How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries the Right Way (No Leaks! ). Alkaline battery charger circuit

US20150069972A1. Universal Fast Charger for Any Recharageable Electrolytic Element, Alkaline Batteries and Accumulators. Google Patents

Publication number US20150069972A1 US20150069972A1 US12/531,924 US53192408A US2015069972A1 US 20150069972 A1 US20150069972 A1 US 20150069972A1 US 53192408 A US53192408 A US 53192408A US 2015069972 A1 US2015069972 A1 US 2015069972A1 Authority US United States Prior art keywords elements batteries refill microprocessor transistor Prior art date 2007-03-20 Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.) Granted Application number US12/531,924 Other versions US9385541B2 ( en Inventor Patrick Cornille Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.) ADVANCED ELECTROMAGNETIC SYSTEMS Original Assignee ADVANCED ELECTROMAGNETIC SYSTEMS Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.) 2007-03-20 Filing date 2008-03-07 Publication date 2015-03-12 Family has litigation Priority claimed from FR0701977 external-priority First worldwide family litigation filed litigation Critical https://patents.darts-ip.com/?family=39731031utm_source=google_patentutm_medium=platform_linkutm_campaign=public_patent_searchpatent=US20150069972(A1) Global patent litigation dataset” by Darts-ip is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 2008-03-07 Application filed by ADVANCED ELECTROMAGNETIC SYSTEMS filed Critical ADVANCED ELECTROMAGNETIC SYSTEMS 2014-05-13 Assigned to ADVANCED ELECTROMAGNETIC SYSTEMS reassignment ADVANCED ELECTROMAGNETIC SYSTEMS ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: CORNILLE, PATRICK 2015-03-12 Publication of US20150069972A1 publication Critical patent/US20150069972A1/en 2016-07-05 Application granted granted Critical 2016-07-05 Publication of US9385541B2 publication Critical patent/US9385541B2/en Status Expired. Fee Related legal-status Critical Current 2029-10-25 Adjusted expiration legal-status Critical

Links

  • 238000001514 detection method Methods 0.000 claims description 4
  • 230000000903 blocking Effects 0.000 claims description 3
  • 238000009795 derivation Methods 0.000 claims description 3
  • 230000002159 abnormal effect Effects 0.000 claims description 2
  • 125000004122 cyclic group Chemical group 0.000 claims description 2
  • XUIMIQQOPSSXEZ-UHFFFAOYSA-N silicon Chemical compound [Si] XUIMIQQOPSSXEZ-UHFFFAOYSA-N 0.000 claims description 2
  • 229910052710 silicon Inorganic materials 0.000 claims description 2
  • 239000010703 silicon Substances 0.000 claims description 2
  • 238000011105 stabilization Methods 0.000 claims description 2
  • 238000000034 method Methods 0.000 claims 2
  • 229910005813 NiMH Inorganic materials 0.000 claims 1
  • -1 cadmium-nickel Chemical compound 0.000 description 2
  • 239000003990 capacitor Substances 0.000 description 2
  • 238000010586 diagram Methods 0.000 description 2
  • 238000010438 heat treatment Methods 0.000 description 2
  • 229910052987 metal hydride Inorganic materials 0.000 description 2
  • 230000001808 coupling Effects 0.000 description 1
  • 238000010168 coupling process Methods 0.000 description 1
  • 238000005859 coupling reaction Methods 0.000 description 1
  • 238000004880 explosion Methods 0.000 description 1
  • 238000009499 grossing Methods 0.000 description 1
  • 238000009434 installation Methods 0.000 description 1
  • 230000003993 interaction Effects 0.000 description 1
  • PWHULOQIROXLJO-UHFFFAOYSA-N manganese Chemical compound [Mn] PWHULOQIROXLJO-UHFFFAOYSA-N 0.000 description 1
  • 229910052748 manganese Inorganic materials 0.000 description 1
  • 239000011572 manganese Substances 0.000 description 1
  • 230000004048 modification Effects 0.000 description 1
  • 238000006011 modification reaction Methods 0.000 description 1
  • 230000008929 regeneration Effects 0.000 description 1
  • 238000011069 regeneration method Methods 0.000 description 1
  • 241000894007 species Species 0.000 description 1
  • 239000000126 substance Substances 0.000 description 1

Images

Classifications

  • H — ELECTRICITY
  • H02 — GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
  • H02J — CIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
  • H02J7/00 — Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries
  • H02J7/0013 — Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries acting upon several batteries simultaneously or sequentially
  • H02J7/0014 — Circuits for equalisation of charge between batteries
  • H02J7/0016 — Circuits for equalisation of charge between batteries using shunting, discharge or bypass circuits
  • H — ELECTRICITY
  • H02 — GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
  • H02J — CIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
  • H02J7/00 — Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries
  • H02J7/0003 — Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries with provision for charging different types of batteries
  • H — ELECTRICITY
  • H02 — GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
  • H02J — CIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
  • H02J7/00 — Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries
  • H — ELECTRICITY
  • H02 — GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
  • H02J — CIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
  • H02J7/00 — Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries
  • H02J7/0013 — Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries acting upon several batteries simultaneously or sequentially
  • H02J7/0021 — Monitoring or indicating circuits
  • H02J7/0052 —
  • H — ELECTRICITY
  • H02 — GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
  • H02J — CIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
  • H02J7/00 — Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries
  • H02J7/007 — Regulation of charging or discharging current or voltage
  • H — ELECTRICITY
  • H02 — GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
  • H02J — CIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
  • H02J7/00 — Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries
  • H02J7/007 — Regulation of charging or discharging current or voltage
  • H02J7/00711 — Regulation of charging or discharging current or voltage with introduction of pulses during the charging process

