Canadian-Made Device to Extend Battery Life, Protect from Overcharging

By: Lee Rickwood

July 31, 2023

It’s said one that of the most important ways to extend battery life is to avoid overcharging.

Overcharging – and resultant reduced battery life – can happen if a portable device or battery is left plugged into a charger, even after full charge has been reached. Even proper charging can slightly degrade lithium-ion batteries each time they’re charged (and pushed to the max 100 per cent power level each time).  In extreme cases, battery bloating and possibly dangerous battery expansion can result from constant overcharging.

Sure, use the built-in power management tools that are often part of a device’s operating software. Yes, disconnect chargers and devices with rechargeable batteries after the battery reaches full charge (if you’re not sleeping at the time).

But also consider an inexpensive dedicated overcharge protection device that can extend battery life, one designed and manufactured by a Canadian company.

Charge-Check with cable

Charge-Check is a simple plug-and-play adapter, compatible with most USB charging port equipped-devices.

From its approximately 26,000 square feet of factory and office space in Toronto, LAVA Computer Inc., develops a variety of digital connectivity solutions and battery protection technology.

Its consumer-focused Charge-Check is an overcharge protection gadget that’s used to periodically top-up a device’s battery; it supports the battery charging cycle as it monitors the battery and device until sufficiently topped up, using what the manufacturer calls Continuously Active Battery Modulation (CABM).

Charge-Check is a simple plug-and-play adapter, compatible with most USB charging port equipped-devices.

The default setting has Charge-Check monitoring the charge level of a device using CABM; if needed, it will allow the battery to be charged until sufficiently topped-up, to a maximum of four hours.

line grid shows battery discharge rates

Many reports say li-ion batteries do not need to be fully charged. In fact, it is better not to because a high voltage can stress the battery, leading to possible lessening of its overall capacity over time.

At this point, Charge-Check will stop charging for a fixed length of time, the timeout default being three hours, before attempting to top-up the battery again if needed. Lithium-ion batteries are proven to last longer when the battery’s charge percentage is kept in the 50-60 percent charge zone, according to LAVA; another online resource, Battery University, recommends that nickel- and lithium-based batteries be stored even lower, at a 40 percent charge level, as a way to minimize age-related capacity loss while keeping the battery in good operating condition and allowing for self-discharge.

Charge control and protection circuitry can protect batteries by either sensing the temperature of the battery (charging current going into a full battery is not stored as energy but dissipated as heat) or a combination of temperature and voltage, often measured to the millivolt. Many charging protocols drop from a high charge rate to a very low one, but few suspend the charging cycle entirely and monitor it regularly, as does the Charge-Check.

LAVA Computer was founded in 1984 by Roman Wynnyckyj who, in addition to being president and CEO, also serves as chief engineer.

functioin button on Charge Check device

All settings on the Charge-Check device are access through a button push-and-hold procedure, and confirmed via LED.

Overseeing new product ideas, roadmap development, hardware design, PCB layout and more, Wynnyckyj has described CABM a plug-and-play battery modulation technology built into LAVA’s u Series family of adapters. Designed to improve the longevity of mobile devices, including phones, tablets, speakers, cameras, controllers and other devices that may be on charge for long periods of time, CABM protects lithium-ion batteries from overcharging and swelling.

The Continuously Active Battery Modulation used in LAVA-developed products like the Charge Check are spun-off from larger-scale B2B technologies the company has also developed. In a way, Charge Check acts as a technology demonstrator for LAVA, as CABM is used in anything from continuously operating point-of-sale displays to military aircraft demanding the most secure and reliable power sources.

For those just charging a smartphone (as many of us do, every night, all night) Charge-Check has a handy advanced setting (all settings on the device are access through a button push-and-hold procedure, and confirmed via LED) that enables Night Mode – the illuminated pulse of the LED that confirms charging is suspended, so you can sleep more restfully in the dark!


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