We all know how important it is to minimise our impact on the planet; however, we can sometimes forget how important it is to get the most life as possible out of the products we already have. Including our power banks. While power banks can have quite a short lifespan, just like all other types of battery product, there are some simple things you can do to extend their useful life.
Partially charge your power bank
This applies to Lithium-Polymer (LiPo) batteries, such as those found in SunSaver power banks. Unlike some other types of battery, LiPo batteries do not suffer from ‘battery memory’. Therefore, LiPo batteries do not need to be fully discharged before then being fully recharged. In fact, keeping a LiPo battery at between 20% and 80% of its capacity can help to extend its life. However, you do need to be mindful that a LiPo power bank will typically have a lifespan of around 500 battery cycles from flat to full.
Also, it is best not to charge a device from the power bank while the power bank is being charged. This is because excess heat can be generated that may harm the power banks battery.
Be mindful of temperature
Power banks are like us, they do not like to work when it is too cold, or too hot. When too cold, the ions in the LiPo battery will not move enough to deliver any charge. Whereas, when too hot, the ions will move so fast that they will cause damage.
Although most power banks will operate anywhere between 0 – 45° C, they work best when kept between 15 – 25° C. So, if you are storing your power bank for a long time, such as in your emergency kit, it is best to keep it somewhere dry and at room temperature.
Temperature is especially important to consider when using a solar power bank, such as the SunSaver Classic. When solar charger, it is best to take the power bank out of the sun at regular intervals to avoid it becoming too hot. Also, you must be careful when charging through glass, such as the windscreen of your car, as this can become extremely hot.
Treat your power bank with care and respect
Just like you, your power bank will break if it is abused. So, if you are a typical kiwi who is always out and about in a wide range of conditions, it is best to invest in a rugged power bank that will survive all your adventures. Also on this note, we know how unpredictable our weather can be, so a waterproof power bank with rubber seal to close the USB ports is also a smart idea.
Some other things to think about
Consider what size power bank is best suited for your needs. For instance, buying a power bank with a small battery capacity could mean that you need to charge it more often, shortening its life span.
Moreover, having a larger capacity power bank (if weight is not an issue) will mean that it is more practical to keep the power bank between 20% and 80% of its capacity, helping to extend its life.