Abstract

The invention relates to a universal quick charger for recharging primary or secondary electrolytic members, in particular alkaline batteries with a non-rechargeable reputation, that can receive and automatically recharge a variable number of members without manual switching, that further comprises a switching transistor for hashing the recharge current in order to impart thereto a pumped characteristic, and that further comprises a microprocessor for automatically detecting the number and the nature of the members to be recharged, for supervising the recharging using a routine for continuously measuring the voltage at the terminals of the members as well as the time elapsed since the beginning of the recharging, said microprocessor being further used for deciding to stop the recharging when a criterion of the supervision routine is validated.

Description

The invention object of this patent application consists of a fast charger making it possible to reload partially alkaline batteries as well as refillable accumulators of the cadmium-nickel type (NiCad) or nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH).

Patent FR2789818 of the applicants describes a fast charger intended to reload electrostatic or refillable accumulators, also being able to reload partially alkaline batteries, comprising an oscillator and a comparator making it possible to put an end to the refill when the maximum tension is reached. This device comprises many advantages compared to the existing chargers, in particular concerning the flexibility of employment to reload a variable number of batteries. However, regarding as decisive advantages the possibility indistinctly of reloading any type of battery or refillable accumulator, in a variable number while detecting the type of battery automatically and by supervising at the same time the various parameters like the terminal voltage of the batteries and the current of refill in the course of time so as to optimise the operational safety, the goal of this patent application is simultaneously to propose a charger joining together these advantages.

The solution making it possible to achieve this goal is composed of the characteristics of the independent claim and detailed in the two alternatives of execution described below. Other alternatives using the same characteristics basically but comprising some minor modifications can easily be deduced from this request by the expert, without calling in question the spirit of this invention. To place this invention in its context, it is advisable to recall here, as explained in patent FR2789818, what many experimental tests showed in a surprising way that alkaline batteries considered as non-refillable, can be reloaded partially in so far as two essential conditions are observed:

The refill must be done in a pulsated mode, i.e. the current of refill traversing the batteries must consist of pulses separated by intervals at null current, according to a cyclic ratio optimized by experimental ways. This form of current wave seems to facilitate the regeneration of the chemical species essential to the operation of the battery during its use in mode of discharge, and also has the advantage of causing a heating of the battery much weaker than that which one can observe at the time of attempts at refill in D.C. current whose disadvantages, in particular risk of leakage or even of bursting, are known.

It is imperative to define a reliable criterion to put an end to the charge, thus avoiding an overload which can present the risks quoted above, of leakage and even of bursting in the extreme cases. This criterion can be to supervise the terminal voltage of the batteries and to put an end to the refill by cancelling the current as soon as the tension reached a pre-adjusted maximum value or to stop the refill while being based over the total duration of current flow of the refill, or, this criterion can be obtained by the combination of the two preceding methods, tension and duration, by means of an intelligent logical system.

The essential advantage of the charger according to the invention is to be able to recharge ordinary alkaline batteries. There exists in the market chargers of said special alkaline batteries RAM (Refillable Alkaline Manganese), batteries of which the tight structure and the choice of the components make it possible to ensure a refill without risks. However, the cost of these batteries is a considerable disadvantage.

The invention will be now described in detail by calling upon the figures which illustrate the text. It should be noted that in the descriptive text below, the term “battery” is employed as example; in the claims, the generic term “element” is employed to cover as well the batteries as the refillable accumulators.

The FIG. 1 represents the diagram of a first preferential version of the charger according to the present invention.

The FIG. 2 represents the diagram of a second version of the charger according to the present invention, version preserving the oscillator described in the patent FR2789818.

The first version comprises a connector J1 making it possible to supply the charger by means of an external module of power, this disposition having the advantage of reducing the weight of the charger.

However, it is completely permissible to integrate the module of power in the charger, the connection to the grid can be also integrated on the wall of the charger case. The nominal voltage output of the module of power is advantageously 14 volts to allow the refill of batteries of 9V, but can of course be adapted to other values of nominal voltage of batteries and respective associations. A D 1 diode makes it possible to avoid any possible risk of inversion of polarity by the accidental use of a module of power non-in conformity. It is also permissible to supply the charger starting from a car battery, for example.

A voltage regulator U1 or U2 lowers the voltage to the value of supply voltage required by the microprocessor U3 or U4. This one manages the whole functions of detection of the number and the type of batteries inserted in the charger, of controlling the Q2 transistor responsible for the wave shape of the refill current, of controlling the functions of protection, and supervision of the terminal voltage of the batteries and the duration of the current of refill, thus determining the end of the refill. A blocking transistor Q1 connected in series with the transistor of commutation Q2, makes it possible to protect the circuit by stopping the charging current during an abnormal operation of the circuit. A L1 inductance of low value, about the micro-henry, has as a function, in combination with the capacitor CF1, to attenuate the emission of electromagnetic disturbances; it does not have a function of smoothing the refill current.

