Universal Battery Charger

Team 6 Final Project

Team Members:
Vitaliy Gleyzer – ECE Box # 129
Stephen Masullo – ECE Box # 221
Jonathan Mulla – ECE Box # 250
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1 PROJECT OVERVIEW .................................................................................................................... 1
1.1 PROJECT MISSION ........................................................................................................................ 1
1.2 PROJECT SOLUTION ...................................................................................................................... 1
2 PRODUCT SPECIFICATION PROCESS....................................................................................... 3
2.1 MARKET RESEARCH ..................................................................................................................... 3
2.1.1 Identifying the Market............................................................................................................. 3
2.1.2 Exploring Other Markets........................................................................................................ 3
2.2 CUSTOMER REQUIREMENTS ......................................................................................................... 5
2.3 PRODUCT REQUIREMENTS ............................................................................................................ 6
2.4 INITIAL PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS .............................................................................................. 6
2.5 MEETING PRODUCT REQUIREMENTS ............................................................................................ 7
2.6 MEETING PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS ........................................................................................... 8
3 PROJECT ORGANIZATION......................................................................................................... 10
3.1 ............................................................................................................................................................ 10
3.2 ............................................................................................................................................................ 10
4 VALUE ANALYSIS ......................................................................................................................... 10
4.1 METRICS FOR VALUE ANALYSIS ................................................................................................ 10
4.2 INDIVIDUAL MODULE ANALYSIS ............................................................................................... 11
4.2.1 Input and Output Connectors Value Criteria ....................................................................... 11
4.2.2 Input Surge Protection.......................................................................................................... 13
4.2.3 Charger Circuit .................................................................................................................... 15
4.3 PREFERRED DESIGN APPROACH ................................................................................................. 17
4.4 OUR COMPETITION ..................................................................................................................... 18
4.4.1 Soneil 12 Volt 2.5 amp Constant-Current World Charger ................................................... 18
4.4.2 Cliplight 12V 10 Amp Charger............................................................................................. 19
4.4.3 BatteryMinder....................................................................................................................... 19
4.4.4 SBC-6112 Solar Battery Charger ......................................................................................... 20
4.4.5 Defined Criteria.................................................................................................................... 21
4.4.6 Rate Options Using Criteria................................................................................................. 22
4.4.7 Result of the Value Analysis of the Competition................................................................... 23
4.5 VALUE ANALYSIS CONCLUSIONS ............................................................................................... 23
5 INDIVIDUAL MODULE DESIGN................................................................................................. 24
5.1.1 Surge Protection ................................................................................................................... 24
5.1.2 Input Voltage Limiting.......................................................................................................... 24
5.1.3 AC/DC Conversion ............................................................................................................... 25
5.1.4 AC/DC Conversion Options ................................................................................................. 25
5.1.4.1 External AC/DC Converter ........................................................................................................ 25
5.1.4.2 Internal AC/DC Converter ......................................................................................................... 26
5.1.5 Charging Circuit................................................................................................................... 31
5.1.5.1 General Description ................................................................................................................... 31
5.1.5.2 Simulation.................................................................................................................................. 32
5.1.6 Battery Indicator................................................................................................................... 36
6 PROTOTYPE RESULTS/FINAL DESIGN................................................................................... 38
6.1 MODULE STATUS ....................................................................................................................... 38
6.1.1 AC/DC Conversion ............................................................................................................... 38
6.1.2 Current Surge Protection ..................................................................................................... 38
6.1.3 Charging Circuit................................................................................................................... 39
6.1.4 Battery Indicator................................................................................................................... 39

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7 TESTING........................................................................................................................................... 40
7.1 AC/DC CONVERSION ................................................................................................................. 40
7.2 CHARGING CIRCUIT ................................................................................................................... 40
7.3 BATTERY INDICATOR ................................................................................................................. 40
8 FINAL PROTOTYPE SUMMARY AND FUNCTIONALITY.................................................... 41
8.1 STRENGTHS ................................................................................................................................ 41
8.2 WEAKNESSES ............................................................................................................................. 41
8.3 SUGGESTION FOR IMPROVEMENT ............................................................................................... 41
9 ECONOMIC ANALYSIS................................................................................................................. 42
9.1 UNIT COST ANALYSIS ................................................................................................................ 42
9.2 PRICE SUGGESTION .................................................................................................................... 43
9.3 ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY ............................................................................................................. 43
10 CONCLUSIONS ............................................................................................................................... 43
11 APPENDIX A.................................................................................................................................... 45
12 APPENDIX B .................................................................................................................................... 46
13 APPENDIX C.................................................................................................................................... 47
14 APPENDIX D.................................................................................................................................... 48
REFERENCES ........................................................................................................................................... 50
Table of Tables
Table 2: Value Analysis Input and Output Connectors .................................................... 13
Table 3: Value Analysis of Input Surge Protection .......................................................... 14
Table 4: Value Analysis of Charging Circuits................................................................. 17
Table 5: Scoring for Criteria ............................................................................................. 22
Table 2: AC/DC External Charger Specification Table .................................................. 26
Table 1: Transformer Specification ................................................................................. 27
Table 2: Bridge Rectifier Specifications.......................................................................... 28
Table 3: Filter Capacitor Specifications .......................................................................... 28
Table 9: Voltage Regulator configuration resistors ......................................................... 34
Table 10: AC/DC Module Status..................................................................................... 38
Table 11: Current Surge Protection Module Status ......................................................... 38
Table 12: Charging Circuit Module Status ...................................................................... 39
Table 13: Battery Indicator Module Status...................................................................... 39
Table 14: Parts list with Bulk Prices................................................................................ 42
Table 15: Unit Cost Calculation ....................................................................................... 43

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Table of Figures
Figure 1: Artist Rendition .................................................................................................. 2
Figure 2: ICP – 15W, 12 V Solar Powered Battery Charger .............................................. 4
Figure 3: Vector - Marine 2/6 Amp Battery Charger ......................................................... 4
Figure 4: Feature Matrix for Competitors........................................................................ 20
Figure 5: Functional Block Diagram ............................................................................... 24
Figure 6: Voltage Clamp Circuit Schematic.................................................................... 25
Figure 7: External AC/DC Adaptor ................................................................................. 26
Figure 8: AC/DC Converter Schematic ........................................................................... 26
Figure 9: AC/DC Converter Schematic with 5600uF Capacitor ..................................... 29
Figure 10: Transient Analysis with 5600uF Capacitor .................................................... 29
Figure 11: AC/DC Converter Schematic with 6800uF Capacitor ................................... 30
Figure 12: Transient Analysis with 6800uF..................................................................... 30
Figure 13: Transformer 110/220 V AC Switch ............................................................... 31
Figure 14: Complete Charging Circuit Module ............................................................... 32
Figure 15: Regulator configuration for Charging Circuit Module................................... 33
Figure 16: Vout Switching for Charging Circuit Module................................................ 34
Figure 17: Reference Controlled Switch for Charging Circuit Module .......................... 35
Figure 18: Reference Controlled Switch for Charging Circuit Module with added
feedback loop ............................................................................................................ 36
Figure 19: Charging Circuit Module................................................................................ 37
Figure 20: Initial General Project Management Chart..................................................... 45
Figure 21: Initial Module Specific Project Management Chart........................................ 46
Figure 22: End Term Project Management Chart............................................................. 47
Figure 23: Complete Circuit Schematic........................................................................... 48

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1 Project Overview
1.1 Project Mission

With the lack of centralized power grids, car batteries have taken the place of one
of the main energy sources available in developing countries. With this in mind, our
objective will be to design a cheap, versatile and efficient lead acid car battery charger
which will interest and appeal to the “cost-minded” customer.
One of our main incentives in developing this product has been a parallel project,
Kinkajou portable LED projector, initiated by the Design that Matters team, who has
approached us with a need for a low-cost charger to integrate or combine with their
device. After doing market research in their target communities, they have been able to
devise a list of particular features that would be essential to making their device practical
to their specific users:
ƒ Universal 12 Volt battery charger
ƒ Various sources of inputs of electricity - solar panel, pedal
generator, and standard AC power (both American and European
standards)
ƒ Ability to charge a typical 12 Volt lead-acid (automotive) battery
ƒ Overcharge protection
ƒ State of charge indicator
ƒ Affordable
We used these requirements as guidelines to implementing our product as well as
include additional features that we thought are important to the functionality.

