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Battery Management

Battery Management

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Published by melfer

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Published by: melfer on Jul 19, 2009
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09/30/2010

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    P    h   o    t   o   c   o   u   r    t   e   s   y    T   e   x   a   s    I   n   s    t   r   u   m   e   n    t   s
64
edn
|
January 18,2001
www.ednmag.com
 
www.ednmag.com
January 18,2001
|
edn
65
cover
story
 By Joshua Israelsohn, Technical Editor
 At a glance................................
66
 Acronyms..................................
68
 Applications cut the cord........
69
 Better living throughchemistries................................
70
 For more information..............
72
ALL THE FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS YOU DESIGN INTO YOUR PORTABLE PRODUCTDON’T MEAN A THING WHEN THE BATTERIES LOSE THEIR ZING. BEFORE YOURCHIPS ARE DOWN, CONSIDER THE LITTLE CHARGE-CONTROL DEVICES THAT CANHELP KEEP YOUR PRODUCTS GOING...AND GOING...AND GOING...
T
he task ofdesigning
a reliable portable power sourceis notnearly so formidable as it was just a few years ago.Thanks to aparade ofcharge controllers,protectors,and other battery-man-agement products,you can find readily available parts and referencedesigns to support many power-system architectures.These partsrange from simple all-analog circuits to mixed-signal devices
Batterymanagementincluded
sophisticated enough to report on battery health and keep track ofoperatinghistory.Whatever sort ofprojects you work on,chances are good that your portable pow-er-source requirements share importantattributes with one or two ofthe mostcommon and best-documented applica-tions (see
sidebar
“Applications cut thecord”).Using the demands ofyour mar-ket and a little product-line history asguides,you can often estimate key systemparameters early in your design cycle.These terms may include peak and aver-age currents,maximum battery-pack di-mensions,and minimum battery run-times,all ofwhich can help you focus onthe best power-source candidates (see
sidebar
“Better living through chem-istries”).Single-point comparisons servewell as rough guides (
Table 1
,
Reference1
).However,their applicability is limit-ed to fixed conditions ofdischarge rate,discharge depth,and temperature,so you
WEB EXCLUSIVE
Don’t let poor batterymanagement make anash out of your product.See three .avi videosthat depict the dangersof mistreating lithiumcells in the online ver-sion of this article atwww.ednmag.com/ednmag/reg/2001/01182001/02cs.htm
 
cover
story
 Battery management 
66
edn
|
January 18,2001
www.ednmag.com
should examine the parametric nature of any specification critical to your applica-tion,particularly with regard to the tem-perature range you expect your productto experience in both operating andstandby modes.Battery-management components gobeyond just charge control,providing cellprotection and “fuel-gaugefunctionsdepending on how sophisticated a pow-er-source interface you require.At thisend ofthe spectrum,many devices areequipped with circuitry sufficient to ac-quire,process,and communicate currentoperating conditions,performance his-tory,and pack-specific informationamong the various entities that have usefor the information.
SIMPLY CHARGE IT
The four common chemistries requiredifferent recharge algorithms and givedifferent indications when they havecompleted the charge cycle (
Table 2
).Justas deep discharging most chemistries re-duces cycle life,overcharging can do thesame.Li-ion cells,particularly attractivefor their outstanding charge density,de-mand high accuracy ofcharge circuits,typically allowing a tolerance ofonly 
50 mV during the constant-voltagephase ofthe recharge cycle.Most secondary cells tolerate tricklecharging for long periods.The simplestcharging strategy,therefore,uses a smalllinear regulator circuit in conjunctionwith a series pass element and a current-sense resistor (
Figure 1
).Versions are alsoavailable with small PWMs that use sim-ilar application circuits but reduce thepass transistor’s power dissipation.Cir-cuits such as these are available from anumber ofvendors and with a range of auxiliary features for charging single andstacked Li-ion cells or nickel-chemistry cell stacks (
Table 3
).They use an adap-tive method that adjusts the charger’s be-havior according to the battery’s state of charge.A charger ofthis type starts by testingthe battery for deep discharge,which itdetermines by comparing the battery’s
ATAGLANCE
Neither a no-brainer nor rocket science,choosing the best chemistry requires adeliberative comparison between batteryattributes and your design’s power-sourcedemands.
Lithium chemistries are perhaps the bestsupported by semiconductor manufactur-ers, but they’re the most demanding of bat-tery management, too.
Many battery-management componentswill work with multiple chemistries, thoughsome require trimming or scaling compo-nents.
Batteries pack an enormous amount ofenergy into a very small space—some morethan 12,000 joules per cubic inch. Batterymanagement doesn’t just extend batterylifetimes; it protects the portable productand, in some cases, your customer.
 
TABLE 1—BATTERY ATTRIBUTES BY CHEMISTRY
SLANiCdNiMHLi-ion (coke)Li-ion (graphite)Mass energy density (Whr/kg)3040609090 Volumetric energy density (Whr/l)60100140210210Operating voltage (V)21.21.23.63.6Lifetime* (cycles)500100080010001000Self-discharge rate (%/month)3152066Discharge profileSlightly slopingFlatFlatSlightly slopingSlopingInternal resistanceLowVery lowModerateHighHighestMaximum discharge rate (C**)510322Notes:*80% rechargeable.**C=the battery’s rated capacity per hour.
TABLE 2—COMPARISON OF RECHARGE REQUIREMENTS
Standard chargeSLANiCdNiMHLi-ion (coke)Li-ion (graphite)Current* (C)0.250.10.10.10.1 Voltage (V)2.271.51.54.1**4.2**Time (hours)2416161616Temperature range (
 
C)0 to 455 to 405 to 405 to 405 to 40TerminationNoneNoneTimerNoneNoneFast chargeCurrent (C)1.51111 Voltage (V)2.451.51.54.1**4.2**Time (hours)1.5332.52.5Temperature range (
 
C)0 to 3015 to 4015 to 4010 to 4010 to 40Primary terminationI
MIN
***,
TCOdT/dt,
 VZero dV/dt,
 VI
MIN
+timer***,I
MIN
+timer,
 
methodsSlope inflection,
TCOdT/dt,
TCO***dT/dt,
TCO
 
Secondary terminationTimer,
TCOTCO, timerTCO, timerTCO, timerTCO, timer
 
methodsNotes:*C=the battery’s rated capacity per hour.**Li-ion’s charge-termination voltage tolerance is
50 mV.***I
MIN
is the minimum current-termination threshold.

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