Fully Charged: The Path of Least Resistance

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.