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Why Do Batteries Drain So Quickly in the Winter?

Americans have come to know the bone-rattling chill of a polar vortex. Add a blistering wind and waves of snow from a "bomb cyclone," and it often seem better just to stay in bed. But it's not just people suffering from the effects of the winter -- all that brutal cold affects lithium-powered devices, too, causing them to lose power more quickly than they would in a milder climate. Basically, in cold temperatures, the ions embedded in the battery’s graphite solution stop moving from one end of the battery (the anode) to the other (the cathode), drastically reducing power output.

No power? That's cold, brother:

  • Smartphones don’t like extremes. Technical specifications for the iPhone 5S, for example, say that it can survive between -4° and 113° Fahrenheit (-20° and 45° Celsius), but it won’t really work very well below 32 °F (0 °C).

  • If your phone shuts down due to the cold, don’t restart it until you’ve given the phone time to warm up. LCD screens can also malfunction, or crack, in extreme temperatures.

  • A company called Salt Cases has developed a new type of smartphone case, using technology inspired by NASA. The company claims that the cases use heat from the device to protect the phone in the cold.

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More Info: Live Science

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