[TriEmbed] Battery charging while under load

Charles West crwest at ncsu.edu
Tue Feb 18 12:10:36 CST 2020


Hello!

I'm still working on my robot project and I'm starting to make tentative
steps toward something other people could actually use.  There are a few
open problems remaining, but there is one in particular I was wondering if
you guys might have any ideas for.

How do you make a LIPO battery system that acts like your laptop?  In
particular, how can you make it so you can run your system off of adaptor
power when it is plugged in/charge the battery and then automatically
switch to battery power when the adaptor power is removed?

I've tried in the past just leaving my system plugged in while the battery
was charging with an external charger.  The result was dead LIPOs.

The typical LIPO pack has 2 thick wires coming out with all of the cells (3
or 4 in my case) in series and a smaller JST connector which exposes each
of the cells in parallel.  My first thought is that you could have your
adaptor voltage higher than the battery series voltage and use one or more
reverse current protection circuits to make the battery stop discharging in
that case and apply power to the charger.  Does that make sense as an
approach?

They also have battery management ICs (such as the Maxim line) which
include charging, but I'm not sure if they can handle the level of current
that the motors could draw.  What do you guys think?

Thanks,
Charlie
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