Battery Analyzer for RC Power
eliminating the need to adjust the test voltage to a safe
level for the ADC input. A different test-load using paralleled power resistors designed for the desired load current
would be needed to support this option. The program does
not double the measurement to obtain a true voltage for
one cell like it does for six cells, so a voltage divider will
yield incorrect data.
It is assumed that anyone attempting to build this type
of project has the knowledge needed to safely implement
the information outlined in this article. When working with
high performance batteries that are capable of delivering
high currents, several hazards exist such as explosion,
burns, fire, equipment damage, etc. I never leave a pack
that is being tested unattended. I frequently touch the pack
to check if it is getting too hot. The danger is relatively low
— especially if you monitor the pack’s temperature — but it
is something to be mindful of.
Figure 9. Data table.
This project can be easily modified to provide a solution for many different types of control applications. I wish
I had the time to explore all the great ideas that popped
into my head during the development of the project. At a
minimum, I would like to expand the system to eight channels with temperature monitoring capabilities. Having
multiple channels would allow several single-cell tests to
happen at the same time. Battery packs can be assembled
using cells that have similar discharge-curves making what
is called in the battery industry “matched cells.” It is fun
seeing my old and destined-to-be-recycled computer doing
some “real work”
outside its box. A
lot of processing power is not necessary, so don’t throw
away those ancient computers. The outdated hardware
can still earn its keep by making your life easier through
About the Author
I currently work for an area hospital as a PBX administrator. My
experience with computer automation comes from several years of
working for an electronics assembly manufacturer doing test-fixture
design. Employment trends forced me from what I enjoy doing most,
but I still find time to satisfy the urge to control something. I can be
reached at email@example.com
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