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]
by Mohamed Ismail @ edn.com:
Other than generous helpings of coffee, what helps industry decrease time to market, drive down cost, and focus more of the design cycle on innovation? Hint: standardization. By defining protocols and operating characteristics, standards have impacted all aspects of technology: device package sizes, pin outs, data and communication interfaces, software drivers, connectors, ESD ratings, environmental compliance, test fixtures. The list goes on and on. The more detailed a specification, the better equipped are developers for defining products that serve the marketplace. If there is any doubt about the value of tightly defined standards, go into any two clothing stores and buy the same size shirt.
USB battery charging rev. 1.2: Important role of charger detectors – [Link]
The bq2510x series of devices are highly integrated Li-Ion and Li-Pol linear chargers targeted at space-limited portable applications. The high input voltage range with input overvoltage protection supports low-cost unregulated adapters.
The bq2510x has a single power output that charges the battery. A system load can be placed in parallel with the battery as long as the average system load does not keep the battery from charging fully during the 10 hour safety timer.
BQ25100 – 250-mA Single Cell Li-Ion Battery Charger – [Link]
by Rob Matheson @ phys.org:
Stream video on your smartphone, or use its GPS for an hour or two, and you’ll probably see the battery drain significantly. As data rates climb and smartphones adopt more power-hungry features, battery life has become a concern. Now a technology developed by MIT spinout Eta Devices could help a phone’s battery last perhaps twice as long, and help to conserve energy in cell towers.
Beating battery drain: Power-conserving chip may increase smartphone battery life – [Link]
An application note (PDF) from MAXIM:
The typical specification for lithium coin-cell batteries has been to provide a 10-year battery lifetime in the absence of system power. End users should evaluate the anticipated lifetime in their specific application, especially for those that exceed typical commercial environments or that need to last more than 10 years. This article gives the reader an overview of the major factors affecting the lifetime of an IC that can be powered by either the system power or a lithium battery for a backup supply.
Lithium coin-cell batteries: Predicting an application lifetime – [Link]
by Steve Taranovich @ edn.com:
I have been hearing about so many different and novel techniques for battery charging and cell balancing lately. Designers are working feverishly to optimize cell balancing and battery safety along with improved efficiency. I have been closely watching Sendyne for a while now, ever since the SFP100 was chosen to be one of 2013’s EDN Hot Products and UBM ACE Award finalist in the category of Ultimate Products in Analog ICs. This IC is a current, voltage and temperature measurement solution and can be configured for automatic compensation for resistance dependence of the shunt over temperature with a separate reference design board.
Unique battery pack architecture patented by Sendyne – [Link]
Recent advances of Li-Ion battery technology could be the kick start the faltering electric vehicle market needs for it to go main stream. As well as the fast charge time the new battery can be cycled more than 10,000 times and has a lifespan of 20 years.
The work carried out at NTU Singapore replaces the traditional graphite anode with one made from titanium dioxide, an abundant, cheap and safe material found in soil. It is commonly used as a food additive and in sunscreen lotions. Before the material can be used it is converted into fine nanotubes which allows faster chemical reactions in the cell giving it super fast recharge times.
Li-Ion battery recharges to 70% in 2 mins – [Link]
by Darren Quick @ gizmag.com:
There have been numerous cases of lithium-ion batteries catching fire in everything from mobile phones and laptops to cars and airplanes. While the odds of this occurring are low, the fact that hundreds of millions of lithium-ion batteries are produced and sold every year means the risk is still very real. Researchers at Stanford University have now developed a “smart” lithium-ion battery that would provide users with a warning if it is overheating and likely to burst into flames.
“Smart” lithium-ion battery would warn users if it is going to ignite – [Link]
The Juice4Halt module is a supercapacitor based energy storage. It contains two independent DC/DC converters. The first one is a bidirectional step-up/step-down converter working as the interface between the stable 5V supply rail and the supercapacitor. During charging the converter works in step-down mode and transports energy from the external power supply to the supercapacitor. In case of a power failure the load device (Raspberry Pi or another SBC) is supplied from the supercapacitor via DC/DC converter working in step-up mode.
The second DC/DC converter is a Front-end step-down converter. The only function is converting a high input voltage down to 5.1V for the 5V rail. It is necessary to use the Front-end converter in case of an external power supply.
The Batteryless UPS for the Raspberry Pi – [Link]