Can You Overcharge a Cell Phone?


Author: Richard Horgan
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Summary: You can NOT overcharge a cell phone battery, but leaving it plugged in too long can cause a variety of problems.

Tags: Can you overcharge a cell phone, nickel based batteries, cell phone manuals

Technically speaking, no. Lithium-ion batteries cannot be overcharged. Once a full charge is reached, this type of battery will not accept any further energy. However, keeping such a battery plugged in and charging for an extended period of days can cause stress to the battery and, in the worse-case scenarios, trigger a fire or explosion.

Nickel Based Batteries

Nickel-metal-hydride batteries are similar to lithium-ion; they cannot accept an overcharge and trickle charges must be kept low to avoid safety hazards.This type of battery is non-toxic and offers a higher specific energy than nickel-cadium.

The nickel-cadium battery was invented in 1899 by Waldmar Junger. Two waves of improvements were made subsequently, first right after World War II with casing technology and then in the 1980s when capacity was upped by around 60%. There are many claims on the Internet that leaving a cell phone battery plugged in overnight on a continual basis can permanently damage the power source. However, these claims are false. With few exceptions, a defective cell phone battery will have been caused by factory defect; not too much charging.

Conversely, some cell phone users may be doing themselves a disservice by never letting their battery completely die. Cell phone providers advise that at least once every couple of months, it is advisable to do just that.

Cell Phone Manuals

Despite all of the above, many instruction manuals for cell phone warn against overcharging. This is not because a battery can be overcharged per se, but because extended periods of incoming electrical charging may destabilize some of the battery cells.

In other words, once a battery reaches its full charge, it cannot be charged any further. At the same time, that electrical current that keeps coursing in has nowhere to go, creating a stressful electromagnetic environment and pushing the battery into more of an unknown realm. Depending on type, manufacturer and amount of time left plugged in, complications may or may not ensue.

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Works Cited

Battery University
"Charging Lithium-ion"
http://batteryuniversity.com

Battery University
"Nickel Based Batteries"
http://batteryuniversity.com

Gizmodo
"Don't Charge Your Cell Phone Battery Overnight"
http://gizmodo.com







purple arrowCite this Article

"Can You Overcharge a Cell Phone?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <http://www.sophisticatededge.com/can-you-overcharge-a-cell-phone.html>.  

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to treat or diagnose any health problems or illnesses without consulting a physician. It is not meant to take the place of health care or services you may need. Please consult a physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.

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