App note from Richtek about several aspects of switching chargers for single cell Li-Ion batteries. Link here (PDF)
Longer battery life and shorter charging times are some of the challenges in battery management in modern hand-held applications like Smart-Phones, Tablet PCs, POS and other portable equipment.
Devices with powerful processors are more power hungry and require larger capacity batteries to guarantee battery life. To quickly charge large capacity batteries, powerful high current chargers are needed. Linear chargers have too limited charge current capability for this purpose, so switching charger topology has to be adopted.
C8051F300 implementation of Li-Ion battery charger from Silicon Labs. Link here (PDF)
Driven by the need for untethered mobility and ease of use, many systems rely on rechargeable batteries as their primary power source. The battery charger is typically implemented using a fixedfunction IC to control the charging current/voltage profile.
The C8051F300 family provides a flexible alternative to fixed-function linear battery chargers. This note discusses how to use the C8051F300 device in Li-Ion battery charger applications. The Li-Ion charging algorithms can be easily adapted to other battery chemistries.
A teardown video of a solar battery charge controller from Electronupdate:
A solar battery charger: one side goes to a Solar Panel, the other to a lead-acid battery. A charge controller allows the battery to be safely charged.
Snagged off of Amazon. Seemed really cheap at $17.36.
A look at the assembly quality tells me why. Bad soldering, mechanical errors, wrong wire sizes….
What is baffling, however, is that many of these workmanship issues (beyond the missing “fuse”) are just due to lack of attention… i.e. it would cost no more to do it right.
Kerry Wong did a teardown of a Vivitar rapid battery charger for the NP-FW50 lithium-ion battery pack used in Sony A6000 digital camera:
The circuit board itself though looks surprisingly clean and well designed. It does not use any dedicated lithium ion battery charging ICs however. Rather a MC34063A buck/boost DC-DC converter chip is used to provide the current limited 8.4V constant voltage. This arrangement is less ideal then the typical lithium ion battery charging technique. Typically, the charging current is held constant until the voltage reaches a certain threshold and then the charger switches to constant voltage mode. Once the charging current drops under a predetermined threshold the charging is done. The charging current under constant voltage charging however, monotonically decreases from the get go so it usually takes much longer to obtain a full charge. But the good news here is that overcharging is unlikely as the charging voltage is fixed to the correct battery terminal voltage.
This is really a basic, bare-bones circuit. I’ve prepared the PCB with a view that it could be used as a module in a rather more-sophisticated charging system. You could imagine using a microcontroller (e.g. Arduino, PIC, etc.) to monitor the battery voltage and disconnect the mains input to the charger module when voltage reaches a user-selectable limit. The microcontroller could also have a thermistor probe to attach to the side of the battery with elastic – a basic precaution to try and automatically disconnect in the case unreasonable temperature rise while charging.