Some have never paid close attention to the effects of habitual device charging until something absolutely terrible happens, such as a bloated smartphone battery or, a fire induced by having left our phone or tablet to charge up over night, shown in news articles.
Questions then starts racing in the head: Is it okay to charge anything rechargeable overnight? Does a device over-charge? Is it okay to leave a device in its charging station all day? These regular behaviors may not be beneficial to our devices. Continue reading to find out.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I CHARGE DEVICES SUCH AS MY HANDPHONE, LAPTOP, POWER BANK OR EVEN HOME APPLIANCES OVERNIGHT?
Surprisingly, the battery does not remain fully charged throughout the night. According to a Time article, it will fall slightly because the device uses a small amount of power to keep it running in the background. When the battery's energy level drops, the charger kicks in and recharges it to 100%. Trickle charging is a term for this.
According to the Battery University website, the lithium-ion battery that powers your smartphone or laptop dislikes being fully charged. The high voltage from a full charge, on the other hand, stresses out the battery.
Furthermore, the capacity of lithium-ion batteries begins to decline as soon as they are charged – and continues to decline. Every time you charge your phone, you deplete the battery a little more. This is also mentioned on online support pages such as Apple's, which mentions that the battery's capacity decreases after a certain amount of charging time.
This also extends to domestic appliances, as long as they are powered by lithium-ion batteries.
CAN GADGETS BE ACCIDENTALLY OVERCHARGED?
Devices cannot be overcharged. Thanks to its battery management system, or BMS, the rechargeable lithium-ion battery can automatically stop charging once it is fully charged.
The BMS is made up of several components, including the battery itself, as well as circuitry and other components that work together to ensure that the proper voltage and current range reaches the battery for an extended period of time. So you can't overcharge in that sense.
As per the PC Mag website, lithium-ion batteries swell on rare occasions because the components inside the battery have decayed or have been exposed to stress or physical damage over time.
The faulty battery is unable to handle the unregulated energy flowing through it during charging, resulting in the accumulation of heat and gas.
SHOULD ALL CHARGERS BE SWITCHED OFF BEFORE GOING TO BED?
In general, charging your devices overnight is acceptable as long as the battery's BMS is not poor, faulty, or tampered with, as can be the case with batteries from questionable sources. Other factors that can cause such rechargeables to short-circuit also include battery overheating throughout charging and the use of an incompatible charger.
WHAT ABOUT THE HANDHELD VACUUM CLEANER OR ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH?
The battery management system (BMS) in these home devices can handle continuous charging, and the actual impact of charging continuously on battery life is negligible. Over-discharging or over-draining the battery, on the other hand, is a different issue that can have a much greater impact on battery life.
WHAT IS THE OPTIMAL BATTERY PERCENTAGE TO KEEP HANDHELD DEVICES SUCH AS THE HANDPHONE, TABLET OR EVEN VACUUM CLEANER AT?
When it's only about 80% charged, don't plug it in to charge. Keep in mind that lithium-ion batteries despise being fully charged. But never let it fall below 20%; the battery will require a high voltage to recover its charge, which reduces its potency.
WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR ELECTRICITY BILL, DOES OVERNIGHT CHARGING CONSUME MORE ENERGY?
No. Trickle charging consumes very little power. The additional electricity bill would be less than a few percent of the total bill.
CAN YOU CONTINUE USING YOUR GADGET WHILE IT IS CHARGING?
The temperature in lithium-ion batteries can be managed by a thermal management system in the BMS, which typically ranges from 20°C to 40°C.
Using your phone while it's charging, on the other hand, can cause "complex electrochemical reactions" that can push your device's temperature above that limit.
So it is possible, but it is not advised because it may result in a rise in temperature within the battery.