Having a power bank is almost considered a travel necessity in today’s world. Very few people can fathom traveling without a charged cell phone or tablet. What’s more, many of us work online, so having charged devices to access the Internet is essential.
Most people do some form of Google searching to determine where to go or eat, how to get to a place, what the reviews and the price range will be, and so much more. We rely on our devices to communicate with friends and family, as well as make new connections when traveling.
Many people will tell you they do not embark on a trip without their power bank, but what they might not tell you about is how do you charge a power bank?
What Is a Power Bank?
To know how to charge a power bank, you first need to understand what a power bank is exactly, and why it is a worthy investment.
A power bank is an external battery with a built-in USB outlet that allows you to charge multiple devices while you are on the go. They come in a multitude of different sizes, which are determined by the size of their battery.
To adequately recharge a smartphone, a power bank the size of 10000mAh to 22000mAh will do the job. There are power banks with battery sizes much larger than this, but you must consider that the larger the battery size, the bulkier the power bank.
Power Bank Operation 101
Before we get into the ins and outs of charging your power bank, let’s first break down the basics of your power bank. Most power banks come with at least one USB port for charging other devices. This is coupled with a micro USB port to charge the power bank itself.
Some models also come with a charging indicator light, which will let you know whether your power bank is charging, how much battery life you have left, and when it is fully charged or indicate the time needed to recharge.
Some power banks have the capability to charge multiple devices at once, but we will get into the pros and cons of doing this in a little bit.
Depending on the size of the power bank, it can offer, in some cases, up to seven additional charges for your device! This is crucial for those whose lifestyle demands having charged phones or tablets at all times.
Do You Need a Power Bank?
For those of us with hectic lifestyles or jobs that require us to be on the go, having a power bank can make a world of difference when trying to keep your devices charged.
Maybe you are an avid camper or hiker and love taking day-long or multiple day-long trips in the wilderness. Having a charged cell phone can be a matter of ensuring personal well-being by having access to maps, weather alerts, and maintaining communication with family and friends.
You may also have a love of travel and need to have access to your phone for matters of planning your route or making new connections with friends you meet along the way.
Often times, when traveling, you will need to embark on long bus or train rides where you might not have access to wall charging plugs. In cases like these, having a charged power bank is essential.
Are Power Banks Safe to Use?
Many devices recommend that you use the manufacturer’s cables and chargers to charge your devices safely. However, many of us know that these chargers often get lost or broken and we are forced to buy knock-off products that charge the device just fine, albeit a bit slower.
As with any bit of technology, it is important to realize that the quality of the portable charger is directly proportional to the quality of the charge, as well as the safety or risk to your device.
There are a few important factors you can research to determine the quality of your power bank and how it will react with your device. The first is the PCB quality, which determines the voltage of your power bank. Ensuring your power bank does not exceed the voltage your device can withstand is essential so as not to damage your device’s battery.
Another important thing to consider is whether or not your power bank is compatible with intelligent charging. This ensures your device is not susceptible to short-circuiting, over-charging, or temperature changing. When a battery becomes too hot, it can swell and can be irreparably damaged.
How Do You Charge a Power Bank?
Charging a power bank is a fairly straightforward process once you understand the mechanisms behind how power banks work. Here are some reminders:
- Once you have ensured that your power bank is equipped with intelligent charging features that guarantee it is safe to use with your phone, you need to make sure you are using the correct charging cables. After that, it is just a matter of plugging the correct cable into a wall plug.
- Keep an eye on your power bank to ensure it does not get overcharged. Some power banks will automatically quit charging when they reach max capacity, but it is good to know beforehand whether your power bank has these capabilities.
- If your power bank does not have the capability of turning off when they get fully charged, it is best not to leave your power bank charging overnight.
- Another thing to remember is to charge your power bank only when needed. It is recommended that you wait until your battery is low on life, and then charge it fully.
- Charging when your power bank is still midway charged can damage the life of the power bank and cause it to charge your devices more slowly.
- It is also best to charge your power bank in an appropriate wall outlet instead of charging it in another device. Wall outlets generally have more power than other devices and will charge your power bank quicker and more effectively.
Now that we have answered the question, “how do you charge a power bank?”, it is up to you to research which power bank will work best for your needs and lifestyle. There are many options ranging in price and charging capabilities, but it is always wise to remember that you get what you pay for.
For simple daily use of charging a smartphone, the lower-tier price range will work fine. However, if you are planning on doing extensive off-the-grid travel or need your power bank to charge larger devices, it is best to purchase one with large battery capacity.
Charging your power bank properly will ensure a longer life span of this device and the safety of the devices you charge with it.