Advanced battery protector delivers high level of safety

22nd August 2019
Posted By : Alex Lynn
Advanced battery protector delivers high level of safety

Designers concerned about battery safety now have access to an advanced battery protector with integrated fuel gauges from Maxim Integrated Products. The newest 1-cell, pack-side ICs in this portfolio are the MAX17301 and the MAX17311, which offer the most configurable settings for battery safety in the industry and allow fine tuning of voltage and current thresholds based on various temperature zones. 

These ICs also offer a first-of-its-kind secondary protection scheme in case the primary protection fails. This secondary protection scheme permanently disables the battery by overriding a secondary protector or blowing a fuse in severe fault conditions.

All ICs in the family are equipped with Maxim’s patented ModelGauge m5 EZ algorithm that delivers highest state-of-charge (SOC) accuracy that on average offers 40% better accuracy than competitive offerings and eliminates the need for battery characterisation.

These fuel gauges also offer the industry’s lowest quiescent current (IQ) – up to 80% lower than the nearest competitor, and feature SHA-256 authentication to safeguard the systems from counterfeit batteries.

Conventional battery protectors monitor voltage and current, and in some cases include temperature monitoring. These options make the system vulnerable to unexpected crashes because battery state-of-charge (SOC) isn’t factored in when triggering an undervoltage cut-off decision. The market lacks a solution that allows deeper configuration of voltage or current thresholds based on multiple temperature environments. 

With a growing market of battery-operated applications, there is a need for a simple, compact solution that protects from unsafe charging conditions that can lead to extensive battery damage including over-voltage, short circuit, over/under temperature and more. Additionally, system and battery designers continue to push the limits of capacity-constrained batteries in order to provide the longest possible run-time without damaging the cell. 

Currently, there are very few highly-configurable solutions that are still simple to implement. Designers are also looking for a way to protect the system by ensuring that only genuine batteries are used, which can eliminate unexpected shutdowns and crashes caused by potentially unsafe, counterfeit batteries.

The MAX17301 and MAX17311 fuel gauges integrate the best protector in the industry by having the most configurable settings for battery safety. These are the only 1-cell fuel gauges in the market that offer 2-level Li-ion protection, providing an additional layer of security in case the primary protector fails. These compact ICs are part of Maxim’s new portfolio of fuel-gauges that offer integrated protection capability that helps system makers meet new product safety standards such as IEC 62368-1/UL 62368-1. 

All ICs in the family offer unique low-state-based protectors as an alternative to simple low-voltage thresholds, that prevents nuisance tripping in the case of short duration voltage dips due to pulse loads on the battery. As with the rest of the portfolio, these devices also provide the highest SOC accuracy without requiring battery characterisation, eliminating several weeks of time required for sending a battery to a lab for characterisation and analysis. Furthermore, the portfolio offers the market’s lowest IQ, extending battery shelf life for compact electronics.

Advanced battery protector features:

  • Advanced battery protection: Ensures safe charging and discharging in a wide range of applications with 2-level Li-ion protector control for abnormal voltage, current and temperature conditions. Delivers protection against counterfeiting and cloning with SHA-256 authentication and provides unique as well as dynamic key for every battery.
  • Highest accuracy: Delivers best-in-class SOC accuracy without battery characterisation. Cycle+ age forecasting provides easy-to-understand prediction of remaining battery life for battery replacement planning or to control fast-charging. Battery life logging stores the history of operating conditions experienced by the pack over its lifetime.
  • Lowest IQ: Supports long product shelf-life and runtime with operating IQ of 24µA active/18µA low power with protector FETs on and 7µA with protector FETs off.

“The battery monitoring and protection market topped $2B in 2018”, said Kevin Anderson, Senior Analyst for Power ICs at IHS Markit. “Safety is paramount in battery-powered electronic systems and critical to their continued growth.”

“Ensuring that their batteries are reliable and safe is one of the foremost considerations for portable electronics system engineers,” added Bakul Damle, Business Management Director, Mobile Power Business Unit at Maxim Integrated. “Maxim has simplified this essential function by not only providing the most advanced protection and security in the market, but by integrating the most accurate fuel gauge that operates at the lowest IQ in the market.”

Pricing for products in the ModelGauge m5 EZ fuel gauge IC portfolio starts at $1.14 (1,000-up, FOB USA).

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