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5 Jan 2014


Xeno Lithium batteries offer high capacity at extremely low self-discharge and are able to supply your device for many years.

Primary Lithium batteries (Lithium thionyl-chloride, LiSOCl2) represent batteries with the highest energy density (Wh/kg), moreover able to operate without problems even in strong frosts. Perhaps their only technical “drawback” is the fact, that they´re only suitable for appliances with low current demands (up to tens of mA). However this “drawback” is already considerably overcome, because with modern components it´s easily possible to design devices with miliWatts power consumption. In principle are the Lithium primary (non-rechargeable) batteries suitable for backup (for example memories) and for power supplying devices with low power consumption, where it´s possible to reach even more than 10 years lifetime. This is naturally a huge benefit, as it enables to construct a device fully independent from external power supply, or without necessity of an external power supply and similar. At the same time it will also eliminate necessity to use an adapter or further electric installation.

These Lithium batteries operate on a principle of reaction Li+SOCl2. Arrising LiCl film on an anode has insulating properties. It provides excellent storage properties and energy preservation, because this passivation layer blocks auto reaction of Li+SOCl2 (self-discharging). Properties of Lithium batteries are also affected by the way and the length of stocking, and it´s possible, that after loading a battery, a short-time voltage drop will occur because of this passivation layer. Maximum capacity usage can be reached at a certain range of discharge currents (according to a diagram at every battery type). If a Lithium battery is intended to supply circuits with a short-time pulse demands, it´s very suitable to use a large capacitor or a supercapacitor connected in parallel with a battery. A capacitor in these cases will supply a bigger energy amount for a fraction of time and from the battery point of view a circuit then appears as one with significantly lower power consumption peaks. This contributes significantly to a maximum capacity usage and it´s also beneficial for a device itself thanks to minimum voltage drop at pulse power consumption.

Nominal voltage of LiSOCl2 batteries is 3,6V and a big advantage is a wide operating temperature range -55 to +85°C (max 150°C). Company Xeno Energy is a producer specializing in Lithium batteries and as one of few in the world they an ISO13485 certification for usage of batteries in medical devices. Further information will provide you the Xeno short form catalogue as well as detailed datasheets of Xeno batteries. In the Xeno production portfolio can also be found special batteries with a higher pulse capacity and type for extra high temperatures -55 to +130°C.

10 years of operation on 1 battery? - [Link]

14 Dec 2013


12V Lead acid battery low voltage indicator, to monitor battery condition during long term storage.


This is a simple circuit that will indicate a low voltage on a 12V lead acid battery.  Many that have golf carts, small EV’s, RV’s, or solar power banks for homes have a number of 12V lead acid batteries to maintain and this circuit will help protect your investment while not using these batteries.  When stored, batteries will self discharge, and if left for too long, will self-discharge to a damaging level. This circuit will light an LED when the battery voltage decreases to 11.6V.  When the LED turns on, charge the battery to prevent the battery from dying on the shelf.

Only a few parts are needed in the small but useful circuit.  The BC557 PNP transistor controls the lighting of the LED.  The BC557 transistors base is biased by the 10V zener diode.  As long as the battery voltage stays above 11.6V, the zener keeps the base of the BC557 transistor high.  When the battery becomes discharged, the zener stops conducting and the base bias goes low, and BC557 begins conducting, and the LED alerts you to the low battery voltage.  You can use a variable resistor to fine tune the low voltage indication, and/or use a set resistor when you have a good value figured out.

Battery Self Discharge Indicator – [Link]

8 Dec 2013


When observing basic rules will the top quality AGM VRLA batteries last you up to 15 years – we will advise how.

This description could start by a long list of technical improvements of Panasonic batteries. thanks to which they gained a stable place on the top of development in this segment (AGM, expanded positive grid. additives for regeneration from a deep discharge, self-extinguishing container material,…).

