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Battery Chargers

Battery Chargers

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Published by: arde50 on Mar 10, 2010
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04/04/2013

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B
ATTERY
C
HARGERS
5.1
SECTION 5BATTERY CHARGERS
Walt Kester, Joe Buxton
I
NTRODUCTION
Rechargeable batteries are vital to portable electronic equipment such as laptopcomputers and cell phones. Fast charging circuits must be carefully designed andare highly dependent on the particular battery's chemistry. The most popular typesof rechargeable batteries in use today are the Sealed-Lead-Acid (SLA), Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd), Nickel-Metal-Hydride (NiMH), and Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion). Li-Ion isfast becoming the chemistry of choice for many portable applications because itoffers a high capacity-to-size (weight) ratio and a low self-discharge characteristic.
RECHARGEABLE BATTERYCONSIDERATIONS IN PORTABLE EQUIPMENT
n
Amp-Hour Capacity (C) and Cell Voltage
n
Multiple Cell Configurations: Series/ParallelCombinations, Matching Requirements
n
Weight and Volume
n
Cost of Battery Pack
n
Battery Chemistry
u
Sealed Lead Acid (SLA)
u
Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd)
u
Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH)
u
Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
u
Lithium-Metal (Relatively New)
n
Discharge Characteristics
n
Charge Characteristics
n
Cost and Complexity of "Fast Charging" CircuitsFigure 5.1
There are an enormous number of tradeoffs to be made in selecting the battery anddesigning the appropriate charging circuits. Weight, capacity, and cost are theprimary considerations in most portable electronic equipment. Unfortunately, theseconsiderations are not only interacting but often conflicting. While slow-charging(charging time greater than 12 hours) circuits are relatively simple, fast-chargingcircuits must be tailored to the battery chemistry and provide both reliable chargingand charge termination. Overcharging batteries can cause reduced battery life,overheating, the emission of dangerous corrosive gasses, and sometimes totaldestruction. For this reason, fast-charging circuits generally have built-in backupmeans to terminate the charge should the primary termination method fail.
 
B
ATTERY
C
HARGERS
5.2
Understanding battery charger electronics requires a knowledge of the batterycharge and discharge characteristics as well as charge termination techniques.
B
ATTERY
F
UNDAMENTALS
Battery capacity, C, is expressed in Amp hours, or mA hours and is a figure of meritof battery life between charges. Battery current is described in units of 
C-Rate
. Forinstance, a 1000mA-h battery has a C-Rate of 1000mA. The current correspondingto 1C is 1000mA, and for 0.1C, 100mA. For a given cell type, the behavior of cellswith varying capacity is similar at the same C-Rate.
"C-RATE" DEFINITION
n
Battery Charge and Discharge Currents are Expressed(Normalized) in Terms of "C-Rate"
n
C-Rate = C / 1 hour, Where C is the Battery CapacityExpressed in A-hour, or mA-hour
n
Example:
u
A 1000 mA-h Battery has a "C-Rate" of 1000mA
u
The Current Corresponding to 1C is 1000mA
u
The Current Corresponding to 0.1C is 100mA
u
The Current Corresponding to 2C is 2000mA
n
For a Given Cell Type, the Behavior of Cells withVarying Capacity is Similar at the same C-rateFigure 5.2
There are a number of other figures of merit used to characterize batteries whichare summarized in Figure 5.3. These figures of merit are used to characterizevarious battery chemistries as shown in Figure 5.4. Note that in Figure 5.4, theapproximate chronology of battery technology is from left to right.A few terms relating to batteries deserve further clarification.
Self-discharge
is therate at which a battery discharges with no load. Li-Ion batteries are a factor of twobetter than NiCd or NiMH in this regard. The
discharge rate
is the maximumallowable load or discharge current, expressed in units of C-Rate. Note that allchemistries can be discharged at currents higher than the battery C-Rate. Thenumber o
charge and discharge cycles
is the average number of times a battery canbe discharged and then recharged and is a measure of the battery's service life.
 
B
ATTERY
C
HARGERS
5.3
RECHARGEABLE BATTERYFIGURES OF MERIT
n
Cell Voltage
n
Capacity: C, Measured in Amp-hours (A-h) or mA-hours (mA-h)
n
Energy Density (Volume): Measured in Watt-hours/liter (Wh/l)
n
Energy Density (Weight): Measured in Watt-hours/kilogram (Wh/kg)
n
Cost: Measured in $/Wh
n
Memory Effect?
n
Self-Discharge Rate: Measured in %/month, or %/day
n
Operating Temperature Range
n
Environmental ConcernsFigure 5.3
RECHARGEABLE BATTERY TECHNOLOGIES
SealedLead-AcidNickelCadmium*NickelMetalHydride*LithiumIon*LithiumMetal*Average Cell Voltage (V)21.201.253.63.0Energy Density (Wh/kg)354555100140Energy Density (Wh/l)85150180225300Cost ($/Wh)0.25 - 0.500.75 - 1.51.5 - 3.02.5 - 3.51.4 - 3.0Memory Effect?NoYesNoNoNoSelf-Discharge (%/month)5 - 102520 - 2581 - 2Discharge Rate<5C>10C<3C<2C<2CCharge/Discharge Cycles500100080010001000Temperature Range ( ºC)0 to +5010 to +5010 to +5010 to +5030 to +55Environmental ConcernsYesYesNoNoNo
* Based on AA-Size Cell
Figure 5.4

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