WilkinsMicawber
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:01 am

Rechargeable, portable power alternatives to Lipo and Lithium Ion Batteries

Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:07 am

I've been told to use a power source that has a lower chance of explosion than Lipo and Lithium Ion batteries. Thus, i've been looking into other rechargeable options. Using standard rechargeable AA batteries seems to be the only realistic alternative I've been able to dig up. How feasible would it be to run a device off AA batteries in a configuration where the batteries can be charged while the device is in use? Are there any other options? It appears as though nearly all USB charge banks are lithium Ion-based.

W. H. Heydt
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Rechargeable, portable power alternatives to Lipo and Lithium Ion Batteries

Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:49 am

Some possible alternatives to alkaline (the common AAA, A, C, D, 9v units) are Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), Nickel Cadmium (NiCad), and Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4, or LFP) come to mind.

If money isn't a problem, you could consider Hydrogen Fuel Cell. Not a rechargeable battery, but a primary power source in it's own right.

mosespi
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Re: Rechargeable, portable power alternatives to Lipo and Lithium Ion Batteries

Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:50 am

Rechargeable AA NiMH batteries will work fine (or C or D cells). If you don't mind a slow charge rate, trickle charging them is easy and works. Hook up 6 or 8 cells in series and use a DC-DC buck converter. This is essentially the basis for a UPS I make.

For most all battery types you will have to isolate the battery from the load during a *fast* charge, this is generally the issue with off the shelf lithium charge boards and power banks. You have to switch the load over to your input power (remember the USB powerbank power dip when plugging in?) for the charger circuit to work properly. This is additional circuitry you will have to add that most charger circuit boards usually don't have.

There is lithium iron phosphate too.. generally safer then lithium ion or polymer batteries. Note that Lithium Iron Phosphate and NiMH are pretty close in power density. I'm pretty sure NiMH still wins in price per capacity on consumer type cells.

A constant voltage charge on lead acid batteries will avoid the switching circuity, albeit a bit on the heavy side. For that type of battery you can charge it while in use, since you are just providing a constant voltage and the battery 'floats' to it's full charge voltage and essentially stops charging.

As they say, lots of ways to...

Regards,
-Moses
Power problems? MoPower UPS for the Pi
http://www.allspectrum.com/mopower/


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