Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3609503 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date28 Sep 1971
Filing date20 Oct 1969
Priority date20 Oct 1969
Also published asCA918745A1, DE2051527A1, DE2051527B2, DE2051527C3
Publication numberUS 3609503 A, US 3609503A, US-A-3609503, US3609503 A, US3609503A
InventorsWilford B Burkett, Robert V Jackson
Original AssigneeMcculloch Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Termination of rapid charging of batteries
US 3609503 A
Images(4)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventors Will'ordB.Burkett Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. n-,3 tl flil lllia ent 1891.. 1 9

[54] TERMINATION OF RAPID CHARGING OF 3,293,445 12/1966 Levy 320/14 3,327,198 6/1967 Rauch 320/D1G. 1

3,454,860 8/1969 Burkett et al 320/DIG. 2

3,487,284 12/1969 Cady 320/DIG. 2

3,517,294 6/1970 Ruben 320/43 X FOREIGN PATENTS 809,148 11/1937 Spain 320/4 OTHER REFERENCES The Effect of Applying Counter E.M.F. to a Leelanche Cell, Kobe et al., pps. 587- 602, Trans. Electrochemical June, 1938 Dry Cells Can Be Reactuated, Hallows, pp. 498 Dec., 1965, Radio-Electronics Primary Examiner-J. D. Miller Assistant Examiner.lohn M. Gunther BATTERIES Attorney-Christie, Parker & Hale 31 Claims, 9 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl 320/5, ABSTRACT; A b tter is harged rapidly by alternately ap- 320/14 320/22, 3 2O/4O plying a charging current to the battery and selectively [51] Int. Cl H02 7/10 discharging the battery During this rapid charging Operation [50] Fleld of Search 320/DIG. 2, the magnitude of charge on [hc battery is dgtermined by moni- 4, 51 14, 40, 35136 toring terminal characteristics of the battery. When the monitored terminal characteristic of the battery reaches a predeter- [56] References cued mined value, the rapid charging operation is either manually UNITED STATES PATENTS or automatically terminated. Such terminal characteristics as 2,503,179 4/1950 Tichenor 320/14 average discharge current, energy release during a discharge 2,619,624 1 H1952 Briggs, Jr 320/14 interval, terminal voltage of the battery an increment of time 2,637,836 5/1953 Kendall et al 320/24 after the start of the discharge interval, and the frequency of 2,752,550 6/1956 Beer H 320/4 7 H the discharge intervalare monitored.

PATENTEU SEP2 8 an SHEET 2 BF 4 TERMINATION F RAPID CHARGING 0F BATTERIES CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation-in-part of our application Ser. No. 612,995, filed Jan. 31, 1967, and now US. Pat. No. 3,5 l7,293, entitled Rapid Charging of Batteries and assigned to the assignee of the present application, and is related to the concurrently filed Oct. 20, I969 application, Ser. No. 867,838 which is also a continuation-in-part of our application Ser. No. 612,995 and is assigned to the assignee of the present application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the Invention This invention relates to the rapid charging of batteries and, more particularly, to a method for determining the time at which the rapid charging operation is to be terminated and to circuitry for automatically effecting the termination.

In the abovereferenced application, Ser. No. 612,995, a method and apparatus for the rapid charging of batteries is disclosed and claimed. The battery is progressively charged by applying a charging current during at least a portion of a charging interval and selectively discharging the battery during at least a portion of a discharging interval interspersed with the charging intervals. By discharging the battery to depolarize it, it is possible to apply a much larger current to the battery during charging even as the full charge condition is approached. As a result, the time required to fully charge a battery can be dramatically shortened. A battery parameter, such as temperature, pressure or voltage, is sensed during each charging interval and the battery is discharged to depolarize it when the sensed parameter reaches a selected value. This rapid charging technique is especially useful for charging sealed batteries because the gasses that evolve during charging are trapped within the cell. The rate of evolution of these gasses is in general proportional to the charging rate. Thus, in the absence of depolarization, the charging current is limited by the gas pressure and heat that the battery casing is capable of withstanding. Repeated depolarization of the battery between charging intervals appears to prevent the evolution of gasses.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention is concerned with the termination of the rapid charging operation. It has been discovered that the terminal characteristics of the battery being charged reflect the magnitude of charge in the battery, i.e., the extent to which the battery is fully charged. Accordingly, one or more of these terminal characteristics of the battery is monitored as the battery is rapid charged. In one aspect of the invention, the rapid charging operation is manually terminated when the monitored terminal characteristic assumes a predetermined value. In an alternative aspect of the invention, the rapid charging operation is automatically terminated by electrical circuitry that is responsive to the monitored terminal characteristic.

