Bluetooth low energy-based battery chargers provide wireless remote configuration and monitoring of batteries during charging

Nordic’s multiprotocol nRF51822 SoC enables users to charge 12 and 24V batteries and monitor voltage and amp readouts from their smartphone, tablet or PC

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Netherlands-based Victron Energy has selected Nordic’s multiple award-winning nRF51822 System-on-Chip (SoC) for its new ‘Blue Smart’ IP65 battery charger range. The nRF51822 SoC provides Bluetooth® low energy (previously called Bluetooth Smart) wireless connectivity between the chargers and Bluetooth 4.0 (and later)-compatible iOS and Android devices.

The Blue Smart 12- and 24-V battery chargers are designed for automotive, marine, and industrial applications, and allow the user to directly control the charger from their smartphone, tablet, or PC via the ‘VictronConnect’ app. From the app the user can set-up, configure, and monitor the charger from their mobile device, selecting one of five charging modes. “Normal” mode is the standard charging mode, while the “High” mode is designed for either hard-to-charge batteries, or for users wishing to minimize the charge time. Both Normal and High modes can be used in conjunction with a “Recondition” mode, which when used occasionally can extend the lifetime of a battery that is subject to intensive use. The “Li-ion” mode provides a specific charging algorithm to safely and optimally charge Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.

Once clamped to the battery requiring recharge, the test LED on the Blue Smart battery charger flashes to confirm mains power connection. In the event of inadvertent reverse polarity connection, short circuit, or if a 12 V charger is connected to a 24 V battery, all charge status LEDs flash to warn the user of the fault. The chargers are available with a range of different output options ranging from five to 15 A.

Once the mode is selected, the app displays the charger’s status, as well as voltage and current readouts, to allow the user to remotely monitor the progress of the recharge operation.

“The user can remotely see if their battery is ready or monitor the voltage and amps during the charging operation without having to use a multimeter,” says Matthijs Vader, Director of Victron Energy.

Nordic’s nRF51822 is a powerful and flexible multiprotocol SoC ideally suited for Bluetooth low energy and 2.4GHz ultra low-power wireless applications. The nRF51822 is built around a 32-bit ARM® Cortex™ M0 CPU with 256kB/128kB flash and 32kB/16kB RAM. The embedded 2.4GHz transceiver is fully compliant with Bluetooth 4.2, the latest Bluetooth low energy specification.

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