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Lead Acid Battery Balancer

Mark Vitunic - Design Manager Mar 31st 2015

Active balancing of series connected battery stacks exists for many common battery chemistries, but up until now not for lead acid. Skepticism abounds as to the need and benefit of active balancing for lead acid batteries but this skepticism is misplaced. As this video will show, series-connected lead acid batteries do require balancing and the LTC3305 is the best solution for both extending battery life and increasing run-time performance.

Balancing lower voltage chemistries such as Li-Ion and LiFePO4 requires a complex power conversion architecture, ultra-high-precision voltage monitoring, and a software-based algorithm for highest performance. Such a system can be built using Linear Technology’s LTC3300 active balancer and LTC6804 monitor ICs. Lead acid batteries on the other hand, can be balanced with a much simpler architecture. The LTC3305, coupled with a handful of external components, is a completely stand-alone solution. No separate voltage monitor, microprocessor, or software algorithm is required.

Battery stacks of 2, 3, or 4 in series can be balanced with a single LTC3305. For stack heights greater than 4, individual LTC3305’s can themselves be stacked. And interleaving allows for balancing every battery in a high voltage stack up to 100’s or 1000’s of volts. Stacks composed of 6V or 12V nominal batteries are supported.

The LTC3305 is the world’s first and only IC on the market specifically targeted for balancing lead acid batteries.

LTC3305 - PR Photo