.
Lithium-polymer: Lithium-polymer power banks do not suffer from ageing to the same extent so are a better choice. However they are more costly to manufacture and as a result they may not suit all budgets. Sometimes it may be that it is best to spend less, especially if they are likely to be accidentally lost or left in places.
Types of Power Banks
There are a few different types of power bank portable charger that can be bought. Obviously the size is one of the main criteria, but there are some other categories that can be considered.
Universal or standard power bank: These are the normal power bank portable chargers which are available in the stores and online. They are charged from the normal USB sources like USB chargers.
Solar power bank: As the name indicates, these solar power banks can use sunlight to charge up. To do this they have photovoltaic panels. These are really only able to trickle-charge the internal battery when placed in sunlight because the solar cells are relatively small, but nevertheless this can be a very useful function.
Some frequently asked questions by Users
What is the best power bank?
This is the most basic question that one would ask when purchasing something. This is very normal considering that it is money that people invest in when buying not just power banks but everything.
On the quest to find the most outstanding mobile charger there is, the answer does not really have to be very technical. It is all about being practical. It is true that there are archetype power banks that boast of high-end specifications. However, at the end of the day, it will always redound to how useful those specs are going to be to the user.
Say for example, getting a water-proof and shock-proof mobile power chargers that is ideal for outdoor use might be too much for a young professional who always stays in the city in the same way that a chic, light-weight, and very portable charger with limited power capacity is not enough for someone who frequent the outdoors.
How does it work?
To put it simply, these portable chargers are basically just batteries that have been added with circuits and casing in order for them to charge the batteries of other devices. The much earlier power banks tend to have weaker batteries. However, with the coming of li-ion and li-polymer batteries, mobile chargers now have bigger power capacities.
Are they safe to use?
Of course, other than making sure that these batteries, circuits, and cables can do the trick, these mobile chargers were designed to function safely. Added safety nets are the various certifications that some power banks have that attest to their quality. These quality control measures do not just ensure that these gadgets are safe to use for devices but also vouches that the power bank will not accidentally self-destruct.
Access to Power Anywhere
They are simple devices and easy to learn how to use
Needs to be charged
Battery gets drained
They are most times heavy and bulky
The importance of power banks cannot be overemphasized due to the fact that most smartphones come with a small battery capacity. This power banks are very portable and can aid the charging of your gadgets any time anywhere. They are also available and very affordable.