The groups of diodes D-1 and D-2, of 6 diodes in series each one, make it possible to ensure the continuity of the circuit, constituting an alternate way, when all the batteries of 1.5 V (4 batteries to the maximum in the case of FIG. 1) are not installed, which makes it possible to only charge if it is wished, two batteries, for example J9 and J10, or J7 and J8, without the need for any switch or a manual intervention.

In a general manner, the circuit which can receive and charge automatically a variable number of elements makes it possible to establish a connection series of the elements, by associating two or several groups of elements of connection series, each group itself making up of two or several elements of connection in series, and being characterized moreover in what a network of silicon diodes series-connected. In particular, in the case of FIG. 1. six diodes are connected in parallel on each group of two elements.

over, the circuit is able to charge a J4, J5 battery of 9 V, instead of batteries of 1.5 V; in this case, the battery of 9 V occupies partially the place of the batteries of 1.5 V, which ensures the wished exclusion, not planning to recharge these two types of batteries simultaneously. Non-return diodes D17 and D22 avoid any interaction between each type of battery installed and the components located in other parts of the circuit, also avoiding the discharge of a battery of 9 V left in the charger whereas the power module would have been disconnected. A F1 fuse, preferably from the type known as reusable, protects the circuit against an inversion of polarity of the battery of 9 V per erroneous installation (impossible inversion for the batteries of 1.5 V from their form), and also protects the circuit against employment from a power module of excessive tension. These protection dispositions are required by the safety requirements in force for the homologation of electrical appliance.

In a general manner, the circuit comprises a circuit in derivation on the whole of the elements connected in series, this circuit making it possible to recharge a battery consisted the coupling of several elements in series, in particular a battery of 9 V quoted above.

To make possible to adjust the current in all elements connected in series or to put out the diodes in parallel with these groups when those are not installed, whereas the battery is installed in the circuit in derivation, a transistor Q4 is placed in series with the whole of the groups of elements connected in series so as to optimize the current of refill in each active branch of the circuit. In the particular case of the battery of 9 V quoted above, the transistor Q4 remains in a blocked state when a battery of 9 V is installed, thus making it possible to eliminate the influence of the groups of diodes D-1 and D-2; Q4 is conducting when one wishes to recharge batteries of 1.5 V. This commutation of Q4, automatically assured by the microprocessor during its routine detection of the type of batteries installed, makes it possible to obtain an optimum current in each case.

Voltage dividers equipped with filters (output C and B), as well as a filter (output A) condition in an appropriate way the respective voltages measured at the terminals of the batteries to make these voltages compatible with the inputs of the microprocessor. The transistor Q1 provides an additional function of protection by stopping the current at the time of a defect of the circuit, in adequacy with the

European standards relating to the electronic circuits. The microprocessor permanently sweeps the three sites designed to install batteries to be charged, and detects which of them has indeed batteries installed. When batteries (2 or 4 batteries) of 1.5 V are detected, the charge begins for a duration of 3 hours up to 3 hours 30 at a maximum, and the terminal voltage of the batteries is measured permanently. If the voltage exceeds 1.55 V time the number of batteries, the microprocessor considers that the batteries are alkaline, and will stop the load either when the voltage does not increase any more on an interval of 8 to 10 minutes (to insist in continuously recharging would present the risks mentioned above of heating, leakage or explosion), or when the duration of maximum refill is reached.

If the voltage does not exceed 1.55 V time the number of batteries in 3 hours of time, the microprocessor considers that the batteries are in fact refillable accumulators of the Nickel-Cadmium type (NiCad) or Nickel-Metal-hydride (NiMH), and will stop the charge either during the detection of a reduction in the voltage (characteristic of an accumulator charged), or when a 12 hours total duration is reached.

In the case of batteries of 9 V, it is not easy to discriminate if they are batteries or refillable accumulators, the latter existing into 6 or 7 cells of 1.2 V connected in series. However, as the accumulators in general have a capacity of about 200 mAh and recharge themselves suitably in 1 h 30 with the circuit of the invention, and as the alkaline batteries of 9 V are also recharged over this duration, one can adopt as a criterion to stop the charge, either the stabilization of the tension on an interval of 8 to 10 minutes, or the duration of the refill of 1 h 30 really accomplished. It should be noted that the parameters adopted for the circuit constitute values of compromise making it possible to recharge as well batteries of format AA or AAA (the charger being prepared mechanically to receive the 2 formats), and that moreover the criteria adopted to stop the charge were satisfactory and sure for all the brands of batteries tested.

