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What Could Affect Time To Charge A Phone?

Floyd1

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Apr 2, 2019
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@Coal (or anyone else)

MrsF works in an old building which has been converted into offices. The guy who owns the property is a tightwad - very low wattage bulbs in all the light fittings so you can't see properly, radiators not working etc.

When she charges her phone up there, it takes ages, unlike at home. What could be the reason for that- any ideas?
 

Endlessly Amazed

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@Coal (or anyone else)

MrsF works in an old building which has been converted into offices. The guy who owns the property is a tightwad - very low wattage bulbs in all the light fittings so you can't see properly, radiators not working etc.

When she charges her phone up there, it takes ages, unlike at home. What could be the reason for that- any ideas?
I have no idea but I have noticed this as well. I hope someone can tell us.
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
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Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
@Coal (or anyone else)

MrsF works in an old building which has been converted into offices. The guy who owns the property is a tightwad - very low wattage bulbs in all the light fittings so you can't see properly, radiators not working etc.

When she charges her phone up there, it takes ages, unlike at home. What could be the reason for that- any ideas?
No idea, because the charger should compensate for differences in mains current.
Maybe the place is so cold, it has a lot of condensation in the air, leading to the charging circuit to run very cool. But then, MrsF would notice, right?
But I'm really just guessing!
 

Ermintruder

Delineated by a professional cryptozoologist
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5,941
When she charges her phone up there, it takes ages, unlike at home.
The key question is: does she use her own charger at both locations? I am presuming yes.

'Low' mains voltage anywhere in the developed world represents such a small tolerance differential from the standard supply as to be utterly-insignificant when it comes to powering electronic equipment (*see below). Compliance with published norms for voltage/frequency & current is a matter of observance of statute.

Let me put in another way: modern electronic equipment which is powered (or recharged) from mains electricity now invariably uses automatically-adaptive 'switch mode' power supplies, which efficiently-slice the high levels of presented alternating voltage many times each second, followed by smoothing/filtering/rectification to a reduced exact direct voltage. Bulky, hot, heavy transformers are a thing of the past, in almost all consumer contexts.

These 'switch mode' powers supplies are so tolerant of different mains voltages, they will happily produce exactly the right output voltages anywhere in the world with no external adjustment, effectively from 90V all the up to nearly 300V.

Therefore: it cannot even be considered that the same charger used at two different locations would (or could) produce differing results in charging-times as some obscure variation of the mains electricity- it just makes no sense.

So what factors in reality could make a difference to the charging-rates at those two separate locations? These could include:
  1. increased levels of stored power consumption, emptying the internal device batteries at the same time as they are being refilled. Suppose one location has poorer wifi coverage than the other, and as a consequence is forcing the phone to use public 4G/5G; or equally, vice-versa. There is normally a heavier power consumption penalty when using public Networks.
  2. random poor connection between the charger lead and the mobile device (especially if using a legacy mini or micro USB, versus USB-C / Firewire). This can give very-odd effects when attempting recharging, including forcing the battery charge management system within the phone to misinterpret the true latent capacity of the battery itself.
  3. number and type of background software applications concurrently running, largely-unseen (eg multiple tabs within browsers left open, OS update re-re-attempts (as a function of network type being accessed and selected update preferences)
  4. Battery life nearing end: many older lithium batteries can begin to swell, through absorption of atmospheric vapour/sweat/rain. This will definitely result in charging times that are very unpredictable.

(* from above: as opposed to true electrical equipment, which in a pure form is becoming rarer & rarer. However, a good eternal example is an electric kettle, which unavoidably-requires the correct mains electricity voltage (and current capacity) in order to reach boiling-point for the water contained within. Low voltage for mains power electricity (rare though that is for most westerners etc) would result in a literal and measurable increase in time-to-boil for an electric kettle, since the energy required to take a common volume of water from ambient room temperature to 100degC is the compound product of Voltage multiplied by Current multiplied by Time, cf Power times Time)
 
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Floyd1

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Apr 2, 2019
Messages
4,671
The key question is: does she use her own charger at both locations? I am presuming yes.

'Low' mains voltage anywhere in the developed world represents such a small tolerance differential from the standard supply as to be utterly-insignificant when it comes to powering electronic equipment. Compliance with published norms for voltage/frequency & current is a matter of observance of statute.

Let me put in another way: modern electronic equipment which is powered (or recharged) from mains electricity now invariably uses automatically-adaptive 'switch mode' power supplies, which efficiently-slice the high levels of presented alternating voltage many times each second, followed by smoothing/filtering/rectification to a reduced exact direct voltage. Bulky, hot, heavy transformers are a thing of the past, in almost all consumer contexts.

These 'switch mode' powers supplies are so tolerant of different mains voltages, they will happily produce exactly the right output voltages anywhere in the world with no external adjustment, effectively from 90V all the up to nearly 300V.

