25.11.2021 – 10:00
TÜV SÜD AG
Hardly any private home can do without battery-powered appliances these days. And if the vacuum cleaner is not battery operated, then a mobile phone can be found in almost every home. But lithium-ion batteries are tricky: If used incorrectly, they pose a certain risk of fire and explosion, explains Florian Hockel, a TÜV SÜD product expert.
Household appliances without practical cables. Vacuum the floor without being tied to a socket or listen to music with bluetooth boxes, no matter where you are in the house or apartment. All of these devices have one thing in common. Power is fed from a lithium-ion battery. Florian Hockel explains: “What many consumers don’t know: The service life of the battery can be significantly extended with proper charging.”
Charging the batteries
The general rule for all batteries is to never completely discharge them, because so-called deep discharges damage the battery and can lead to serious defects within the battery cells. The same applies to shipping. If possible, batteries should never be fully charged. This is especially important for cell phones, as they are often plugged into the socket overnight. If the battery charge level is from 30 to 70 percent, then the level is practically optimal. “When the battery is at 70 percent, recharge only when you reach a lower level. At less than 30 percent, charge not only for a short time, but as much as possible up to 70 percent,” explains the product expert.
Batteries should always be charged with the associated charging cable, as they can be overcharged due to incorrect charging parameters. If the device temperature rises significantly during the charging process, it must be disconnected from the mains immediately and the device is no longer in use. At worst, the battery could burn out. “This produces toxic fumes and firefighters should be notified immediately,” advises Florian Hückel. It is strongly advised not to extinguish with water, even if it is suitable for fighting fires in such a situation. Firefighting experts know how to proceed in such a situation.
Use of power banks
Power banks have very high energy density and are well suited for recharging mobile phones, tablets, and the like while on the go. They are available in different download capacities. In order for the external battery to be used for as long as possible, it must be charged properly. The same charging rules apply here as for other batteries. Full charging is not necessary, and emptying it completely does not make sense, it is rather dangerous. The service life is extended if the battery level is also between 30 and 70 percent here. “This is also an ideal storage condition,” the product expert advises. Depending on the model, power banks are charged directly via the socket or with a USB cable. It should be noted here that the power supply has a 5V output. It is also possible to charge via a computer using a USB connection, but this process takes longer than that of a socket. If you spend a lot of time outside, you can also use solar power banks, which charge using sunlight while you are on the go.
Maintain service life
Batteries are sensitive components. Therefore, it must be protected from wetness or moisture. Shocks or drops can also damage the batteries. For longer storage during the winter – like an electric bike battery – half of the energy storage should be charged and stored in a cool but frost-resistant environment, ideally on a non-combustible surface such as a stone floor or tile.
Extreme temperature fluctuations in the house are rarely found, but batteries should not be left in the sun by the window. If the cell phone is in the hot sun, the lithium-ion battery can overheat and a thermal reaction can occur inside. With this, the interior can heat up to 1000 degrees in a very short time. If the battery bulges, the battery may explode depending on its make-up and material. The cause of the detonation could be a short circuit inside or heat from the outside. But batteries are damaged not only by heat, but also by cold. Mobile phones should be worn close to the body when the ambient temperature is below 10 degrees. Batteries do not tolerate rapid changes between hot and cold either, as this can cause condensation in the device.
Pay attention to tested safety
Batteries are delicate and sensitive electronic devices. Therefore, buyers should pay attention to the quality so that they can use the battery as long as possible. In the case of high-quality batteries and devices, measures have already been taken to properly control the charging and discharging of battery cells. In such a situation, a so-called battery management system (BMS) is usually installed.
Further guidance for consumers is the GS label for “safety tested” and the TÜV SÜD blue octagon. For outdoor use, one should pay attention to the IP protection class claim. This indicates how well the devices are protected from moisture and dust. (eg IP67). These power banks are dustproof and waterproof to a great extent.
Tips about battery life:
- Do not completely empty it and do not fully charge it
- The ideal charging condition is between 30 and 70 percent
- There is no direct sunlight
- Store only half-full batteries
- Use the charging cable provided by the manufacturer
Note to editors: The press release and camera-resolution image are available online at www.tuvsud.com/presse.
Original content by: TÜV SÜD AG, transmitted by aktuell الأخبار news
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