Exemplary of the terminal characteristics of the battery that reflect the magnitude of charge are the average discharge current per unit time, the energy released during a discharge interval as compared to the energy introduced into the battery during the adjacent charging interval, the terminal voltage of the battery an increment of time after discharge current begins to flow in the discharge interval, and the frequency of the discharge intervals.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The above and other features and advantages of the present invention may be understood more clearly and fully upon consideration of the following specification and drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram broadly depicting an arrangement for manually or automatically terminating the rapid charging operation of a battery;

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram partially in block form of an arrangement for automatically terminating the rapid charging operation of a battery responsive to the average current during discharge;

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram partially in block form of an arrangement for automatically terminating the rapid charging operation of a battery responsive to the terminal voltage of the battery during discharge;

FIG. 4 is a graph depicting the terminal voltage of a battery during discharge for different states of charge of the battery;

FIGS. 5 and 6 are schematic diagrams, partially in block form, of alternative arrangements to the automatic terminating circuitry of FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram of a specific application of the automatic terminating circuitry of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a schematic diagram partially in block form of an automatic arrangement for terminating the rapid charging of a battery responsive to the energy released during a discharge interval; and

FIG. 9 is a schematic diagram partially in block form of an arrangement for automatically terminating the rapid charging of a battery responsive to the frequency of the discharge interval.

DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS In FIG. 1, circuitry for charging a battery 1 is shown. A charging source 2 is connected to battery 1 through control circuitry 3 by a source switch 4. Charging source 2 could be direct current or alternating current which is appropriately rectified by control circuitry 3. Source switch 4 could be either an electrical or a manual switch. As disclosed in the above-referenced applications, Ser. No. 612,995 and Ser. No. 867,838, concurrently filed herewith, control circuitry 3 repeatedly carried out the following steps with regard to battery 1: supplies a charging current from source 2 to battery 1; monitors the terminal voltage, temperature or pressure of battery 1 while it is charging; and applies a discharge path when the monitored parameter assumes a selected value. The circuit arrangement disclosed in FIG. 7 of application Ser. No. 6l2,995 could serve as control circuitry 3 if source 2 is a continuous direct-current source. If source 2 is alternating current, the circuit arrangement disclosed in the concurrently filed application Ser. No. 867,838 entitled RAPID CHARG- ING OF BATTERIES could serve as control circuitry 3. A battery terminal characteristic sensor 5 can be connected by a switch 6 either in series or in parallel with battery 1. When contacts 7 and 8 of switch 6 are closed, as illustrated in FIG. 1, sensor 5 is connected in parallel with battery 1, and, therefore, monitors the terminal voltage of battery I. When alternative contacts 9 and 10 of switch 6 are closed, sensor 5 is connected in series with battery 1 and monitors the terminal current of battery 1. Basically, switch 6 is utilized in FIG. 1 to depict sensor 5 in broad terms. In any one particular embodiment of the invention, sensor 5 would ordinarily only monitor a single terminal characteristic of battery 1. The terminal characteristics of battery I vary and, therefore, reflect the magnitude of charge on battery I as the rapid charging operation proceeds. A feedback link 11 from sensor 5 to source switch 4 and an indicator 12 is represented schematically in FIG. 1. If source switch 4 is manual switch, feedback link ll includes a human being who reads the value of the monitored terminal characteristic from indicator 12 and manually opens switch 4 when the monitored termination characteristic assumes a predetermined value indicating that battery 1 has reached the desired charge state. On the other hand, if switch 4 is an electric switch, sensor 5 generates an actuating signal that is electrically coupled by feedback link 11 to source 4 to open it. Thus, according to the invention, a terminal characteristic of battery 1 is monitored by sensor 5 and the rapid charging operation is terminated by opening source switch 4 or by some other means, such as switching a high impedance in the charge current path to reduce the charge current to a trickle charge level, after the monitored terminal characteristic assumes a predetermined value which indicates that battery 1 is fully charged or at least has some desired magnitude ofcharge.

