And it can be added that also simply and cheaply. MCP73831 from company Microchip is „all-in-one“ solution for charging a single Li-ion/Li-Po cell.
Li-Ion a Li-Polymer cells are becoming a No.1 choice for many applications, where they persuade by high energy density, low weight, low self-discharge and for majority of applications also by their favorable flat shape (Li-Po). Their price is also affordable (in regard to their properties) and so there´s usually only one “difficulty” – to solve charging, or more exactly – overall management of these cells. Basic principles were highlighted to you in our article “Try the most favourite types of batteries”. To reach a maximum cell lifetime, it´s also advisable to use initial (preconditioning) slow charging and also important is a proper charging termination as well as repeated recharging after reaching a certain degree of discharge.It´s obvious, that to construct such a circuit from discrete components would be possible, but impractical, bulky and expensive. That´s why there are various charging controllers on the market and in many cases a single chip solution is an ideal solution. This is also a case of MCP73831 chip – a fully integrated linear charging controller. If you use only a single cell and maximum charging current of 500mA is sufficient for you, then MCP73831 will meet all requirements for a quality and safe recharging solution. MCP73831 has integrated output (FET) transistor, current sensing and reverse discharge protection.
Charging current can be easily adjusted by a single resistor, what´s also associated with other parameters like preconditioning current and charging termination. MCP73831 also contains a thermal regulation, which decreases output current in case of increased chip temperature (for example because of higher ambient temperature).
MCP7383x is available in four versions with factory-set regulation (max. charging) voltage. In our store can be found “the safest” first version with 4.20V regulation voltage – MCP73831T-2ATI/OT. In datasheet (p. 25) we can also read that this is the “AT“ version, which starts repeated charging at 94% Vreg (i.e. at approx. 3.95V), in a SOT23-5 package. Supply voltage can be in a range of 3.75-6V, while in respect to a thermal stress of a chip it´s better to supply it by a voltage close to max. output voltage (4,20V).
The chip can be easily supplied by a standard 5V voltage, but in cases of increased risk of overheating (operation at higher ambient temperatures, densely populated PCB,…), a common Si diode in series can be helpful. This will decrease supply voltage in 0.6-0.7V (and takes a portion of thermal loss on itself).
Charging status can be found at the “Charge status output” pin, which can drive an indication LED or can be connected to a host microcontroller.
With MCP73831 you’ll charge lithium cells easily and safely – [Link]
by T.K. Hareendran:
Here is a tried and tested sample circuit of a Li-Ion battery charger that can be used to charge any 3.7V Li-Ion battery using a 5VDC (USB, Solar Panel…) power supply. At the heart of the circuit is one microchip MCP73831, available in SOT-23-5 package. MCP73831 is a highly advanced linear charge management controller for use in space-limited, cost-sensitive applications. This IC employs a constant current/constant voltage charge algorithm with selectable preconditioning and charge termination.
3.7V Li-Ion Battery Charger Circuit – [Link]
mic @ wemakethings.net writes:
For a long time I wanted to enter the 21st century by stopping using NiCad or NiMH batteries and upgrading to Lithium accumulators as they provide more power per volume and are cool in general. Constant flow of obsolete cell phones provides a nice source of reasonably high-performance batteries for free – I felt compelled to tap into this resource for my battery operated projects.
Open source Lithium battery charger modules – [Link]
Paul Asselin has written a description of his design of a USB Lithium Polymer battery charger – [via]
I wanted to build a cheap USB LiPo charger and didn’t like the unavailability nor the price of the Maxim’s MAX1555. Searching for something better, I stumbled upon the Microchip MCP73831. It is still way too expensive in single quantities but there ain’t too many options.
The board is intentionally small and has a status LED. There really isn’t much more to it, it’s a single purpose device and just does the job. It is proudly Open Source Hardware.
Microchip announced the expansion of its analog power-management family with the MCP73831 battery charger, a fully-integrated, single-cell, Li-ion/Li-Polymer charge-management controller. Tiny 500mA linear charge management controller can be powered directly from the USB port. Includes integrated pass transistor, current sense and reverse-discharge protection, the MCP73831 charger reduces the number of components needed for battery-charger designs. Its highly accurate, pre-set voltage regulation (maximum accuracy 0.5 per cent to 0.75 per cent) results in more fully charged batteries and extended battery life. Since the MCP73831 charge-management controller includes a pass transistor, current sense and reverse-discharge protection on a single chip, it reduces the number of system components needed for battery-charger designs, which, added Microchip, lowers overall system costs.
Microchip’s Li-ion battery charger MCP73831 IC – [Link]