However those are things, which can be easily checked up from available internet source or even better from satisfied users. Instead of it, we better bring you a few advices for usage of VRLA/ SLA batteries to serve you as long as possible:

  • batteries can be recharged by several ways, but one of the most reliable belongs a „constant voltage/ limited current“ method, i.e. observing max. 2.45V/ cell and a current limitation. It responds 14.7V at 12V battery and a max. current of 0.4CA. This is suitable at so called cycle usage.
  • at a stable connection to a voltage source, a voltage per cell shouldn´t exceed 2.3V what is 13.8V at 12V battery. Current limitation should be set to 0.15CA.
  • battery lifetime grows significantly with a decreasing temperature, i.e. it is very important to place a battery far from heat sources (transformer,…)
  • number of cycles (thus a battery lifetime) is very strongly dependent on a level of discharge before consequent recharging. Dependence is so strong, that for example at discharging to 50% a standard battery will reach a lifetime of approx. 500 cycles, while when discharged in 30% (remains 70% of capacity), the number of cycles will increase up to 1200 (!). The result is, that a choice of a suitable capacity is a key to reach a good lifetime in a given device. Especially in devices, where a battery is daily discharged/ recharged, can a suitable battery (with a higher capacity) significantly prolong a lifetime (thus minimizing costs for replacement).
  • if possible, avoid usage of battery on 100% discharge (so called deep discharge). Even though Panasonic batteries manage these statuses and they contain additives for a successful recovery from a deep discharge, but such a usage shortens battery lifetime significantly (to approx. 200 cycles).
  • real capacity of a battery (amount of energy, which we´ll get out of it) is strongly dependent on a discharge current. 100% capacity can be reached at a current of 0.05CA/ 20°C. At 0,25CA current it is approx. 75% of capacity and at a current of 1CA it is only approx. 55%. This fact also says for a sufficient sizing of a battery. Especially in applications with a relatively higher power consumption (approx. >0.05CA) we´ll gain by using a 50% bigger battery a resulting battery, with a capacity “increased” in more than 50% (thanks to a relatively lower load of such battery at discharging). Resulting relatively lower discharging current and a lower depth of discharge in every cycle will significantly contribute to a longer lifetime..
  • real capacity of a battery also depends on temperature. Difference between a capacity at +20° vs. -10°C is approx. -25%.
  • cut-off voltage at which it´s necessary to disconnect the battery is markedly dependent on a discharge current (at a higher current it falls down). That´s why it´s good to set a deep discharge protection in respect to a supposed maximum discharge current.

Above mentioned values apply to standard Panasonic batteries. In the offer of company Panasonic can also be found types with extra long lifetime as well as sa called „Power“ types, suitable for high current devices (UPS,…). On stock we keep a few selected types of Panasonic batteries and upon request, we´re able to provide you any other type. Detailed information about usage and an overview of the Panasonic portfolio can be found in the VRLA Handbook document.

Maintenance-free lead batteries Panasonic will surprise by their lifetime - [Link]

29 Nov 2013


By Steven Keeping:

Power management in portable devices is one of the toughest challenges faced by electronic engineers. The consumer demands instant response from their device, lots of functionality, and a large, bright and colorful touchscreen. Moreover, many of these portable devices now incorporate wireless connectivity that places further demand on the cell. And yet, the user expects the battery, a sensitive lithium ion (Li-ion) cell that requires careful recharging from a number of sources including USB sockets, to last for at least a day and then refresh quickly.

Designing a power management system to meet these conflicting problems is tough. However, there are some proven design techniques that help extend battery life. Moreover, the key semiconductor vendors have made life a little easier by offering power management units (PMUs) that integrate some, or even all, of the functionality needed for the efficient power supply of portable devices.

Design Techniques for Extending Li-Ion Battery Life - [Link]

13 Oct 2013


The LTC4120 from Linear Technology is an all-in-one receiver chip for wirelessly charging battery-powered devices. It measures 3 x 3 mm and requires a pick-up coil at its input and a rechargeable battery at its output. A voltage is induced in the coil when it is in close proximity to the transmitter coil of a separate charging unit.

As well as the convenience of just placing your cell phone on a charging pad, this method is also ideal for hand-held devices that can’t use a conventional plug-in charger for reasons of hygiene or harsh/volatile atmospheres.