In FIG. 2, an arrangement is shown that monitors a particular terminal characteristic of battery 1, namely, the average current per unit time. A circuit breaker 20 is connected between charging source 2 and circuitry 3. When the average current through a winding 21 exceeds a predetermined value, circuit breaker 20 opens, thereby terminating the rapidcharging operation. In this embodiment of the invention, contact 9 is closed and battery 1 is connected in series with winding 21 and a normally open contact A which constitutes the average discharge current sensor. An alternative circuit path is also provided between control circuit 3 and battery 1 through normally closed contact A,. Contacts A and A are controlled by a relay winding that forms a part of control circuitry 3. If the circuit arrangement disclosed in FIG. 7 of application Ser. No 612,995 is employed, winding W, would control contacts A and A The relay winding that controls contacts A and A is energized during each discharge interval and is deenergized during each charging interval. Thus, during each charging interval, battery 1 is directly connected through contact A to control circuitry 3, and during each discharge interval, battery 1 is connected to the average discharge current sensor through contact A and winding 21. As previously stated, the

charging intervals last until the terminal voltage, temperature,

. or pressure of battery 1 reaches a selected value. As a magnitude of charge on the battery increases in the course of the rapid charging operation, the discharge pulses occur more frequently. Thus, the current flowing through winding 21 per unit time increases and reaches a predetermined value cor responding to a selected charge condition of battery 1 and circuit breaker 20 opens and the rapid charging operation terminutes.

In FIG. 3, a circuit arrangement is shown for automatically terminating the rapid charging operation, when the terminal voltage of battery 1, a certain increment of time after the start of the discharge current in the discharge interval, assumes a predetermined value. FIG. 4 is a graph that represents the terminal voltage of battery I as a function of time upon the application of a discharge path and, thus, during discharge of the battery during the charging process. In this graph, the start of the discharge pulse occurs at time T,. If the charging circuits of FIG. 7 or FIG. 10 of our concurrently filed application Ser. No. 867,838 are employed as the charging source 2 and control circuitry 3 in FIG. 3, the terminal voltage at time of discharge begins from substantially the same value at time T and decays at a rate that depends upon the condition of charge on battery 1. Specifically, the rate of decay decreases as the magnitude of charge on battery 1 increases. Thus, the value of the terminal voltage of battery 1 after discharge for an increment of time T increases with the magnitude of charge.

As represented in FIG. 3, battery 1 is connected to control circuitry 3 through contact 7 and a normally open contact A and a relay winding W in series are connected to control circuitry 3 through contact 8. Contact A is controlled by the same relay in control circuitry 3 as contact A in the arrangement of FIG. 2. A Zener diode 30 and a current limiting resistor 31 in series are connected across battery 1 through a normally open contact B. Winding 21, silicon-controlled rectifier 23, and current limiting resistor 24 are also connected across battery 1 by contact].

Relay W, is of the delay operation type. In GIG E5535;

closure of contact B is delayed by the time increment T -T after the closure of contact A The junction of Zener diode 30 and resistor 31 are connected to the control terminal of controlled rectifier 23. As battery 1 is charging, controlled rectifier 23 is nonconductive. Each time that contact A closes during a discharge interval, contact B closes a short increment of time thereafter (at time T in FIG. 4) to impress the terminal voltage of battery 1 across Zener diode 30 and resistor 31 in series. When battery 1 becomes fully charged or attains the selected charge state, its terminal voltage impressed across Zener diode 30 and resistor 31 when contact Beloses, exceeds the Zener voltage of diode 30, thereby causing current to flow through resistor 31. As current flows through resistor 31, a positive voltage is impressed on the control terminal of controlled rectifier 23, thereby firing it. As a result, sufficicnt cur rent flows from battery 1 through winding 21 to open the contact of circuit breaker 20 to terminate the rapid charging operation. Also, upon the opening of breaker 20, relay contact A opens thereby preventing unnecessary discharge of charged battery 1.

