Safety Certification is Fundamental to Good Power Design
For the vast majority of us, mobile phones have become an essential part of everyday life. Which means, by definition, so has the routine of charging the mobile phone - especially as ever-more demanding apps increase energy use and the need to charge daily or even more often. As a result, the market for after-sale mobile phone chargers is growing rapidly, not least when it comes to fast and multi-port chargers.
Unfortunately, as with every market where there is significant potential for financial return, there is also the potential for manufacturers to optimise profits by cutting costs which, in turn, can have an impact on product quality, reliability and, not least, safety. The risks associated with such chargers can include fire and explosion or worse. Last year, for example, a young girl in Italy was electrocuted while charging her mobile phone in the bath - the same fate that has befallen a number of teenagers in other countries if the news reports are to be believed.
In this particular case it transpires that Italian investigators subsequently discovered a manufacturing defect in the charger’s isolation capacitors that resulted from the use of cheap, low-quality materials. The conclusion was that, had the battery charger been built using electrical components that met the relevant technical criteria, the discharge that caused the girl's death would not have occurred.
So what should consumers do?
Clearly the sensible thing to do is to avoid charging a phone while in the bath and safety organisations all over the world warn against using any electrical appliance in a bathroom. However, the blame should not lie with the victims - any well-made charger should be designed to eliminate the possibility of such tragic events occurring. And, while we don’t know the makes of the chargers in all the cases of electrocution, what we do know is that there are a number of cheap, sub-standard products on the market that are designed with poor AC/DC isolation and, as a result, present a risk when the phone is used while connected to a wall outlet.
Irrespective of the location, that means that these chargers present a very real risk to their users.
That’s why it’s important to avoid chargers that are sold at very low prices by unknown brands and to only buy chargers that feature UL and/or CE marks. However, even then extreme caution is needed as CE marks can sometimes be fake. As a result, other markings including TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverein, which translates to “Technical Inspection Association). Assuming they are not counterfeits - for which there will be other telling signs, not least price and poor build quality - properly marked products will have undergone all proper safety testing and certification in accordance with the relevant safety standards.
Of course, being safe doesn’t mean you can’t be innovative. Eggtronic has developed some of the world’s most innovative and effective solutions for fast, efficient charging, but at all times our primary consideration has been one of safety. All of the components in our designs are tested for quality and reliability and our engineers understand the importance of building safety into each and every design. Our advanced power conversion technologies comply with or exceed the requirements relating to isolation and other safety requirements, not to mention a host of other regulations relating to efficiency, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and environmental sustainability.