Introduction: ESP8266 - Li-Ion Battery Rechargeable Battery Power Solution

Picture of ESP8266 - Li-Ion Battery Rechargeable Battery Power Solution

I was asked many times for a flexible, compact and easy to recharge battery pack solution for the ESP8266 Modules.

After many test with different battery configurations and charging circuits, from simple AA batteries to CR2032 stacks I think I found the best one from all the desired points of view:

- Widely available battery pack

- Simple charging circuit

- USB compatible

- Proper battery protection

- Enough power to run for days

- Cost efective

Step 1: Project Details

Picture of Project Details

What we will need:

  1. 18650 Rechargeable 3,7V/2600mAh Li-ion Cell - You can find them all over the place, from your old laptop battery pack to Ebay. Usually in a laptop battery pack olny one or 2 of the Li-ion cells are in trouble, you can recover the other ones and use for your projects for years
  2. 18650 Cell holder
  3. Li-ion Charger/Monitor with protection. Take care when looking for it, be sure you have one with battery protection circuit
  4. Asorted wires - choose your desired color but red/black, blue/white standard coding with be better :)

Step 2: Charger/Monitor Module Description

Picture of Charger/Monitor Module Description

The Li-ion Cell Charger/Monitor module used for this Battery pack solution is based on TP4056 1A Standalone Linear Li-lon Battery Charger with Thermal Regulation chip.

The TP4056 is a complete constant-current/constant-voltage linear charger for single celllithium-ion batteries. Its SOP package and low external component count make the TP4056
ideally suited for portable applications. Furthermore, the TP4056 can work within USB and wall adapter.

No blocking diode is required due to the internal PMOSFET architecture and have prevent to negative Charge Current Circuit. Thermal feedback regulates the charge current to limit the die temperature during high power operation or high ambient temperature. The charge voltage is fixed at 4.2V, and the charge current can be programmed externally with a single resistor. The TP4056 automatically terminates the charge cycle when the charge current drops to 1/10th the programmed value after the final float voltage is reached.

TP4056 Other features include current monitor, under voltage lockout, automatic recharge and two status pin to indicate charge termination and the presence of an input voltage.


  • Programmable Charge Current Up to 1000mA
  • No MOSFET, Sense Resistor or Blocking Diode Required
  • Complete Linear Charger in SOP-8 Package for Single Cell Lithium-Ion Batteries
  • Constant-Current/Constant-VoltageCharges Single Cell Li-Ion Batteries Directly from USB Port
  • Preset 4.2V Charge Voltage with 1.5% Accuracy
  • Automatic Recharge
  • Two Charge Status Output PinsC/10 Charge Termination
  • 2.9V Trickle Charge Threshold (TP4056)
  • Soft-Start Limits Inrush Current

For more details please see TP4056 Datasheet

Step 3: Battery Protection Circuit Description

Picture of Battery Protection Circuit Description

TP4056 is accompanied with DW01-G battery protection IC.

DW01-G is designed to protect lithium-ion/polymer battery from damage or degrading the lifetime due to overcharge,overdischarge, and/or overcurrent for one-cell lithium-ion/polymer battery powered systems, such as cellular phones.

DW01-G has an accuracy of ±50mV overcharging detection voltage that
ensures safe and full utilization charging. Also the very low standby current drains little current from the cell while in storage.


  • Reduction in Board Size due to Miniature SOT-23-6 Package
  • Ultra-Low Quiescent Current at 3μA (Vcc=3.9V)
  • Ultra-Low Power-Down Current at 0.1μA (Vcc=2.0V)
  • Precision Overcharge Protection Voltage 4.25V ± 50mV
  • Load Detection Function during Overcharge Mode
  • Two Detection Levels for Overcurrent Protection
  • Delay times are generated by internal circuits. No external capacitors required

Battery Protection Swithing is done with 8205A Mosfet.
The ML8205A uses advanced trench technology to provide excellent RDS(ON), low gate charge and operation with gate voltages as low as 2.5V. This device is suitable for use as a Battery protection or in other Switching application.

