So couple months ago, GreatScott made a video where he designed a circuit. Nothing too innovative, just the same TP4056 charger the MT3608 Boost combined on one PCB. He did add a Lipo protection circuit though, initially using the same DW01. But then, the Aha moment from this video, he found a footprint compatible IC the FS312F-G – which is set at 2.9v! Way healthier for your cell’s longevity!
First of all I had to redraw all his work in Eagle (As I wont be using a cloud based service like EasyEDA for obvious reasons) and then order the PCBs. I added two boost circuits since I had the board space, as I can imagine needing dual voltages at some point (for example if that reverse LCD needed 12v and the Pi needed 5v – i could run both off one board.
Lipo Charge/Boost/Protect board in 18650 cell holder format – [Link]
A 10.8A, 4 port USB charger with a wattmeter and adaptive intelligent charging.
It works by taking any DC input between 7V to 17V, from an AC/DC adapter or car adapter. It can be used anywhere with wall outlets, car power ports, lead-acid batteries, DC-output solar panels, and lithium-ion battery packs (2S, 3S, and 4S).
It then drops the voltage down to 5V and intelligently adapts to match the maximum current the device being charged would accept. We believe it is the most powerful 4-port USB charger at 10.8A. No device is throttled when every port is in use.
USB Adaptive Charger (2.7A per port) with Wattmeter – [Link]
The project is built for professional photo flash systems. Circuit generates high voltage from low voltage battery to operate a photo-flash tube. The project can also be used in other applications like high voltage capacitor charger, emergency strobe, high voltage power supply, security, detonators etc. LT3751 is the heart of the project.
The LT3751 is a high voltage input flyback controller designed to rapidly charge a large capacitor to a user-adjustable high target voltage set by the transformer turns ratio and three external resistors. Optionally, a feedback pin can be used to provide a low noise high voltage regulated output. The LT3751 has an integrated rail-to-rail MOSFET gate driver that allows for efficient operation down to 4.75V.
High Voltage Capacitor Charger for Photo-Flash Using LT3751 – [Link]
Orlando Hoilett from Calvary Engineering LLC designed a versatile Li-Po battery breadboard power supply and wrote an Instructables on it. This power supply outputs 3.3V to the breadboard and takes input from a single-cell LiPo battery. The breadboard power supply also has the ability to charge the battery without needing to separate it from the circuit board. More importantly, this project is licensed under Open Source Hardware which means anyone can modify, distribute, make, and sell this design.
This connector connects directly to the LiPo battery.
3.3V regulator, AP2210K
3.3V logic is getting increasingly popular among electronics hobbyists and engineers. Also, boosting 3.7V of a LiPo battery to 5V can induce quite a bit of switching noise on the power supply. Linearly converting 3.7V to 3.3V is the best way to avoid this problem.
Battery Charger, MCP73831T
This power supply has a charger built into the board so you can charge the battery without removing it from the power supply.
Voltage Selection Jumper
The voltage selection headers are 3 pin male headers and they are labeled as 3.3V (or VReg) and VRAW (or LiPo). Connect the center pin to 3.3V to get power from the regulator. Connect the center pin to VRAW to get power directly from the LiPo battery.
This switch lets you power down the board without removing the battery.
LEDs are used to indicate the current status of the board.
This board breaks out the LiPo battery to the breadboard power rails on both sides. It has a DPDT switch to power down the board. The AP2210K IC has an ENABLE pin which is pulled down to the ground using the DPDT switch in order to enter the low power mode. In low power mode, the regulator and all the LEDs get disabled and draws almost no current from the LiPo. More about the AP2210K regulator IC is on this datasheet.
Another great feature of this breadboard power supply as mentioned earlier is, it incorporates an MCP73831T LiPo battery charger IC. It is a widely used PMIC (power management integrated circuit) for charging LiPo batteries. The LiPo battery should be connected to pin 3 (VBAT) and 5V should be applied to pin 4 (VDD).
The chip starts charging as soon as it detects 5V input and stops charging when the battery is full. Charging current is limited to USB standard i.e. 100mA by connecting a 10.2K resistor between pin 5 (PROG) and ground. So, it’s completely safe to charge the battery from your laptops USB port. Other host microcontrollers can check the battery status using pin 1 (status pin) of MCP73831T.
