Power supply for mobile devices: Page 2 of 10

November 04, 2014 //By Michael Mueller
Power supply for mobile devices
Michael Mueller of congatec considers what to look for when selecting a power supply for mobile devices.
lithium-ion technology is far superior to all other chemical cell structures.

Large capacity
To turn a basic cell into a usable, reliable and rechargeable battery with the required performance, battery manufacturers connect several cells in parallel and/or series. The RRC2054, for example, connects four cells in series; this is called a 4S1P battery configuration.

Intelligent powerhouses
Integrated sensors and a microcontroller turn the configuration into a smart battery. An externally connected power manager can retrieve status information and battery-specific data via the SMBus. A data logger records all critical events for evaluation in case of warranty issues or for analysis. The internal battery design determines not only the capacity and performance; it also impacts the subsequent reliability. Batteries from RRC, for example, support authentication, thereby ensuring that the application only uses battery types approved by the equipment manufacturer. Next to the electrical features, the manufacturing quality of the battery pack and the certifications passed are key factors for international marketing success. Device manufacturers have little influence on these factors, so choosing wisely when selecting a suitable battery pack is important.

Fig 1: Block diagram of RRC2054 battery

Quality and safety at competitive prices
RRC develops and manufactures rechargeable, extremely high-energy lithium-ion battery packs with cells from Samsung and others. The packs are ideal for use in medical, industrial, instrumentation, logistics and military environments. In these markets, quality and safety are of the highest priority, while prices need to be competitive.

Danger of explosion
Lots of energy contained in a small space can be dangerous. Deep discharge leads to crystalline structures in the cell chemistry that can damage the insulation. In the worst case, the cell may explode. RRC prevents deep discharge by internal voltage monitoring in two stages. If the voltage falls below the first threshold, the internal electronics shuts the battery down, giving it time to recover. This deactivation is reversible. However, the battery pack is irreversibly switched

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