Compact Lightweight Smart Battery Charger

Period of Performance: 11/06/2003 - 02/06/2005

$503K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

NVE Corp. (formerly Nonvolatile Electron
11409 Valley View Rd.
Eden Prairie, MN 55441
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The Objective Force soldier is going to depend heavily on electronic systems, such as the Medium Weight Thermal Weapon Sight and the Land Warrior System, that require rechargeable batteries to supply the necessary power. To support the soldier''s charging needs, a lightweight, compact, versatile charger is needed. The proposed Phase II program will build upon the feasibility demonstration of the Phase I effort, and complete the development of a rugged, lightweight, compact, SMBus compliant, smart charger. The objective of the program is to develop a charger that: weighs less than 1.5 pounds in a volume of less than 50 cubic inches, will operate from either a 24 VDC source or a 100-250 VAC source, will function from -20 to +55 degree Celsius, will be modular and scalable up to 10 units, and will be able to charge a Land Warrior lithium-ion battery in under 3 hours. Completion of the program will result in a qualified, pre-production charger that meets all of these requirements, including intelligent cascading of a minimum of 10 units and a volume of 25 cubic inches. The charger will also meet requirements for environmental ruggedness, including altitude, humidity, thermal shock, vibration, loose cargo, drop, and submersion tests.The versatile power input capability and scalability of the smart charger, coupled with its small size and light weight, will extend the usefulness and operational versatility of electronic systems, such as the Land Warrior system, by providing more opportunity for charging and making it practical for a large number of chargers to be fielded along with the batteries. This capability will be particularly useful in the target application, as well as for other military applications. In the private sector, a scaled down version of this smart charger could find application in laptop and portable tool and equipment markets, where its size and weight make it convenient to carry and its smart capability allows it to charge a variety of different batteries.