Review of / Measurement on Charger module with TP4056 controller

HKJ

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[size=+3]Charger module with TP4056 controller[/size]


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This charger is a very small module for DIY people, it uses the TP4056 controller and standard configuration is with 1A charge current. It does not include any power supply or tray. It did not include any documentation either, just a couple of boards.
The review is about a specific charger module, but any module with the TP4056 will have identical performance.

DSC_0562.jpg
DSC_0563.jpg


I got it in an envelope with 5 circuits on 2 boards and nothing else. The boards is precut and very easy to break apart.
There is some documentation on the sellers ebay page.

DSC_0635.jpg


A close study showed that there was a small difference between the size of the boards.

annotation.jpg


The board needs a 5 volt power supply, this can either be from a mini usb connector or soldered directly to the board.
The "current resistor" can be replaced for other (lower) charge currents, because it is a 0603 size smd resistor (i.e. very small) it can be difficult to replace it.
On my boards I have a blue led for charging and a red led for done.

The charge led will be on when charging and it will be flashing when no battery is connected.
The done led will be on when charging is done or no battery is connected.

DSC_0564.jpg


The backside of the board has some internal connections and the connections points are also accessible here.

DSC_0581.jpg


The board is small, the battery is a AAA battery.

supportedBatteryTypes.png


supportedBatterySizes.png


With the mounted resistor the charger can handle larger batteries, but changing the resistor makes it to possible to charge smaller batteries.




[size=+2]Measurements[/size]

Below 2.85 volt the charger will charge with about 80mA in 1A configuration (blue led is on).
Above 2.85 volt the charger is applying regular charge current (See curve below).
When charger is disconnected from power, but with a battery in, it will draw below 1uA from the battery.
When the charge current goes below the termination current the charging is stopped and it will charge with around 4 uA.
The charger will restart charging when the cell drops to 4.0 volt.
The charger will not restart after a power loss or battery insertion, except if the battery voltage is below 4.0 volt.



ChargerTP4056%20(PS18650-34).png


First test is with a 3400mAh battery, the charger does a good CC/CV, except the change from CC to CV is a bit soft, this increase charge time but has no bad effect on the battery. The charger is also a bit below the 1A current, it only charges with 0.85A.
The CV voltage is slightly below 4.2 volt, that is not surprising, because the datasheet for the TP4056 specify that it can be between 4.137 and 4.263 volt. This chip uses 1/10 of the charge current as termination current.
I added a temperature measurement to the test this time, as can be seen the chip heats up fast and then slowly drops in temperature when the battery voltage increases.

ChargerTP4056%20(PS18650-34)%20Vusb=4.5V.png


Reducing the supply voltage to 4.5 volt, increases the charge time and reduces the temperature, but the final voltage is slightly lower.

ChargerTP4056%20(PS18650-34)%20Vusb=5.5V.png


Increasing the voltage does increase the temperature, but also reduces the current. When the chip gets to hot, it reduces the current.

ChargerTP4056%20(PS18650-34)%20Vusb=5.5V%20HS.png


Here I have added a heatsink to keep the temperature down (Remember electric isolation between PCB and heatsink). It works very well, the temperature is lower than with 5.0 volt supply.

DSC_0609.jpg


The heatsink was just a piece of aluminium under the board with some isolation between.

ChargerTP4056%20(AW16340-IMR).png


My old 16340 IMR cell is also charged without any problems.


[size=+2]Modified resistor[/size]

Replacing the standard 1.2 kohm resistor with a 2.157 kohm reduces the charge current to 470mA.
The resistor is a 0603 SMD resistor, i.e. it is 1.6 x 0.8 mm.

DSC_0637.jpg


Here a 0603 resistor is placed next to an old style quarter watt resistor.


ChargerTP4056%20(PS18650-34)%200.5A.png


Again the charger does a CC/CV charging, because the charge current is lower, the termination current is also lower.

ChargerTP4056%20(ET16340-750)%200.5A.png


A 16340 battery is a more reasonable size to charge with 0.5A.

Replacing the standard 1.2 kohm resistor with a 4.726 kohm reduces the charge current to 210mA.

ChargerTP4056%20(ET16340-750)%200.25A.png


Again I tested with a16340 battery and get a CC/CV curve.



[size=+2]The last and fatal test[/size]

Somebody asked what happen if the battery was connected backwards.
After a fast test I can conclude that it gives smoke and a dead charger module.

