Power banks can take anywhere from two hours to eight hours to fully recharge. But this charging time depends on a lot of factors. Let’s break them down and understand how the charging speed of a power bank is affected.
How Long Does It Take To Charge A Power Bank?
To be precise, the charging duration of a power bank depends on a multitude of factors. These factors could be the capacity of the portable charger, type of cord, type of adapter, whether or not it’s operated while charging, etc. On this basis, it’s safe to say that each factor has different effects on charging speed. Let’s take a look at these effects.
What Is Your Portable Charger’s Capacity?
The larger capacity your power bank has, the longer it’s going to take to charge.
Smaller power banks are usually available in the range of 2000-5000 mAh (milliAmpere hours), and such power sources could only give around one full charge to your phone. Naturally, due to their smaller battery size, they take relatively less time to get fully charged. On the other hand, large-capacity power banks available in a range of more than 10,000 mAh have longer charging times.
Charging Technology Under Use
The technology your charger works on also impacts the charging time. Popular technologies like Quick Charge, USB PD, VOOC, Flash Charge, Warp Charge, etc., can efficiently charge your battery within the blink of an eye and save you a lot of time.
Apart from these, some next-generation technologies like Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Graphite have begun ruling the market as they facilitate unbelievably fast charging times. If you’re still lingering around with outdated chargers, then you’ll have to invest a significant amount of time in charging your power bank.
So you need to figure out the exact charging technology your portable charger uses to charge itself. You can refer to the user manual for more details. Please be aware of the fact that not all power banks come with advanced charging technologies. Therefore, the speed of charging can depend heavily on the specific model and its features.
Type Of Cord Used
There are a ton of options for charging cables in the market. While cheaper ones could appeal to you in terms of financial viability, you might have to pay the price in terms of efficiency and quality. Low-quality cords could affect the longevity of your device and may also take a long time to charge.
On the other hand, high-quality cables might seem like a crazy investment at first, but you would be treating your device with care and it might take less time to charge it. However, we’ll advise you to stick to the cable that comes along with your portable charger itself to ensure a safe and reliable charge.
Type Of Adapter Used
Standard charging adapters promise an output rating of 5V and approximately 2A of current, taking up to 3-5 hours to completely charge an average-sized battery/portable charger. With rapid advancements going on, we have the luxury of using lightning-fast charging adapters these days.
They’re available with an output rating of 5V power and 4-6A current and they charge a medium-sized battery in an hour or so. To be precise of the difference, a fast-charging adapter will charge four power banks at the same time a standard adapter would power a single portable charger.
It’s important to mention the fact that while fast-charging adapters are generally faster, the output rating doesn’t directly correlate with the actual charging speed. Power banks have different maximum input ratings, and using a charger that exceeds this will not increase charging speed. Furthermore, the actual charging speed also depends on the charging technology used, not just the raw output rating of the adapter.
Status Of Operation
Whether or not you’re using your portable charger during its charging time has a significant role in deciding how long it would take to charge. If you’ve plugged your mobile device(s) into your power bank while it’s charging, the power bank will obviously take longer to recharge itself.
Simultaneous charging and discharging also affect the battery health of your power bank, and doing so is far from beneficial. You must keep track of its battery percentage when you plug in your charger to load. The last 20% of the battery charges slower than the first 80%.
Remember a rule of thumb, ‘Lesser the number of draining components, the faster it will charge up, and the longer it will serve you.’
How To Know If A Power Bank Is Charged?
Since some power banks don’t have a display to inform you about their battery status, they usually come with four LEDs to indicate the same. One look is all it takes to determine whether your power bank is charged or not.
The reading and analyzing part is quite simple; you just have to notice the number of LEDs flashing and their steadiness of blinking. Probable cases that you might come across when you haven’t plugged it into a power source are:
- One LED is ON while others are OFF, this means that the battery percentage is somewhere between 1% and 25%
- Two LEDs are ON; this means that the battery percentage is between 26% and 50%
- Three LEDs are ON; this means that the battery percentage is between 51% and 75%
- Four LEDs are ON; this means that the battery percentage is between 76% and 100%
You can follow the same criteria for determining its battery status when it’s plugged into a charging socket. Besides, if none of the LEDs are ON, it indicates that your power bank is discharged and you must connect it to the charger.
If you notice that all the LEDs are constantly blinking, you must take it to a repairman or purchase a new piece, since it implies that your power bank isn’t functional anymore.
The color of the lights also tells you when you need to plug and unplug your portable charger into the power source. It may depend on the brand you’re using, so it’s better to glance at the respective user manuals beforehand.
Note: Some devices may not have LEDs installed on them. Skimming through the user’s guide would be beneficial in such cases to determine the battery status of your power bank.
Average Charging Times – What Should You Expect?
Charging times largely depend upon the factors that we stated above but on average, you can expect to fully recharge a mid-sized power bank in 3-10 hours. But it all depends from model to model. For example, Anker PowerCore Essential gives you 20000 mAh of power and you can charge it in under seven hours. Whereas, portable chargers of 10000 mAh capacity from Miady take up to five hours to get fully refilled.
If the time isn’t mentioned in the description, you’ll have to put on your big boy pants and do some math. A simple equation could provide you with a rough figure regarding the charging time you can expect.
Suppose your power bank is rated to deliver 20000 mAh, and you’re charging it with an adapter with a 2A output rating. Since 1000 mA = 1A, and ‘h’ denotes the time in hours. So, the time taken to charge it fully will be:
20,000 mAh/2A = 20Ah/2A = 10 hours.
Check the description given on your device to know its capacity.
There are power banks that charge slower than that. These are usually older tech and high-capacity ones. Solar portable chargers like the Kepswin power bank could even take days to get charged using direct solar energy.
What Are The Fastest Charging Times?
If it takes you anywhere under three hours to fully restore your portable charger’s battery, you must consider it a fast charging time. However, you’ll be surprised to know that some power banks can complete the process in under 20 minutes!
Elecjet Apolo is one such wonder that delivers 5000 mAh and recharges in just 18 minutes. All thanks to its high-speed charging technology – Qualcomm Quick Charge.
RAVPower PD 3.0 is another power bank in the queue that would blow your mind with its breakneck speed and high capacity. It delivers 20,000 mAh 60W power (enough to support the charging of your entire family’s phones at a time) and gets repowered in 3 hours.
With such quick charging technology in hand, you can seamlessly plan a weekend getaway in the woods with your friends without worrying about all your phones dying together.
We have something for your laptop as well. The powerful portable charger from MAXOAK delivers 26,756 mAh at 100W, which is enough to support your computer and phone simultaneously. And you could revive it in just 4 hours after a full discharge.
How to properly charge a power bank
Don’t Forget To Treat Your Power Bank Right
Sometimes, you unknowingly do things that might hamper the longevity of your portable charger and reduce its efficiency. Here are some of the practices that you should follow to gear up the charging speed of your power bank and ensure its upkeep –
- Avoid draining its battery by plugging in devices to your portable charger while it’s charging. It will slow down the charging speed. Given the case, it doesn’t support simultaneous charging and discharging.
- Switch OFF the power supply a bit earlier before the power bank reaches its full charging capacity. It will improve the efficacy of your power store and increase its lifeline.
- Don’t keep your portable charger in extreme temperatures as it may permanently damage it.
- Practice eco-friendly disposal methods when you want to throw it away.
To maximize the charging speed, we recommend you go for an adapter with a fast-charging technology like GaN and a high-quality USB cable.