The battery charging functions allow for both constant current and constant voltage modes and a programmable float voltage level between 3.5 and 11 V accommodates a wide range of cell chemistries. An external resistor sets the charge current up to a maximum of 400 mA. It senses cell voltage and can initiate a low-voltage preconditioning phase if necessary. [via]

LTC4120 – Novel Contactless Battery Charger Chip - [Link]

23 Sep 2013


This application note describes how to recycle lithium-ion (Li+) batteries from older devices for use in other electronic devices, such as toys. This can all be done without the need for a microcontroller (or the required software). One challenge is that the battery charger in these older devices cannot usually be reused. The designer needs to create their own charger circuit, which this application note explains how to do in detail.

Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Made Easy - [Link]

8 Sep 2013

This collection of circuits provides step-up voltage regulation for single cell and dual cell Alkaline, NiMH, and Li+ battery driven applications. Regulate your battery driven app with an efficient converter from Maxim.

Your battery-powered application needs regulation. This collection of circuits provides step-up voltage regulation for single- and dual-cell Alkaline, NiMH, and Li+ battery-driven applications.

3768562b9efb2fad52fd36b28e7141daA simple 1A step-up converter in a tiny WLP package that can be used in any single-cell Li-ion application. This IC provides protection features such as input undervoltage lockout, short circuit, and overtemperature shutdown.

a56a5352cc6f2690f3cc0294da048b7aThe input voltage of these circuits range from 0.7V to VOUT and they have a preset, pin-selectable output for 5V or 3.3V. The outputs can also be adjusted to other voltages using two external resistors.

f44587414ccd425b7bd98ae883ce4dc6These high-efficiency, tiny, step-up DC-DC converters are optimized for operation from one to two alkaline or nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) cells, or a single Li+ cell.

3429484a1f7c78d83f657d892a34ae28This step-up converter is ideal for single-cell AA applications or Li+ applications. Operates down to 0.9V.

28 Aug 2013


MIT has designed an ultra-low cost “flow” battery that it claims will store 10-times as much energy as lithium-ion while consuming 10,000 times less power, making it a candidate to meet the Department of Energy’s target of less than $100 per kilowatt-hour for grid-scale deployment. [via]

MIT’s flow battery simplifies rechargeable technology by eliminating the ion-exchange membranes. The lower solid graphite electrode reduces liquid bromine to hydrobromic acid, while hydrogen is oxidized at the upper porous electrode.

Flow Batteries Go Mainstream - [Link]

1 Aug 2013


kmpres @ instructables.com writes:

My urge to build this project came when my wife’s car refused to turn over after a three day weekend away. Here in Tokyo, during winter, the temperature can drop to the low 20’s (F) at night and since we have no garage, her car just has to endure the cold as best it can. Many people don’t realize that you don’t have put up with repeated jump-starts or run to the nearest garage and plunk down 7,500 yen ($85) for a new battery every time this happens. Your old battery may just have built up a layer of lead sulphate crystals on its plates and that is preventing the acid from contacting them over their full surface area. This is caused by subjecting the battery to long periods of insufficient charge, as in the cases of unplugged golf carts over the winter, infrequently used automobiles, and PV systems that don’t get enough sunlight to charge their batteries. The result is a great reduction in the battery’s ability to produce electricity.

Desulfator for 12V Car Batteries, in an Altoids Tin - [Link]

26 Jul 2013


A team at the University of Illinois has unveiled a battery design which offers 10 times the energy density and 1000 times faster recharge time compared to current cell technology according to a paper in the Journal Nature Communications.

The battery uses a LiMnO2 cathode and NiSn anode but the real innovation is in the novel electrode design. The electrodes are fabricated using a lattice of tiny polystyrene spheres which are coated with metal. The spheres are then dissolved to leave a 3D-metal scaffold onto which a nickel-tin alloy is added to form the anode, and the mineral manganese oxyhydroxide forms the cathode. In the last stage the glass surface is immersed into a liquid heated to 300˚C (572˚F). The resulting structure massively increases the electrode surface area and reduces the clearance between the electrodes. [via]

New Battery Technology Charges 1000 Times Faster - [Link]





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