DSC_0639.jpg




[size=+2]Conclusion[/size]

The charger has a good CC/CV profile and can be adapted for many different charge configurations, for multichannel operation it is easy to use multiple board, for smaller batteries the resistor can be replaced. When used at 1A it might be a good idea to mount it on a small heatsink (Remember isolation), to avoid any slowdown in charging and keep the temperature down.
I do not like that it is using a mini usb connector, a micro usb connector would have been better (That is the same as used on phones).
I will call it a good charger for DIY projects.



[size=+3]Notes[/size]

I bought the module on ebay from "1984yht888" where it is called "5pcs Mini 5V USB Interface 1A Charging Board Module Charger For Lithium Battery"

The temperature measurements is not the chip temperature and probably not even the surface temperature of the chip (I believe that the probe is affecting the measurement).

Here is an explanation on how I did the above charge curves: How do I test a charger
 
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tobrien

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thanks for reviewing this unique board!

so this is, for lack of a better phrase, a cottonpickers style charger but without the displays and switches?
 

HKJ

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thanks for reviewing this unique board!

so this is, for lack of a better phrase, a cottonpickers style charger but without the displays and switches?

It is just about the same as the cheapest charger from cottonpickers, but his is definitely a better size (usb stick) and you get it ready to use, without needing to do any soldering.
 

march.brown

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It is just about the same as the cheapest charger from cottonpickers, but his is definitely a better size (usb stick) and you get it ready to use, without needing to do any soldering.
Thank you HKJ for your test of this charger board ... I have been using my four charger boards very successfully , powered by my 5V 4A switch-mode PSU ... I have set the PSU voltage to a few mV below 5V and am very happy with the performance ... My PSU has four USB sockets attatched and I have 50cm interconnect cables (USB to mini-USB) ... I personally have no problem in using mini-USB connectors ... For me it was just a simple matter of buying the right 50cm cables which are now kept in a box along with the charger boards , the PSU and the magnets.

Will you be testing these boards in parallel to give a higher charge current ? ... Some users might prefer a higher charge current when charging 3100mAh Li-Ions ... On the other hand , two boards in parallel with each set to a lower charging current than one amp would also reduce the temperature of the chip ... That would only increase the charger cost by another £1 or so.

Can you suggest a better method of attatching a heatsink to the module or indeed to the chip itself ? ... ... I did try cooling with a small fan , but although it did cool the chip it didn't seem to reduce the charging time significantly ... I understand that these chips will tolerate a fairly high temperature so perhaps just a simple heatsink would be the way to go ... My boards are used in a near vertical position with the USB at the top , so maybe there is a slightly better cooling airflow.

Thanks again for your charger board test.
.
 

HKJ

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Thank you HKJ for your test of this charger board ... I have been using my four charger boards very successfully , powered by my 5V 4A switch-mode PSU ... I have set the PSU voltage to a few mV below 5V and am very happy with the performance ... My PSU has four USB sockets attatched and I have 50cm interconnect cables (USB to mini-USB) ... I personally have no problem in using mini-USB connectors ... For me it was just a simple matter of buying the right 50cm cables which are now kept in a box along with the charger boards , the PSU and the magnets.

For four charger boards it would be easier to just solder a cable between them.
Micro usb connectors are much stronger than mini usb connectors and with many phones using them also much more common.

Will you be testing these boards in parallel to give a higher charge current ? ... Some users might prefer a higher charge current when charging 3100mAh Li-Ions ... On the other hand , two boards in parallel with each set to a lower charging current than one amp would also reduce the temperature of the chip ... That would only increase the charger cost by another £1 or so..

I do not plan on testing any more on them.

Can you suggest a better method of attatching a heatsink to the module or indeed to the chip itself ? ... ... I did try cooling with a small fan , but although it did cool the chip it didn't seem to reduce the charging time significantly ... I understand that these chips will tolerate a fairly high temperature so perhaps just a simple heatsink would be the way to go ... My boards are used in a near vertical position with the USB at the top , so maybe there is a slightly better cooling airflow.

As you can see on my curves, there is no reduction in current at 5 volt input, but electronic always last longer at lower temperature. The easiest heatsink is just a piece of aluminium, where you place the board against (Remember some isolation between), as you can see on the temperature curve, the temperature was reduced significantly.
 

Norm

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There has been an ongoing discussion on this type of board here.

