Wireless charging is widespread on cell phones and smartwatches and is often standard on newer devices. No wonder: you save yourself the tiring mess of cables and cumbersome plugs. But there are always warnings: easy charging would strain the battery and shorten its life. Is that correct? We’ve sorted it out for you.
Let’s start with the technology, which is quite impressive when it comes to contactless energy transfer. Manufacturers use the physical phenomenon of electromagnetic induction. In short: If an electrical conductor is moved in a certain way by a magnetic field, an electric voltage is created in the conductor, with which a current can be generated.
Now if you want to say that nothing moves at all with inductive charging of mobile phones, you are absolutely right. However, the manufacturers use a clever trick here: instead of moving the conductor to generate electricity, you can also vary the magnetic field. And that’s exactly what happens with the help of a coil in the charging station. A coil is also installed in the smartphone and while the alternating current at the charging station continuously changes the associated magnetic field, direct current is generated (induced) in the smartphone, which then flows into the battery. It’s just not particularly efficient.
And that brings us to the first disadvantages of this technology: Inductive charging usually takes longer than the classic version via cable, but still consumes more power (although this charging option is becoming faster and faster and 50 to 100 watts are also possible wirelessly). Some studies suggest even bigger problems with the technology, but we’ll get to that. If you want to know exactly how inductive charging works, you’ll find it here is a detailed post about it.
Even skeptics should attribute a whole host of benefits to inductive charging:
Easy and comfortable: Searching for suitable charging cables is no longer necessary. This is convenient and saves users from fumbling in the electronics drawer. Put the device down – done.
High Compatibility: Devices from different manufacturers can usually be charged at the same inductive charging station.
Protection of housing and contact: As is known, where there is no planing, there are no chips. With inductive charging we prevent wear and tear on the contacts of cables and mobile phones.
Seamless integration: Those who value this can make inductive charging stations invisible and install them in furniture or in the car. Such charging stations are also ideal as a service gift in public places.
While the benefits of wireless charging can be summarized under the keyword convenience, the potential drawbacks are a bit more varied.
Convenient but inefficient:Inductive charging takes more energy, while battery percentage points increase more slowly. This means that the method performs worse on both sides of the calculation than the classic variant. A scientific analysis with verified values does not yet exist, but a few technology geeks have taken up the subject. Their result: On average, wireless charging consumes almost 50 percent more power than charging with a cable. In addition, there is a constant energy consumption of the charging station, even if there are no devices to charge.
More heat also puts a strain on the battery:The higher energy consumption directly leads to the second problem with inductive charging. After all, the extra energy consumed has to go somewhere if it doesn’t end up in the energy storage system. Poor efficiency mainly leads to more waste heat, which is not unproblematic for the battery. Researchers from the University of Warwick have looked at wireless charging take a good look and have come to the conclusion that batteries can certainly be corroded.
On the one hand, high temperatures accelerate the chemical aging of the core component in general. On the other hand, there is the phenomenon that loss values and heat development can increase considerably if the device to be charged is not optimally placed on the wireless charging station.
Double load is voltage for the energy storage:By charging mobile devices while they’re still on (and I’m sure most do that way), smartphones need to store and consume energy at the same time. This is relatively unproblematic when charging with a cable, because the energy to be consumed is not taken from the battery, but from the connected power source. With inductive charging, however, it is very different: here the device has to use the battery, which the charging voltage is already on – and the battery sometimes works up a sweat.
If you don’t want to miss the convenience of wireless charging, you can minimize the negative effects on the battery with a few simple rules of conduct. With these tips you can make contactless charging as gentle as possible.
Today’s lithium batteries have the problem that all kinds of charging processes make it difficult for them. The end of their life is therefore inevitably accompanied by use: around 500 (for Apple) to 1600 charge cycles (for OnePlus)the core components can handle it until the capacity loss becomes noticeable. So you don’t have to advise against inductive charging, because even the classic charging cable does not give the power storage device a wellness cure. However, inductively charged batteries lose their capacity more quickly over a longer period of time than conventionally charged batteries. This is mainly due to a higher temperature load. Higher electricity costs also apply.
For most users, however, this deal is acceptable: in the long run, you’re paying for the convenience of charging with a (usually small) portion of battery life. If you want to be very economical and above all be careful with your mobile phone, the classic charging cable is the safest way. However, if you are careful with inductive charging and follow the above rules, you don’t have to worry about your battery.
Nightly charging of mobile devices is much more problematic. you can make mistakes, which put a lot more strain on the battery. (computer world)