1.2 Project Solution

We have successfully designed a charger that will be able accept AC input and
almost any DC input that can provide enough voltage and current to charge a 12 V lead-
acid battery. The charger meets most of the requirements and features requested by DtM.
With the time constraints, we were unable to provide casing and other aesthetic
aspect of the design. Figure 1 shows our vision of the final product. Below is a list of
features that would be available on a fully complete charger:
• Detachable input plug with adaptors for either American or European
standards
• Input terminals for a solar panel or a mechanical pedal generator
• Output posts to the battery
• Array of LEDs in the shape of a battery to indicate the charge
• Easy-to-understand icons to indicate the functionality of each part for the user
• 220/110V switch
• AC or DC input switch

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Figure 1: Artist Rendition

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2 Product Specification Process
2.1 Market Research
2.1.1 Identifying the Market

In conducting our research we realized that we have several different market
possibilities which would have an interest in our product, such as:
• Developing countries
• Outdoors sporting
• Emergency gear
• Boating
Our primary concern was, of course, the Kinkajou project and the needs and
requirements of their prospective customers. These customers are school teachers and
technical educators in underdeveloped countries, such as Mali, which require means of
powering the Kinkajou as well as other potential portable teaching tools. With the lack of
a central power grid and any sort of energy standard, our versatile and inexpensive
charger would be an ideal solution for their needs.
The bulk of our research for this market was provided to us by the Design That
Matters team. Since they are our main and the most important cliental, their needs are
imperative. They have spent time gathering information and feedback from the users in
different schools and technical institutions. Some of the key market targets for the
Kinkajou projector are the institutions and groups such as public schools, Doctors
without Boarders, other Non Government Organizations, as well as private homes.

2.1.2 Exploring Other Markets

Secondary markets are also available for the charger. Looking at the already
available products, there is no comparable device which will combine all the main
characteristics that our product will and must have such as, durability, affordability and
versatility. With the astounding array of inputs, this charger would be a valuable and
handy resourceful tool for any outdoorsman or boatman, who rely on their battery to
provide them with music or television entertainment, heat, communication or in fact, any
other essential activities that require electricity.
We have found several “competing” devices that would appeal to the same
customer base:
The ICP 15W, 12 V Solar power battery charger from Figure 3 is an all around
solar panel with already built in 12 Volt charger circuit.

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Figure 2: ICP – 15W, 12 V Solar Powered Battery Charger

This product is available at an average price of $150, and claims to provide
battery charging with enough power to run a vehicle full of small appliances. At first, it
looks like a perfect one package solution, but with a closer look, there are many
disadvantages that are not apparent from the marketing. The most obvious one being, the
solar panel will be a useless board without the sun shining in the sky; therefore fruitless
during the night, as well as in any densely shaded areas. Second of all, the claim to be
able to recharge the battery and run numerous appliances at the same time is somewhat
outrages. With a 15W rating and the operating voltage of 15V, the panel can only
provide approximately an amp of current at its peak sun condition. This is not very
practical, since these conditions are rare, and almost impossible to come by, of course,
unless you are living in a desert. These conjectures are confirmed by experienced RV
owners who have purchased this product and are dissatisfied with the results. These
results were found on a popular forum for RV owners. In addition, this one package deal
also excludes the numerous customers who have already invested in solar panel for their
or RVs or boats.

Figure 3: Vector - Marine 2/6 Amp Battery Charger

We have also found out that there are three major companies that are involved in
the production of chargers for the boating industry: Vector, ICP and Guest. Looking
through their inventories, we found a second device, which could possibly compete with
our product in terms of price and functionality. It is a standalone charger that is available
for $39.99 at the online retailer www.boatersworld.com (Figure 4). The charger seems to

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have most of the desired features plus other “extra” bells and whistles that make it an
attractive buy for an outdoorsman. This charger has multiple outputs that “provide for
easy trickle charging through aggressive battery charging and jump-starting currents.”
Because of the price being certainly on the low end of the spectrum for these kinds of
products, this could certainly be a possible competitor in the boating industry.

2.2 Customer Requirements

The market research that we conducted gave us a specific set of requirements for the
design of our product. The 12 volt car battery is considered widely available and
commonly used in most underdeveloped nations for many applications that usually run
off a power grid. One of the larger problems in this implementation of 12 volt car
batteries is the cost and difficulty of recharging them. Our product will make the process
of recharging the 12 volt battery much easier and cheaper. Since most consumers in
underdeveloped nations will not have access to one standard of power input, we must
account for various kinds of inputs.
These include:
• American 110 V, European and Asian 220V standard wall inputs
• Mechanical power generator input (i.e. bicycle or crank)
• Solar panel input

Other important customer requirements include:
• Portability
• User-friendly interface
• Reasonable recharge time
• Durable design
• Low cost

1) Portability - Since this charger will be coupled with the Kinkajou projector the issue
of portability comes into play. This means that the battery charger be light weight.
Although no battery charger on the market matches our specific specifications, we
were able to use this example to get a feel for the weight and dimensions: 8.75cm x
5.63cm x 11.9cm at 3 lbs.
2) User-friendly interface - Since most of the users are not familiar with consumer
electronics or have not had the exposure to the modern culture, it becomes evident
that our battery charger must be extremely user friendly, making use of intuitive
graphic interfaces appose to solely relying on written descriptions.
3) Reasonable recharge time - The recharge time is a crucial concern of the customer,
and usually can be the deciding factor between designs. If the battery takes too long
to charge, then the customer will not be able to efficiently use the projector.
4) Durable design - The durability of our design will be a major requirement from the
customer. A robust design will be more useful to our customers because of
lengthened product life.
5) Low cost - Since our market is geared towards developing countries cost is a major
factor with our product. Our goal is that the battery charger will cost under $50 and
constructed from parts that are readily available in local electronics industries.

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According to the field study preformed by Design That Matters, the electronics
industry in Bamako should have sufficient supplies for most of the parts that would
be needed to manufacture and repair a battery charger.

2.3 Product Requirements

From the market research and customer requirements, we decided on features and
requirements that our design must include. These requirements include important
usability safety and marketability factors which we must take into account.
• Must not overcharge battery
• Must indicate charge
• Must not drain battery
• Cheap and readily available parts
• Environmental durability
• Able to handle spikes from input sources

1) Must not overcharge the battery – The charger must not overcharge the battery for
safety reasons.
2) Must indicate charge – For the most efficient use of our charger, the consumer will
need to know the state of their battery and when it is completely charged.
3) Must not drain battery – Our design will need to be efficient in the way it charges the
battery. We will need to make sure that the charger will not drain the battery when
insufficient power is supplied.
4) Cheap and readily available parts – The process of repair is a very important factor
to consider in the design and marketing of our product. We must use a design that is
easy enough to be fixed by local vendors, with parts that are cheaply available to the
area.
5) Environmental durability – The harsh environmental conditions of such 3rd world
markets such as Mali, will require our design to be able to withstand heat, humidity
and moderately rugged physical use.
6) Able to handle spikes from input sources – Our design must account for inconsistent
and even dangerous power sources, such as power surges from lightning strikes. We
must make sure that our design will still work in these poor power conditions.

2.4 Initial Product Specifications

From the product requirements which we gathered from our market research and
customer requirements, we decided on reasonable constraints for the product
specifications.
• Weigh between 2 and 10 pounds
• Be at most a cubic 7 inches
• Charge the battery completely in 12 hours
• Handle peak current surges of up to 500 kA
• Cost at most $50, with a target cost of $25

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• Be able to work in temperatures up to 120˚F
• 3 different types of input
• Removable input and output plugs

1) Weigh between 2 and 10 pounds – Since our design is intended to be highly portable,
the size and weight of our product will need to be small enough for realistic use. We
found most chargers on the market to be from 2 to 10 pounds and around 7 cubic
inches in dimension.
2) Be at most a cubic 7 inches – Battery recharge time is a crucial factor in our design.
We decided that a maximum charge time of 12 hours for any given input is required.
3) Charge the battery completely in 12 hours – The unstable power grid, along with
frequent lightning strikes and other power surges requires that we implement safety
measures in our design to combat these problems.
4) Cost at most $50, with a target cost of $25 – Although the maximum cost of our
design was set to $50, we would like our target cost to be around $25. This lower
price will help the marketability of our design, and will make it more competitive in
the market.
5) Be able to work in temperatures up to 120˚F - The harsh environmental conditions of
our target market area, Mali have required us to set a maximum operating temperature
for our device.
6) 3 different kinds of input – The variety of available sources, and the lack of a standard
power source in our target market, has required us to accommodate for 3 different
kinds of input.
7) Removable input and output plugs – For the sake of portability and ease of use, we
decided that detachable plugs for input and output would be ideal.

2.5 Meeting Product Requirements

Our final prototype was able to meet most of our initial product requirements. The
product requirements our prototype meets are:

• Must not overcharge battery
• Must indicate charge
• Must not drain battery
• Cheap and readily available parts
• Environmental durability

The product requirements our prototype does not meet are:

• Able to handle spikes from input sources
1) Must not overcharge battery – This product requirement is met with the float charge
feature.
2) Must indicate charge – This product requirement is partial met by our prototype. We
have a separate working 4 state battery indicator, but due to time we were not able to
incorporate it into the final prototype.

