February 23, 2017
What Are Universal Batteries?
Universal batteries are the recent adaptation to charging technology that is changing the way consumers interact with their electronic devices. Universal batteries are universal charging devices capable of connecting to a variety of devices via USB, Lightning, or other similar port types. Recently, there has also been further development with the rise of Qi technology as companies have made their universal batteries compatible with wireless charging technology, further solidifying the trend towards maximizing convenience and eliminating clutter.
Though universal batteries have a name that makes them all sound similar, there is a variety of platforms that contain universal batteries that help tailor the product to the individual needs of each user. In order to understand what universal batteries are and the benefits of using them, it is necessary to explore the main platforms that showcase universal battery technology and how they are able to offer a charge that exceeds a one-on-one device compatibility typical of older models.
Universal Battery Platforms and Capabilities
Universal battery chargers have pushed technical innovation and have given users a combination of charging efficiency, versatility, and power that was previously unattainable by just a standard charger. Universal batteries come in several designs that all utilize similar battery technology, but integrate other design features that vary based on the exterior style. The two main types of universal battery platforms are external battery packs and wireless charging enabled battery packs. While both of these designs are useful and efficient, it is up to the individual users to decide which design best suits their lifestyle and needs.
External battery packs are a new form of technology that arose as the role of mobile devices grew in modern society. When everything from class syllabi to business proposals to books, all exist in the spectrum of online technology, it has become increasingly advantageous to purchase a variety of different devices to suit any and every daily need with the most efficiency. However, one problem that users increasingly had was that each new device required a separate charger, which can quickly become cumbersome when carrying three to four different types of devices each day. As the world continued to speed up and the pace of life increase in relation to technological advancement, it became necessary for a new type of charging technology to be developed to meet the needs of an increasingly mobile and battery deficient populous. The solution was the external battery pack.
External battery packs, also referred to as universal batteries, eliminate the need for a wall connection. Typically, when users need to charge a device, they can connect it to their computer via Lightning or USB port or utilize a wall charger. However, this is not the best solution when you need to run but don’t have the battery life you need. Universal batteries solve this problem by being capable of moving on the go with you and still being able to charge your devices. Many external battery packs contain USB or Lightning ports which can handle the charging cables of many diverse devices.
Not all external battery packs are created equal, however, as some boast only being able to recharge a device partially or once before the battery pack must be recharged. In response to this, many companies have begun developing external battery packs capable of recharging a device from nothing to full four times and that are slim and compact enough to be easily stored in a purse or pocket on-the-go. However, for those that don’t want to have to carry the charging cables to connect their devices to the battery pack, the wireless charging enabled battery pack is the best choice.
Wireless charging enabled battery packs utilize the same concept as traditional external battery packs, but also integrate wireless charging technology to eliminate the need for a cabled connection. Wireless charging enabled battery packs are the newest generation of universal charging technology and are geared towards users that want to rid themselves of needing a stack of cables in order to charge their devices on the go. However, one thing to keep in mind is that wireless charging is still a fairly recent advancement into universal charging platforms. Though the technology that governs wireless charging dates back a century, only recently has it been harnessed to meet current technological needs. Because of this, it has not been integrated on a worldwide scale yet, making it only available to devices that are wireless charging enabled. While wireless charging hubs are in a notable uptrend, it is still not universally adopted and may present a bit of a problem unless the devices you wish to charge contain an external case that enables wireless charging or contain the most recent technology that allows them to wireless charge. Now that you know the two main universal battery options available on the market, let’s take a look at the technology that allows them to charge up your devices.
How Universal Batteries Work
Battery pack technology utilizes many of the same principles as a traditional battery that would be present on your mobile device, however, they vary greatly in shapes and sizes. Modern technology relies heavily on lithium-ion batteries to provide the most longevity and stable charge available. Lithium-ion cells are often found in two distinct shapes: cylindrical or prismatic. Cylindrical lithium-ion cells will resemble AA battery cells. However, prismatic lithium-ion cells will be much more square or rectangular. The internal computer within lithium-ion battery packs contains five distinct components: temperature sensors, a shielded notebook connector, a voltage tap, a battery charge state monitor, and a voltage converter and regulator circuit.
These five elements safeguard your lithium-ion battery pack to ensure that it can continue functioning at optimal performance and that no damage comes to your devices during the charging process. Depending on the size of the lithium-ion battery pack you purchase, your device may contain one or multiple temperature sensors. Temperature sensors monitor battery sensors to ensure that the lithium-ion battery pack does not overheat, which subsequently ensures that your device does not experience any negative repercussions as a result of the lithium-ion battery pack overheating.
