Have you ever wonder does proximity to magnets damage or affect batteries in any way? If you are like me, you are always taking care of magnets not to come in contact or coming close to any electronic device in house. So I decided to use the power of the internet and too look around for the answer, to see if this is a myth or a real deal. This is exciting even for me to get an answer once for all, and especial I will be honored to serve you as this is one of the common questions that bugs us all.
Even though common magnets can or can’t damage your batteries, it can still fail for other reasons. Back in a days when a battery dies on me I will simple toss a dead one and buy a new one as a replacement. I didn’t knew better, but now I know how to recondition all kinds of dead batteries, so they will work again like they are brand new. If you’re interest into reconditioning an old batteries read my experience on how I did it!
Here is the actual answer.
Here is the answer. In theory magnets does have affect on batteries. But in reality the magnets that we have in our household are so weak that they are not affect electronics at all. In fact those electronic devices have magnets inside of them in order to get some of functionality. So for example mobile phones have magnets in speakers, then Hard Drives have magnets too, in order to move hand with a laser head over the spinning disk. So, should we will be worried about getting magnets close to our electronic devices with batteries or battery alone? The clear answer is NO! But bare in mind, only the strong magnets can, and will actually affect and damage the battery, such as MRI scanners etc. Those are devices that produces such a powerful magnetic field, you don’t want to have any metal close to those sources of magnetism, especially not batteries. And one more thing, I talk about batteries, and you shouldn’t get worried about them. But you must be careful with mobile phones getting close to any source of magnetic field because they have sensors which will be affected and will get mess up with external magnetic field. But you might be thinking that you don’t use this sensors, and guess what, you don’t but apps do. Once more, In theory magnetic field could interfere with the ion transport inside a non ferromagnetic battery but very small to measure. But it can interfere with the thermal security mechanism if magnets are very strong.
Do magnets drain the battery?
Here is the deal. In case if you are interest into does magnets drain the batteries I found some interesting research on the internet. Someone suggested that this might be the case, that magnets would drain the batteries. So, he did a one week testing. For a seven days he test triple A (AAA) Eneloop pro batteries in a flashlight attached on a magnetic phone holder in a car.
From a fresh charge, battery energy dropped 7.3% from it’s maximum voltage fresh from the charge. He also tested the same triple A (AAA) batteries off the magnet, fully charged. The result this time was that the voltage dropped 7.6% from it’s max voltage fresh off the charger.
Conclusion is that stored battery, or a batteries in a flashlight attached to a magnet does not drain or speed up self discharge rate. And as you can tell the batteries hold charge better attached to a magnet. So magnet helps the batteries hold it’s charge better.
The difference in voltage drops between the batteries stored off the magnet and the batteries attached on the magnet is 4 percents in favor of the batteries on the magnet. Voltage variations varies from battery to battery and that is pretty normal, and you can see there is no any negative effect from storing battery on the magnet.
Can a magnet drain a car battery?
First of all, we already see from text above that magnets can not damage or affect any battery in any way. So what about MRI scanner magnets and your car battery? If you have a car and let’s be honest, you will never park the car next to the working MRI scanner inside the hospital building.
But what about the mobile MRI trailers? Those are real. MRI scanners are really powerful. But magnetism follows the inverse square law. And that is how they manage to not get anybody’s brain hurt. This basically means that the magnetic field quickly decreases with distance. And if you park your car next to the mobile MRI trailer that alone won’t hurt your car battery or any electronics inside.
If, for some reason your car battery is stored somewhere in the house and it’s near to some kind of magnetic field, and it doesn’t hold charge anymore, look in my article to see what will happen to an unused car battery over time.
That magnetic field is not strong enough even to damage data stored on credit cards. Car batteries are made from led plates and covered with sulfuric acid. Outer cover of car battery is mainly made of plastic or hard rubber so it is well protected from magnetic field.
So this will give you a perception on what material manufacturers use to built such a battery. And it is nothing that magnets could actually attract to in a car battery.
If they make a car battery from a steel plates, which is magnetic, and it were placed so so close to mobile MRI trailer machine then the steel plates will be pulled out each other causing the short circuit. We can then tell that magnets could hurt car batteries.