Therefore: it cannot even be considered that the same charger used at two different locations would (or could) produce differing results in charging-times as some obscure variation of the mains electricity- it just makes no sense.

So what factors in reality could make a difference to the charging-rates at those two separate locations? These could include:
  1. increased levels of stored power consumption, emptying the internal device batteries at the same time as they are being refilled. Suppose one location has poorer wifi coverage than the other, and as a consequence is forcing the phone to use public 4G/5G; or equally, vice-versa. There is normally a heavier power consumption penalty when using public Networks.
  2. random poor connection between the charger lead and the mobile device (especially if using a legacy mini or micro USB, versus USB-C / Firewire). This can give very-odd effects when attempting recharging, including forcing the battery charge management system within the phone to misinterpret the true latent capacity of the battery itself.
  3. number and type of background software applications concurrently running, largely-unseen (eg multiple tabs within browsers left open, OS update re-re-attempts (as a function of network type being accessed and selected update preferences)
  4. Battery life nearing end: many older lithium batteries can begin to swell, through absorption of atmospheric vapour/sweat/rain. This will definitely result in charging times that are very unpredictable.
Right. Thanks for taking the time for that Erms, much appreciated.
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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When she charges her phone up there, it takes ages, unlike at home. What could be the reason for that- any ideas?
Is she standing on the wire?
Or is there a knot in it?
Or is she using a much longer wire? Maybe try a shorter one so the electrickery doesn't have to go so far?
Or maybe, being an older building, they forgot to put the clocks back?
 

Floyd1

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Apr 2, 2019
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4,671
Is she standing on the wire?
Or is there a knot in it?
Or is she using a much longer wire? Maybe try a shorter one so the electrickery doesn't have to go so far?
Or maybe, being an older building, they forgot to put the clocks back?
No, the same charger is used.
 

Ermintruder

Delineated by a professional cryptozoologist
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
5,941
Is she standing on the wire?
Or is there a knot in it?
No, these were only issues with medieval mobile phones (such as Thomas A'Becket's Nokia 3310)

The problem is more likely to be Lint. Robotic belly-button fluff.

Compressed lint, aggregated at the internal depths of the phone's charging socket 'g-spot'.

(I am assuming it's an Android smartphone of some manufacturer or other....Apple devices don't suffer from this problem, because they are possibly designed by aliens, and may use magnets/mono-atomic gold/nanotech suction).

This lint is an extremely effective contributor towards randomly-ineffectual charging sessions, where despite the appearance of fruitful mating between your charger and your phone (and even an audible/tactile confirmation of intromission), that plug is actually being covertly-expelled back out again.

I hesitantly-recommend whittled cocktail sticks, or diminished bamboo barbeque skewers, VERY cautiously negotiated around the intimate innards of the central charging connection. In fact, don't do this unless you're skilled & confident in your foreplay skills with electronic gadgets....you could all too easily get yourself into a fix instead of out of one. Stick to attempting a good targetted dry blow instead.

I apologise for all the substantially-unavoidable double-entendres in the above advice, but I found it hard to explain without dipping-into those sorts of phrases, and will pray for forgiveness....(or is it pay, I can never remember what scheme I'm meant to be a member of, plus I lost the instructions)
 
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James_H

And I like to roam the land
Joined
May 18, 2002
Messages
7,494
Low voltage for mains power electricity (rare though that is for most westerners etc)
Not so! It's a big reason why Americans don't really use electric kettles, because it takes them way longer to pick up steam. Great post btw.
 

Coal

The Ultimate Skepticus
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
9,472
Not so! It's a big reason why Americans don't really use electric kettles, because it takes them way longer to pick up steam. Great post btw.
Maybe in the USA.

The UK grid is a baseload system and uses the AC voltage frequency as a control mechanism. If the frequency drops (as the load increases) more power is pushed into the grid and if the frequency increases less power is fed into the grid (very broad strokes there). If the frequency drops below about 48Hz, power stations disconnect themselves...to avoid far worse problems.

The UK mains voltage is, domestically speaking, maintained at 230V (rms) -6%, +10%, i.e. 216.2V - 253.0V.

It's just about possible that the mains voltage in @Floyd1's office scenario is 216V and is 253V 'at home'. This is rather unlikely I'd say. One other possibility is that the ring main in the 'office' is poorly implemented, essentially is too long or too thin wire, leading to a local 'in building' voltage drop. In the UK this is not very common...so @Ermintruder probably got it right.
 

PeteS

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Dec 5, 2016
Messages
2,819
I charge all sorts of batteries in different locations with different chargers and the only variation in charging times I've come across is when ambient temperatures are very high or very low. I've always thought that there is an inbuilt feature in the chargers to protect the circuits and batteries.
 
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