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18V Cordless Drill Battery Charger Circuit

In this post we learn how to build and use a 18V battery charger circuit for a cordless drill machine. The idea was requested by Mr. Chibuzo.

Technical Specifications

  1. Here is the issue. I don't have any cordless drill battery charger at all. But I have variable voltage car battery charger.
  2. I did try to use it by sticking metal plates on the terminal of the battery pack but I found out that the battery pack became warm /hot after a while, so I quickly disconnected it.
  3. The battery is 18V nicd and I fear if it is not already dead/roasted I might destroy it by pushing in too much current at once using the car battery charger.
  4. I know you are a very good subject matter expert in this regard, am looking forward to you suggestion. Like I said earlier, am a hobbyist with interest in many areas and I use these tools but getting them charged is an issue for me so am looking for a permanent solution.
  5. Finally am going to try my hands on as many of your projects I can possibly find parts to handle. Can I personally get across to you if I have problem as I make effort to improve my knowledge of electronics using your platform. Am willing to be your student.
  6. Thanks for such a large heart as to be willing to share what you know with total strangers. Again, am very sorry to trouble you.

The Design

Whether it's a lead acid battery, a Ni-Cd or a Li-ion, this multipurpose battery charger shown below can be applied for any of these for charging them efficiently and without worries:

The salient features of this universal automatic battery charger are:

1) Constant voltage charging

2) Automatic cut-off when battery is fully charged.

3) Max current 5 amps, which means batteries up to 50AH can be charged with this charger normally.

4) Fully customizable as per the battery specs.

5) Low cost

6) No special parts required, all are standard  and easily available.

7) LED indicators for cut-off and charging status monitoring.

8) Suitable for garages and home use.

How to set up this simple cordless drill battery charger circuit:

The entire procedure has been comprehensively discussed in this post which explains how to set or adjust an opamp 741 IC based battery charger circuit for implementing an automatic cut-off

The above universal charger circuit is a constant voltage charger and a constant charger when it's implemented as a 5 amp charger, however for lower current charging this circuit might require an additional charging LM338 constant current circuit between the input supply and the above circuit.

Step by Step Setting Up Procedure

How to Charge a 18V cordless drill battery with the shown universal charger circuit

Cordless drill battery can be mostly a Ni-Cd battery which is not as critical as the lead battery counterparts as far as the charging parameters are concerned.

Quite like the Li-ion batts these too will allow you to charge then through a current which may be 1/10th of their AH rating or as high as their specified AH rating.

For example if the drill battery is rated at 3AH, it could be charged at 3/10 = 0.3 amp or 300mA current rate, or any current within 3 amp but not exceeding this limit.

However at the full 1C charging rate the battery could get significantly warm, which must be taken care by an automatic temperature controller circuit or through fan cooling.

PCB Design for the above explained Cordless drill battery charger circuit

Track side view

Parts List

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