If you ever encountered a bloated battery on your phone or have your power bank lose charge, relax. It could be a myriad of reasons, many times overlooked by us as we want to find the answer fast.
Your removable phone battery functions on the same principles as the power bank. As such, we’ll address the question as ‘What makes the power bank lose charge?’
Have you ever bought a power bank only to find it stops charging after a few months, like totally stop forever? Or even worse, have you ever encountered a power bank that stops charging after two to three times of charging? If you haven’t, count your blessings as we have had many people purchasing power banks from us due to their frustration with el-cheapo power banks.
So, quality power banks like Anker, Yoobao and the rest can never lose charge and function at optimum capacity, no? If that is what you think, you’ve made a mistake.
Fundamentals of a Power Bank losing charge
Any power bank can lose charge and with it, capacity. Though it might be hard to understand, let us illustrate. You see, in every power bank are batteries. And batteries are made of chemicals. The more time you charge your power bank, the more changes takes place with the chemicals inside the battery.
That is why, every battery be it the power bank, the battery for your expensive Macbook Pro and even your car battery have a lifespan. And there are variables that causes the power bank to lose charge, just like there are variables that causes your Macbook Pro battery to lose charge.
1) Power Bank Lose Charge : Charge Cycles
The most fundamental to all batteries are charge cycles. I found this the hard way when I had my Macbook’s battery bulge one day and returned my less than one year old Macbook to the Apple Service Centre in Mid Valley. The first question was, ‘How old is your Macbook?’, followed by some testing and verification.
You see, every time you charge your battery, a certain charge cycle is counted. If you use it from half-full to maximum capacity and then do the same the next day, a charge cycle is then counted. With power banks, at times we use it for awhile before charging forgetting that using a power bank counts to the power bank’s charge cycle.
For most power bank, the charge cycles are around a few hundred up to 500 maximum as of now. We have yet to see a power bank with more charge cycles than that.
As such, how does the charge cycles count against the battery capacity? Well, if you have already used about 100 charge cycles, your battery capacity would have dropped by 20% and it’ll continue dropping as long as you use your power bank to charge and discharge.
2) Power Bank Lose Charge : Good vs Cheap Chargers
In the world of tech, you can find either good or cheap. There is no way about it as electronics and chips used all costs money. Even more so in the world of power and charging. In many cases, my friends would show me their phone and tell me that the phone’s battery life has dropped from 8 hours to 2 hours (!). Being curious, I then began to enquire and found that they’ve been using some cheap charger that they bought from Lelong.
Now, I’ve no problems with buying nor selling on Lelong, except that you need to be wise. You see, certain chargers do not have circuit breakers nor the ability to detect when your device/power bank is nearing full charge. As such, it’ll keep pumping current into your power bank and damage the total capacity over time.
Personally, my brother once gave my mom a cheap RM 30 charger and I did not know about it. But upon plugging in her phone, the phone started going crazy with some seemingly unknown force causing the phone’s touchscreen buttons to erratically press by themselves. After some testing, I disconnected the phone from the charger and it went back to normal again.
That’s why although we have so many offers to sell much higher margin chargers on TechGarage, we still refuse for the time being, as we don’t want you to encounter the same issues as us with cheap chargers and damaged phones/power banks.
3) Power Bank Lose Charge : Weather
You should be careful where you place your power bank as placing it in the hot sun can damage it. On the other hand, placing it in cold conditions would cause the power capacity to be reduced. That is why photographers shooting in really cold places carry manual cameras as their electronic cameras will quickly run out of battery.
Just like any other battery, power banks have lifespans and will degrade with time through use, mishandling and even the wrong charger. However, if your power bank stops charging after a few rounds of charging, you might have gotten yourself a dud.
If you want to read more about Power Banks, continue with our Power Bank Guide with actionable tips and resources for you. =)