Battery Charger and Power Reduction System and Method

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CRANE-96820
Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are intolerant to overcharge conditions that can lead to early failures. The problem is made worse in applications where multiple batteries are connected in series and charge from a common source. Some batteries may become fully charged earlier than other causes an overcharge condition that shortens their life. The most common way to address this issue is to use a shunt regulator. However, shunt regulators are inefficient because of the large amount of power being dissipated during the shunting. They require supplemental cooling and the high power levels can also shorten the lifetime of electronic circuitry.

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, has patented, prototyped, and fielded a Battery Charger and Power Reduction System and Method that uses both hardware and software solutions to minimize the power dissipation requirements of shunt style charging circuits. The device is a shunt-type lithium-ion battery charging device that is designed to reduce the likelihood of overcharging and the deleterious effects that are associated with the generation of heat during the charging process. This new technology reduces the overall power dissipation of electronic circuits, extends their lifetime, simplifies power management issues, and results in cheaper production costs. Reducing power levels of shunt type charging circuits opens up possibilities for lithium-ion batteries where they would not have been considered before.

Advantages:
- Extended battery life
- Decreased likelihood of overcharging
- Increased efficiency of operation
- Decreased generation of heat
- Eliminated need for supplemental cooling components
- Flexibility to charge different types of lithium-ion batteries
- Precision of charging
Sep 26, 2005
Utility Patent
United States
7,573,235
Aug 11, 2009
Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
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