Chip McClelland @ hackster.io published his solar li-po battery charger based on MCP73871 to manage the solar and DC charging of the LiPo battery, TPS63020 Buck-Boost Converter and Maxim 74043 LiPo Fuel Gauge. He writes:
I build connected sensor which are often deployed in local parks where there is no access to utility power. Over the past couple years, I have been refining and testing my solar power modules and have arrived at this compact integrated design. I have a number of these deployed and they have been in continuous service for up to two years. I wanted to share this design in case it might be helpful for your projects. I would also greatly appreciate any input or suggestions on this design so v3 will be even better.
Lukas Fässler from Soldernerd has been working on revised version of his MPPT Solar charger project:
Over the last few weeks I have been quite busy with my MPPT Solar Charger project. I’ve built up a first board and started writing firmware for it. Since the last version was not too different in terms of hardware I was able to re-use most of that code. But I hadn’t even touched on the whole USB stuff back then so there was still a lot of work to do. While the project is still far from being complete I am happy to say that I’ve made quite some progress. Most importantly, the new design seems to work well and so far I haven’t found any mistakes in the board layout. But let’s go through this step by step.
Battery technologies of all chemistry are experiencing revolutionary changes nowadays. Nanotechnology is leading this revolution by yielding new battery technologies including but not limited to Tiny Supercapacitors and Li-ion batteries that never explode at any condition. But, it’s bothersome to make different chargers for different types of batteries. So, Microchip solved this problem by introducing a new hybrid PWM controller, MCP19124/5, that charges batteries of any chemistry.
The power of this charging device lies in the combination of an 8-bit PIC microcontroller and an analog PWM controller in one package. This mixed signal low-side PWM controller features individual analog PWM control loops for both current regulation and voltage regulation. It can be configured with separate feedback networks and reference voltages. Any voltage, current, temperature, or duration can be used to trigger a transition to a different charging profile.
Various types of batteries require different charging profile. So, the only way to charge all kinds of batteries with a single device is to simulate all the charging profiles. A user can set his/her desired profile with the help of two independent current and voltage control loops, along with variable reference voltage. Now let’s get to know more details about this versatile PWM controller IC.
The MCP19124/5 is a mid-voltage (4.5-42V) analog-based PWM controller with an integrated 8-bit PIC Microcontroller. There are two devices, the MCP19124 and MCP19125, where the last one has four I/O pins more than the first one. MPC19124 and MPC19125 are packaged in 24-lead QFN package and 28-lead QFN package respectively. It has following features:
Smooth, dynamic transitions from constant-current to constant-voltage operation
Dynamically adjustable output current and output voltage over a wide operating range
Wide operating voltage range: 4.5-42V
Analog peak-current mode Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) control
Available fixed frequency (31 kHz to 2 MHz)
I2C communication interface
9 GPIO for MCP 19124 and 12 GPIO for MCP19125
Integrated high voltage linear regulator, with external output
Integrated temperatures sense diode
Integrated 10 bit A/D converter
Minimal external components needed
Custom algorithm support
Topologies supported include Boost, SEPIC, Flyback, and Cuk
In fact, the above list is just a brief overview. The controller is so complicated that user must read all 236 pages of the datasheet to gain sufficient knowledge.
Now, the question is, how can we use this IC to design an efficient battery charger?
To find the answer, one must read the datasheet thoroughly. At the same time, in-depth knowledge about the target battery is also required. However, Microchip provided a few schematics (as references) in the datasheet based on different applications. The circuit on battery charger is given below:
This ultimate powerful dual-loop PWM controller is going to be a game changer and part of the battery technology revolution. It possesses lots of possibilities. To learn more about this fantastic hybrid controller, study the datasheet carefully.
Lukas Fässler show us his progress on the MPPT solar charger:
One of my main goals with this design is to achieve very low standby current, somewhere in the tens of microamps. The basis for this is a low-power buck on the basis of a Texas TPS62120 where the microcontroller can switch the output voltage between 2.2 and 3.3 volts nominally. This works as intended. With no load and the output voltage low, the supply consumes 12.9 microamps at 12V input voltage. With the high output voltage the idle current goes up to 14.3uA. Quite a bit of that current is due to the voltage divider that sets the output voltage. The regulator itself consumes about 9uA in both cases.