The second version, illustrated by FIG. 2. differs only by the presence of the autonomous oscillator or astable, realized using a transistor T1, the auto-transformer L1, the capacitor C2, the resistance R5 and the diode of release, this oscillator coming to substitute the transistor Q2 of the scheme of the

Claims ( 10 )

Universal fast charger to recharge primary electrolytic elements as well as secondary, particularly of the alkaline batteries said to be non-refillable, characterized in that said charger comprises a circuit which can receive and recharge automatically a variable number of elements without manual commutation, and additionally comprising a transistor of commutation which chops the refill current so as to give a pulsated character to it, comprising moreover a microprocessor having as its function the automatic control of the number of elements to be recharged as well as their kind, the supervision of the refill by means of a routine allowing continuously to measure the terminal voltage of the elements, as well as the time passed since the beginning of the refill, the microprocessor having moreover the function of deciding to stop the refill when a criterion of the routine of supervision is checked.

Charger according to claim 1. characterized in that the circuit which can receive and recharge automatically a variable number of elements makes it possible to establish a series connection of the elements, by associating two more groups of elements of connection in series, each group itself making up of two or more elements of connection in series, and characterized moreover in that a network of six silicon diodes in groups of two elements, are connected in parallel on each group.

recharge, alkaline, batteries, right

Charger according to claim 1. characterized in that the transistor of commutation is controlled by the microprocessor.

Charger according to claim 1. characterized in that the transistor of commutation is controlled in an independent way by a circuit made of an autonomous oscillator or astable including the aforementioned transistor, and characterized moreover by the fact that the oscillator automatically modifies its cyclic ratio according to the terminal voltage of the electrolytic elements to recharge, so as to maintain the current of charge roughly constant.

Charger according to claim 1. characterized in that the criterion of the routine of supervision used to stop the refill is based on the observation of the variation of terminal voltage of the elements on an interval of given time.

Charger according to claims 1. characterized in that the criterion of the routine of supervision used to stop the refill is based over the total duration of current flow of the refill.

Charger according to claim 1. characterized in that the criterion of the routine of supervision used to stop the refill is based on a logical combination of the variation of terminal voltage of the elements in a given interval of time and the total duration of current flow of the refill.

Charger according to claim 1. characterized in that it comprises a transistor of blocking connected in series with the transistor of commutation, the transistor of blocking protecting the circuit by stopping the charging current during an abnormal operation of the circuit.

Charger according to claim 2. characterized in that it includes circuit allowing to recharge a battery constituted by the integration of several elements in series, in particular a 9 volt battery, and characterized moreover by the fact that a transistor is placed in series with the whole group of elements connected in series, this transistor allowing adjustment of the current in these elements or to put out the diodes in parallel with these groups when those are not installed, whereas the battery is installed in the circuit in derivation, so as to optimize the current of refill in each activated branch of the circuit.

Process of using a universal charger to recharge primary and secondary electrolytic elements, characterized by the use of a routine programmed in the microprocessor, comprising the following stages:

recharge, alkaline, batteries, right

the microprocessor permanently sweeps the three sites designed to install batteries to be recharged, and detects which of them requires batteries to be installed;

when batteries, in particular 1 or 2 groups of 2 1.5 V batteries of 1.5 V are detected, the charge begins for a 2 to 3 hour duration, and the terminal voltage of the batteries is measured permanently; if the voltage exceeds 1.55 V times the number of batteries, the microprocessor considers that the batteries are alkaline, and will stop the charge either when the voltage does not increase any more after an interval of 8 to 10 minutes, or when the maximum duration of refill set in the microprocessor is reached;

if the voltage does not exceed 1.55 V times the number of batteries in 3 hours of time, the microprocessor considers that the cells are in fact of the refillable accumulators of the type NiCad or NiMH, and will stop the charge either during the detection of a reduction in the voltage, characteristic fact of a charged accumulator, or when a 12 hours total duration is reached; and

in the case of a 9 V battery, in order to discriminate if they are batteries or refillable accumulators, the latter existing into 6 or 7 elements of 1.2 V connected in series, the procedure consists in of applying the charging current and adopting as a criterion to stop the refill, the phenomenon appearing initially among the two following, either the stabilization of the voltage on an interval of 8 to 10 minutes, or the maximum duration of the refill set in the microprocessor effectively accomplished.

US12/531,924 2007-03-20 2008-03-07 Universal fast charger for any rechargeable electrolytic element, alkaline batteries and accumulators Expired. Fee Related US9385541B2 ( en )

Applications Claiming Priority (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
FR0701977 2007-03-20
FR0701977A FR2914123B1 ( en ) 2007-03-20 2007-03-20 UNIVERSAL FAST CHARGER FOR ALL ELECTROLYTIC ELEMENT, ALKALINE BATTERIES AND RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES
PCT/FR2008/050395 WO2008125790A1 ( en ) 2007-03-20 2008-03-07 Universal quick charger for any rechargeable electrolytic member, alkaline batteries and accumulators

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12/531,924 Expired. Fee Related US9385541B2 ( en ) 2007-03-20 2008-03-07 Universal fast charger for any rechargeable electrolytic element, alkaline batteries and accumulators

Families Citing this family (4)

Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party

Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2914123B1 ( en ) 2007-03-20 2009-12-04 Advanced Electromagnetic Syste UNIVERSAL FAST CHARGER FOR ALL ELECTROLYTIC ELEMENT, ALKALINE BATTERIES AND RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES
US9184603B2 ( en ) 2008-09-29 2015-11-10 Wilson Lee Multi-chemistry battery charging system and method of identifying and improved charging technique for primary and secondary dry-cell batteries
US10491030B2 ( en ) 2016-02-05 2019-11-26 Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp., Ltd. Charging system and charging method for terminal and terminal
KR101906977B1 ( en ) 2016-02-05 2018-10-11 광동 오포 모바일 텔레커뮤니케이션즈 코포레이션 리미티드 Charge mehtod, adapter and mobile terminal

Citations (6)

Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party

Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4626765A ( en ) 1983-05-25 1986-12-02 Japan Storage Battery Company Limited Apparatus for indicating remaining battery capacity
US4670703A ( en ) 1985-05-06 1987-06-02 General Electric Company Battery charger with three different charging rates
US4878145A ( en ) 1988-11-21 1989-10-31 Oneac Corporation Surge/transient protector for a plurality of data lines
US5013992A ( en ) 1988-10-12 1991-05-07 E-Z-Go Division Of Textron Microprocessor controlled battery charger
US20020130634A1 ( en ) 2001-03-16 2002-09-19 Ziemkowski Ted B. In-device charging system and method for multi-chemistry battery systems
US20040090209A1 ( en ) 2001-09-14 2004-05-13 Junji Nishida Charging circuit for secondary battery

Patent Citations (6)

Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party

Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4626765A ( en ) 1983-05-25 1986-12-02 Japan Storage Battery Company Limited Apparatus for indicating remaining battery capacity
US4670703A ( en ) 1985-05-06 1987-06-02 General Electric Company Battery charger with three different charging rates
US5013992A ( en ) 1988-10-12 1991-05-07 E-Z-Go Division Of Textron Microprocessor controlled battery charger
US4878145A ( en ) 1988-11-21 1989-10-31 Oneac Corporation Surge/transient protector for a plurality of data lines
US20020130634A1 ( en ) 2001-03-16 2002-09-19 Ziemkowski Ted B. In-device charging system and method for multi-chemistry battery systems
US20040090209A1 ( en ) 2001-09-14 2004-05-13 Junji Nishida Charging circuit for secondary battery

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
FR2914123A1 ( en ) 2008-09-26
WO2008125790A1 ( en ) 2008-10-23
US9385541B2 ( en ) 2016-07-05
EP2140537A1 ( en ) 2010-01-06
FR2914123B1 ( en ) 2009-12-04

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How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries the Right Way (No Leaks!)

Finally, you can now find several special battery chargers that do not only charge rechargeable batteries but allow you to recharge alkaline batteries, too !

When I was a young boy, I had a friend, whose father was an electrical genius. He was always creating electronic breadboard projects.

One of these projects was a charger that charged dead alkaline batteries.

I had pretty much disregarded that memory as a dream until I recently was doing some research online and stumbled across a thread about battery chargers that are able to Recharge Dead Alkaline Batteries.

Alkaline Batteries Defined

An Alkaline Battery refers to a type of battery, which is constructed from potassium oxide’s alkaline electrolyte, instead of zinc or ammonium chloride – both of which are full of acidic elements and components. It can either be rechargeable or disposable and generally has 1.5 volts per cell.

It is also available in a wide range of sizes. You can see these alkaline batteries being frequently used in daily electronics. However, before using this type of battery, it is necessary to get to know more about its pros and cons:

Advantages:

  • Longer shelf life compared to those that use chloride electrolyte batteries
  • Higher energy density in comparison to other batteries – With such an advantage, you can expect this battery to deliver similar levels of energy while also being longer-lasting compared to other batteries.
  • Usable for hundreds of times – This is possible for the rechargeable alkaline battery if you recharge it after only 25% of its entire capacity is consumed.
  • Less expensive compared to other sophisticated types containing cadmium and nickel
  • Disposable as normal waste without requiring special disposal methods
  • Delivers an incredible performance even when used at low temperatures
  • It can last for up to 2 years when stored at room temperature while retaining around 90% of its original capacity once that happens.

You can also expect alkaline batteries to perfectly suit applications with normally low current used. These applications include devices that operate without the need for a huge amount of power as well as those gadgets used only periodically, such as radios and remote controls. You do not also need to worry about it going bad due to age as there is a low chance that it will happen.

Aside from the shelf life, an alkaline battery also boasts of its longer lifespan in comparison to its counterparts so there is no need to replace it too often. However, it also carries a few flaws, like:

Disadvantages:

  • High internal resistance, thereby minimizing run time and creating an advance “low-battery warning in the majority of devices.
  • Not that long-lasting when used in applications with high requirements for start-up current or need plenty of power when used
  • The rechargeable variety has lower performance compared to standard alkaline batteries.

Despite that, alkaline batteries still continue to gain traction nowadays.

Can You Recharge Alkaline Batteries?

Charging or recharging alkaline batteries is not highly recommended, although that is possible with the help of a special alkaline charger, which you can use to the rechargeable alkaline. There are several reasons why recharging the battery is not recommended.

One of these is that charged ones can supply only a few recharge cycles. What you get is a dozen of recharge cycles, sometimes even less. This is not the same with a real rechargeable, such as NiMH, since you can also recharge it for hundreds or thousands of times.

