Fact or fable: it is dangerous to use a power bank on a plane

power bank

Did you ever stop to consider this?

Airports around the world are dealing with a lot of traffic at the moment. Many people are on their way to their holiday destinations and some of these people have to spend a really long time on a plane. While one person reads a book, someone else has downloaded a film on their phone via Netflix to watch during the journey. If you spend a lot of time on your phone, your battery will go down really quickly. Luckily, you were smart enough to bring a power bank with you so you can charge your phone on the go. But, is it really that smart to charge your phone like this?

Is it dangerous to take a portable charger, also called a power bank, with you on a plane?

Dangerous

Can you responsibly take a power bank with you on a plane? This is a question that’s been going around after a pretty serious incident with a phone on a plane. One a plane in Barcelona a phone caught fire after it was plugged into a power bank. This happened before the plane took off and the passengers were forced to leave the plane immediately.

Strict rules

Airlines have very strict rules on what objects you’re allowed to take with you when you get on the plane. Of course, you’re definitely not allowed to take weapons or sharp objects with you and fluids in large quantities are also prohibited. You are allowed to take a power bank or batteries for your laptop with you. Some airlines also allow you to actually use these on the plane, but this might change in the future.

Using a power bank

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines doesn’t allow power banks to be used on their planes, and other airlines might just follow suit. Erik Kelder, a battery expert at Delft University of Technology, explains that batteries contain lithium and that this is a highly flammable type of metal. It reacts very quickly with oxygen and water. Batteries are always dangerous, because they contain energy. If the battery short circuits, all of this energy wants to come out at once. This can happen when you drop a battery, for example. When this happens, all of the energy might be released at once, which can cause the battery to heat up. What happens next is that the battery might break or even explode!

The battery expert expects that other airlines will take measures against power banks as well because of the explosion hazard. Kelder expects that the use of lithium batteries during flights will be prohibited, but that you’ll still be allowed to take the batteries with you.

Read more: This is what happens when you don’t put your phone on flight mode during your flight!

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Source: RTL Nieuws | Image: Tips and Tricks©