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I have been using a circuit to charge my lithium-ion cells with no problems, based on the TP4056 IC. Recently I have noticed some variants on the circuit which use a DW01A protection IC. How necessary is this extra IC and its external components?

I've not (knowingly) had any problems with my previous circuits which didn't include this extra component, but I would be interested in understanding better when this extra component would be advisable to use. The battery which I am intending to charge is this one. Many thanks.

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Not only is it advisable; it is required.

Every Li-ion cell must be used with a protector circuit. No ifs and buts. It must. So, yes, do use a protector.

The TP4956 is just a charger, and only ensures that the cell is not overcharged. That is only 1/5 of the required protection. The cell also requires over-discharge voltage protection, charge over-current, discharge over-current, and temperature protection. A protector BMS provides all of those protections. (BMS = Battery Management System)

The DW01A protection IC is a good choice. But you can probably buy a ready-made protector BMS (PCM = Protector Circuit Module) module for less than you can buy the parts to spin your own protector.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Where does the requirement come from, who requires that protection is present even if someone want to manufacture devices without protection? \$\endgroup\$
    – Justme
    Oct 23, 2021 at 12:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the answer. i am now confident thats its probably a good idea to update my circuit! i dont suppose you happen to have a suggestion for the BMS IC? sparkfuns charger circuit uses the MCP73833 but these are vastly more expensive than the tp4056 and DW01A combined... \$\endgroup\$ Oct 24, 2021 at 10:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ > Suggestion for the BMS IC? -- I don't, for the simple fact that I never design my own BMS for a small battery because ready-made solutions are cheaper and more reliable than anything I could come-up with. I only design BMS for large batteries. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 24, 2021 at 14:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ It would be better to explicitly state that BMS stands for Battery Management System. It's not a common acronym across all fields of electronics (such as LED, AC or DC), so it would help newbies and people not in the field. The same goes for PCM in that context (I assume it doesn't mean Pulse Coded Modulation). \$\endgroup\$ Oct 24, 2021 at 15:23

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