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3) Must not drain battery – This product requirement is met through the use of a high
power diode at the output of our prototype, located directly before the battery
connection.
4) Cheap and readily available parts – This product requirement was met by the
simplicity of our design and the components used.
5) Environmental durability – With the prototype we have now this product requirement
may run into problems. It is an issue that would need to be addressed further if this
design was to be taken further.
6) Able to handle spikes from input sources – Due to time constraints we were not able
to address this issue, therefore our prototype is not protected against voltage or
current surges.

2.6 Meeting Product Specifications

Our final prototype was able to meet most of the product specifications, but due to
time constraints some of the specifications were not able to be addressed. The product
specifications that were met by our prototype are:

• Charge the battery completely in 12 hours
• Cost at most $50, with a target cost of $25
• 3 different types of input
• Be able to work in temperatures up to 120˚F
• Removable input and output plugs

The product specifications our product does not meet are:

• Weigh between 2 and 10 pounds
• Be at most a cubic 7 inches
• Handle peak current surges of up to 500 kA

1) Charge the battery completely in 12 hours – We estimate that our prototype will
charge 80% of a battery in 10 hours when it is connected to AC power.

2) Cost at most $50, with a target cost of $25 – We determined our unit price to be
$47.75, so depending on how much Design that Matters would sell it for will
determine how well we fit this product specification.

3) Three different types of inputs – Our prototype was successfully able to charge a
battery when connected to 110 VAC, 220 VAC, and a pedal generator. We were not
able to test it with a solar cell, but we are confident that it will work with a solar cell
that can provide enough voltage and current to charge a 12 volt battery.

4) Be able to work in temperatures up to 120˚F - With the prototype we have now this
product requirement may run into problems. It is an issue that would need to be
addressed further if this design was to be taken further.

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5) Removable input and output plugs – Our prototype has a removable AC cord and two
posts for a DC connection. The output has two posts which alligator clips could be
connected to, which would then be connected to the battery.

6) Weight between 2 and 10 pounds – Due to time constraints we were not able to
incorporate any type of housing for the prototype, so the final weight of it is not able
to be determined.

7) Be at most a cubic 7 inches – Like the weight, this requirement was not able to me
determined for the same reasons.

8) Handle peak current surges of up to 500 kA – Due to time constraints we were not
able to address this issue.

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3 Project Organization
3.1
Overall, our initial project time management schedule, which can be found in the
Appendix, was changed from our plan because of various external factors. One of the
greatest factors in the schedule change was the delay of the ordering of our parts that
resulted from a clerical error with our parts list. This delay has caused us to move the
building and testing stages of our products a few days back. Also, after completing the
research phase, the DC/DC conversion module was dropped from the design. This
allowed more time to be allocated to other more important modules, such as the charging
circuit.

3.2
Looking back our organization and timing, we believe we made the right decision
about using the modular approach to this project. Building separate modules gave the
flexibility and tolerance to absorb setbacks and delays. We were able to spend time on
the available parts of the project while waiting for components to come in, and not have
dependencies without which we could not continue.

4 Value Analysis
The purpose of this section is to analyze our different design options and determine
which ones are the most appropriate to meet our goal of creating a unique and
competitive solution. This was done by first comparing the different design approaches
for each functional component of the battery charger using Value Analysis Matrices to
determine feasible and still affordable designs. Then, we went on to perform Value
Analysis of our entire product to comparable devices that are already available on the
market. This was done to ensure that our efforts of pursuing to design this new device
have merit, and there are no other products that are already on the market that can meet
the same specifications for a cheaper or better than anything that can be designed by us.
After strenuous research on the internet, we were unable to find worthy
competitors that would accurately fit within our primary customer requirements. The
major shortfall of the available solution is their inflexibility to accept different inputs
such as solar panels or pedal generators. Since versatility is an absolute must for our
customer, none of these can really match up to the demanding specifications of our
product.
There were several modules in our initial design that could be implemented in
various forms, each with their own specific advantages and disadvantages. The modules
were evaluated in terms of cost, ease of repair and portability.

4.1 Metrics for Value Analysis

The most important requirement of all our design requirements would have to be
cost since it is the biggest constraint that we have in this project. There are a few design

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options where cost could not be estimated because of the lack of knowledge of all the
parts that would be required to build it. For these design options we chose to evaluate
them based on other important criteria.

4.2 Individual Module Analysis
4.2.1 Input and Output Connectors Value Criteria

Product Requirements
Provide input for 220 and 110 VAC wall inputs
Provide input for dc solar panel and pedal generator
Provide output to a 12 volt lead acid battery

Options Available and Advantages/Disadvantages
Sockets:
This method will involve having a socket for a detachable cord for the AC input,
and input posts for the DC input from the pedal generator and solar panel. It will also
include posts for output to the 12 volt lead acid battery, the included cord will have
banana clips to hook into the posts of the charger output and alligator clips to attack to
the terminals of the battery. This method is moderately more expensive but it is very
portable and easy to repair.

Cords:
This method will involve having a permanent cord for AC input as well as
permanent alligator clip output to the battery. There will still be posts for the input from
the DC sources. This method is less expensive but is not as portable and can be difficult
to repair if the attached cords break.

Cord with posts:
This method will involve the permanent AC input cord as the only permanent
cord. This design will include posts for the DC input as well as posts for the output to the
battery. This method is more expensive than the cords method, but less than the sockets
method. This method is also less portable than the sockets method, but more portable
than the cords method.

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Value Analysis
Portability: How portable the design is.
Very good 5
Good 4
Average 3
Sub-average 2
Poor 1

Versatility: How portable the design is.
Very good 5
Good 4
Average 3
Sub-average 2
Poor 1

Durability: How portable the design is.
Very good 5
Good 4
Average 3
Sub-average 2
Poor 1

Ease of repair: The ease of repair for the customer.
Very Easy 5
Easy 4
Moderate 3
Semi-Difficult 2
Difficult 1

Cost: The approximate cost in US dollars.

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Weight Assignments

Attached
Socket Attached Cords with
Market Terminal Cords Terminals
Value
Quality weight value point total value point total value point total
portability 2 5 10.00 1.00 2.00 2 4.00
versatility 1 5 5.00 0.00 0.00 0 0.00
durability 3 4 12.00 1.00 3.00 1 3.00
ease of
repair 3 2 6.00 4.00 12.00 0 0.00
Total 33.00 17.00 7.00
Attached
Attached Cords with
Market Socket/Terminal 33.00 Cords 17.00 Terminals 7.00
Value
Cost weight value point total value point total value point total
I/O 5 9.63 48.15 5.54 27.70 8.5 409.28
Total 48.15 27.70 409.28
quality/cost 0.69 0.61 0.02
Table 1: Value Analysis Input and Output Connectors

4.2.2 Input Surge Protection

Product Requirements
Protect circuit from unstable AC power grid
Protect circuit from lightning surge
Easy to replace/reset

Options Available and Advantages/Disadvantages
Fuses:
This method would involve using a fuse to protect the circuit from the input
power surges. This method is harder to use, but relatively inexpensive

Circuit Breaker:
This method would involve using a circuit breaker to protect the circuit. This
method is easy and relatively inexpensive.

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Value Analysis
Ease of use: The ease of design for customer use.
Very Easy 5
Easy 4
Moderate 3
Semi-Difficult 2
Difficult 1

Ease of repair: The ease of repair for the customer.
Very Easy 5
Easy 4
Moderate 3
Semi-Difficult 2
Difficult 1

Effectiveness: How well the design accomplishes its task.
Very Effective 5
Effective 4
Moderately 3
Less 2
Not effective 1

Cost: The approximate cost in US dollars.

Weight Assignments

Circuit
Market Fuses Breaker
value value
Quality weight point Total value point total
Ease of use 2 1 2 5 10
Ease of
repair 2 4 8 1 2
Effectiveness 3 5 15 5 15
Total 25 27
Circuit
Market Fuses 25 Breaker 27
value value
Cost weight point total value point total
input surge 1 1 1 1.98 1.98
Total 1 1.98
Quality/cost 25 13.63636364
Table 2: Value Analysis of Input Surge Protection

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4.2.3 Charger Circuit

Product Requirements
Must charge battery quickly
Must charge battery efficiently

Options Available and Advantages/Disadvantages
Charging a lead acid battery is a matter of replenishing the depleted supply of
energy that the battery had lost during use. This replenishing process can be
accomplished with several different charger implementations: constant voltage charger,
constant current charger or a "multistage" constant voltage/current charger. Each of
these approaches has its advantages and disadvantages that need to be compared and
weighed to see which one would be the most practical and realistic to fit with
our requirements.

Constant Voltage Charger:
Constant voltage charging is one of the most common charging methods for lead
acid batteries. The idea behind this approach is to keep a constant voltage across the
terminals of the battery at all times. Initially, a large current will be drawn from the
voltage source, but as the battery charges and increases its internal voltage, the current
will slowly fold and decays exponentially. When the battery is brought up to a potential
full charge, which is usually considered around 13.8V, the charging voltage is dropped
down to a lower value that will provide a trickle charge to maintain the battery as long as
it is plugged into the charger. The best characteristic of this method is that it provides a
way to return a large bulk of the charge into the battery very fast. The draw back, of
course, is that to complete a full charge would take a much longer time since the current
is exponentially decreased as the battery charges. A prolonged charging time must be
considered as one of the issues to this design.
Solar cells are one of our main portable power sources. Inherently, they provide a
constant current which is dependent on light intensity and other uncontrollable variability
in the environment. This characteristic fits well with a constant voltage charge design,
which does not depend on the current provided by the input source, which in turn
eliminates the dependence of the charger on external variations like the time of day,
weather conditions or temperature. The effects of the changing voltage are also
minimized since the voltage is being regulated.

Constant Current Source:
Constant current charging is another simple yet effective method for charging
lead-acid batteries. A current source is used to drive a uniform current through the
battery in a direction opposite of discharge.
This can be analogous to pouring water into a bucket with a constant water flow,
no matter how full the bucket is. Constant current sources are not very hard to
implement; therefore, the final solution would require a very simple design.
There is a major drawback to this approach. Since the battery is always being
pushed at a constant rate, when it is close to being fully charged, the charger would force

15
extra current into the battery, causing overcharge. The ability to harness this current is
the key to a successful charger. By monitoring the voltage on the battery, the charge
level can be determined, and at a certain point, the current source would need to be folded
back to only maintain a trickle charge and prevent overcharging.

Multi-stage Constant Voltage/Current Charging Solutions:
Both constant voltage and current approaches have their advantages; that is the
reason multistage chargers have been developed which combine the two methods to
achieve maximum charge time, with minimum damage to the charging cell. An example
of a complex, four-stage charger is the Soneil 12 Volt 2.5 Amp Constant Current World
Charger. These specifications and explanations for the different stages were taken
directly from their website: http://www.4unique.com/battery/soneil/soneil-12v2-5a.htm .

Stage 1: Deep Discharge Charging Pulse Mode
The Charger starts charging at 0.5V and give pulse current up to 5V.
This has effect of removing loose sulphation formed during deep
discharge state of the battery.
Stage 2: Constant Current Mode (CC)
The charger changes to constant current 2.5A. When the battery voltage
reaches up to 14.4V, the charging stage changes from (CC) Constant
Current to CV (Constant Voltage) mode.
Stage 3: Constant Voltage Mode (CV)
The charger holds the battery at 14.4V and the current slowly reduces.
When the current reaches at 0.5 C (C= Battery Capacity), this point
called the Switching Point. The Switching Point is one of the great
features of this battery charger that it can adjust the current
automatically according to the battery capacity. Other chargers without
microprocessors are not capable to adjust the
Stage 4: Standby Voltage Mode
The charger maintains the battery voltage at 13.8V and current slowly
reduces to zero. Charger can be left connected indefinitely without
harming the battery.
Recharging:
If the battery voltage drops to 13.8V, the charger changes from any
mode to Constant Current mode and restart charging. The charging cycle
will go through Stage 2 to Stage 4.

This particular charger has also incorporated some other recharging methods that
they have found to optimally charge or treat the battery depending on the level of
discharge.
As much as multi-stage chargers are enticing in terms of their features, for our
purposes, the complexity and the control logic needed to implement this kind of solution
would make our project unrealistic given the time and money restraints.

16
Value Analysis
Simplicity:
Very Simple 5
Simple 4
Moderately 3
Less simple 2
Not simple 1

Charge time:
Very long 5
Long 4
Fairly long 3
Less long 2
Not long 1

Battery care:
Very Good 5
Good 4
Fairly good 3
Less good 2
Not good 1

Weight Assignments

Market multistage C current C voltage
Value value value value
Quality weight point total point total point total
Simplicity 3 1 3 5 15 5 15
charge
time 1 4 4 4 4 3 3
battery
care 1 5 5 2 2 4 4
Total 12 21 22
Quality/cost 12 21 22
Table 3: Value Analysis of Charging Circuits

4.3 Preferred Design Approach

The design approach that we decide on, based on our value analysis is as follows.
The input and output connector module will follow the socket / terminal design, because
of the increased portability and relatively minimal cost difference between the other
designs. The input surge protection module will follow the circuit breaker design even
though the fuse design won. This was decided because the circuit breaker approach to
the design would be much easier for the customer to handle in the case of a power surge,
instead of having to replace a fuse, they would only have to reset the circuit breaker. The
decision to go against the value analysis in this case, shows the limitations of such an
analysis, even though the inferior choice won technically, it can be proven to be the

17
wrong choice. For the charging module, we decided to go with the constant voltage
design. This choice was made not only from the results of the value analysis but also
from our research that showed that constant voltage charger design is more compatible
with solar panel inputs than the other designs. We obtained this information on the
various charging methods from the book Rechargeable Batteries Application Handbook
by Technical Marketing staff of Gates Energy Products, Inc. The decision to go with the
analog design for the overcharge circuit was decided by the value analysis which showed
the lack of feasibility of using a digital approach.

4.4 Our Competition
After strenuous research on the internet, we were unable to find competitors that
would accurately fit within our primary customer requirements. The major shortfall of
the available solution is their inflexibility to accept different inputs such as solar panels or
pedal generators. Since versatility is an absolute must for our customer, none of these
can really match up to the demanding specifications of our product.
Among the available chargers, we found four comparable chargers that met some
or most of the criteria and were in the desired price range of around $50. These chargers
were:
1. Soneil 12 Volt 2.5 amp Constant-Current World Charger
2. Cliplight 12V 10 Amp Charger
3. BatteryMinder
4. SBC-6112 Solar Battery Charger

4.4.1 Soneil 12 Volt 2.5 amp Constant-Current World Charger

The first competitive battery charger we looked at was the Soneil 12 Volt 2.5
Amp Constant Current Charger sold on www.batterystuff.com. This battery charger is
being offered at $54.00 and offers a large input voltage range. This charger has a pretty
competitive price and some important features such as low weight and size.

Below are the specifications that were found at the merchant site:
http://www.4unique.com/battery/soneil/soneil-12v2-5a.htm

• Totally Automatic Switch-Mode Battery Charger
• Suitable for Gel, Sealed (AGM) and Wet Lead Acid Batteries
• Suitable for use anywhere in the world.
• Input 115/230 VAC (range 90 VAC to 264 VAC) (47-63Hz)
• Automatic Cut Off and then True Float. Can be left connected indefinitely without harming the
battery.
• Two color LED to indicate charge status
• UL, CSA, CE, TUV, GS & T-mark (Japan) Listed
• Meets: FCC Class B; EN55022 Class B
• One year warranty
• Size: Length 4.7 (119m) x Width 2.9 (73) x Height 1.6 (41mm)
• Weight 14 ounces (400grams)
• Zero Current Drain when AC power is off
• Mean Time between failures 50,000 hours
• Protection provided: Reverse Polarity, Short Circuit, Over-Voltage, Over Current and AC Surge.

18
• Soft Start and Stop: Starts and stops gradually. No sudden in-rush of current. This protects both
the batteries and any other circuits connected to the charger.

4.4.2 Cliplight 12V 10 Amp Charger

The second competitive battery charger we looked at was the Cliplight 12V 10
Amp Charger which is sold on www.batterymart.com. This battery charger is being
offered for $59.95 and has an input voltage range of 105 – 120 VAC.

Below are the specifications that were found at the merchant site:
http://www.batterymart.com/battery.mv?p=ACC-12103

12 VOLT - 10 AMP: Fully Automatic two-stage battery charger, UL and CSA approved.
Specially designed for Industrial and OEM applications such as Marine, Utility vehicles and
Material Handling among others.

• OUTPUT: 12 Volt Nominal; 10 Amp DC
• Set Voltage (cut-off Voltage): 14.7 +/- 0.1 Volt
• Float Voltage (come-on Voltage): 14.0 +/- 0.1 Volt
• INPUT: 105 VAC - 120 VAC ; 60 Hz
• DIMENSIONS: 3-1/2" wide x 2-1/4" tall x 4-1/2" deep
• 8.75cm x 5.63cm x 11.9cm
• WEIGHT: 3 lbs.; 1.36kg

4.4.3 BatteryMinder

The third battery competitive battery charger we looked at was the BatteryMinder
which is sold on www.vdcelectronics.com. This battery charger is being offered for
$59.95 and offers a feature that prevents permanent cell damage due to self discharge and
sulphation.

Below are the specifications that were found at the merchant site:
http://www.vdcelectronics.com/images/Charger%20with%20brain%20saves.pdf

• 105 – 130 VAC @ 50/60 Hz
• Charges/maintains up to 4 batteries at a time
• Reverse polarity, short circuit and temperature
• Battery condition/polarity indicators
• Fully automatic, works with all 12 Volt batteries, a push of a button begins de-
sulphation
• Prevents permanent cell damage due to self discharge and sulphation
• 4-3/4”L x 3-1/2”W x 3”H
• 4 lbs

19
4.4.4 SBC-6112 Solar Battery Charger

The fourth competitive battery charger we looked at was a solar battery charger,
model SBC-6112, sold on www.powerstream.com. This charger is offered for $87.50 and
offers a battery level indicator along with a charge status indicator.

Below are the specifications that were found at the merchant site:
http://www.powerstream.com/PV-Control.htm

• Solar
• Microprocessor controlled PWM and 3 stage charging algorithms.
• Electronic Overcharge Protection & back current blocking to PV panel
• Bulk, Absorption & Float Charge LED indications, 5 State LED Indications of
battery levels, 3 - State LED indications of charge status
• Automatic dusk detect & On-Off operation at DC output
• 6(W) x 3 3/8 (D) x 1 3/4 (H) inches
• 0.44kg
Soneil 12 Volt 2.5 A

Cliplight 12V 10A

BatteryMinder

Solar Battery
Charger
Features
230/120 VAC y y N/A

Multiple Battery Charging y

Multistage Charging y y y

Direct Wall Plug y y N/A

LED Indicator y y y y

Fault Protection y y y y
Overcharge Protection y y y y
Battery Recovery y y
Size 4.7x2.9x1.6’’ 3.5x2.25x4.5" 4.75x3.5x3” 6x3.29x1.75”

Weight .88 lb 2.99lb 4 lb 0.97 lb

Price $54.00 $59.95 $59.95 $87.50

Figure 4: Feature Matrix for Competitors

20
4.4.5 Defined Criteria

As the design group, looking at the customer specification and the product
requirements, we defined important criteria which we thought were important to our
customers: price, size, weight, charge time, versatility, battery care consideration, fault
protection and surge protection.

Price: Price has been one of our main criteria, since this product is
designed to be used in developing countries.

Size: Size plays a big role; since our product will be a part of a portable
system, the dimensions are important

Weight: Same reason as size – portability

Charge Time: The charger must be able to charge within the specified time
restraint specification of 12 hours

Versatility: Ability to use the charger with almost any power source available
is important since no standardize power grid will be available in
the product environment

Battery Care Considerations:
An implicit criteria. Charger must not damage or significantly
shorten the life of the charging battery.

Fault Protection:
Product must be able to handle hazardous, user-inflicted,
“accidental” conditions such as: shorted or inverted inputs.

Surge Protection:
The unpredictability and low quality of the AC electrical signal,
the product also needs to be fully protected against frequent current
and voltage spikes.

21
PRICE ($): SIZE (IN3): WEIGHT (LBS)
0-50 5 0-22 5 0-1 5
50-60 4 23-35 4 2-3 4
60-70 3 36-50 3 3-4 3
70-100 2 50+ 2 5-6 2
100+ 1 6+ 1

Charge Time (hours): Versatility: Battery Care Consideration:
0-2 4 Excellent 4 Rejuvenation 2
3-6 3 Good 3 Present 1
7-9 2 Fair 2 Not Present 0
10+ 1 Bad 1

Surge Protections: Fault Protections:
Present 1 Present 1
Not Present 0 Not Present 0

Table 4: Scoring for Criteria

Weighting
Price – 5
Size – 2
Weight – 4
Charge Time – 3
Versatility – 5
Surge Protection – 4
Fault Protection – 4
Battery Care Consideration – 1

4.4.6 Rate Options Using Criteria
Surge Protection

Fault Protection

Battery Care
Versatility
Weight
Price

Size

Competitors Weighted Total
Soneil 12 Volt 2.5 A 4 5 5 3 1 1 2 75

Cliplight 12V 10A 4 4 4 1 1 1 1 58

BatteryMinder 4 3 3 2 1 1 2 58

Solar Battery Charger 2 4 5 2 n/a 1 1 53

OUR CHARGER 5 4 4 4 1 1 1 78

22
4.4.7 Result of the Value Analysis of the Competition
Looking at the value analysis table, our charger is the ultimate choice for the
design solution required by the customer. The Soneil, comes in close second at 75, but
since it still can not handle multiple inputs, that are an absolute must, it fails to meet
customer requirements.

4.5 Value Analysis Conclusions
In our design we had to make many choices between various design options based
on the advantages and disadvantages of those options. In the input and output connector
module, our decision to go with the sockets and terminal approach resulted in a highly
portable and versatile but expensive and difficult to repair design. In the input surge
protector module, our decision to go with the circuit breaker resulted in and effective and
easy to use but hard to fix design. In the charging circuit module, our decision to go with
the constant voltage approach resulted in a simple design but which took a longer time to
charge. One major advantage of the constant voltage model, in particular to our design,
is its ability to minimize the affects of environmental variations when used in conjunction
with a solar panel. In the Overcharge circuit module our decision to go with an analog
solution instead of a digital one, resulted in a cheaper, more feasible design, which
unfortunately had less features and was more complicated.

23
5 Individual Module Design
Each individual module was designed and constructed separately. After successful
simulation and testing, they were put together to create the finalized version.

AC Surge AC/DC Battery
Input Protection Conversion Indicator

DC Input Charging
Voltage Battery
Input Circuit
Limiting
Figure 5: Functional Block Diagram

5.1.1 Surge Protection

A simple circuit breaker will be used to protect the charger from excessive
current.

5.1.2 Input Voltage Limiting

The input voltage limiting capability is necessary to protect the voltage regulator
in the charging circuit from input voltage above the maximum allowable value. This
value is determined by the input output differential. It may not exceed 36V.
Figure 8 shows the voltage clamp circuit that was taken out of our prototype at the
last minute. The specification of the pass-through transistor added a voltage drop of 4V
at the maximum current, which was not acceptable since the charging circuit requires
17V for steady voltage regulation.
This circuit compares the zener diode reference to a fraction of the input voltage.
Based on this comparison, the op-amp controls transistor Q2, which either turns off or
turns on transistor Q1; therefore disconnecting the charging circuit from the input.

24
Vin Q1 Vout
R2 R5
47kohm 3kohm
R7
1kohm
R1 R3 R4
3kohm 6.8ohm 7.5kohm
5
1 U1 D2
R6
4
Q2
2 1kohm
LM741
5.1 V R8
D1 3
1kohm
5.1 V

Figure 6: Voltage Clamp Circuit Schematic

5.1.3 AC/DC Conversion

5.1.4 AC/DC Conversion Options

The module will convert the AC input of 115 or 230 Volts, depending on the
mode settings, to a usable DC output greater than 17V for the charger circuit. From our
research stage for this module, we came up with two possible implementations to
accomplish the task: external and internal AC/DC converters.

5.1.4.1 External AC/DC Converter

A complete solution for this module can be bought separately as a pre-made
external AC/DC adapter that provides a clean 18 V DC output from both American and
European standard outlets, as well as include built in over voltage and short circuit
protection. While potentially more expensive than other possible solutions, this approach
provides versatility and portability to the design that our customers will need. This
feature is important in our attempt to create an adaptable product. This allows the
customer to decide which inputs they would like to have available to control the cost of
the product overall. For example, a customer that lives 50 miles from the nearest plug,
but has a solar panel nearby, probably does not need AC/DC conversion for their charger.
The external AC/DC converter adapter in Figure 3 is the DTS180330UC-P5P-ET
DC, 3.5A adapter made by CUI Inc. The specifications were obtained from the
manufacturer’s website, and a quote for the mass production price of $18.25 for 1000
units is included in the appendix.

25
Input Voltage/Frequency Range : 90~264VAC/47~63HZ
Inrush Current : 30A max @ 115VAC/50A max @ 230VAC, cold start
Line Regulation : +/- 1%
Load Regulation : +/- 5% typical +/- 0.4V min
Ripple/Noise : 1% typical 100mV min
Operating Temperature : 0 ~ 40°C
Storage Temperature : -10 to 70°C
Dimensions (LxWxH) : 108mm x 66mm x 36mm
Approvals : UL/cUL/ITS-GS/CE
Table 5: AC/DC External Charger Specification Table

Figure 7: External AC/DC Adaptor

5.1.4.2 Internal AC/DC Converter

The second option for the AC/DC conversion is a custom design. This design
will include an internal transformer, bridge rectifier and a filter capacitor. This option is
a relatively less expensive approach, but it limits functionality, portability and versatility
in the sense that it would not be an optional component. The reason why we include the
standard AC/DC converter option in our design is in contingency of not being able to
obtain the external adapter.
2 D1
T1

110/220 VAC Input 4 1
+
16 VCT @ 3.5 A
3 C1 C2 Vout
6800uF 6800uF -

Figure 8: AC/DC Converter Schematic

26
Operation:
1. Input signal from the outlet lowered to 16Vrms
2. 16Vrms gets rectified going through the full-bridge rectifier, with 2 diode
voltage drop loss (~ 1.4 V)
3. Capacitor is charged to the peak value of the signal
4. Capacitor is discharged by the rest of the circuit until the voltage on the
capacitor is not increased by the rectified AC signal wave

In our search for the proper transformer, we had to consider many factors such as
input voltage, output voltage, output current and price. Since the primary function of a
transformer is to step down large AC signals to smaller ones, we needed to make sure
that our transformer would handle both 115Vac and 230Vac standards. For output we
needed to make sure that our transformer would be able to produce 16 Vrms with a
current of at least 3Arms. The output requirements of the transformer come directly from
the input requirements of the charging circuit. The transformer that we chose was the
Jameco #104408CF Quick Connect Power Transformer from the Jameco online catalog.
The cost for a single unit is $12.95. We obtained the specifications in Table 1 from the
online catalog.

Terminals: Quick Connect, Solder
Input voltage: 115/230VAC
Output voltage: 16VCT@3.5A
VA Cap: 56.0
Terminal size: 0.187"
Size: 2.00"L x 2.70"W x 2.30"H
Weight: 1.8 lbs.
Table 6: Transformer Specification

Following the transformer output, the next stage in the AC/DC conversion process
involved inverting the negative cycles of the AC input. This process requires the use of a
full wave rectifier diode bridge. We determined the required specifications for the bridge
rectifier based on the input voltage and current. We determined that our rectifier would
have to be able to handle the peak voltage of 22.6V along with voltage spikes from a
dirty line, as well as the 3 amps that the charging circuit would be pulling with some head
room for current spikes. The rectifier that we chose is the KBPC6005 Bridge Rectifier by
International Rectifier. We found this rectifier in the Digikey online catalog with the part
number KBPC6005-ND with a single unit cost of $1.80. The specifications in Table 2
were obtained from the online catalog.

27
DIODE/RECTIFIER TYPE: BRIDGE
Voltage-Rated: 50V
Current Rating: 6A
Package / Case: D-72
Packaging: Bulk
Table 7: Bridge Rectifier Specifications

The filter capacitors from the input voltage and the maximum ripple voltage
allowed by the charging circuit. The capacitor would have to be able to handle the peak
input voltage of 22.6V along with headroom for voltage spikes from a dirty line; it would
also have to be able to maintain a ripple voltage that would not dip below 17 volts at any
time. The capacitor that we chose is the Jameco #115431 6500uF@50V capacitor from
the Jameco online catalog. The cost for the single unit is $3.49. We obtained the
specifications below from the online catalog.

OPERATING TEMPERATURE RANGE: 40 DEGREES C TO +85 DEGREES C MAX.
leakage current: 0.02CV (uA) or 3mA whichever is smaller
Tolerance: +/-20%
Capacitance: 6800uF@50V
Size (DxL): x 51mm (dimensions and lead spacing may vary)
Table 8: Filter Capacitor Specifications

The simulation of our AC/DC conversion module consisted of a modeled AC
input after the transformer, a bridge rectifier, a filter capacitor and a current source to
model the load. The reason why we went with a modeled AC input, was because of the
lack of the specific transformer which we would need to step down the 220VAC wall
source. Our model for the AC input consisted of 16Vrms at 50Hz, which would be the
output of the transformer. We tested for different known values for the capacitor to see
how they would affect the output. The current source that we used to model the load was
determined to be 3Amps because that is the maximum current that the charging circuit
will draw due to the internal current limiting of the voltage regulator. We computed the
required capacitor values using the formula:
dv
I =C
dt
I = 3Amps. This is the maximum load current of the charging circuit, so the worst case
would be if the circuit pulled this amount of current.
dv = 22.6V- 17V, this is the amplitude of the input signal minus the minimum voltage
required by the charging circuit. This gives us the minimum distance that the ripple
voltage can be at from the peak.
dt = 1/100Hz, because the frequency of the rectified signal is twice the frequency of the
input. We chose the 50Hz of the European signal for analysis, because it is the worst
case scenario since there would be more time for the capacitor to discharge.

28
C = 53571.4 uF. Since the calculated value is not a common value we chose the next
highest value, 5600uF. We chose a higher value because higher capacitor values
decrease the ripple voltage.
While searching for parts we found a 6800uF capacitor with a better voltage
rating and a lower price than most of the 5600uF capacitors that we found. The
simulations below display the outputs of the simulated transient analysis for the circuit
with both capacitors.

AC/DC Converter Schematic with 5600uF Capacitor
2 2 D1
V1 1
22.63V C2 I1
4 1
16.00V_rms 5600uF 3A
50Hz
0Deg
3 MDA2501 0

7

Figure 9: AC/DC Converter Schematic with 5600uF Capacitor

Figure 5 shows the 5600uF capacitor, and the corresponding transient analysis
simulation is given by Figure 5.

Figure 10: Transient Analysis with 5600uF Capacitor

29
AC/DC Converter Schematic with 6800uF Capacitor
2 2 D1
V1
4 10
22.63V 1 C2
16.00V_rms I1
6800uF 3A
50Hz
0Deg
0 3 MDA2501
7

Figure 11: AC/DC Converter Schematic with 6800uF Capacitor

Figure 6 uses the 6800uF capacitor and the output of the simulated transient
analysis from Figure 7. Note the smaller ripple voltage in this graph, compared to the
previous simulation.

Figure 12: Transient Analysis with 6800uF

Transformer Configuration

As it can be seen in Figure 13, the transformer switches between 110 and 220
VAC utilizing a double pole double throw toggle switch. The toggle switch works by
switching the dual primary transformer from a series configuration, 220 VAC, to a
parallel configuration, 110 VAC.

30
Figure 13: Transformer 110/220 V AC Switch

5.1.5 Charging Circuit

5.1.5.1 General Description

The full charger feedback control circuit can be seen in Figure 8. This circuit
implements a three stage charger algorithm: constant current state, constant voltage full
charge state, and constant voltage float charges state. This circuit will require an input
voltage of at least 17 volts to output the 14.7V for charging because of the 2V drop across
the regulator.
The comparator is used to provide feedback of the current that the battery is
drawing from the circuit: as the battery charges, the current drawn decreases. The current
sensing resistor is used to convert that current into voltage, which can be used to compare
to a reference within the circuit. This will be the logic needed for the state switching
mechanism. The full charge state will provide 14.7V or 2.45V/Cell on the battery and
float charge will provide 13.8V or 2.3V/Cell. The battery will try to draw maximum
current, in this case:
(14.7V-10.5V)/.1Ohm= 42A (assuming the battery is completely dead)
The current limiting of the voltage regulator will force the current to 3A. The
charger will continuously pump this 3A until the battery current falls below the limit of
500 mA. This will bring the voltage of the battery above the reference point, therefore
causing the comparator to turn on the transistor switch, pulling the output voltage to the
float charging level.

31
U1
LM350
Vin R7 D1
Vreg
IN OUT
0.1ohm +
R1 Schotkey
Battery
10ohm
-

R2
220ohm

R3
2.3kohm
3 U2
D2
Q1 R5 2
R4
4
251kohm 1kohm
5.1 V 1
R6 LM741
5
1kohm

To Charge Indicator

Figure 14: Complete Charging Circuit Module

The circuit is not very tolerant to resistor changes, therefore low tolerance ±1%
resistors would probably preferable.

5.1.5.2 Simulation

The simulation was slowly built up piece by piece to ensure proper simulation of
the complete circuit, as well as catch any simulation problems that might be encountered.

Step 1: Testing Voltage Regulation

Our circuit will include an LM350, 3-Amp, adjustable voltage regulator, but since
the model for this regulator was not available in Multisim, a comparable adjustable
regulator was used for simulation purposes.