In addition to overheating safeguards, your lithium-ion battery pack may also contain safeguard measures that will protect it from turning on if it is too hot or will shut down automatically if it senses it is on the verge of overheating. Your lithium-ion battery pack will also contain a shielded notebook converter that allows information to be transmitted into and out of the battery pack. The voltage tap component is present to monitor the energy capacity of individual cells in the battery pack. In addition to the voltage tap, lithium-ion battery packs also contain a battery charge state monitor.
The battery charge state monitor is essentially a small computer that is capable of monitoring the entire charging process to ensure that the batteries charge as quickly and fully as possible. The final component of most lithium-ion battery packs is a voltage converter and regulator circuit. The voltage converter and regulator circuit component maintains safe levels of voltage and current. The voltage converter and regulator circuit are vital to ensuring the devices you are charging do not ever become harmed by a current surge. With these technological components in mind, there are a number of questions you need to consider prior to purchasing a universal battery.
How to Select the Right Universal Battery for Your Needs
In order to select the right universal battery for your technological needs, it is important to consider your daily habits and what devices you will be utilizing the external battery pack for. One of the first things to consider prior to purchasing a universal battery charger is how much mAh (milliampere hours) you will need. Device batteries and external battery packs both have capacities rates in milliampere hours. Milliampere hours is the main measuring stick you will use when determining the size and capacity of the battery pack you will need to adequately meet your needs. In order to determine the right external battery pack for your needs, you need to compile all of the devices you intend to charge on your external battery pack. Then you will use a simple equation to determine the right external battery pack for you. The common equation for choosing the right device is (total milliampere hours) * (percent of battery life extension expressed in decimal format) = Ideal Pack Size Needed.
For example, if you are looking to charge your iPhone 7s and iPad Air, you will want to determine the total milliampere of both of those devices. Then, you need to determine how much you want to be able to charge each before needed to recharge your external battery pack. If you want to double the charge of both devices before needing to reconnect, you will need an external battery pack with a much higher capacity than if you only want to get an extra 50% charge out of each. Once you determine what kind of battery life extension you are looking for, you will have the second part of the equation and can determine the ideal pack size needed to meet your needs.
However, there is a tradeoff that needs to be kept in mind when making this decision: weight. With higher capacity devices also comes a higher weight, so it is important to keep in mind which size device will best fit your needs. External battery packs greatly range in size and capacity, so the options for customizing to your needs are limitless. In fact, for some users it is best to have one very small battery case to keep on them at all times for unexpected battery draining days, and then a larger capacity battery pack to keep on hand for times when battery drain is expected and warranted, like when traveling. Finding the right balance of these components will help you select the right external battery pack to fit your needs.
Another factor to consider when purchasing an external battery pack is selecting the right amperage. Charging amperage is a distinct concern to address when analyzing various external battery packs to determine which one best meets your unique technological usage habits. Bigger devices, like iPads and laptops, require more power and energy to recharge their battery, which makes it vital to make sure you have the correct amperage on the
USB charging ports.
Charging ports on external battery packs distribute electricity at two amperage rates: 1A and 2.1A. These are the same two rates as on charging ports on computers and direct wall charging. All USB devices can use either 1A or 2.1A charging ports, but larger devices need 2.1A charging ports in order to recharge their batteries quickly and efficiently. When a device that can only handle 1A worth of electricity is plugged into a 2.1A port, it will automatically limit the electricity to 1A.
However, if a device that needs 2.1A is on a 1A port, it will charge at much slower rate, making it frustrating for a user that needs a quick surge of juice to keep their device functioning. If you intend on charging large devices, it is important to select an external battery pack with 2.1A ports to make sure you can charge up quickly on-the-go.
How mophie Can Meet Your Needs
mophie is the #1 selling battery case brand that produces a versatile line of
designed to meet every individual’s lifestyle needs. From their top of the line powerstation external batteries to their external battery and storage solution, the spacestation, and to their wireless external battery, the charge force powerstation; mophie makes sure all of your needs are covered and you are never struggling to find a wall plug to charge up. With a huge range in capacity, size, and weight, mophie provides a substantial number of universal battery options that all integrate top technology, innovative designs, and a sleek, lightweight packaging. mophie’s charge force powerstation ensures that you never even need a charging cable to keep your device charged and ready. The charge force powerstation aligns magnetically with all other mophie cases that feature charge force wireless power and is compatible with Qi and other popular wireless charging systems, making it a convenient and efficient option for anyone wanting the latest universal battery technology on the market.
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