sensors manage batteries

Posted on Jul 13, 2012

The circuit in Figure 1 provides a way to check a battery`s condition. Measuring a battery`s voltage is not the best way to check its condition; it`s better to measure the power that the battery delivers in a discharge process to evaluate the battery`s energy capacity and life. The circuit in Figure 1 discharges a battery in a constant-power mode. You can select the level of discharge power. The GMR sensor`s output signal is related to the discharge power. The power stage uses a bipolar Darlington transistor, which draws little power from its op-amp driver. You place the GMR sensor over the pc-board trace that connects the Darlington`s emitter to ground.

Using the GMR sensor in a negative-feedback closed loop, the circuit controls the battery discharge in constant-power mode. The difference amplifier (IC1) converts the sensor`s differential output signal to a unipolar signal; the op amp, IC2, supplie

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