Why LAVA is #1 in Battery Protection
By: Adam Swimmer
4 Min Read
8 Aug, 2022
At LAVA, we make high-quality SimulCharge mobile adapters that provide simultaneous charging and data to tablets and smartphones. Some of these adapters also feature overcharge protection through Battery Modulation. This article looks at how this technology work and how it makes LAVA a leader in battery protection.
The idea of modulating a charge to the battery came about after some real-world observations, through our customers, who were using our STS adapters – the very first iteration of our SimulCharge products. We found that customers with permanent tablet setups, where a tablet was allowed to charge 24/7 (e.g. kiosks and digital signage), were seeing their tablets bloat due to the swelling of the lithium-ion battery inside.
After some analysis, we came to the realization that the battery bloating was associated with the overcharging of a battery. We felt the best way to prevent this from happening was to mimic how a consumer would use their mobile device, by periodically charging and discharging the device. By modulating the charge to a lithium-ion battery, it avoids prolonged periods where the battery is sitting at 100%, which we found to be the main cause of bloating.
Today, we have a number of products that support battery modulation, these products range from more-advanced Battery Modulation solutions (i.e. eSynC and eSTS), down to our more simplified battery modulation solutions (i.e. uSynC, uSTS and Charge-Check) which will work with virtually any lithium-ion device.
Our eSynC and eSTS products are only compatible with specific tablets and require our LAVA Tablet Manager (LTM) app to be installed on the tablet in order to function correctly. Battery Modulation allows you to communicate with a connected peripheral regardless of whether that tablet is in a charging, or discharging cycle. In addition, our LTM app does allows you to customize the charging limits along with various other management features which help to optimize your battery usage
On the other hand, our uSynC, uSTS and Charge-Check products use a much simpler implementation in that it measures the incoming current. Based on the charging characteristics, it makes a calculation as to when the connected device is close to being fully charged, before allowing it to discharge for a specified amount of time. The benefit to this implementation is that it is compatible with a wider range of lithium-ion devices and doesn’t require any additional software.
LAVA Versus the Competition
Battery protection features found in newer mobile devices generally tend to lock the device’s charging to a specific threshold (e.g. 85% or 60%).
On the other hand, LAVA’s approach to battery protection has always been to treat these consumer devices as a consumer would them. The adapter perpetually charges and discharges the tablet and occasionally allows it to reach 100%, for a limited amount of time to recalibrate the battery.
Since holding a tablet at a specific charge is a relatively new approach, there is really no way of know what the long-term effects of this approach may be on the general lifespan of a battery. It is LAVA’s belief that our approach of modulating the charge more accurately resembles how consumers have been treating their devices for years.
Additionally, there is no way of knowing if, or when, a manufacturer may remove/break these protection features with a future firmware release. By going with a fully hardware solution (uSynC, uSTS, Charge-Check) or combination hardware/app solution (eSynC, eSTS), you remove the dependence on the tablet manufacturer’s built-in battery protection solution. You won’t have to worry if the feature is removed or inadvertently disabled in a future upgrade.
LAVA’s Battery Modulation adapters also provide an ecological benefit as it means you can use your mobile devices for a longer period of time. If there is anything to be learned from the current state of environmental issues that we’re all facing, it’s that now is as good a time as any to try to extend the life cycle of our consumer goods as opposed to refreshing these devices on an annual basis. To find out more about LAVA’s Battery Modulation, check out the technology section of LAVA’s website.