Active-Semi patents system to detect fake batteries

US electronics firm Active-Semi has been awarded a US patent on a system that can be used to identify counterfeit and potentially hazardous rechargeable batteries.

Exploding and combusting fake lithium ion batteries have been hitting the headlines over the last few years, and battery manufacturers have started deploying security features to allow genuine products to be authenticated. Active-Semi’s patent suggests however that these features “currently involve markings with special paper, which can be circumvented by counterfeiters.”

The company’s solution is to generate an electrical and chemical “signature” when a battery is made – including parameters such as terminal voltage, relaxation time and internal resistance/impedance – that can be used to identify the manufacturer and production lot and aid thereby authentication and counterfeit identification.

“By measuring one or more of these characteristics over a few charging and discharging cycles, it is possible to quantify these characteristics for a particular type of battery even if the characteristics were not provided by the battery manufacturer,” says the patent.

The abstract of the patent appears below:

Battery signature identification system

Abstract: A system for authenticating a rechargeable battery and for detecting counterfeit batteries includes battery characteristics detection circuitry and a battery. Battery characteristics detection circuitry performs an authentication routine on the battery such that battery characteristics of the battery are measured. Battery characteristics include state of health, state of charge, internal resistance, relaxation time, and impedance. The battery is validated by comparing the battery characteristics to validation parameters provided by a manufacturer. If battery characteristics are within ranges of the validation parameters, then the battery is authenticated as originating from a particular manufacturer or batch. If validation fails, then the device is disabled or protected. In one example, validation parameters are stored and compared locally on a device. In another example, the device communicates battery characteristics to a remote entity that performs the validation. In another example, the device receives validation parameters from the remote entity and performs the validation locally.

Patent no. 10,145,898

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