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What you need to know about choosing powerbank portable chargers

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A power Bank portable charger is the new essential electronic device if you want to ensure you're never stuck without power on your mobile phone or other devices

- but do you know how to choose a safe model and avoid those which could be dangerous?

Power Bank Portable Recharger with carry bag and cable

With personal safety in mind, Insight Security has launched the new "Emergency Power Bank", which not only provides a backup charge for your Mobile Phone, Tablet or MP3 player, etc., but also incorporates a practical, high intensity, energy efficient LED torch.

broken down car, emergency assistance requiredImagine that you're driving along in the country, when your car dies on you! ...there's no power and you're stuck in the middle of nowhere, fed up and alone, but the good news is you know someone who can help.

Out comes your trusty mobile phone ...but oops the battery is dead! – must have been all those calls you made this morning – but not to worry, your Emergency Power Bank springs to the Rescue and recharges your phone!

Of course this is only one scenario where you'll find the Emergency Power Bank worth it's weight in gold, whether it's that few day hiking trip through the wilds, or simply getting stuck at an airport waiting for delayed or cancelled flights, you'll know that you will always be able to top up your phone (or other device) battery whenever you want and wherever you are.

Why choose the Stay-Safe Emergency Power Bank?

• Measuring just 95 x 24mm and weighing just 97g, this compact unit is light enough to carry with you everywhere – so it'll always be on hand when you need it!

• Quality manufacture and use of top grade components, such as the on board "A1" grade Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, coupled with sleek design make this a unit to love

• It's a safe product to carry and use, and is compliant with all relevant test standards and certifications including; CE, RoHs, and UN38.3 (buying any Power Bank recharger unit unit that is not certified to "all" of these standards could put your personal safety at risk).

• The inclusion of the built in torch, really does make this versatile little unit the ideal emergency support all-rounder.

• At 2,600mAh, the Power Bank stores enough power to fully recharge a dead mobile phone, IPOD or MP3 player, with power to spare, or you can use it to partially recharge more power hungry devices such as your IPAD (if you need a Power Bank primarily to keep your IPAD fully charged, you'll need one with a minimum 10,000mAh rating, but of course it will be a bigger, heavier unit and will cost a lot more).

What you need to know about Power Banks before you buy:

There are many devices currently flooding into the UK from the Far East, but beware, on-line reviews posted by disgruntled users, have described units that either did not work out of the box, failed after just a couple of uses, caught fire, or simply fell to bits.

The Insight Stay-Safe Emergency Power Bank, is designed and tested to meet or conform to all international quality and safety certifications and standards.

Worryingly, however there are units being sold on Ebay, etc, which are not even CE marked, let alone confirmed to be RoHs compliant or UN38.3 tested and certified.

Essential things to look for when choosing your Power Bank.

A portable power bank is basically a rechargeable battery within a protective external housing with an input connection point to allow the internal battery to be recharged and an output socket to allow the unit to be connected to and recharge the battery of an external device such as a mobile phone, MP3 player or other rechargeable battery operated device.

The rechargeable battery in most Power Banks is of the Lithium Ion type (L-ion) which can store the level of power required to make the product viable, however as even respected mobile phone and computer manufacturers have discovered L-ion batteries can become unstable (dentrites issues) and have even been known to self-ignite and burst into flame, which is why it is essential to only use units incorporating this type of battery that meet the very highest standards.

Most L-ion batteries are manufactured in the Far East, however whilst some manufacturers produce top quality products (A1 grade) which meet the highest test standards, others manufacture their product to the lowest possible cost, resulting in an inferior and possibly even dangerous product.

Here are just a few of the problems you may encounter with units using a low grade rechargeable L-ion battery;

a short lifespan (failure within days or a few weeks is not uncommon),
• it takes longer to recharge the on-board battery than advertised,
• it takes longer to recharge the external device than claimed
• it may fall short of the charging capacity advertised
• it may overheat and ignite or explode.

Here are the minimum certifications / approvals your unit should have;

  1. CE mark – this is a legal requirement for any product sold into Europe including the UK
  2.  RoHs compliance - The RoHS compliance European Regulations, limit the amount of certain hazardous chemicals in the constituents of products, appliances and sub-components, the limits apply to the following:

     Lead (Pb)
     Mercury (Hg)
     Cadmium (Cd)
     Hexavalent Chromium (Cr 6+)
     Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBBs)
     Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)
  3. UN 38.3 Certification – this is a rigorous test standard designed to ensure the safety of Lithium batteries during shipping by air, sea or road.

Lithium batteries are required to pass section 38.3 of the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria (UN Transportation Testing) which includes specific tests to simulate all possible environments and risks that may be encountered during transportation;

 T1 – Altitude Simulation (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)
 T2 – Thermal Test (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)
 T3 – Vibration (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)
 T4 – Shock (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)
 T5 – External Short Circuit (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)
 T6 – Impact (Primary and Secondary Cells)
 T7 – Overcharge (Secondary Batteries)
 T8 – Forced Discharge (Primary and Secondary Cells)

 

In recent years, the development and widespread use of portable electronic devices has grown exponentially, and in particular the mobile phone has been embraced and is in daily use by tens of millions of people around the world.

In fact the mobile phone has itself become a safety aid, allowing people to not only stay in touch with friends and colleagues, but also to summon help in emergencies.

The big problem however is that modern smart phones whilst being able to do many things from accessing the internet to pinpointing your location, are power hungry devices and many users find they have to recharge their phone during the day as well as at night, which can sometimes be difficult, as you need access to a safe mains power supply for a period of time.

The Power Bank delivers independence from mains power, which means that you can recharge your phone at anytime and anywhere, making it as essential as a safety aid as your phone itself.

We hope this article will help you make a "safe choice" when choosing a Power Bank, whether you're buying one for yourself or as a gift for friends or family (they make ideal stocking fillers for Christmas!)

You can purchase the "Stay Safe Power Bank 2600" from Insight Security (prices from £8.75) at:

 Power Bank 2600

However if you need further help or advice, just call the Insight Security team on; 01273 475500, they'd love to help.

This message was added on Monday 24th November 2014

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