Alkaline batteries also tend to lose their capacity per charge cycle. This means that each time you recharge the battery, its run time will also go lower. The rechargeable variety of alkaline batteries also usually features a smaller capacity compared to the real ones as well as NiMH rechargeable batteries. Recharging it will also increase its likelihood of leaking.

The good news is that despite the fact that charging alkaline batteries is not recommended, there are still special chargers that you can use to do so. Note that it is necessary to invest in a high-quality special charger specifically designed to charge alkaline batteries if you insist to do it.

Avoid using a charger for NiCd, NiZN, or NiMH. You need a charger, which is specifically designed to deal with and handle alkaline batteries.

Maximal Power FC999 Universal Rapid Charger

The Maximal Power FC999 Universal Rapid Charger uses an 8-bit microprocessor, and advanced RISC architecture, with integrated converter and multi-channel high-speed input/output ports to intelligently monitor and control the whole charging process in real-time, which can prevent overcharging. It also has built-in negative delta V cut-off function and short-circuits protection.

This charger is essentially a computer itself, so it can optimize the conditioning and charging cycles for each individual battery. During testing of this charger, they were able to recharge some alkaline batteries to 75-90% of original capacity up to and beyond 30 times! MORE THAN 30 TIMES! This isn’t a guarantee, but a rule of thumb, mileage will vary.

When you insert a battery into this charger, it determines the status of the battery and will either start charging if it’s good or alerts you to the status if it’s bad.

The Maximal Power Charger charges the following battery types:

  • AA
  • AAA
  • C
  • D
  • N
  • 9V
  • Ni-MH (Nickel Metal Hydride)
  • Ni-CD (Nickel Cadmium)
  • RAM (Rechargeable Alkaline Manganese)
  • Alkaline (previously Non-Rechargeable) batteries

The ability of this charger to charge different kinds of batteries, including alkaline batteries that are non-rechargeable in the past and the rechargeable alkaline manganese proves its versatility. This battery charger also works great, thanks to its high-speed discharging and charging ports. With its microchips, you have an assurance that it will monitor the batteries’ charging and recharging smartly and intelligently.

Another benefit I noticed about this special charger is that its charging speed is quite fast, so I can assure most users that it is less time-consuming to use. It boasts of its delta cut-off function, which is a great thing because it stops the charging process automatically once the batteries are already full, thereby preventing short circuits.

The features and functions of FC999 are simple and easy to use. You will even love its LED and LCD displays capable of illustrating the battery’s charging statistics once you put it in the charging bay.

ChargeIt Battery Station Pro

The ChargeIt Battery Station Pro Battery Charger uses the same microprocessor technology as the Maximal Charger but also has 2 built-in USB ports, allowing you to charge mobile devices! This charger also runs checks when a battery is inserted to determine if it’s good or bad and alert you to the battery’s status.

The ChargeIt Battery Charger charges the following battery types:

  • AA
  • AAA
  • C
  • D
  • N
  • 9V
  • Ni-MH (Nickel Metal Hydride)
  • Ni-CD (Nickel Cadmium)
  • RAM (Rechargeable Alkaline Manganese)
  • Alkaline (previously Non-Rechargeable) batteries

Just like the previous special charger from Maximal, this one is flexible and versatile, too as it can charge a wide range of batteries. It is capable of charging both rechargeable NiCD or NiMH batteries and disposable alkaline batteries. You will love its 4 universal charging docks capable of charging different types of batteries.

Another advantage of this special charger is that it is capable of simultaneously charging a max of 5 batteries, thanks to its 4 universal ports as well as another one that you can find in the 9V port.

It also features a couple of USB ports that you can use to attach and charge devices. I am sure you will like the LCD screen of this special charger, too, as it can display the level of charge in the battery and its charging status.

Final Words

While some manufacturers do not recommend and support recharging alkaline batteries due to the dangers that they might cause, it is still possible to recharge them through the available chargers specifically built for them. Just make sure that you pick a high-quality special charger. which can do a pretty good job of recharging your alkaline battery.

Also, take note that a recharged alkaline battery’s capacity has a higher risk of declining through a number of recharges. This is the main reason why you still have to take care of them, especially if you recharge them often. One thing to keep in mind is that alkaline batteries were not designed to be recharged, so some of them may leak.

After you charge them, let them sit on a safe surface and watch for leakage for a few days. This is important in ensuring that they will not leak in your electronic devices. The cheaper batteries seem to do this more than the high-quality ones.

With a small solar setup, you can charge rechargeable batteries but by adding this charger to the mix, it would open the door to reusing alkaline batteries that most people will discard without a second thought.

The ability to recharge regular (alkaline) batteries will come in very handy, save you money and keep those batteries out of the landfill. It is recycling, therefore, it is good for the environment and Smart prepping!

Start Simple with Alkaline AA Batteries

I thought I’d whip up a circuit to run exclusively on solar power. Growing around solar-powered electronics like desktop calculators, I knew it was a solved problem. But after running into obstacles, I have been humbled by the challenges involved and decided to fall back to battery power. A lot of solar power projects have a rechargeable battery somewhere in the mix, and I’m going to follow that precedence in the hopes of simplified energy management.