FIG. 5 discloses a modification of the arrangement of FIG. 3, in which a one-shot or monostable multivibrator 32 is substituted for delayed-operate relay W,,. Resistors 33 and 34 and contact A are connected across battery I. The trigger input of multivibrator 32 is coupled at the junction of resistors 33 and 34 and the output of multivibrator 32 is coupled to the junction of Zener diode 30 and resistor 31. The junction of winding 21 and Zener diode 30 is connected to the junction of Contact A and resistor 33. When contact A closes at the beginning of each discharge interval, current from battery 1 flows through resistors 33 and 34, thereby triggering multivibrator 31 into its semistable state for the time increment Tr 1. When multivibrator 32 is in its semistable state, its output terminal is at a negative potential. Therefore, controlled rectifier 23 is not able to fire regardless of the terminal voltage of battery 1. After the time increment, multivibrator 32 returns to its stable state in which the potential at its output terminal is positive. If the terminal voltage of battery 1 is sufficiently high at this -p'oint in time (i.e., T in FIG. 4), controlled rectifier 23 fires and the contact of circuit breaker 20 opens to terminate the rapid charging operation.

FIG. 6 discloses an alternative modification of the arrangement of FIG. 3, in which a delay circuit 39 is substituted for delayed operate relay W Delay circuit 39 is coupled across load resistor 40, which is placed in circuit across battery I as the discharge path upon the closing of relay contact A which is in series across battery 1 with resistor 40. Delay circuit 39 includes a resistor 41 in series with the parallel combination of a capacitor 42 and a resistor 43. The voltage level sensing circuit of Zener diode 30 and resistor 31 is connected across capacitor 42.

When contact A closes at the beginning of each discharge interval, current from battery 1 flows through resistor 41 and begins to charge capacitor 42. At the end of each discharge pulse, and the opening of contact A capacitor 42 discharges through resistor 43 in parallel with the series combination of resistors 41 and 40. As the charge on the battery increases, and the terminal voltage during discharge increases, the capacitor 42 attempts to charge to this higher voltage.

The voltage across capacitor 42 is impressed across Zener diode 30 and resistor 31. When the capacitor voltage exceeds the Zener voltage of diode 30, current will flow through resistor 31 and the gate-cathode junction of controlled rectifier 23 to trigger it on. As a result sufficient current fiows from battery 1 through winding 21 to open the contact of circuit breaker 20 to terminate the rapid charging operation. Alternatively, if the response time of the voltage sensing circuit or elements such as Zener diode 30, is sufficiently slow, the delay networks may be eliminated.

It is sometimes desirable to apply a trickle charge at the end of the rapid charging operation. A circuit for applying a trickle charge is shown in FIG. 7. The source 2 and control circuitry 3 of FIG. 10 of the above-mentioned concurrently filed application Ser. No. 867,838 is employed in FIG. 7 is conjunction with the battery terminal voltage sensor of FIG. 6. In place of winding 21 a relay winding W is used to control the termination of rapid charge. Additionally, a controlled rectifier in series with a current limiting resistor 50 and a secondary winding 66 of FIG. 7 takes the place of relay contact A and load resistor 40 of FIG. 6 herein.

The operation of the control circuitry of FIG. 7 is set out in detail in the above-mentioned concurrently filed application and is incorporated herein by this reference as though set out in full herein.

This circuit is modified by the addition of a normally open relay contact C between the gate and cathode of controlled rectifier 70. Upon the closing of this contact the rectifier 70 will thereafter be prevented from turning on to present its low resistance path for passage of charge current. However, a low value charge current will flow through the higher resistance path of diode 75 and resistors 76 and 77 to trickle charge the battery 1 after termination of rapid charge. The closing of relay contact C takes place as follows: Upon the firing of controlled rectifier 80, the terminal voltage of battery 1 will be cf fectively applied to the terminal characteristic sensor for operation of controlled rectifier 23 in response to the attainment of a particular terminal voltage associated with a selected state of charge for the battery 1. The firing of controlled rectifier 23 permits sufficient current to flow through relay winding W to energize this relay and to close contact C Also upon the energization of winding W contact C opens to take the secondary winding 66 out of the circuit so that controlled rectifiers 23 and 80 will remain forward biased by battery 1. Thus, winding W will remain energized to keep relay contact C closed for continued trickle charge.

