Anyone who works in power conversion and battery management electronics knows that efficiency is important. Engineers measure efficiency on the lab bench, but an end user of a portable product experiences battery life and the surface temperature of the device. While someone may not notice a 5% or 10% difference in battery life over a period of several hours, he or she could certainly sense an additional 5 or 10 degrees of heat on the outer surface of their handheld device.
As smartphones, tablets and portable instruments add more sophisticated features and bigger, brighter displays, they require higher capacity batteries – and correspondingly more power to charge quickly. The tight packaging of handheld products means that the heat generated on a PC board often finds its way to the exterior case of the device. Furthermore, many studies have shown that Lithium-Ion batteries suffer capacity degradation over time when exposed to high temperatures. So low efficiency is not just bad for the battery run-time on an individual cycle, but bad for long term service life of the battery, as well as an end user’s perception of the product quality. Using a high efficiency battery charger with low-resistance power FETs is one of the best ways to minimize heat generation in a portable system and keep your battery cool.
For the rest of the post, see Upal's Fully Charged blog on Battery Power Online here: http://www.batterypoweronline.com/main/blogs/the-path-of-least-resistance/#more-4324.
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