Is it true that a power bank can explode? Manufacturers build power banks to be pretty safe with all the necessary precautions. But, despite this, there is still a chance that they can explode under particular circumstances.
Power banks can explode if overcharging occurs. Exposure to high temperatures, poor battery quality and manufacturing defects such as wrong circuit design, poor welding, or improper insulation increase the risks of explosion. There is also a risk of explosion with improper disposal.
This article will tell you all there is to know why a power back explodes and what you can do to prevent it.
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What Causes A Power Bank To Explode?
High-quality power banks are less likely to explode because they are built with better materials and extra care. However, it can still happen. Mainly it is because of defective manufacturing or lack of care and precautions adopted by the users.
Here are the most common reasons that can cause a power bank to explode:
Poor Quality Or Malfunctioning Battery
Suppose the battery has something wrong or is composed of low-quality materials; anything out of the ordinary, such as a higher temperature or an overcharge, can cause an explosion.
In general, batteries consist of Lithium-ion or Lithium-polymer. Manufacturers incorporate specific safety measures to prevent accidents.
Here are some of the most common safety measures utilized for power bank batteries:
- Pressure-sensitive vent holes
- Positive temperature coefficient (PTC)
A pressure-sensitive vent hole is a security measure used to prevent the battery from exploding because of too high pressure. When the battery becomes very hot, the vent is there to release the extra pressure and avoid fire.
A separator is included in the battery cells to melt and stop the transport of ions when the battery becomes too hot. Another safety measure is responsible for shutting down the battery cells to prevent a fire.
The PTC is essentially a switch placed into a battery that protects it from current surges. A current surge is a chemical phenomenon naturally happening inside the battery cells. It is potentially dangerous when it happens too much.
It can create a sudden temperature increase resulting in fires and explosions.
Production flaws are one of the leading causes of a battery explosion. It can include:
- Impurities inside the circuits
- Wrong circuit design
- Thinning of separators
- Lack of safety systems included in the battery
If the production is not perfect, dirt and other impurities can get into the battery cell and create problems in its performance. For example, thinning of separators during manufacturing is dangerous because it can create a situation in preventing the battery from overheating.
In addition, if the battery doesn’t have power protection, short circuit control, and temperature control adequately built, the result can be a fire or an explosion.
Lack Of Care
The users also have a big responsibility in preventing an explosion. Lack of care and attention to the power bank’s whereabouts can create accidents. For example, leaving the power bank under direct sunlight can create a sudden fire.
Using the power bank when it is scorching is dangerous. A power bank will generate heat when it is in use. If the environment is already very hot, combining the two things is not good. Humidity can also create a problem with the power back, and it should not face exposure to it.
Overcharging or letting the power bank charge when it is already full can create overheating.
Sometimes there is nothing wrong with the battery in itself. It can be a good quality power back with all the safety mechanisms in place, but some of its internal circuits can break if dropped and hit the ground with too much force.
If that happens, it can explode or heat into a fire as soon as one uses it again.
How To Prevent A Power Bank From Exploding
Providing you got an excellent quality power bank with all the safety mechanisms in place, there are still things that you can do to prevent dangerous situations. At first, you can predict that an accident is going to happen by spotting the following signs:
- The power bank is getting too hot
- It makes unusual noises
- You see smoke coming out
- You smell something burning
- The battery is swollen
Here is what you can do to prevent power banks from exploding:
Keep Its Temperature Low
The easiest thing one can do to prevent an explosion is to keep the power bank in a cool place, not under direct sunlight, and try not to use it when it is too hot. For example, do not use it through the hottest hours of the day if you live in a very hot area.
Do Not Overcharge
Charge it only as long as necessary and disconnect the charging cable as soon as charging is complete. Use the original or compatible cable for charging and not a cheap cable without any specifications.
Read The Safety Guides Of The Manufacturer
Nobody does it, but it is helpful to know the recommendations from the manufacturers regarding the maximum temperature that the device can withstand, the correct way to charge it, and everything else.
The instructions can also tell you how to properly take care of the power bank and make it last longer.
Handle It With Care
Although a power bank seems solid, the circuits inside are delicate. Therefore, it is better not to drop, squeeze, or hit it because those things can create internal misalignment and battery damage.
You can get protective covers for your power bank so that if it falls, it can soften the blow, and the circuits stay protected.
Stop Using It When Damaged
Typically, the manufacturer will tell you through the instruction in the package at the time of purchase how many times you can recharge a power bank. Follow the guidelines for safety.
In addition, if you see that it emanates a weird sound, or becomes hot very quickly, or otherwise there is anything else odd, stop using it.
Buy A Quality Power Bank In The First Place
You should check if the power bank you want has all the security features previously described before purchase. The security features are there to ensure the power bank will not become too hot and release pressure if it is needed.
Do not buy a power bank with no user manuals or if it is sold without any warranty. You want to know that there is a solid manufacturer behind it and that if you need matching cables, you will be able to find them later.
Using cheap cables that fit all brands can increase the risks of damaging the power bank, resulting in unwanted fires.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will The Power Bank Explode If Overcharged?
A power bank is not exploding if overcharged. Still, low-quality products built with cheap materials without security systems have higher chances of exploding or developing a fire.
Can I Leave My Power Bank Charging Overnight?
You can leave your power bank charging overnight if the manufacturer allows it through the user manual. Suppose it is indicated that the power bank has safety features built-in.
In that case, it is not a problem if it is left charging overnight. However, it is vital to read the specification of the product to know what the risks are.
Is It Normal For A Power Bank To Get Hot?
It is usual for a power bank to become hotter when charging. It is due to the heat generated from energy loss during the transmission. However, it is not normal for a power bank to become extremely hot, release smoke, or smell like burning.
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- Asurion, “Swollen battery in your phone or laptop: How to detect and prevent,”
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- Wikipedia, “Battery charger”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_charger, accessed March 27, 2022
- Photography, “This is why you don’t buy a cheap power bank”, https://www.diyphotography.net/this-is-why-you-dont-buy-a-cheap-power-bank/, accessed March 27, 2022