If you’re living anywhere other than North America — specifically in Asia — you’re bound to have heard about charging systems that reach 150W of peak power and can charge devices from 0 to 100% in less than half an hour. These high numbers are commonly associated with wired charging systems, but Honor’s recent launch of the Magic 4 Pro marketed the addition of 100W wireless charging.
Now, this system depends on the HONOR SuperCharge Wireless Charger, which features an inbuilt fan, but according to the metrics shared by the OEM, it still chargers slower than its wired counterpart. So why does a wireless charger need a cooler while its wired counterpart doesn’t? That’s the question we explore in this article.
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We want to point out that coolers/ fans are not only present in this particular 100W system. The 2nd generation Pixel Stand, which only hits a peak of 27W, also features a fan, and so do OnePlus’ various wireless charging accessories.
What happens when you use wireless charging?
Wireless charging works on the concept of induced currents. In such a system, passing a current through a wound coil generates an electric current in a second coil via a magnetic field. If we correlate it to the current hardware, we can explain it as the charger having the first coil with the current provided by an outlet, whereas your phone includes the second coil, acting as the receiver.
Smartphones use a tightly-coupled inductive charging system, where the distance between the two components must be very little to promote effective charging.
So, the flick of a switch begins the transmission of a current that changes into a magnetic field, which then once again transforms into a current, charging your phone. These conversions lead to a drop in efficiency and heat generation, the latter being one of the many obstacles in any form of charging.
Why do we need coolers for wireless chargers?
Coming to why one needs a cooler on a wireless charger, well, tightly-coupled inductive charging systems have two primary drawbacks: first, the distance between the two coils, and second, the heat generated.
And OEMs have a two-fold method to counter the losses that can occur with both of these factors. Primarily, push a higher wattage into the wireless charger itself to counter any possible losses and achieve the desired outcome, and then use a cooler to maintain low temperatures at the point of contact between the phone and wireless charger to promote efficient transfer.
HONOR claims its wireless charger needs a 130W adapter to achieve its peak output of 100W and provide the claimed 50% recharge in 15 minutes for the Honor Magic 4 Pro. Hence, maintaining the high power heat-generating input from this adapter becomes a necessity.
So the reasons behind wireless chargers needing coolers, although they’re slower than wired charging, are:
- The presence of a cooling system can help counter the heat generated due to the use of a higher wattage charging adapter.
- It can help minimize the amount of inefficiency due to the presence of heat between the smartphone and charger.
- Lastly, it can keep the smartphone as cool as possible to avoid cell degradation.
Wireless Chargers with Built-in Coolers
Google Pixel Stand (2nd Gen)
23W wireless charging
The second-generation Pixel Stand is the accessory for those looking to wirelessly charge their devices and make the most of its smart home capabilities.
HONOR SuperCharge Wireless Charging Stand
100W wireless charging
The HONOR SuperCharge Wireless Charging Stand is the accessory to pair with your smartphone if it can leverage the high wattage on offer! Remember that the unit will need a 130W wall adapter to reach its maximum output.