Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Battery Capacities - What To Look Out For


I am sure that you, like me, have seen some tiny external batteries advertising 20,000 mah. Now, if you consider our smallest external battery is around 21000 mah, you’d have to wonder how a smaller sized battery can offer nearly the same mah as the larger batteries and why we don't just make ours smaller...

In a word.  It can’t.

There are a lot of factors that create this illusion but sadly, most of it has to do with marketing.   You see, the larger the mah number is, the greater the perception of how much longer the battery will last. This obviously in turn helps sell products.

So, in true Mikegyver style, we put the fact to the test. We decided to test out a competitor's battery that is advertised at 26,000 mah against our own “boss battery” at 23,000 mah.

We put a load meter on each battery with the same exact Amperage drain and Voltage output.  Our 23,000 mah battery actually outlasted the "into circuit" battery at 26,000 mah by a full 20 minutes.

In theory, there really shouldn’t be a big difference, but it was very interesting to note that the competitor's was advertised at 26,000 mah as then they should have at the very least lasted the same amount of time. 

Without getting too technical, the best gauge to determine how long a battery will work is too (believe it or not), look at it’s size.  Just like conventional batteries on the market today: The AA battery is the same voltage as the D cell battery (the larger size) but the D cell will outlast the AA by far.  Why?  Think of batteries like a cup of water.  The more water the cup can hold the longer it’ll last you.  The same concept applies to external batteries too.  There will be more electrons to flow into your laptop and thus allow you to run your laptop for longer.

Bottom line: The battery industry has tried to fool the uninformed into thinking that their battery's last longer by inflating their Mah’s.   

Don’t get me wrong, there are different type of batteries that have different chemistries that could give you longer run time from a smaller package (a topic for another blog), but if the battery is small, it can never give you the same run time as a larger battery when comparing batteries with similar chemistry.

In other words, if you come across a battery that seems too good to be true it probably is.  

How then, you might ask, do we really know which batteries last longer.  The answer is to actually try it out, or to use a load tester under same exact load conditions.  Which is what we do to our batteries.

If you are interested in knowing truly how long brand X is compared to brand Y?  Contact us with the battery you have in mind and we’d be glad to load test it so you can tell if you have a really good battery, or just a "wannabe" good battery.

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