Apparatus and method for step-charging batteries to optimize charge acceptance

  • US 5,583,416 A
  • Filed: 01/26/1994
  • Issued: 12/10/1996
  • Est. Priority Date: 01/26/1994
  • Status: Expired due to Term
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First Claim
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1. Apparatus for charging a battery comprising:

  • a controllable power source providing an electrical charging output at variable current or voltage levels;

    means for connecting the power source to charging terminals of the battery;

    control circuitry for controlling the power source to apply the electrical charging output to the battery at a target output level, and to periodically apply the electrical charging output to the battery at an increased output level above the target output level and at a decreased output level below the target output level;

    a sensor for measuring a charging input to the battery and providing a target, an increased and a decreased charging input value corresponding to the charging input at each of the target, increased and decreased output levels, respectively; and

    comparison circuitry responsive to the target, increased and decreased charging input values provided by the sensor for determining a first difference of the increased charging input value from the target charging input value, and a second difference of the decreased charging input value from the target charging input value, the comparison circuitry making a comparison of the first difference with the second difference and further being operatively connected to the control circuitry to adjust the target output level by increasing or decreasing the target output level in accordance with the comparison.

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