In FIG. 8, a circuit arrangement is shown in which the rapid charging operation is automatically terminated responsive to the energy released from battery 1 during a discharge interval when compared to the energy putting in during the adjacent charge interval. As the rapid charging operation proceeds, the energy put into battery 1 during the charging intervals decreases and the energy released from battery 11 during the discharging intervals increases until the energy put into battery 1 and the energy released from battery 1 on successive charging and discharging intervals is the same. when this equilibrium occurs, battery 1 is fully charged. in FIG. 3, a resistor 90 is connected in series with battery 1 and contact 9. The voltage across resistor 90 is the input of a bridge network 91. The legs of bridge network 91 are formed by diodes 92 and 93 connected at their junction to one end of resistor 90 and parallel resistance-capacitance circuits 945 and 95 connected at their junction to the other end of resistor 90. The end terminals of a potentiometer 96 are coupled across the output of bridge 91. ln other words, thejunction of diode 92 and circuit 94 is connected to one end terminal of potentiometer 96 and the junction of circuit 95 and diode 93 is connected to the other end terminal of potentiometer 96. The slider arm of potentiometer 96 is directly connected to the control terminal of controlled rectifier 23. During charging intervals, current from charging source 2 flows through diode 93 to charge circuit 95. During the discharge intervals, current from battery 1 flows through diode 92 to charge circuit 941. Thus, the voltage across circuit 95 is proportional to the energy put into battery 1 during the charging intervals, and the voltage across circuit 94 is proportional to the energy released from battery 1 during the discharge intervals. When the voltage across circuit 95 and voltage across circuit 94 are equal, bridge 91 is balanced. The slider arm of potentiometer 96 is adjusted to provide a trigger voltage for controlled rectifier 23 at this condition, thereby opening the contact of circuit breaker and terminating the rapid charging operation. Under some conditions, it may be desirable in the interest of time to terminate the rapid charging operation before the equilibrium condition is reached. ln such case, the slider arm of potentiometer 96 is adjusted to fire controlled rectifier 23 at some other ratio of energy in during one or more charge intervals to energy out during one or more discharge intervals while charging battery 1. The termination of the rapid charging operation on the basis of energy release has the advantage over the termination on the basis of other terminal characteristics in that the same predetermined value, namely, equality of energy out with the energy put into the battery is valid for all types of batteries. When the rapid charging operation is terminated on the basis of other terminal characteristics, such an average discharge current, terminal voltage a certain increment of time after the start of discharge, or the frequency of the discharge intervals, the predetermined value at which the operation is terminated depends upon the type of battery being charged. Thus, the parameters of the circuit arrangements might have to be ad justed to accommodate different batteries.

In F 10. 9, a circuit arrangement is shown that automatically terminates the rapid charge operation responsive to the frequency of the discharge intervals. Charging source 2 is connected to control circuit 3 by a circuit breaker 20 having contacts that open responsive to the passage of current through a winding 21. Battery 1 is connected to control circuitry 3 through contact 9 and a frequency sensor 22, which produces a voltage in response to a selected frequency of the pulses of the discharge current from battery 1. Winding 21, a siliconcontrolled rectifier 23, and a current-limiting resistor 24 are connected in series across battery 1. The control terminal of silicon-controlled rectifier 23 is connected to the output of frequency sensor 22. Control circuit 3 is also directly connected to battery 1 through a normally closed relay contact A the same as battery 1 in FIG. 2 herein. During the charging intervals, contact A is closed to provide a direct path between control circuit 3 and battery 1 that bypasses frequency sensor 22. During the discharge intervals, frequency sensor 22 forrhs the sole path between control circuitry 3 and battery 1. As battery 1 is charged, control rectifier 23 remains nonconducting. When the frequency of discharge intervals reaches a predetermined value that corresponds to a selected charge state of battery 1, the output of frequency sensor 22 provides a sufficient voltage to fire controlled rectifier 23. As a result, sufficient current from battery 1 flows through winding 21 to open the contact of circuit breaker 20 and terminate the rapid charging operation.

