Battery Charger Design Uses Unique Converter Control

August 8, 2008
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A unique converter control scheme for a battery charger uses features on Vicor DC-DC modules to achieve small size and high-efficiency, plus the flexibility to adapt the charger for every input voltage range, battery voltage, and capacity. The design also maximises battery operating life and minimises maintenance costs for offline battery charging off lead-acid batteries.

An offline battery charger, based on a Vicor DC-DC converter module and controller IC, provides the flexibility to adapt the design for every input voltage range, battery voltage, and capacity. The design also achieves high efficiency as well as a compact footprint.

With a controller IC optimising the charging process of lead-acid batteries, and Vicor’s high power-density DC-DC converter modules, the design achieves high reliability, with reduced volume and lower power dissipation.

An efficient converter control circuit uses two features found on all Vicor Maxi, Mini, Micro converters: the Secondary Control (SC) pin on the output, and the internal configuration of the +Sense and +Out pins. These allow the output voltage to be varied so that, when it is trimmed down to the minimum voltage, the control voltage can be used to vary the output voltage (see Figure 1).

The designs maximises battery operating life and minimise the cost of maintaining large battery banks, such as those for UPS systems or electric vehicles whilst providing the flexibility to adapt the charger across different applications.

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