Why does sunlight damage electronics?

Why you should protect your electronics from the heat

By Michael Sonntag | June 01, 2018, 11:31 a.m.

Just like winter, summer also harbors temperature-related dangers for electronics. TECHBOOK shows you how you can prevent fatal consequences with simple precautions.

Finally summer has arrived! But the warm temperatures are also often associated with disadvantages for electronic devices. Laptops and smartphones can be damaged if the heat is too great, and in case of doubt they can break or even explode. TECHBOOK explains how your devices survive the summer unscathed.

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Technology likes it cool and shady

It is best to leave your electronic devices at home or in your pocket when you are out and about in hot weather. Also avoid storing the devices in the car. Even if they are not exposed to direct sunlight there, the temperature inside the car can rise to 70 degrees in summer. The device can be damaged at temperatures as low as 35 degrees Celsius, as the battery loses capacity, the display crystals are destroyed or the plastic housing is deformed. The ideal temperature for technical devices is around 20 degrees Celsius.

TÜV Rheinland also warns that the soldering points on the battery can be damaged. In the worst case, a short circuit occurs or a battery fire occurs, which can be accompanied by defects, fires or even explosions.

Energy saving mode can help

If your device gets too hot, let it cool down at room temperature and stop using compute-intensive apps such as games or navigation programs. At best, activate the energy-saving mode or switch the device off completely for a moment to prevent overheating.

But: Under no circumstances should you put it in the refrigerator, as rapid temperature fluctuations and condensation can damage the electronics! In addition, you should not place laptops on your lap or on a pillow; a flat and firm surface would be better so that the fans can work unhindered and the device can be cooled. A defect caused by heat is particularly annoying because the manufacturer or insurance company rarely pays for this, as the cause often cannot be precisely proven.

Can my smartphone break if it gets hot?

App shows critical temperature

If you want to be on the safe side, you can download an app for your smartphone that measures the temperature of the battery and sounds an alarm as soon as a critical value is reached. The iPhone does this automatically; there are free programs for Android such as the “Battery Lifespan Extender”.

There are also temperature measuring programs for PCs and laptops, such as the free “Core Temp”.

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