Monday, 8 May 2017

Possible Reasons Why Power Banks Explode




Powerbanks help a lot, especially in a country where there's no steady power supply but on several occasions these life savers have turned to weapons of mass destruction. Here's how a powerbank could have killed my roommate.



It was a cool evening, I just finished talking to a friend on the phone. I was conversing with my roommate outside. A few minutes later he went inside the room to get his phone before I could say Jack Robinson, I heard the sound of an explosion as he fled from our room faster than gala sellers that haven't been paid, flinging the gate open as he fled for his dear life. This happened in a matter of milliseconds or nanoseconds. I was shocked.

This was the culprit :



Different thoughts ran through my mind. Could there be someone in the room? Or did he see a ghost?....There was no power at the moment so it wasn't a socket sparking. Well, I'm not the superstitious kind so I ruled out the possibility of him seeing a ghost. I went outside the gate along with a couple of our lodge mates who were startled by the sound. The reason for his escapade was a powerbank that exploded in the room. He was trying to pick up his phone from the table and the powerbank which was just beside his phone just exploded in front of him. The powerbank in question just costs N1,500.









I tried to understand the different things that could have happened. He could have been injured badly on his right hand or his face would have been burnt, the former would affect him badly since we're writing our first semester exams.


Now the ultimate question is :

Why would a power bank explode all of a sudden?. I decided to make some research and here's what I could come up with.


1.) Wrong Circuit Design:

The internal circuit design of the power bank can also be another likely cause of explosion. For a power bank a good circuit should have

Power protection( a mechanism that ensures that the battery stops charging once it has reached full capacity), Short circuit control and temperature control.
If it doesn't have any of the above features, the chances of explosion is higher.



2.) Poor Battery Quality

Batteries are the most expensive parts of a powerbank. Most of the power banks found in the market are made from either Lithium-ion or Lithium-Polymer batteries, though the lithium-ion is a cheaper option.

Most Manufacturers in a bid to keep prices down tend to use Lithium- ion batteries to save costs. In the worst case scenarios, they go to the extent of using recycled batteries which increases the chances or likeliness of explosion at a later time.

3.) Improper Usage

Exposing power banks to high temperatures or humidity can cause explosions. Overcharging of power banks is wrong. Also spilling water on it or leaving it near a heated area, like under the sun can cause explosions.


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Possible Reasons Why Power Banks Explode
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