But as an intermediate stepping stone, I will adapt my circuit to run on batteries without worrying about the charging circuit just yet. I have the components I need on hand: a pile of alkaline AA batteries and a tray for 5AA batteries in series.

A fresh AA alkaline battery has an open-circuit voltage just over 1.5V, and four of those in series would deliver more than 6V. Plenty for an ESP8266, but I’m not using fresh batteries for this project. My fresh AA batteries go into devices with motors or other high drain use. Once those devices complain the batteries were too weak, I move them into purely electronic devices with lower amperage demands. (TV remote controls, Hackaday badges, Xbox wireless controllers, etc.) When they are deemed too weak again, they go into my pile of AA batteries awaiting Joule thief LED duty. Open-circuit voltage for veteran batteries in this pile hover around 1.1V, thus I needed five of them in series instead of just four.

These 5-ish volts are too low to activate my modified MP1584 buck converter, which would no longer activate until input voltage of at least 13V. But that’s not a problem, because the Wemos D1 Mini clone board I’m using could run on 5V USB power. These batteries are pretty close to that voltage level, so I bypassed the MP1584 and connected the battery tray to existing “5V” pin on this module and used its onboard voltage regulator (which I didn’t trust to handle solar power directly) to deliver 3.3V to the ESP8266 and INA219. This worked pretty well.

thoughts on “ Start Simple with Alkaline AA Batteries ”

9V cells are also pretty spiffy for low current demands – if you’re replacing them every spring and fall in your smoke/CO2 detectors (okay, yea, who is actually doing that?) you could have a stockpile of them. Paired with a 9V connector cable and a good compact switchmode regulator, those second purposed 9V cells can power a variety of much lower voltage (and current) devices Like Liked by 1 person

In my home I’ve switched over to smoke detectors with builtin non-replaceable 10 year life batteries. The upside is that I no longer need to remember to replace 9V batteries on a regular basis, the downside is I no longer have a steady source of 9V batteries to repurpose. Like Liked by 1 person

Do the batteries still sustain a usable charge when you combine a bunch of semi dead ones? Or do they all just die right away? I like recharging my dead alkalines for use in remotes or other low value/low power draw devices. There’s risk of spilling, but I’m willing to take that gamble over wasting new batteries in cheap low draw situations Like Liked by 1 person

It all depends on how power is drawn. This specific experiment had relatively high draw (Wi-Fi) but only for a few seconds, followed by several minutes of near-zero draw allowing battery recovery. This pulsed pattern may work better than a constant low draw for certain batteries near end of life. Like Liked by 1 person

Overview of Rechargeable Batteries and Fast Stand-Alone Chargers

This application note provides an overview of nickel-cadmium (NiCd), nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH), and lithium-ion (Li-Ion, Li) rechargeable batteries, discussing their characteristics and explaining how to safely fast charge NiMH and Li-Ion rechargeable batteries in a stand-alone configuration, without the use of a supervising microcontroller.

Introduction

Rechargeable batteries are the standard power source for today’s products, especially for portable appliances such as notebook computers, mobile phones, and digital cameras. Even as power levels are falling, the absolute amount of power consumed by rechargeable batteries is rising. The reasons are several: an ongoing integration of functions (such as a mobile phone with a digital camera), the higher computing speed in notebook computers, and the convenience of large color displays. As a consequence of this high level of power consumption in portable devices, the use of a rechargeable battery has become more cost effective than using a standard battery. Even more important are the environmental benefits of rechargeable batteries. Using rechargeable batteries tremendously reduces the amount of hazardous materials dumped into our environment, the consumption of materials, and the energy required to produce the equivalent in non-rechargeable batteries.

This application note provides an overview of rechargeable battery chemistries; it details their typical characteristics and important considerations for selecting a battery type. The article then describes how to safely fast charge NiMH and Li-Ion rechargeable batteries in a stand-alone configuration, without using a microcontroller or a power-surge-protected mains adapter.

Rechargeable Battery Types

Portable appliances in the mid-1980s—such as DECT phones, cassette players, and electric shavers—were powered mainly by nickel-cadmium (NiCd) rechargeable batteries. Nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) and lithium-ion (Li-Ion) rechargeable batteries came later, appearing on the mass market toward the end of the nineties.

NiCd batteries were especially popular in low-cost applications because they were cheaper than NiMH and Li-Ion batteries. Because NiCd’s provide the highest level of discharge current, they were also used in applications that required high levels of power for short periods of time.

On the other hand, NiCd batteries once suffered from the so-called memory effect (modern NiCd’s seldom do), which reduces battery capacity. If such a NiCd battery is recharged before being fully discharged, some active material (as much as 100µm on the anode’s cadmium side) remains unused and begins to crystallize, thereby removing itself from the chemical action. (Cadmium crystals at the anode of a fresh battery are approximately one micrometer thick.)

