Ever wondered why your laptop or phone battery gets spoiled so quickly? Did it ever occur to you why the duration of their working keeps drastically reducing as time progresses, especially if you are a heavy user? Why does it happen that you always have to carry a portable charger with you?
Batteries, like the ones present in phones and laptops have chemical reaction occurring inside that creates charge. When you recharge the battery a reverse chemical reaction takes place to “undo” the discharging effect.
Batteries have a limited number of charging/discharging cycles for a life time. So, basically, each time your charge your phone/laptop you are killing its battery.
There is another hidden problem that lurks beneath. How many times have we forgotten to stop charging once the battery is 100%? This overcharging kills the battery faster than charging. You would have heard the advice, not to use your phone/laptop while it’s charging. But how practical is it?
So each time you overcharge - like when you put it for charging before sleep - you are not only destroying the device, but also risking it to explode (Samsung? Is that you?)!
So to be on the safe side, let’s just stick to it that the battery must be disconnected as soon as the charge hits 100%. But hectic life/ lazy nature of us humans have made it difficult to always remember to “unplug” when the battery reaches 100%.
Thus our crazy mind came up with “Intelli-Charger” for the lazy minds.
Intelli-Charger is an auto-unplug charger. This is a concept charger with “add-on” modules that’s going to “break” (not literally but electrically) the charging circuit once the battery hits 100%.
Here we take a small amount of charging current from the charging port of a battery inside a phone, to see if its amount is proportional to the charge stored. Once we know the battery level, we can be sure of when to stop charging. So we create a breaking switch that opens up when the charge hits 100%.
To make this “idea” a success we need to use a “low-power” controller. The idea must be scalable to multiple platforms - mobile, laptop and even electric vehicles.
The Curie controller on Arduino 101 satisfies this need. The implementation makes use of digitally measuring the charging current at timed intervals to see if 100% battery level is reached. When the level is reached the circuit disconnects and to re-start it a button has to be pressed. The module will be mountable along the common commercial charger unit.
How does it work? We'll figure it out from the diagram!
The design works by using a Timed-Interrupt to monitor the charging current. Once the current is such that the battery is 100% charged, we break the circuit using the Relay R. E1 and E2 are electronics switches used to control the current flow. Flow-chart is on its way. Hope you like it!