Magnet effect on lithium battery
Most common devices that use Lithium Ion battery technology are smart phones, laptops and power banks. There are also less common devices such as drones. LiPo drone batteries were made with new technology which is Lithium Polymer.
If it happens that you might think your laptop battery draining to fast because of proximity of a magnets, and you want to replace it, then I strongly suggest you to read my article of what you should know before you take action to replace a laptop battery.
Also, I suggest you to read my best maintenance tips of a power bank, in case you have a one and you want the best performance from it.
So, what about the Lithium Ion batteries in the cell phones and laptops? There is a huge variety of electronic devices that use Li-Ion batteries. So do magnets affect lithium ion batteries?
There are two major ingredients that Li-Ion batteries have, and this are Lithium and Carbon or Graphite. Lithium is not magnetic because it’s a alkali metal. Adding magnetic charge to Lithium itself will not do anything. Inside Li-Ion batteries are also and Carbon which is Propylene carbonate.
This kind of carbon is organic mixture and it’s rated as low grade magnetic field. Which means that any kind of magnet that you have at your home will not have any effect on Lithium Ion battery. Perhaps you are near the high power magnets for scientific testing, then your battery will be in danger.
But most scientific laboratories won’t allow electronic devices inside a testing environment, so it will tell you to leave any electronic device or metal on a reception or anywhere outside the testing room. We also have that powerful rare earth magnets which are Neodymium magnets, silver ones.
You might ask what about them, they are strong. This magnets are strong, but not strong enough to have any meaningful effect on Li-Ion batteries. And also fridge magnets, this are weaker than Neodymium magnets, so it will not damage your Lithium Ion battery for sure.
There is a study that scientists made with Li-Ion batteries and magnets in order to get better performance out of batteries. They present the ability to use magnetic field to align carbon graphite flakes within the electrodes as they are manufactured. This alignment gives lithium ions clear path to travel through the battery, which they get a better performance, and scientists made a success.
The conclusion here is that it is not all about changing materials to make batter batteries, it is also with optimising the older technology to work better. And we saw in this case magnets does not have any negative effect on Lithium batteries, they even improved battery performance even more.
Most common devices that use Lithium Ion battery technology are smart phones, laptops and power banks.
Do magnetic phone holders damage phone?
Well, you might think that this is only battery related topic, but it is really not. See, battery power up our electronic devices, so it’s tightly related. And even batteries have electronics in themselves, mostly for overcharge protection and to communicate with devices.
So can magnets damage electronics in the first place, in this case, can magnetic cell phone holder damage smartphone?
So you purchase a new magnetic phone car mount for your smartphone, now should you care for that magnetic field to damage your smartphone somehow? Let’s see down to some components.
One of the first things you should ask is will magnets wipe stored data from memory chip? The answer in no. Because the flash memory chips are not magnetic, they are made with non-magnetic materials and magnets can not damage it in any way.
Ok, and what about phone screens? Do u remember those old screens that would sounds weird while working? They produce image by deflecting a finely focus beam of electrons with magnetic fields. External magnets will affect negatively this kinds of old screens.
This days phones produces image electrically, so magnetic field can not interfere or damage phone screen in any way.
What about GPS and Compass? Can magnetic car mounts interfere gps signal? Well, no.
GPS use satellite to determine the coordinates, and that is how it is know the direction of movement, by solving mathematical problem by comparing two sets of coordinates at the same time.
GPS does not use magnetic force to work so it will not interfere in any way with magnetic car mount. Hmm, Compass. This will be affected with magnets so you should be very cautious if you want to depend on apps that’s uses compass.
This phone sensor can determine earth’s magnetic field, and proximity with another magnets to react to it. So if you depend on compass while driving you should not use magnetic car mount, or magnets of any sort.
We already discussed about Li-Ion batteries. Smartphones also uses this kind of battery. So Once more, magnets can not damage or affect Li-Ion batteries in any way because they are not made out of magnetic materials.
We also have speakers, and they use magnets to be able to work. But magnetic car phone holder have such a small amount of magnetic force that it is just not enough to affect speaker.