By Eric Mack @ gizmag.com:
There’s another promising contender in the race to supplant the dominance of lithium-ion and metal-hydride based batteries in the world of energy storage. New research from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology’s (KIT’s) Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU) details the development of an electrolyte that can be used in new magnesium-sulfur battery cells that would be more efficient and inexpensive than the dominant types of batteries in use today.
New electrolyte to enable cheaper, less toxic magnesium-sulfur-based batteries - [Link]
A battery charger is a device used to energize a rechargeable battery by driving an electric current through it. The charging protocol depends on the size and type of the battery being charged. Some battery types have high tolerance for overcharging and can be recharged by connection to a constant voltage source or a constant current source; simple chargers of this type require manual disconnection at the end of the charge cycle, or may have a timer to cut off charging current at a fixed time.
The MCP1631HV multi-chemistry reference design board is used to charge one, two, three or four NiMH batteries or one or two cell Li-Ion batteries. The board uses the MCP1631HV high speed analog PWM and PIC16F883 to generate the charge algorithm for NiMH, NiCd or Li-Ion batteries. It is used to evaluate Microchip’s MCP1631HV in a SEPIC power converter application. As provided, it is user programmable using on board pushes buttons. The board can charge NiMH, NiCd or Li-Ion batteries. It provides a constant current charge (Ni based chemistry) and constant current / constant voltage (Li-Ion) with preconditioning, cell temperature monitoring (Ni based) and battery pack fault monitoring. Also, the charger provides a status or fault indication. It automatically detects the insertion or removal of a battery pack.
The MCP1631 multi-chemistry battery charger reference design is a complete stand-alone constant current battery charger for NiMH, NiCd or Li-Ion battery packs. When charging NiMH or NiCd batteries the reference design is capable of charging one, two, three or four batteries connected in series. If Li-Ion chemistry is selected, the board is capable of charging one or two series batteries. This board utilizes Microchip’s MCP1631HV (high-speed PIC® MCU PWM TSSOP-20). The input voltage range for the demo board is 5.3V to 16V.
Multi-Chemistry Battery Charger from Microchip - [Link]
Dilshan Jayakody has published a new build, an automatic car battery charger:
This is modified version of commonly available automatic car battery charger system. I obtain original layout of this charger from one of the commercially available Chinese car battery charger and modified some of the sections of original schematic to improve the performance and stability of the system. This charger is mainly based on LM311 comparator and 2×12V 4A transformer.
Simple automatic car battery charger - [Link]
Steve Taranovich @ edn.com:
Panasonic Corporation has developed a pin-shaped Lithium Ion battery (CG-320, nominal capacity 13mAh) with a diameter of 3.5mm and a weight of 0.6g.
This offering will give designers an added choice to their power sources for new designs among paper and thin film batteries but is not an earth-shattering battery breakthrough. EaglePicher has had small LiIon batteries for implantables for a while and Quallion has a 2.6mm diameter by 10.9mm height in their QL0002l device for implantables and sensors—BUT—it has only 1.5 mAh capacity.
Tiny pin-shaped Lithium Ion battery - [Link]
The LTC®4121 is a 400mA constant-current/constantvoltage (CC/CV) synchronous step-down battery charger. In addition to CC/CV operation, the LTC4121 regulates its input voltage to a programmable percentage of the input open-circuit voltage. This technique enables maximum power operation with high impedance input sources such as solar panels.
An external resistor programs the charge current up to 400mA. The LTC4121-4.2 is suitable for charging Li-Ion/ Polymer batteries, while the programmable float voltage of the LTC4121 is suitable for several battery chemistries.
LTC4121/LTC4121- 4.2 – 40V 400mA Synchronous Step-Down Battery Charger - [Link]
by Superbender @ instructables.com:
Winter just arrived. The enemy of all batteries. Last year this was the season the auxiliary battery of my T3 VW camper bus bit the dust. This likely happened because I neglected to take care of it over the winter months during which the bus is typically parked in my garage. When the auxiliary battery is really dead dead, aka croaked, it is not only not working, but it also prevents the main battery used for starting/driving of the bus to be properly charged when driving. Not a good situation if you are somewhere out in the woods and eventually need a ride back to civilization. After almost getting stuck in the boonies, I decided to build a two-channel battery cycle charger that is supposed to keep both batteries happy and healthy for these winter months. You can see this project documented here.
ATtiny85 Two-Channel Lead Acid Battery Charger - [Link]
In a serious case of out-of-the-box thinking, a design team at Roost in Sunnyvale California have come up with a method to add Wi-Fi connectivity to your old smoke or carbon monoxide alarm by just swapping batteries. Your smoke detector uses a 9 V PP3-type battery right? The new Roost battery contains 9 V lithium cells together with a processor and Wi-Fi chip in the standard PP3-sized battery outline. It monitors the battery voltage and power drain to alert you via Wi-Fi and a smartphone app when the alarm has been triggered, even if you are not at home.
New Battery Smarts-up your Smoke Detector - [Link]
In this project, we are building a programmable single/multi cell lithium battery charger shield for Arduino. The shield provides LCD and button interface which let the user set the battery cut-off voltage from 2V to 10V and charge current from 50mA to 1.1A. The charger also provides the ability to monitor the battery status before and during charge.
The charger is based on LT1510 Constant Current/Constant Voltage Battery charger IC and controlled by Arduino UNO. The display on the shield is Nokia 5110 LCD which is very simple to use and still available on the market. There are two different battery connectors available on the shield, a two contact screw terminal block and a right angle 2mm JST-PH connector.
DIY Lithium Battery Charger Shield for Arduino - [Link]
Josh Levine writes:
It can be nice to know how much battery power you have. It becomes critically important with LiPo batteries since you can permanently damage them by running the voltage down too low. Typically battery voltage detection requires adding a circuit with extra parts and their associated power requirements. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to do this using nothing but software? Read on for a no parts, no pins, no power solution…
Battery fuel gauge with zero parts and zero pins on AVR - [Link]
by Darren Quick @ gizmag.com:
It can be a herculean task to get kids to eat their vegetables, but they’ll happily chow down on things they aren’t supposed to. If one of those things is a button battery, serious injuries can result in the form of burns to the esophagus or tears in the digestive tract. Researchers may not have found a way to stop kids swallowing button batteries, but they have found a way to make such culinary no-nos safer.
Coating makes swallowing batteries safer for curious kids - [Link]