Mainland China has recently been having some of the coldest weather on record in the past thirty years. When it comes to protecting yourself from the severity of the winter season, wrapping up in something warm goes without saying. However if someone were to tell you that they treated their electrical appliances in the same way, I’m sure you’d think they need their head examining. At least this was the traditional line of thought up until now.
iPad users from China are reporting that the extreme cold is preventing their unit’s battery from charging. As a quick fix, many are recommending that you treat it like your very own flesh and blood — by wrapping it up in something warm!
Chinese users seem to be adopting several methods to bring their device back to a healthy temperature. Some are making use of halogen heaters; others are using air conditioners. The method attracting the most attention, and dare we say the most endearing of all, is that which involves wrapping your iPad up in a warm garment as though it were a little baby! Some are even going so far as to thrust their device in between their clothes.
Wherever you look — whether it be the bitterly cold roadside during the height of winter, or the sweltering heat of a full train in sultry summer — someone is using a laptop or some form of electrical gadget. If our gadgets are this easily influenced by changes in temperature, why hasn’t this type of problem become more widespread?
Writer Tama-chan at Byokan Sunday did a bit of research to get to the bottom of this and discovered that it all has to do with the lithium-ion based battery used in many electrical devices.
The following is a statement from Baysun, a manufacturer of lithium batteries:
“In most cases, the possible charging battery temperature range lies between 0℃- 45℃. You are only likely to encounter a problem if the temperature exceeds either end of this scale. In reality, it is very unlikely that someone would be using their electrical device in a 0℃ or 45℃ environment.”
Going on the above, it is fair to say that if a (lithium-ion based) device’s temperature dips below zero, charging the battery could prove a little problematic. For someone who spends a lot of time indoors, switching on the heating admittedly eliminates this problem. Nevertheless, the real problem arguably comes at night as many users, during their sleeping hours, put their device on charge. As many turn off the heating during this period, the indoor temperature can reach extreme lows.
Looking at Apple’s official website, the same thing is mentioned. In other words, support is not offered when it comes to lithium-ion or similarly based battery devices under temperatures that exceed designated use. In short, use is not recommended under minus conditions as it foreseen that some sort of malfunction may occur.
This might all be common knowledge amongst those in the lithium-ion business, but as an iPad user what can one do if he finds himself confronted with such a problem? Not knowing whether your device will be fully charged upon waking the next morning, especially for those using their device for work purposes, could prove a bit of a hassle. To go back to the example that most in China seem to be adopting, when your iPad looks like it might be freezing to death the best thing to do is wrap it up in something warm until it recovers a healthy complexion!