What is claimed is: 1. A method comprising the steps of: rapid charging a battery by imposing an increasing charge on the battery by charging the battery during a plurality of charging intervals, and providing battery discharge intervals interspersed with said charging intervals; and causing the duration of intervals of said charging to diminish as said charge in said battery increases:

monitoring a terminal characteristic of the battery during the rapid charging step; and

terminating the rapid charging step when the monitored terminal characteristic of the battery assumes a predetermined value. 2. A mcthod comprising the steps of: rapid charging a battery by charging the battery during a plurality of charging intervals, and providing battery discharge intervals interspersed with said charging intervals; causing the frequency of said discharging intervals to increase as said charge on said battery increases;

monitoring a terminal characteristic of the battery during the rapid charging step; and

terminating the rapid charging step when the monitored terminal characteristic of the battery assumes a predetermined value.

3. A method comprising the steps of:

rapid charging a battery by imposing an increasing charge on the battery by charging the battery during a plurality of charging intervals, and discharging the battery during discharging intervals interspersed with said charging intervals, effecting said charging with charge current exceeding the nominal one-hour rate of the cells of said battery; and by maintaining the duration of each interval of charging as a function of a condition of said battery; and in response to a predetermined battery condition, causing the duration of intervals of said charging to diminish as said charging and discharging progresses;

monitoring a terminal characteristic of the battery during the rapid charging step; and

terminating the rapid charging step when the monitored terminal characteristic of the battery assumes a predetermined value.

4. A method comprising the steps of rapid charging a battery by charging the battery during a plurality of charging intervals, and discharging the battery during discharging intervals interspersed with said charging intervals, effecting said charging with charge current exceeding the nominal one-hour rate of the cells of said battery; maintaining the duration of each interval of charging as a function of a condition of said battery; in response to a predetermined battery condition, causing the frequency of said discharging intervals to increase as said charging and discharging progresses as said battery increases;

monitoring a terminal characteristic of the battery during the rapid charging step; and

terminating the rapid charging step when the monitored terminal characteristic of the battery assumes a predetermined value.

5. A method comprising the steps of:

rapid charging a battery by charging the battery during a plurality of charging intervals, and providing battery discharge intervals interspersed with said charging intervals: causing the frequency of said discharging intervals to increase as said charge on said battery increases: causing the duration of intervals of said charging to diminish as said charge on said battery increases: and causing the quotient of the duration of a charging interval divided by the duration of a succeeding discharging interval to diminish as said charge on said battery increases:

monitoring a terminal characteristic of the battery during the rapid charging step: and

terminating the rapid charging step when the monitored terminal characteristic of the battery assumes a predetermined value.

6. A method comprising the steps of:

rapid charging a battery by charging the battery during a plurality of charging intervals, and discharging the battery during discharging intervals interspersed with said charging intervals, effecting said charging with charge current exceeding the nominal one-hour rate of the cells of said battery; maintaining the duration of each interval of charging as a function of a condition of said battery; in response to a predetermined battery condition causing the frequency of the intervals of discharging to increase as said charging and discharging progresses; in response to said predetermined battery condition, causing the duration of intervals of said charging to diminish as said charging and discharging progresses; and in response to said predetermined battery condition, causing the quotient of the duration of a charging interval divided by the duration of a succeeding discharging interval to diminish as said charging and discharging progresses;

monitoring a terminal characteristic of the battery during the rapid charging step; and

terminating the rapid charging step when the monitored terminal characteristic of the battery assumes a predetermined value.

7. A method of rapid charging batteries comprising the steps of:

applying a charging current at an optimum rate for the size, structure, and materials of the battery, whereby the parameters of terminal voltage, pressure, and temperature of the battery change;

sensing the change in one of the parameters;

interrupting the charging current and depolarizing the battery by discharging at a high rate in response to the occurrence of a preselected value in the sensed parameter;

monitoring a terminal characteristic of the battery; and

repeating the above steps until the monitored terminal characteristic of the battery assumes a predetermined value.

8. A circuit arrangement comprising:

a source of charging current;

a battery to be charged;

means for sensing the change in the voltage, temperature, or

pressure of the battery during charge;

means responsive to the occurrence of a preselected value of the sensed parameter for interconnecting the source and the battery so as to alternately apply charging current from the source to the battery and to depolarize the batter a swit ch connected between the source and the battery such that when the switch is closed the battery is alternately charged and depolarized through the interconnecting means and when the switch is open the charging source is out of circuit with the battery;

means for sensing a terminal characteristic of the battery;

and

means responsive to the sensing means for opening the switch when the sensed terminal characteristic of the battery assumes a predetermined value. I

9. The circuit arrangement of claim 8, in which the interconnecting means depolarizes the battery by discharging it.

10. The circuit arrangement of claim 8, in which the sensing means senses the average discharge current of the battery.

11. The circuit arrangement of claim 8, in which the sensing means senses the energy released from the battery during discharge.

