What types of Power Bank?
Power Banks come in many shapes and sizes to suit many different people and their needs.
The use of Power Banks has increased significantly in recent years as they offer a very convenient and simple way to charge smartphones and other devices away from a power source. Wireless charging Power Banks have also been introduced for those devices that can be charged wirelessly.
Power Bank definition
A Power Bank, sometimes as fast as a mobile power supply, can be defined as a portable battery that uses circuitry to control any power input and power output. They can be charged using a USB charger when power is available and then used to charge battery powered items such as mobile phones and many other devices that normally use USB chargers.
The name mobile power can be likened to a financial bank where money can be deposited, stored and withdrawn as and when required. These items are also often referred to as portable chargers as they can charge items such as mobile phones during the charging process without having to be connected to a power source, although they do need to be charged, which usually requires a power charger.
There are several different types of portable chargers for mobile power that can be purchased. Obviously size is one of the main criteria, but there are a number of other categories to consider.
The main types of USBPower Bank include.
Universal or standard mobile power: These are normal mobile power portable chargers that can be purchased in shops and online. They are charged by a common USB power source such as a USB charger.
These mobile power supplies are usually charged by a standard USB charger and have some indication on the mobile power supply of its charging status. This may be a row of small LEDs or a simple alphanumeric display indicating the charge level as a percentage of full charge. A mini USB connector is usually used as the connection power source.
Once fully charged, the Power Bank can be used to charge other devices. There may be one of several Type A USB sockets (depending on the particular mobile power supply) that can provide a charge for the device that needs charging.
Solar Chargers: As the name suggests, these solar chargers can be charged using sunlight. For this purpose, they have photovoltaic panels. Due to the relatively small size of the solar cells they can only actually trickle charge the internal battery when placed in sunlight, but this can be a very useful feature, but can only really be used in very sunny or bright conditions.
Wireless power bank: Many gadgets such as mobile phones and headphones now have wireless charging capabilities and this concept has been adopted by the mobile power industry.
Power bank life
There are two main forms of life associated with a power bank.
Charge and discharge cycles: Any rechargeable battery will gradually wear out. Typically, the life of a battery is quoted in terms of the number of charge/discharge cycles it can undergo before its performance drops by a given amount. Some cheaper mobile power supplies may only have a life of around 500 charge/discharge cycles, but the better mobile power supplies may have a life of more charge/discharge cycles.
Self-discharge time: All batteries, whether rechargeable or primary, have some degree of self-discharge. Today, for rechargeable batteries with their own control circuits, a small amount of power is required to keep these circuits running. As a result, the battery remains charged for a limited period of time.
A good mobile power supply can hold a charge for up to 6 months with minimal power loss, but a lesser quality mobile power supply may only retain a usable charge for about a month. These figures are for room temperature, but storing them outside these temperatures will significantly reduce their performance.
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