Can the TP4056 charge multiple batteries?

5th July 2024
Sheryl Miles

The TP4056, a versatile and widely used lithium-ion battery charger module, is designed to charge single-cell lithium-ion batteries efficiently and safely, making it a popular choice in various electronic projects and consumer devices.

The TP4056 incorporates a linear charging technique, which is both cost-effective and straightforward, requiring minimal external components, and the module includes features such as automatic recharge, battery temperature monitoring, and charge termination, ensuring safe and reliable charging.

How does the TP4056 work?

At its core, the TP4056 utilises a constant-current/constant-voltage (CC/CV) charging algorithm. When a depleted battery is connected, the charger initially operates in constant current mode, delivering a steady current until the battery voltage reaches a set threshold, typically 4.2V. Once this voltage is attained, the charger switches to constant voltage mode, where the current gradually decreases until the battery is fully charged. This method ensures that the battery is charged efficiently and safely, minimising the risk of overcharging.

Charging multiple batteries with TP4056

While the TP4056 is designed for single-cell charging, it is possible to use it to charge multiple batteries by employing certain techniques.

One common approach is to connect multiple TP4056 modules in parallel, each responsible for charging an individual battery. This setup ensures that each battery receives the appropriate charging current and voltage, preventing issues related to uneven charging.

Alternatively, batteries can be connected in parallel to a single TP4056 module. However, this method comes with several caveats. Batteries must be at the same voltage level before connecting them in parallel to avoid current imbalance, which can lead to potential damage. Moreover, the combined capacity of the batteries will increase, but the charging current remains the same, resulting in a longer charging time.

Advantages and drawbacks

Using multiple TP4056 modules to charge multiple batteries offers several advantages:

  • Scalability: Easily scalable to charge numerous batteries by adding more modules.
  • Safety: Each battery is charged independently, reducing the risk of overcharging or imbalanced current.
  • Flexibility: Allows for different battery capacities and types to be charged simultaneously.

However, there are also drawbacks:

  • Complexity: Wiring and managing multiple modules can be cumbersome and requires careful planning.
  • Cost: Using multiple modules increases the overall cost compared to using a single module.

When connecting batteries in parallel to a single TP4056 module, the primary advantages include:

  • Simplicity: Fewer components and simpler wiring.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Reduces the number of modules needed, lowering the overall cost.

However, this method has significant drawbacks:

  • Safety: Requires batteries to be at the same voltage level to avoid damage.
  • Extended charging time: The charging current is shared, leading to longer charging times for each battery.

The TP4056 is an effective solution for charging single-cell lithium-ion batteries, and whilst it is possible to charge multiple batteries using this module, careful consideration must be given to the method employed. Using multiple TP4056 modules provides a safer and more scalable solution, albeit at a higher cost and complexity. In contrast, connecting batteries in parallel to a single module is simpler and more cost-effective but comes with increased risks and longer charging times. Ultimately, the choice depends on the specific requirements and constraints of the project at hand.

Featured products

Product Spotlight

Upcoming Events

View all events
Latest global electronics news
© Copyright 2024 Electronic Specifier