12. The circuit arrangement of claim 11, in which the predetermined value of the energy released by the battery during discharge is a selected percentage of the energy put into the battery during the adjacent charging interval.

13. The circuit arrangement of claim 12, in which the sensing means is a bridge circuit connected in series with the battery, first and second diodes form two legs of the bridge circuit;

first and second resistance-capacitance circuits form the other two legs of the bridge circuit;

the junction of the first and second diodes and the junction of the first and second resistance-capacitance circuits are connected in series with the battery;

the first diode is poled such that the first resistancecapacitance circuit charges while charging current is applied through the interconnecting means to the battery;

the second diode being poled such that the second resistance-capacitance circuit charges while the battery is discharged through the interconnecting means; and

the means for opening the switch is responsive to the voltage between thejunction of the first diode and the first resistance-capacitance circuit and the junction of the second diode and second resistance-capacitance circuit.

14. The circuit arrangement of claim 13, in which a resistor is provided having end terminals and an intermediate terminal, one end terminal of the resistor is connected to the junction of the first diode and the first resistance-capacitance circuit, the other end terminal of the resistor is connected to the junction of the second diode and the second resistancecapacitance circuit, and the means for opening the switch is responsive to the voltage between the intermediate terminal of the resistor and the junction of the first and second resistancecapacitance circuits.

15. The circuit arrangement of claim 14, in which the resistor is a potentiometer and the intermediate terminal is movable between the end terminals of the potentiometer.

16. The circuit arrangement of claim 8, in which the means for opening the switch is responsive to the terminal voltage of the battery a certain interval of time after the start of discharge.

17. The circuit arrangement of claim 8, in which the means for opening the switch is responsive to the frequency of the discharge of the battery.

18. A circuit arrangement comprising a circuit for rapidly charging a battery by alternately applying charge current at a rate in excess of the normal one-hour rate of the cells of the battery and discharging the battery, the rapid charging circuit comprising a direct-current source for supplying charging current coupled to the battery to be charged, means associated with the battery for sensing the change in one of the parameters of the battery that varies during the application of charging current, and means responsive to the sensing means for applying a discharge path across the battery for an interval of time between the application of charge current to the battery; means for sensing a terminal characteristic of the battery, and means responsive to the terminal-characteristic sensing means to terminate the rapid charging of the battery.

19. A method comprising the steps of rapid charging a battery by imposing an increasing charge on the battery by applying a charging current in excess of the nominal one-hour rate of the cells of the battery, and intermittently discharging the battery with the discharging becoming more frequent with time; monitoring a terminal characteristic of the battery during the rapid charging step; and terminating the rapid charging step when the monitored terminal characteristic of the battery assumes a predetermined value.

20. The method of claim 19 in which the monitored terminal characteristic is the average current during discharge.

21. The method of claim 19 in which the monitored terminal characteristic is the energy released from the battery during discharge.

22. The method of claim 21 in which the predetermined value of the energy released by the battery during discharge is a preselected percentage of the energy put into the battery during the application of the charging current thereto during the preceding charge interval.

23. The method of claim 1 in which the monitored terminal characteristic is the terminal voltage of the battery a predetermined time after the start of each discharging of the battery during the rapid charge step.

24. The method of claim 19 in which the monitored terminal characteristic is the frequency of discharging of the battery.

25. A method comprising the steps of charging a battery by applying a charging current above a first selected level to the battery whereby the parameters of terminal voltage, temperature, and pressure of the battery change; sensing the change in one of the parameters, and intermittently, in response to the attainment of a preselected value of the sensed parameter, depolarizing the battery by reversing the current through the battery; monitoring terminal characteristic of the battery during the charging step; and terminating the charging step when the monitored terminal characteristic of the battery assumes a predetermined value.

