It is a commonly held belief that you should charge your phone before going to bed. But is this an outdated practice or is it time to change the way you charge your phone?
Once you get past the initial excitement of getting a new smartphone, you start to notice the battery life of your precious device is not as good as it once was. After all, you’ve been using it for a while now, and there are a number of apps you use throughout the day. It’s natural to want to recharge your battery as soon as it starts to get low, but you may be doing more harm than good.
Every time you turn on your smartphone, a series of chemical reactions take place and the device comes to life. These reactions take place in your device’s lithium-ion battery, a battery technology that made portable electronics possible.
Although lithium-ion batteries have revolutionized the electronics industry, they are still not perfect, and with each charge cycle they lose the charge they can hold.
In addition, your charging habits can also affect the battery life of your devices. So what’s the best way to charge your device? Doesn’t the overnight charge reduce its capacity over time?
In this article, we’ll look at everything about lithium-ion batteries and find out if connecting them to a charger overnight can affect their performance.
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Before deciding what is best for your battery, it is important to understand how the battery works.
Every battery you use has two parts: the anode and the cathode. In a lithium-ion battery, the anode is made of graphite, in which the lithium atoms are located in a crystal structure.
The cathode is made of metal oxides, in most cases using cobalt as the oxide. The current that powers your phone is generated by the movement of electrons between these two connections.
In addition, between the two terminals there is an electrolyte, which consists of organic substances and contains salts of lithium ions. This electrolyte causes the movement of ions between the two compounds.
During the discharge, the lithium atoms in the graphite plates lose electrons and are converted to lithium ions. These electrons are then passed to the cathode, through the electronic circuits of your device and provide it with power. At the same time, lithium ions move from the anode to the cathode through the electrolyte and are trapped in the cobalt oxides.
When you charge your device, the charger pulls electrons from the cathode to the anode. This also causes lithium ions to migrate to the anode and combine with electrons to form lithium atoms.
So the capacity of a lithium-ion battery depends on the number of lithium atoms that can give off free electrons. Therefore, any reaction that consumes lithium ions or atoms reduces its rechargeability.
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If the above process works perfectly, the lithium ion battery will last forever, but due to some unwanted reactions, the lithium ions will be consumed, which will reduce the capacity of the battery.
Some of the causes of lithium ion consumption and capacity degradation include
- Interface solid electrolyte : When lithium ions move from the cathode to the anode during charging, the lithium ions bond with organic solvents to form solid electrolyte boundaries that irreversibly absorb lithium ions.
- Capacity: The above data shows that the battery capacity also decreases when the devices are used at full power. In addition, a complete discharge of the battery can damage its capacity. When a battery is kept in a fully discharged state, the lithium ions at the cathode combine with oxygen to form lithium oxides, which can reduce the battery’s capacity.
- Temperature: Storing the battery at high temperatures can also affect performance.
The following data shows how the capacity of a lithium-ion battery decreases with increasing temperature.
|Temperature||40% reimbursement||100% load|
|0°C||98% (after 1 year)||94% (after 1 year)|
|25°C||96% (after 1 year)||80% (after 1 year)|
|40°C||85% (after 1 year)||65% (after 1 year)|
|60°C||75% (after 1 year)||60% (after 3 months)|
Estimation of recoverable capacity after one year of storage of lithium-ion batteries at different temperatures.
Source: Battery University
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Contrary to popular belief, the lithium-ion battery in your smartphone cannot be charged. They have a special circuit that prevents the phone from overloading. So if you charge your phone overnight, the battery will stop charging when it reaches its full capacity.
In this case, the battery management system directs power from the charger to the device and not to the battery. As a result, over time the battery loses its charge and needs to be recharged. This means that when you plug the device into the charger overnight, the battery is always fully charged.
This repeated charging of the battery increases its temperature and keeps it at 100%. If you look at the data above, you will see that lithium-ion batteries degrade more severely when stored under these conditions.
Moreover, today’s smartphones use fast charging technology to charge phones faster with more voltage. This will further increase the temperature of the phone and cause more damage when it is plugged into the charger overnight.
For fast charging, smart charging adapters are used that adjust the voltage according to the temperature of the battery to protect it. This causes the battery to reach a higher temperature in a shorter time, which causes more damage to the battery.
