Consumer demand is driving the demand for wireless charging in the office and public spaces. It is heavily driven by adoption of devices in the mobile phone market, both in terms of volume and technology choices. So now that Apple has chosen to use the Qi standard of wireless charging, it makes it easier for suppliers of chargers in public infrastructure to provide suitable charging solutions that will work with the devices.
The wireless power market as a whole is expected to grow to over 2 billion receiver units shipped by 2024, according to IHS.
"Samsung's success with implementing wireless charging over the last two years coupled with Apple's iPhone announcement this week demonstrates that wireless charging technology is clearly achieving mainstream adoption in the mobile phone market, and the scope of its application is expected to quickly follow suit in other applications," Yussuff stated in a recent industry report.
With wireless charging adoption becoming widespread, the impulse for many users will be to just plop their smartphones down on the charging pad where it will remain fully charged all day long.
Is it bad to fully charge your smartphone?
With greater ease of charging via wireless technology, the question becomes: Is it bad for your mobile device battery to be fully charged all the time?
Venkat Srinivasan, director of the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science (ACCESS), said that while you cannot overcharge a smartphone or tablet battery, as the electronics will not allow it, keeping it fully charged will hasten its degradation.
"Frankly, the higher you are in the [charge] state, as you creep up to 90%, 95% to 100% charge, the more degradation the battery will see," he said.
As a lithium-ion battery charges and discharges, ions pass back and forth between a positive electrode (made of lithium-cobalt oxide or lithium iron phosphate) and a negative electrode (made of carbon graphite).
As a battery charges, the positive electrode gives off lithium ions that move to the negative electrode and are stored as energy. As the battery discharges, those ions move back to the positive electrode to be used as electricity. As those lithium ions move back and forth, the electrolyte that acts as the transport medium degrades over time.
The higher the state of charge, the faster the electrolyte degrades, Srinivasan said.
Therefore, it's best not only to keep your smartphone below its top charge, but also to keep the charging and discharging pendulum from swinging wildly.
"In general, if you swing the battery charge from top to bottom, that's the worst thing you can to for the life of the battery. If you can cycle the battery between 45% and 55% that's the best thing you can do," Srinivasan said. "But, in general, just make sure you don't keep it fully charged."
Srinivasan also cautions against being too sensitive to your smartphone or tablet charging. Most smartphone manufacturers design batteries to last two to three years, so if you're a consumer who typically replaces your phone after that amount of time, you don't need to be overly concerned with charging rates.
Wireless charging and charge cycles
As more lithium-ion batteries hit the market, in both consumer electronics and electric vehicles, the rhetoric over whether you should keep those batteries fully charged has heated up, Srinivasan said. His blog posts often receive long comment threads from both sides of the spectrum.
"The debate between degradation due to high voltage hold vs. degradation due to over-cycling/over-discharge is a hot one," Daniel Steingart, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, stated in a recent blog post.
Leaving your smartphone or tablet fully charged will speed the degradation of the battery, he said. But, he added, it's not that simple.
The damage from fully charging your battery has lessened over time with more sophisticated mobile battery management systems and incremental improvements in the battery cell technology itself, he said. For example, in 2007, when Steingart was a graduate student, taking a battery cell repeatedly to 4.2 volts meant "an early death" for it. he said. Today, the same damage to modern battery cells would require at least 4.4 volts.
Even though battery cell technology has improved, there are still too many industry variables to know definitively whether one battery will show greater endurance than another based on continuous charging.
"We simply don't know, without a complicated tear-down and reverse engineering of the battery and battery management system, what the actual state of charge when the phone says '100%' is," Steingart said. "Some apps give voltage indication, yes, but without knowing the specific formulation and composition of the cathode, we don't know exactly."
BMS systems stop a smartphone or tablet from continually charging through the use of a sophisticated algorithm that balances how long the phone will last today vs. how long the battery will last, according to Steingart. If not for BMS technology, constantly charging your phone would kill the battery after a few months, he said.
Why chose the Xpress Charger™ 3 in 1 Wireless Chargers
When the battery hits 100%, charging stops on the Xpress Charger™ 3 in 1 Wireless Charger, but your phone is still running. After a short while, the battery will lose some power, and will draw in current from the wireless charging station until it's fully charged again. The wireless charging pads will safely trickle charge your phone battery to keep it fully charged at all times, so it's perfectly safe to leave it on the charging pad or mat overnight or for an extended period of time.
Purchasing poor quality wireless charging pads can damage the phone or its battery. Chances of your smartphone getting damaged are high if you use a low-quality wireless charger. Purchase only quality tried and tested wireless charging products.
The Xpress Charger™ 3 in 1 Wireless Chargers are designed and engineered to offer the best wireless charging experience and to keep both you and your devices safe: