Alan Parekh of Hacked Gadgets writes:
Thanks to GearBest for sending in this Opus BT-C3100 V2.0 Intelligent Battery Charger for review. at a quick glance this charger might look like any other charger that you see at the grocery store. Your generic store bought brand probably also has 4 charging bays for AA and AAA batteries, it probably has 2 charging circuits which places 2 cells in series to charge them, it most likely has 2 charging lights which just turns off when charging is done. If you leave the batteries in your generic charger you will most likely have batteries that have been overcharging or running down. Also your generic charger can probably just charge one chemistry of battery.
When you have a closer look at the Opus BT-C3100 V2.0 Intelligent Battery Charger you can see how this system differs from your every day generic battery charger. It can auto detect and charge NiCd, NiMH and Li-ion batteries. It charges each cell independently preventing bad cells from interfering from other cells from charging properly. Forget charging lights, this has a full LCD display that provides tons of status. It will monitor batteries that are left in the charger and keep them topped up and ready to go. From here the features go on and on. Don’t let the small package fool you, there is a ton of smarts and features built into this small package.
Have a look at the pictures below and in the video for a look inside the charger. The construction is a dual sided SMD load, the construction looks very professional. The battery contact spring tensioners work well and the connection to the PCB has been beefed up with a thick metal bar…
BT-C3100 intelligent battery charger teardown - [Link]
Here’s an Instructable about a DIY charger for car’s battery with an analog DC ammeter in the front panel. A PIC12F683-based control circuit is enclosed inside which adds some intelligence to this charger. The PIC MCU checks the terminal voltage of the battery being charged in every ten minutes using one of its analog inputs, and if it is found above a set threshold, the charging process is stopped. A relay switch is included into the circuit to connect/disconnect the charger output and the battery terminals.
PIC12F683 based battery charger - [Link]
Perhaps the most frequently used rechargeable batteries on the market nowadays – Lithium-Polymer (Li-Po) can be found also in our offer.
From the beginning of electronics, the world searches for an “ideal” rechargeable battery. So far such a battery doesn´t exist (maybe supercapacitors in the future), but Li-Po (Li-Pol) cells are quite near to an ideal in some aspects.
Very low self-discharge (approx. 5% / month), high voltage of a cell (3,7-3,8V average), high energy density and a low weight, considerably stable discharge voltage and a possibility to recharge anytime are one of the main advantages of Li-Po cells. Another benefits are advantageous flat shape, high variability in dimensions and a long lifetime. No wonder, that Li-Po cells have become no. 1 in consumer electronics, hand tools and in many industrial devices.
Perhaps the only drawback of these cells is their lower chemical stability at overcharging (in a corner case ending up with a fire). But that´s the case which is practically eliminated at a common operation with a suitable charging circuit (chip or a charger intended for Li-Po).
Basic principle at usage is not to exceed approx. 4.25V charging voltage and the battery is almost discharged at a voltage below approx. 3.0V (2.75V). On the very end of a discharge cycle, the inner resistance slightly increases, what can cause a slight heating of a battery at higher currents – it is a normal behavior. Charging is usually based on a method constant voltage/ limited current. In principle it´s possible to use the same chargers and charging circuits for Li-Ion as well as Li-Po cells.
At a usual usage and discharging to say 20-80%, Li-Po cells will reward you by a reliable operation and a long lifetime. Flat shape is ideal for various handheld equipment, as well for usage in flat enclosures. In respect to a low self-discharge it´s possible to use Li-Po cells even as a backup energy source.
In our offer can be found several several Li-Po types from company EEMB with a capacity of 130 mAh to 2000 mAh. Exact list of available types and datasheets can be found below this article. Upon request, we´re able to provide you also many other types.
Try the most favorite type of batteries - [Link]
Jianan Li made this LiPo Booster project, that is available at Github:
LiPo Booster is a breadboard-friendly boost converter board based on the TPS61230 IC from Texus Instrument. It has an output voltage of 5V, and is designed to be used with a single cell LiPo battery.
LiPo Booster, a breadboard-friendly boost converter board based on TPS61230 - [Link]
Rechargeable batteries save us a lot of money but take a lot of time. What if you could recharge a battery in seconds instead of hours?
Rechargeable batteries save us a lot of money these days but for the savings, we give up some of our time, waiting for them to recharge. What if though. What if there was a rechargeable battery that took seconds to recharge instead of hours? That is exactly what I’ve invented and I need your help to bring this to the masses and show the world that we no longer need to waste hours of or lives waiting for a battery to charge.
With the leaps and bounds being made today with capacitors, they’ve gone from being able to store a tiny potential of energy to now, being able to store enough energy to be considered a power source. These high Farad capacitors are known as super capacitors and aside from providing electricity for an extended period of time, they can also be charged very quickly. Recently, there’s been another development, combining the technology of super capacitors with lithium ion batteries. The usually downside to super capacitors from batteries is that they don’t provide electricity for nearly as long. However, with the advent of the lithium ion capacitor, that is quickly changing.
30 Second Charging, Rechargeable Battery - [Link]
by Steve Taranovich @ www.edn.com:
Freescale Semiconductor introduced the MM9Z1J638, AEC-Q100 qualified intelligent battery sensors with three measurement channels, a 16/32-bit MCU and a CAN protocol module in one 7 x 7 mm 48-pin QFN package.
The market this product serves is quite diversified with 12 V lead acid batteries, 14 V Li-Ion batteries, Lead acid multi-batteries, HV battery junction box, Energy Storage Systems (ESS), Uninterrupted Power Systems (UPS) and industrial automation.
Today’s trends in the battery market include complex battery algorithms, higher communication data rates with the CAN bus, better safety for Li-Ion batteries and increased mission-critical dependence on energy availability.
Start-stop requirements, together with others such as regenerative braking and intelligent alternator control, are driving demand for more precise sensing of the battery’s state to provide early failure warnings.
Intelligent battery sensor for automotive and industrial - [Link]
By Darren Quick @ gizmag.com:
Conventional lithium-ion batteries rely on anodes made of graphite, but it is widely believed that the performance of this material has reached its zenith, prompting researchers to look at possible replacements. Much of the focus has been on nanoscale silicon, but it remains difficult to produce in large quantities and usually degrades quickly. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have overcome these problems by developing a lithium-ion battery anode using sand.
Sand-based anode triples lithium-ion battery performance - [Link]
by Graham Prophet @ edn.com:
STMicroelectronics has announced limited production of its EnFilm advanced rechargeable batteries that are less than 0.25 mm thick. These paper-thin batteries free designers from the constraints of standard battery sizes for personal technology and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
At 220µm thick and measuring 25.7 x 25.7 mm, ST’s EFL700A39 EnFilm solid-state lithium thin-film battery is suited for use in ultra-low-profile devices. Surface-mount terminals allow direct attachment to the circuit board, which simplifies assembly and eliminates wires and connectors. Optional tape-and-reel packaging allows high-speed automated placement.
EnFilm – rechargeable solid state lithium thin film battery - [Link]
By Sean Michael Ragan:
The Joule Thief (Wikipedia) is a well-known “instant gratification” hobby circuit that uses just a handful of components to pull off a pretty impressive parlor trick — using a single 1.5V battery, the Joule Thief can light a high-voltage blue or white LED that normally requires 3.5V or greater to turn on. Even more impressive, it can do so using a battery that is so drained of energy as to be counted “dead” for almost all other purposes. I have not measured this value myself, but it is commonly claimed that a Joule Thief can light a white LED from a battery with an open-circuit voltage as low as 0.6.
Bring “dead” batteries back to life with a toroid and the Joule Thief circuit. - [Link]
1,6V rechargeable batteries experience “rebirth” and bring several advantages in comparison to 1,2V NiCd accumulators
Experts in electrotechnics might say, that these are a long-time known batteries invented already by Edison thus being no novelty at all. That´s true but in contrast to older tyes is in technological advance of electrolyte and electrodes so as to reach a substantially higher lifetime that few decades ago.
So what´s interesting about these rechargeable batteries? By one sentence, NiZn cell has an output voltage of approx. 1.65V, what´s about 0.4V more than NiMH/ NiCd cells.
At the same time they´re able to provide a high current, similarly like NiCd/ NiMH cells, that´s why they´re also usable in devices with high current demands (conductivity of Zinc is about 15% than Cd). NiZn cells are easily recyclable and they´re very environmentally friendly. Another benefits:
- energy density of NiZn cells is about a third higher than that of NiCd cells (Wh/kg and also Wh/liter).
- higher voltage (1,6-1,8V) enables to reach a higher voltage of „battery-packs“ with a lower count of cells
- lifetime is comparable with NiCd cells
- no memory effect, trouble-free recharge to 100%
- flat discharging characteristics, average voltage aprox. 1,6-1,7V
It is recommended to recharge NiZn cells by C/4 to 1C current (i.e. for example 500 mA to 2000 mA for a 2000mAh cell) while observing a max. voltage of 1.9V/ cell. It´s not recommended to leave cells at a so called “trickle charging” as overcharging might decrease lifetime of cells. Naturally, like in case of almost all rechargeable batteries, the highest lifetime can be reached at operation on a partial discharge (not to a deep discharge). It´s worth to say, that NiZn are not an ideal replacement into devices with a very small power consumption ( e-g- remote controllers), where still win primary alkaline cells.
In our offer can be found NiZn cells themselves: 4AA2500mWh1.6V BP4 and 4AAA900mWh1.6V BP4 as well as a set – charger + cells (4xAA+4xAAA) NizN Charger + Accu. This charger charges by 500 mA current (AA/AAA) and monitors each slot individually. During recharging a LED at agiven slot blinks slowly (1x/s) and after finishing of recharge it shines continuously. In case of a faulty cell it blinks quickly (4x/s).
NiZn rechargeable batteries – when Nickel and Zinc create a strong pair - [Link]