26. The method of claim 25 in which the monitored terminal characteristic is the average current during depolarization.

27. The method of claim 25 in which the monitored terminal characteristic is the energy released from the battery during depolarization.

28. The method of claim 27 in which the predetermined value of the energy released by the battery during depolarization is a preselected percentage of the energy put into the battery during the application of the charging current thereto during the preceding charge interval.

29. The method of claim 25 in which the monitored terminal characteristic is the terminal voltage of the battery a preselected increment of time after the start of each depolarizing of the battery during the charging step where the charging current is above the first selected level.

30. The method of claim 25 in which the monitored terminal characteristic is the frequency of depolarizing of the battery.

31. A method comprising the steps of rapid charging a battery by alternately charging with a charge current exceeding the nominal one-hour rate of the cells of the battery and discharging the battery to attain an increasing charge on the battery; monitoring a terminal characteristic of the battery during the rapid charging step; and terminating the rapid charging step when the monitored terminal characteristic of the battery assumes a predetermined value.

@22 3 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 03 D t d September 28, 1971 Inventor( flilfiggd B Buflggt; end Robeg; V, Jgckson It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 2, line 69, after "source" insert --switch--. Column 6, line 40, change the colon to a semicolon. Column 7, line 21., change the colon to a semicolon; Column 7, line 29, change the colon to a semicolon. Column 9 line 25, change "1" to --19--. Column 16, line 4, after "monitoring" insert --a--.

Signed and sealed this 28th day of March 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.F1'.|ETCHER,J'R. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3727074 *13 Aug 197110 Apr 1973Bosch Gmbh RobertSwitching arrangement responsive to electrical charge
US4740739 *10 Feb 198726 Apr 1988Premier Engineered Products CorporationBattery charging apparatus and method
US4857419 *19 Jan 198815 Aug 1989Kabushiki Kaisha MeidenshaMethod of operating zinc-halogen secondary battery
US5103156 *21 Dec 19907 Apr 1992Dallas Semiconductor CorporationBattery manager chip with differential temperature sensing
US5151644 *21 Dec 199029 Sep 1992Dallas Semiconductor CorporationBattery manager chip with crystal-controlled time base
US5225762 *29 Apr 19916 Jul 1993George LangfordBattery management system
US5254931 *1 Apr 199119 Oct 1993Nokia Mobile Phones Ltd.Battery charging apparatus in a portable electronic apparatus
US5396163 *11 Sep 19927 Mar 1995Inco LimitedBattery charger
US5469043 *14 Jul 199421 Nov 1995Gnb Battery Technologies Inc.Method for optimizing the charging of lead-acid batteries and an interactive charger
US5477125 *11 Sep 199219 Dec 1995Inco LimitedBattery charger
US5514945 *5 Jul 19947 May 1996Dallas Semiconductor CorporationBattery charging systems
US5583416 *26 Jan 199410 Dec 1996Gnb Battery Technologies, Inc.Apparatus and method for step-charging batteries to optimize charge acceptance
US5589757 *7 Jun 199531 Dec 1996Gnb Battery Technologies, Inc.Apparatus and method for step-charging batteries to optimize charge acceptance
US5633574 *18 Jan 199427 May 1997Sage; George E.Pulse-charge battery charger
US5644210 *28 Dec 19951 Jul 1997Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Charging control method and circuit of recharging battery
US5656920 *19 Apr 199512 Aug 1997Gnb Battery Technologies, Inc.Method and apparatus for charging a lead-acid battery
US6094033 *2 Oct 199825 Jul 2000Georgia Tech Research CorporationBattery state of charge detector with rapid charging capability and method
US6229285 *5 Apr 20008 May 2001Georgia Tech Research CorporationDetector for rapid charging and method
US64959922 Apr 199717 Dec 2002Norvik Traction Inc.Method and apparatus for charging batteries utilizing heterogeneous reaction kinetics
US72211256 Nov 200322 May 2007Y. DingSystem and method for charging a battery
US7388352 *12 Sep 200617 Jun 2008Research In Motion LimitedMethods and apparatus for simultaneously charging multiple rechargeable batteries
Classifications
U.S. Classification320/129, 320/DIG.170, 320/152
International ClassificationH02J7/04, H02J7/00
Cooperative ClassificationY10S320/17, H02J7/0093
European ClassificationH02J7/00M10E