The biggest problem with leaving your phone on the charger overnight is that it becomes a habit. So if you charge your phone overnight for a year, it will stay connected to the charger for 4 months. If you keep the battery in such stressful situations, it will deteriorate over time.
Moreover, using protective cases while charging the device is also a bad practice. The pockets warm up during fast charging and keep your phone in a heated environment for an extended period of time.
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Although lithium-ion batteries are not perfect and degradation is inevitable. You can improve their lives by adopting good billing habits. Here are some tips to improve the battery life of your smartphone.
- Charge the phone in a cool place: High temperatures are your batteries’ worst enemy. To solve this problem, you can charge your phone by removing the protective cover and not holding it under the pad while charging. A temperature between 16 and 35 degrees is optimal for charging your phone.
- Avoid charging under extreme battery conditions: Do not wait until the unit is completely discharged to charge it. Instead, charge it at a 20% charge level. Also, you don’t have to charge the device to 100%, you can stop charging at 80%.
- Activate the flight mode while charging: When you are charging your phone, it produces a lot of heat. This heat can strain your batteries. If you want to extend the battery life, it’s best to charge it in Airplane Mode, as it keeps the phone in low voltage.
- Use slow chargers: If you have time, you can use a regular charger instead of a quick charger to charge your device. A fast charger injects a lot of energy into the battery, which wears out the battery faster.
- Use original accessories for charging: It is essential to use the right charging accessories to charge your devices. Using cheap imitations to charge your device can cause a lot of damage. Most manufacturers use proprietary technologies to charge their devices. Untested third-party vendors use cheap cables and power limitation systems that can damage your device.
Lithium-ion batteries breathe new life into your electronic devices. If you want to use them for a long time without damaging the batteries, you should charge them carefully. However, if you can’t stand charging your phone at night, you can buy a smart switch that can be set to turn off after a certain amount of time.
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A technophile driven by curiosity. A bibliophile who loves to travel. An engineering graduate who loves programming and writing about new technologies. I can’t live without coffee.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Does charging your phone overnight ruin the battery?
If you’ve ever owned a smartphone, you’ve probably been told to charge it at night and to keep it plugged in for as long as possible. But is this advice actually bad for your battery? The answer is a little more complicated than you might think. Most smartphones have lithium-ion batteries that are designed to be charged whenever you’re not using them, and to be used sparingly when they’re running low. Since lithium-ion batteries work best at around 60 percent capacity, you’ll get the best battery life if you keep your phone between 30 and 70 percent full most of the time. We charge our smartphones often, because they run out of battery so fast. And according to the official Apple website, it is perfectly normal for your smartphone to lose around 10% of its battery life per month when it is unused. So if you frequently charge your device overnight, it may not be such a bad idea, as long as you charge it to full capacity. The worst thing you can do to your smartphone is to leave it idle without charging it for a long period of time.
Does charging iPhone overnight damage battery?
This question is asked by thousands of people on the internet everyday, and the answer is no . According to Apple, the iPhone is designed to be charged when it is between 0% and 95% power, so charging it overnight has no adverse effect on the battery. However, while your iPhone is in sleep mode it is still using some power, which is why Apple recommends you plug it in when you are at your desk at work. It’s also why if you have a low battery it is better to use the low battery mode, which will turn off apps and limit the iPhone’s functionality. You’re probably not going to hurt your iPhone by charging it overnight. But there are a few reasons why it might be a good idea to unplug it before you sleep.
How do I make my battery last longer overnight?
Lithium ion batteries are a type of rechargeable battery that have become ubiquitous in the world of electronics. They power everything from mobile phones and tablets to laptops and even electric cars. While lithium ion batteries are capable of providing a great deal of power over a long period of time, they do have one major drawback: they have a tendency to lose their ability to hold a charge as they age. If you’re wondering how to make your battery last longer overnight, this post should give you a few tips. Keeping a device charged for longer periods of time has always been a challenge. There are two ways to approach this problem: increase the battery size or decrease the device usage. You can either get a phone with a larger battery or have a phone that has a lower power consumption rate. Picking the right charger for your device is also important. Some chargers can cause your device to heat up which will impact the battery. The following tips should help you make your battery last longer.
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