Charging batteries rapidly and safely
Any hobbyist can charge a battery quickly, but can you do it without an explosion, excessive heating or major degradation in battery cycle life?
Well many companies have managed fast charging techniques that typically use specialized algorithms. These algorithms take into account the chemistry of the battery and some sort of non-standard charging rate curve. Many device manufacturers and wireless operators are now providing a minimum two-year warranty on smart phone devices setting 800 cycles as the battery cycle life of the battery.
I have yet to see many, if any, published lifetime test results from any fast charger supplier with popular battery types. One of these companies willing to publish life tests is Chargetek. They, in conjunction with Potential Difference, Inc., have managed to safely return a 51% charge in 25 minutes. Their technique is based upon proven patents, chemical analysis, and the all-important confirmation of the technology by extensive testing.
Their technique uses batteries ranging from Lithium Ion 18650 cells to 20,000Ahr batteries. Their technique is also applicable for lead-based batteries like Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM), Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) and maintenance free. Lithium cobalt oxide and Lithium iron phosphate are also able to use this rapid charge technique.
I spoke to Lou Josephs, CEO of Chargetek and we discussed their proprietary software that can be customized for the customer’s application. One nice feature of their patented and proven algorithm is that they can rapid charge two large battery banks from a single charger. Each bank will be independently regulated.
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