Thanks HKJ, it's very helpful to have some definitive data on these boards.

Norm
 

candle lamp

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Excellent review as always. HKJ!

Thanks a lot for your effort & time you put in all of this. :thumbsup:

By the way, after battery reverse connetion, the charger module is broken?

Do you have any idea to prevent failure from reverse connection?
 

HKJ

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By the way, after battery reverse connetion, the charger module is broken?

Definitely, smoke is a very bad sign, especially when there also is some light (The chip did shortly light up).


Do you have any idea to prevent failure from reverse connection?

It would require some extra components, a p-channel fet transistor could probably solve it.
 

nginx

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I was browsing ebay yesterday to see if there was anything I could hook up directly to my 4x18650 battery pack (4P config) and charge it without having to take apart the battery pack everytime. This module was the first thing that came up on search. A little search for a review on Google landed me here. Thank you HKJ for doing such a in-depth review.

I only have one question. Will it work if I parallel 3 of these modules and connect them to the battery pack to achieve faster charging or will it all go up in smoke? One module will take forever to charge a pack of 9000mah. I know the best solution would be to obviously get one module capable of 3A or more but I can't find one unfortunately :(
 

Shadowww

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You can find dual-TP4056 boards that are configured for 1.5A, e.g. eBay lot ID 270980008241.
If you re-configure them for 1A each (instead of 750mA each), and add some decent heatsinking, you'll get 2A which will give you ~acceptable charging rate for 9000mAh pack.
 

HKJ

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zsnopek

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What will happen to 14500 battery (900mAh) if I charge it without any modifications to the board?

I don't understand exactly how this chip works. USB provides only 500mA and by default TP4056 is set to charging current of 1000mA.
Does it amplify 500mA to 1000mA to charge the battery?

Soldering SMD resistor is unfortunately out of question for me. I hope I can keep using 14500 (don't mind if it diminishes their lifecycle a little).

Thanks!
 

HKJ

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What will happen to 14500 battery (900mAh) if I charge it without any modifications to the board?

I don't understand exactly how this chip works. USB provides only 500mA and by default TP4056 is set to charging current of 1000mA.
Does it amplify 500mA to 1000mA to charge the battery?

Soldering SMD resistor is unfortunately out of question for me. I hope I can keep using 14500 (don't mind if it diminishes their lifecycle a little).

You will be charging with a to high current and this will reduce the lifetime of the battery.

USB might be rated at 0.5A, but on PC's it is usual possible to draw more. The TP4056 is a linear regulator, i.e. input and output current is the same, except for a small consumption by the chip.
 

zsnopek

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You will be charging with a to high current and this will reduce the lifetime of the battery.

USB might be rated at 0.5A, but on PC's it is usual possible to draw more. The TP4056 is a linear regulator, i.e. input and output current is the same, except for a small consumption by the chip.

Great news...
The good thing is that I don't plan to charge it using PC. I plan to use it as bicycle battery charger.. Luckily, dynamo is constructed to limit the current at ~500mA. I know it's still a little bit high, but better that than 1A.

Thanks for the info :)
 

Masure

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Hi guys,

Sorry for my electronic's noob question but what's the component between BAT- and BAT+ ? What's its purpose ?

Thanks

edit : I read the TP4056 specs and the component is a capacitor. But I still don't know its function.
 
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HKJ

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Sorry for my electronic's noob question but what's the component between BAT- and BAT+ ? What's its purpose ?

It is a capacitor, the purpose is to decouple the output.

They word "decouple" does probably not tell you much, here it is used because the chip is fast in regulating the current and if you have long wires the current will not be stable, but change up and down at a fast rate (Oscillate). To prevent this a capacitor is added to the output, it will prevent any funny businesses due to long wires (Long wires might be as short as 10cm or 4 inches).

This kind of components are often used, because the data sheet for the chip recommends it, not because calculations or experiments shows that it is necessary.
 

Masure

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Thanks HKJ

Could I safely remove this capacitor with <4cm wires to my battery ? I'm using this board in a very tight box and I wish to cut it down. If I do so, I remove this capacitor. I'd like to know if it's safe.

Regards
 

HKJ

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Could I safely remove this capacitor with <4cm wires to my battery ? I'm using this board in a very tight box and I wish to cut it down. If I do so, I remove this capacitor. I'd like to know if it's safe.

The datasheet I could find does not specify if it can work without the capacitor.
 
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