Should we unplug our chargers each night?
Oct 13,2020, 107
The cost of plugging in your mobile til morning

If you own a smartphone of any description then you're probably familiar with seeing the battery warning level light flick on at some point during the evening. It's now become standard practice for phones to be charged up at least once every 24 hours, and the easiest time to do that is overnight when they're sat still doing nothing but waiting for the morning.

Is this really the most sensible option, though? Are we causing permanent damage to our handsets by keeping them charged for much longer than they need to be? (Assuming you get more than two hours of sleep each night, that is.) And just how much unnecessary power is being drawn by our chargers while we're snoozing away oblivious?

The charger facts
The good news is that a lot of progress has been made in the efficiency and performance of smartphone chargers in recent years, thanks to organisations like the International Energy Agency and the manufacturers themselves.

The IEA's One Watt Initiative helped get standby power usage down below a single watt and then below half a watt in 2013 for many electronics. What does that mean? Well, when your charger is plugged in but not connected to a device (while you're out at work say) it's only using the equivalent of a few pence worth of energy over an entire year.

That's assuming you're using a phone and charger made in the last few years and abiding by current regulations, of course; but the trend is moving in the right direction.

As Cambridge professor David MacKay points out, that half a watt equates to saving one hot bath's worth of energy every year if you unplug your charger when it's not in use. Multiply that by everyone who owns a smartphone and you get a lot of hot baths — but only a very small percentage of the energy that those people are using in total.

Of course not using energy is better than using it, but as Professor MacKay puts it: "Obsessively switching off the phone charger is like bailing the Titanic with a teaspoon. Do switch it off, but please be aware how tiny a gesture it is."

That's assuming you're using a phone and charger made in the last few years and abiding by current regulations, of course; but the trend is moving in the right direction.

As Cambridge professor David MacKay points out, that half a watt equates to saving one hot bath's worth of energy every year if you unplug your charger when it's not in use. Multiply that by everyone who owns a smartphone and you get a lot of hot baths — but only a very small percentage of the energy that those people are using in total.

Of course not using energy is better than using it, but as Professor MacKay puts it: "Obsessively switching off the phone charger is like bailing the Titanic with a teaspoon. Do switch it off, but please be aware how tiny a gesture it is."

The Energy Saving Trust reckons that the average household can save £50-80 a year by unplugging all of the devices that are on standby or connected to the mains during the night, that includes smartphones, but also microwaves, television sets and routers.

As smartphones only take an hour or two to charge, the EST suggests doing it right after work rather than overnight. Even if your charger is plugged in and connected to nothing, it's pulling a small amount of energy from the grid.

Lithium ion batteries
Every smartphone on the market is now fitted with a rechargeable lithium ion battery. If these batteries are overcharged or completely drained, they can become very volatile and dangerous, which is why modern chargers are designed to stop those two things from happening: they will actually cut out the power once a phone reaches 100%.
 
 
Leave Your Comments


Recent Posts
Events and Awards
 
Inaugural Mobile Device Summit to be hosted with the active participation of 200+ brands including G... Read More
 
The three-day IMC will be held on 27-29 September 2017, at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi and will see pa... Read More
 
 

Hong Guang De Technology India Pvt. Ltd.(HGD India) are Premium Manufacturers, Suppliers and Exporters of High End Smart Android Mobile Cell Phone Electric chargers and Adapters. Our premium Mobile Cell phone charger range includes both OEM and ODM chargers. We are suppliers to top Mobile phone and both black and white chargers are available ranging from Wall Wired Chargers, Wall chargers, Smart Multi Chargers, Android Multi Port Chargers, Multi Pin Chargers, Fast Wall Chargers, Android Portable Chargers, USB and Dual USB Chargers, USB Fast Chargers, USB Smart Chargers, Dual USB Wall Fast Chargers, 1 amp, 2 amp, 3 amp chargers also 2.4 amp, 0.5 amp, 0.7 amp mobile charger variants are available. We are suppliers and exporters to Bulk and wholesale Mobile charger traders, OEM chargers requirements to direct companies. Our Mobile chargers manufacturing plant is an state of art infra with a capacity of 5 million chargers per month.


We cater to Indian consumers across India including Maharashtra, Uttar pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Kolkata, Surat, Pune, Jaipur, Lucknow, Indore, Guwahati, Patna, Mumbai and all other Indian states. We are also exporters to Bangladesh, Africa and Nepal.


Apart from manufacturing smart mobile USB Chargers, we also manufacture Car chargers, DTH Set Top Box Electric power adapters ranging from 9v Electric power set top box adapter to 12v electric power supply set top box adaptors.