In a recent video by Great scott that's been making waves in tech circles, the DIY enthusiast and electronics enthusiast took on the challenge of investigating the impact of super-fast charging on smartphone battery life. He spent three months designing and building a custom circuit to test the effects of both regular and super-fast charging cycles on lithium-ion batteries commonly used in smartphones. The setup involved discharging the batteries with a simulated 1A current down to 3.5V before switching to a charging mode, where the batteries were charged at either 1A or 5A currents up to 4.35V. The results were thought-provoking, showing a clear trend:
while the 1A charging didn't significantly affect battery capacity, the 5A super-fast charging led to an average capacity drop of 1.6% over 100 cycles, raising concerns about its long-term impact on battery health.
Scott took on the challenging task of designing a custom circuit for the experiment, documenting the process in a detailed video. Using Altium Designer software for schematic and PCB design, he integrated a charging IC, an OpAmp, and an Arduino microcontroller to create a comprehensive system capable of measuring and controlling the charging and discharging cycles. The video showcased his meticulous approach, from creating the circuit design to receiving professionally manufactured. Despite facing some challenges, like solder paste issues and a faulty battery, the project ultimately succeeded in shedding light on the effects of fast charging on battery life.
This experiment highlights the curiosity and dedication of tech enthusiasts to uncover insights that could impact everyday device use. The video serves as a reminder that while super-fast charging might offer convenience, it could come at the cost of long-term battery health. The project's thorough documentation and presentation provide a valuable resource for tech enthusiasts and smartphone user’s alike, sparking discussions about the trade-offs between convenience and battery longevity in the fast-paced world of mobile devices.