Good Power Management and Battery Operated Environments

Power management can become a challenge when you are using a battery power source. A number of factors are involved and the battery is just one of them. We have already discussed in a previous post how there are two kinds of batteries- primary batteries and secondary batteries. Embedded engineers must be familiar with all kinds of batteries and their peculiar uses. Custom power supplies also fall in this category.

Primary batteries are usually made of carbon, zinc, lithium, and alkaline. These batteries are usually alkaline. You can find these batteries in electric shavers, remote controllers, cameras and electronic calculators. The common attributes of these devices are low self-discharge, larger battery and current capacity, low internal resistance and finally, low cost of replacement.

Secondary batteries usually contain NiCd, sealed lead acid, Lithium-Polymer, and Li-Ion. For instance, your car battery is a secondary battery. These batteries are also used in portable applications, especially those where weight is a factor.

These batteries are also used to power invertors, power tools, cellular phones and others. In power management, you have a number of options such as low dropout regulators, charge pumps and switched power convertors. The power supply management circuit can be implemented using discrete components or by combining integrated circuits with discrete components. A custom power supply may be the best option in this case.