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TITLE : SOLAR BATTERY CHARGERS FOR NiMH BATTERIES  
AUTHORS : Flemy Elizabeth Oommen      Srinivasan S            
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.18000/ijies.30126  
ABSTRACT :

Recent technological developments in thin film photovoltaic such as amorphous silicon and hybrid dye sensitized /PV cells are leading to consumer portable solar arrays. These new arrays are lightweight, durable, flexible and achieve power efficiencies of up to 10%. Already, commercial-of-the-shelf arrays exist that have panels embedded in fabric that can be folded to dimensions of less than 12"x 12", yet are able to produce up to 50 Watts of power at 12 V. Older solar battery chargers were primarily developed to recharge gel cell and lead acid batteries. This project proposes new solar battery chargers for NiMH batteries. In parallel with these developments, NiMH and Li-ion batteries are increasingly being used to power various equipment. Currently, the military is field testing solar charging of its batteries with portable solar arrays. However, so far, all known charge control algorithms have failed as they commonly falsely detect overcharge at random times in the charging and leave the battery partially charged. Here, the origins of failure in existing charge control algorithms are studied and adequate algorithms are proposed that would improve the battery charging. Additionally, ways to optimize the generated photovoltaic power is critical for portable solar application as the energy produced is limited. It is known that the use of a DC-DC converter between the solar panel and the load allows optimization of the power delivered by the solar panel when "Maximum Power Point Tracking is utilized. To increase charge speed, a maximum power point tracker is also implemented within the micro-controller of the proposed charger.

 
Index Terms: Charger, PV Pannel, NiMH Battery, Pertutb & Observe method
 
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