32
U1
LM117HVKSTL/883

Vreg
IN OUT
V1 R1
25V 223.3ohm

R2
2492ohm

Figure 15: Regulator configuration for Charging Circuit Module

The input to the regulator was chosen to be at least two volts higher above the set
output voltage. In Figure 9., the resistor values were chosen so that the voltage regulator
is configured to the output 14.5V DC for testing purposes only. An interesting note, the
simulator applies a 1.3V potential between the adjustment and the output pins. This
somewhat varies from the specification of the LM350, which tries to maintain 1.25V
across the same pins. Using the simulator’s voltage across R1, the voltage was calculated
to be 14.5V:
Vout = 1.3V + (1.3V/R1)*R2

This was confirmed by the simulation.

Step 2: Varying Vout through a Single “Switch”

Controlling the output voltage to the battery is an essential part of multi stage
charging circuitry.

33
U1
LM117HVKSTL/883

Vreg
IN OUT
R1
10ohm

V1
17.2V R5
240ohm

R2
1690ohm
R4
V2
4555ohm Q1 0V 5V 1msec 0msec
R3 2N3393
1000ohm

Figure 16: Vout Switching for Charging Circuit Module

Adding a transistor will act as a switch to ground, and therefore vary the
equivalent resistance of R3 which will provide control over the voltage regulator. When
the “switch” is turned on, R4 is connected to ground, putting it in parallel with R3. This
lowers the equivalent resistance of both resistors, and therefore lowers the voltage across
both of them. Since the voltage is lower, the total output voltage is brought down the
same amount. The voltage on the first stage needed to be 14.7V or 2.45 V/Cell and
during the float state, 13.8V or 2.3V/Cell.

The current through R1, R5 and R2 is
1.25V/250Ohms=.005 A

The output voltages were calculated to be:

Transistor State R3||R4 VR3 Vout
OFF 1000 5.0 14.7
ON 820 4.1 13.8
Table 9: Voltage Regulator configuration resistors
Simulating the circuit, the output voltage was measured to be 14.2V when the
transistor was completely on, and 15.1V when it was completely off. This .4V difference
is due to the fact that the potential difference between the adjusting terminal and the
output pin is 1.3 rather 1.25; therefore producing a larger current, which increasing the
output voltage. Another possible source of discrepancy could be the voltage drop across

34
the transistor, which does not completely pull the resistor to ground when it is on, and
also has leakage currents.

Step 3: Reference Controlled Switch

Providing automatic switching based on voltage level was implemented using a
comparator. The logical state change happens when the battery reaches a certain
potential below the full charging voltage.

U1
LM117HVKSTL/883

Vreg
IN OUT
R1
10ohm

V1
17.2V R5 V2
240ohm 12V

R2
1690ohm
R4 7 U2
3
4555.5ohm Q1
R3 2N3393 6
1000ohm 2

4 LM307N

Figure 17: Reference Controlled Switch for Charging Circuit Module

The current through R1 and R5 was calculated to be 5 mA. Breaking the 250Ohm
resistor into 240Ohm resistor in series with a 10Ohm, provides a 50mV reference below
the output voltage. This reference is used as the negative input for the comparator, and
the battery voltage as the positive input. Whenever the battery charge is greater than the
reference point, the comparator turns on the transistor, and therefore lowers the output
voltage to the float charger state.
This phenomenon was observed as predicted in the simulations.

Step 4: Providing Feedback through the Current Sensing Resistor
This final step was to build the complete circuit. It proved to be a challenging
task. Even though logically the circuit seemed to make sense and did not vary
significantly from the previous one, we were unable to get the expected output. After
numerous hours of trying to appease the simulator, we came to the conclusion that our
analysis is probably correct and that the feedback loop through the current sensing

35
resistor R6, added enough complexity to the circuit that the simulator did not provide us
with an accurate answer.

U1
LM117HVKSTL/883

Vreg R6_10W
IN OUT
R1 0.1ohm
10ohm

V1
17.2V R5 V2
240ohm 12V

R2
1690ohm
R4 7 U2
3
4555.5ohm Q1 R7
R3 2N3393 6
1000ohm 1kohm 2

4 LM307N

Figure 18: Reference Controlled Switch for Charging Circuit Module with added feedback loop

5.1.6 Battery Indicator

We came up with a very simple design for a voltage monitor. Figure 18 depicts a
quad-voltage comparator (LM324) that used to control a simple bar graph meter to
indicate the charge condition of the 12-volt lead acid battery. A 5.4-volt reference voltage
(D1) is connected to each of the non-inverting inputs of the four comparators and the
inverting inputs are connected to successive points along a voltage divider. The LEDs
illuminate as the voltage at the inverting terminals exceeds the reference voltage. LED 1
turns on at 11 volts, LED 2 turns on at 13 volts, LED 3 turns on at 14 volts, and LED 4
turns on at 14.3 volts.

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To Charging Circuit

R1 R2 LM324 LED1
2kohm 10kohm U1
1
R7
3
2 1kohm
R3 LED2
1.5kohm U2
1
D1 R8
5.4 V 3
2 1kohm

R4 LED3
570ohm U3
1
R9
3
2 1kohm
R5 LED4
160ohm U4
1
R10
3
2 1kohm
R6
7.5kohm

Figure 19: Charging Circuit Module

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6 Prototype Results/Final Design
Consisting of only a transformer, 6800uF capacitors, bridge rectifier, voltage
regulator and an op-amp, the final implementation came out to be very simple and
functional. The final schematic can be found in the Appendix.

6.1 Module Status
6.1.1 AC/DC Conversion

AC/DC Conversion
Functionality Converts AC input into DC
Implementation Rectified Dual-prime transformer (115/230 V AC) signal
And External AC/DC Conversion
Input 110 or 220 VAC
Output 16Vrms DC @ 3A+
Status Built and Implemented

Table 10: AC/DC Module Status

Our AC/DC conversion module worked as expected. It outputs the correct
voltage, and can handle the load simulating a dead battery. We have 2 different options
for future implementation, one is an external AC/DC converter design which includes a
transformer, bridge rectifier and filter capacitor, the second option is an external AC/DC
adapter.

6.1.2 Current Surge Protection

Surge Protection
Functionality Provide surge protection from voltage and current spikes on the
AC input line
Implementation Re-settable Circuit Breakers
Input Unstable AC from outlet 115/230 VAC
Output AC signal, without excessive voltage or current spikes
Status Built but not Implemented

Table 11: Current Surge Protection Module Status

This module has not been fully implemented into our design yet, because of time
issues. We are confident that if we did implement it, it would work as expected.

38
6.1.3 Charging Circuit

Charging Control Circuit, Overcharge Protection
Functionality Provides control of the charger, and implements the three stage
charging algorithm
Implementation Voltage regulation with feedback
Input 17V-36V DC
Output 14.7V, 13.8V (Stage dependent)
Status Built and Implemented

Table 12: Charging Circuit Module Status

The charging circuit module works completely as expected, but there is an
inherent design problem. Since the charger is built around a linear regulator, heat
dissipation creates a major problem if not addressed properly, especially in warm
climates such as Mali’s.

6.1.4 Battery Indicator

Battery Indicator
Functionality Indicate battery charging level
Implementation 5 LED Array (square LEDs)
Input Voltage of the battery (10.5V-14V)
Output Number of LEDs turned on proportional to the battery charge
level
Status Built and Implemented but needs improvement

Table 13: Battery Indicator Module Status

The battery indicator module works independently and indicates the status of the
battery while it’s not charging. Since the battery voltage level during charge does not
correspond to the actual voltage of the battery, as we found out during testing, the
indicator would not accurately represent the actual charge of the battery. The indicator
would need to be modified to indicate the actual status of the battery.

39
7 Testing
7.1 AC/DC Conversion

We tested our AC/DC converter with an oscilloscope in three stages. The first
stage was the transformer connected to a load. We measured the output and confirmed
that it would meet our voltage requirement. The second stage was the transformer
hooked up to the rectifier and to a load. We verified the inversion of the negative cycle
of the ac input. The third stage was the transformer with the rectifier and filter capacitor.
In this stage we measured the ripple voltage to make sure it met our voltage requirements.

7.2 Charging Circuit

We used several methods to test the charging circuit, using different kinds of loads
to simulate a battery. The first method we tried was to use several high power 10 ohm
resistors. The second method was a variable resistor which ranged between 0-110 ohms.
From these tests we verified the operation of our charger. After using these simulated
loads we tested the circuit on an actual battery, and verified the charging algorithm.

7.3 Battery Indicator
We used a power supply set to various voltages to test the turning on and off of the
LED’s.

40
8 Final Prototype Summary and Functionality
We were able to build a working prototype that satisfied all or most of the customer
requirements.

