Li-Ion a Li-Polymer cells are becoming a No.1 choice for many applications, where they persuade by high energy density, low weight, low self-discharge and for majority of applications also by their favorable flat shape (Li-Po). Their price is also affordable (in regard to their properties) and so there´s usually only one “difficulty” – to solve charging, or more exactly – overall management of these cells. Basic principles were highlighted to you in our article “Try the most favourite types of batteries”. To reach a maximum cell lifetime, it´s also advisable to use initial (preconditioning) slow charging and also important is a proper charging termination as well as repeated recharging after reaching a certain degree of discharge.
It´s obvious, that to construct such a circuit from discrete components would be possible, but impractical, bulky and expensive. That´s why there are various charging controllers on the market and in many cases a single chip solution is an ideal solution. This is also a case of MCP73831 chip – a fully integrated linear charging controller. If you use only a single cell and maximum charging current of 500mA is sufficient for you, then MCP73831 will meet all requirements for a quality and safe recharging solution. MCP73831 has integrated output (FET) transistor, current sensing and reverse discharge protection.