The resulting memory effect yields a battery with lower capacity and a lower terminal voltage, causing the NiCd battery to reach the minimum usable terminal voltage (shutoff point) sooner than desired (Figure 1). Another disadvantage of NiCd batteries is the poisonous cadmium (Cd) in its active material. These early types of NiCd batteries turned out to be an ecological as well as an economical burden when disposing of defective batteries. As a consequence, European Regulation 2000/53/EG forbids the sale of NiCd rechargeable batteries, effective December 31, 2005.

NiMH batteries are more environmentally friendly than NiCd’s, but they also cost more. Their discharge currents are lower, but they suffer from the lazy effect, which is a weaker version of the memory effect in NiCd batteries. The lazy effect results from the crystallization of a portion of the nickel. Like the memory effect, the lazy effect prevents full use of the capacity in a rechargeable battery; both effects, however, can be avoided by using chargers with a discharge function.

Chargers in the DS2711/DS2712 family have these functions. In addition, they work independently and therefore do not need the oversight of a microcontroller or microprocessor. They are designed to charge a single standard AA or AAA rechargeable battery, or a pair of batteries in serial or parallel configuration. The DS2711 operates as a linear controller, and the DS2712 as a switching controller. To maximize their operating life and spare the batteries, these chargers have four charging modes: precharge, fast charge, top-off charge, and maintenance (trickle) charge. In top-off mode, for instance, the charging rate is switched to a lower rate (to 25% for the DS2711) soon after the battery is fully charged.

In addition to the monitoring functions already mentioned, the DS2711/DS2712 chargers have an internal timer that lets you set the maximum charging time (0.5 to 10 hours in fast-charge mode, for example) by connecting an external resistor to the TMR pin. The top-off charging time (0.25 to 5 hours) is then half the length of the maximum charging time already set. The resistor value in terms of the approximate desired charging time (TAPPROX) is

If the maximum charge time is exceeded in fast-charge mode, the charger switches from fast charge to top-off charge and resets the timer. The timer then counts down the top-off charge time. If that is exceeded, the charger switches from top-off mode to maintenance (trickle-charge) mode (Figure 3).

recharge, alkaline, batteries, right

Stand-Alone Fast Charger for Li-Ion Rechargeable Batteries

Charging Li-Ion rechargeable batteries is simpler than charging NiMH batteries because it is not necessary to monitor the rate of voltage change (dV/dt). Additionally, because Li-Ion rechargeable batteries react sensitively to excess voltage, the charging process requires a precise power source of 4.2V ± 50mV, with constant charging current. For NiMH batteries, the charger should have secondary monitoring functions (temperature, timer) as well as the primary voltage-monitoring function.

The MAX8601, a stand-alone charger for Li-Ion rechargeable batteries, has an internally controlled voltage source called VBATT, which measures 4.2V ± 0.021V at 25°C, or 4.2V ± 0.034V over the range The charger can maintain constant output current while charging a Li-Ion battery through the VBATT connection (Figure 5). An external resistor (on the SETI pin) and an external capacitor (on the CT pin) set the charging current and internal timer. The charger also uses an NTC resistor to monitor the temperature of the rechargeable battery.

Summary

The DS2711/DS2712 and MAX8601 are stand-alone chargers whose multiple monitoring functions (voltage, power, temperature, and timer) require neither a microcontroller nor a power-surge-protected mains adapter. Both devices provide clear and simple external switching.

General Questions and Answers

  • Can you charge NiCd batteries with a NiMH battery charger? Answer: With only moderate success, because rechargeable batteries have different shutoff characteristics. NiCd batteries should be shutoff when dV/dt = 0, and NiMH batteries should be shutoff when dV/dt 0.
  • Can you install rechargeable batteries of different capacities, or install a mixture of old and new batteries in an appliance? Answer: That can be done but is not recommended because the appliance’s performance is determined by the weakest battery.
  • When should rechargeable batteries not be used? Answer: Do not use them in applications such as remote controls and smoke alarms, for which the power requirement is low and the appliance is not in constant use. Rechargeable batteries tend to have a higher rate of self-discharge than ordinary batteries. NiMH batteries, for example, lose 1% of their capacity every day. Their operating time is therefore substantially less.
  • Can I charge a non-rechargeable battery, like an alkaline battery? Answer: Do not charge alkaline batteries. Their chemistry and construct is not compatible for charging. The energy forced into an alkaline battery generates heat, and as internal temperatures rise, the case of the battery typically begins to leak and can sometimes burst. The material inside is toxic and harmful for most all environments.
  • Why is it important to monitor the temperature of a rechargeable battery? Answer: Even though a rechargeable battery’s chemistry and construct are compatible for charging, there are limits to the amount of energy and the rate of energy that the battery can handle. Too much energy too fast increases internal temperatures, and, as in the alkaline battery, the battery case can develop a leak or even burst. Once a rechargeable battery is fully charged, any additional charge forced into the battery creates heat. If the temperature is not monitored and the charge rate reduced or stopped accordingly, the same environmentally harmful results may occur. This is why the DS2711/DS2712/MAX8601 monitor so many parameters while charging. They ensure the longest battery life and the safest charging conditions possible.

Additional Resources

Stiftung Gemeinsames und Rücknahmesystem Batterien [German common collection system for spent batteries]

A similar article appeared in the March 2006 issue of Design and Elektronik.

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