8.1 Strengths

• Charging Circuit
o Successful 3 stage charging
o Reasonable charging time
ƒ ~80% of dead battery in 10 hours (wall outlet)
o Overcharge protection
o Works with 110/220 VAC and DC pedal generator
• Fault protection
o Output can be shorted without causing damage to the circuit
• Will not discharge battery
• Simple design
o Easy to repair
• Will not be heavier than 3 pounds with metal casing
• Detachable AC cord for replacement for both 110 and 220 AC plugs

8.2 Weaknesses

• Heat Dissipation
o Hot to the touch
o Lower lifespan of components
o In hotter temperatures (Mali) this becomes more of a problem
• Lack of voltage spike protection
• Solar panel input not tested
• Charge indicator does not work with charging circuit

8.3 Suggestion for Improvement

• Larger heatsinks to dissipate the heat
• Include metal casing to improve heat dissipation
• Modify design to incorporate switching regulator
• Redesign indicator to work with charging circuit.
• Indicate the “Bulk” or “Float” charge state to represent the charge state of the
battery
• Include power zeners to clamp the input voltage to protect the voltage regulator

41
9 Economic Analysis
During various stages of our project we have needed to consider the economic aspects
of our design. From the first product specification stage where we set the precedent of a
low product cost as a critical requirement, to the various design cuts and revisions based
on part pricing, we have kept the cost in serious consideration.

9.1 Unit Cost Analysis

To determine the price of our product we had to come up with a unit cost for our
design. This unit cost was based on several factors such as…
• the cost of parts
• distribution
• manufacturing
• assembly
We looked up all the parts that we used in our design and found the bulk price for a
target sale of 1000 units. We determined 1000 units as the yearly sales number because
of the approximate 800 units that World Education will buy and the projected 16,000
other customers worldwide. This information was given to us by Design that Matters and
we used it for the base of our economic analysis.

Part Number Distributer Distributer’s Part 1 500/1000 Quantity Unit Cost Mass Producton
Number
LM741 Mouser UA741CD $0.3000 $0.2100 1 $0.3000 $0.2100
LM350K Mouser 511-LM350K $5.7000 $4.8500 1 $5.7000 $4.8500
2N3904 Mouser 625-2N3904 $0.0500 $0.0360 1 $0.0500 $0.0360
Zener 5.1V Mouser 78-1N5231B $0.0400 $0.0140 2 $0.0800 $0.0280
.1 Ohm Res Digikey 20JR10-ND $1.9600 $1.0800 1 $1.9600 $1.0800
5A Diode Digikey SB520CT-ND $0.3900 $0.2200 1 $0.3900 $0.2200
Transformer Jameco 104408 $12.9500 $10.4900 1 $12.9500 $10.4900
6800 uF Jameco 115431 $3.4900 $2.8900 2 $6.9800 $5.7800
Full Bridge Mouser 583-BR61 $0.8000 $0.4700 1 $0.8000 $0.4700
2.2 C/W Heatsink Digikey HS265-ND $2.4800 $1.3860 1 $2.4800 $1.3860
1/4 Resistors Mouser N/A $0.0700 $0.0050 14 $0.9800 $0.0700

Case Digikey HM612-ND $6.6600 $4.1600 1 $6.6600 $4.1600
AC Cord Digikey Q100-ND $1.5800 $0.9700 1 $1.5800 $0.9700

Table 14: Parts list with Bulk Prices

For distribution we used a UPS Shipping calculator to find the price for bulk shipping
using estimated weight of a single unit times the bulk number. We assumed that many of
the parts. Because the maximum allowable weight per package is 70kg ,roughly 154.3
pounds, our bulk rate is 85 units per package. This calculation gave us a shipping cost of
around $29.75 per unit. This shipping number seems extremely high, so we assumed that

42
with complete bulk shipping of 1000, and cheaper distribution alternatives such as freight
shipping, our estimated distribution cost would be around $10.
We decided that for the final product, we would recommend PCB layout for the
board. This solution is ideal because it provides a cheap and easy assembly process for
this product. With a PCB board, the entire unit can be assembled locally at a much
cheaper cost. Searching online at http://www.pcbpro.com we found a quote for $2.62 a
board for 1000 5x3 in. boards after 5 weeks.
We assumed that all the product assembly would be done in Mali by the local
electronic component shops. For this we assumed an hourly wage of $5 and estimating
about an hour to assemble.

Parts $29.75
Manufactur $3.00
Distribution $10.00
Assembly $5.00
Unit Cost $47.75

Table 15: Unit Cost Calculation

9.2 Price Suggestion

I would suggest a price of $50 based on the price requirement that DtM estimated for
our project. This price of $50 is very close to the estimated per-unit cost, so the profit
margin will be very close. If DtM averages a yearly sale of 1000 units, it will get $2250
annual revenue.

9.3 Economic Feasibility

One of our greatest concerns in this project is the feasibility of mass producing this
product. Our sponsor, Design that Matters, determined that a cost of $50 would be
reasonable for our target market, Mali West Africa. Throughout our product design
development we have felt pressured to keep our solutions within the price range. This
has been hard considering the cost of our components. Since our estimated per-unit cost
is so close to the suggested price, we believe that this is not a feasible price for sale. If
DtM gave a wider price range for this product, it would be much easier to justify.

10 Conclusions
We were able to accomplish our main goal, and that is design a working prototype
for a 12V lead-acid battery.

In this project we have learned more then just how to make a simple universal
battery charger and drawing upon our EE knowledge from our previous classes. We
experienced our first taste of design and major project management. Along with these

43
specific skills, we also improved our time management and team work skills. Through
our design project we experience many success and failures in the process, and have had
to make a lot of important design decisions. With more time we could have taken our
rough design and brought it to usable standalone charger.

44
11 Appendix A

Figure 20: Initial General Project Management Chart

45
12 Appendix B

Figure 21: Initial Module Specific Project Management Chart

46
13 Appendix C

Figure 22: End Term Project Management Chart

47
14 Appendix D
Solar Panel / Pedal Generator Input

U1
2 D4 LM350
T1 Switch

Vreg R6 D1
110/220 VAC Input 4 1
IN OUT
0.1ohm +
R1 Schotkey
16 VCT @ 3.5 A R8 R9 Bus LED1 Battery
3 10ohm
2kohm 10kohm U2
-
1
R3 R14
C1 C2 3
220ohm
2 1kohm
6800uF 6800uF
R10 LED2
R2
1.5kohm U4
2.3kohm
3 U3 1
D2 R15
D3 3
Q1 R4 2 5.4 V
R5 2 1kohm
4
251kohm 1kohm
5.1 V 1 R11 LED4
R7 LM741
5 570ohm U5
1kohm
1
R16
3
2 1kohm
R12 LED3
160ohm U6
1
R17
3
2 1kohm
R13
7.5kohm

Figure 23: Complete Circuit Schematic

48
15 Appendix E
QUOTATION
DTS180330UC-P5P-ET

Design That Matters
Attn: Jonathan Mulla November 26, 2003
e-mail: jonmulla@wpi.edu

Description: Switching Desktop power supply, 90~264VAC/47~63Hz Universal input. 18VDC@ 3.3A
output, with a 6-foot output cord terminating to a 2.1mm x 5.5 mm x 9.5mm center positive DC power
plug. Includes AC Power Cord. This unit is UL/cUL/TUV/CE/CB/FCC/BSMI/EK/PSE/NORDIC
Approved.
Part Number: DTS180330UC-P5P-ET

Quantity: 1K pcs Price: $18.25/unit (Minimum Order Quantity)
Quantity: 2K pcs Price: $17.87/unit

First Delivery: 10~12 weeks via Sea freight, ARO/ or approval of credit. Delivery time may be
reduced to 5~6 weeks by Air freight at an additional cost.

Standard Terms:
1. Terms: 1%/10 days, Net 30 days on approved credit.
2. FOB: Beaverton, Oregon.
3. Customer’s PO must acknowledge that Orders are non-cancelable and non-returnable.
4. This quotation is in USD, and is valid for 60 days from date of issue unless withdrawn prior to
acceptance.
5. CUI Inc. requires customer approval of a sample unit prior to acceptance of a production order.
If you have any questions or comments, call me at any time. Thank you for your interest in CUI
products.

Sincerely,

Heather J. Roley
NE Regional Sales Manager

49
16 References
RV owners’ forum:
http://www.trailerlife.com/cforum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/683429/gotomsg/683
780.cfm

Boaters World:
www.boatersworld.com

Battery Stuff.com:
http://www.4unique.com/battery/soneil/soneil-12v2-5a.htm

Battery Mart:
http://www.batterymart.com/battery.mv?p=ACC-12103

Battery Minder:
http://www.vdcelectronics.com/images/Charger%20with%20brain%20saves.pdf

PCB Pro.com:
http://www.pcbpro.com

Powerstream.com:
http://www.powerstream.com/PV-Control.htm

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