DW01-G Datasheet

8205A Mosfet Datasheet

Step 4: Conclusion

Picture of Conclusion

As you can see from the quick presentation done here, it's very easy to have a battery powered project that can run for days and can be easy recharged from a USB port, USB charger or even a solar panel.

For more details and other related projects take a look at ESP8266 Projects


amadmio (author)2017-11-12

hello. may i know the connection of esp8266 to tp4056?

sergioarielf (author)2017-11-12

HI, I dont know if you still responds comments. But i have a question. Iam using this module in my datalogger project, and i need the battery as backup, like UPS, so when the power is off, the battery gives the power. But I am a little bit worried about the life time of the battery. what is your opinion?

Thank you very much.!!!!!

RAZRus (author)2015-04-19

Man, I know that 18650 fully charge 4.2V

How ESP8266 deal with 4.2V, when on datasheet range 1.7...3.7V?
Or U not charging full?

TrackerJ (author)RAZRus2015-04-19

I am using the battery pack to run a CBDB DevBoard proto. As you can see from the link below, it has a 3.3V onboard regulator:

MPSM Board has also a regulator on it:

You have right and my recommendation is to not run ESP8266 over 3.5V

waydenie (author)TrackerJ2015-07-17

Hi, thanks for this write-up, I'm waiting for a few of these charging boards to arrive myself!

Just wondering if you can expand on the hookup between the single cell battery pack described here and the esp8266 module... I know I'm misunderstanding something! :-)

You indicate that the dev board you use has a 3.3V regulator on board and the linked article names it as a 3.3V LM1117.

The datasheet suggests a typical dropout voltage of 1.2V, which would put the min input voltage at about 4.5V, but the charger only charges to 4.2V. Things should only get worse as the cell discharges.

Is the lm1117 able to maintain a regulated 3.3V output voltage while the cell discharges and recharges?

TrackerJ (author)waydenie2015-07-17

Yes, you have right and you have few workable solutions:

1. As
above, because ESP8266 is working OK less lower than 3.3V as long as it
has the proper current available and the LM I used is around 0.9
dropout. Most simper and lowest BOM list

2. Use a 0.8-5V
upconverter stage after the battery charger module so you will have 5Vcc
all the time -> stable 3.3V voltage for ESP. Recommended solution
from many points of view but more comlex, expensive and bigger BOM.

Use a even lower dropout LDO than the classic LM1117, they are plenty
in the wild, from around 250mV dropout. Let's say is a good compromise
between 1 and 2 in many terms.

thesk made it! (author)TrackerJ2015-09-06

I've just tested a 3rd solution, with a good ready-to-use module, ordered here:

The module cost less then 1$ and works with low input voltage. The only disadvantage is a big size.

waydenie (author)TrackerJ2015-07-18

I'm not sure I like the idea of stepping up to 5V then regulating down to 3.3V in a battery system. Aside from the extra complexity and expense in components that you mention, an efficiency hit is taken on the step up (relatively low), only to turn most of it back to heat in the regulator...

I lean towards #3. I didn't realize that there were LDO's with such low dropouts, but as you say, I found a few from TI and Microchip. I've ordered some to try out:

TI: TPS777533 / 777633 : (power good and reset options)

3.3V, 500mA LDOs with 169mV dropout and very low quiescent current (80uA)

TI: TPS777733 / 777833 : (power good and reset options)

3.3V, 750mA LDOs with 260mV dropout and same Iq at 750mA

Microchip: MCP1825S : ('standard' 3 pin fixed type)

3.3V, 500mA LDO with 210mV dropout, Iq=120uA

Microchip: MCP1826S : ('standard' 3 pin fixed type)

3.3V, 1A LDO with 225mV, Iq=120uA

So, with such low dropouts and esp-01 battery current draw requirements being relatively low (say upperbound of 0.2C of a 'typical' 18650?) we should expect at least 3.5-3.6V for most of the useful charge time... Which makes these regulators a look like a pretty good fit... The low Iq is nice for the battery application too.



thesk (author)2015-08-21

Is it possible to charge a battery with a plugged (working) load, using this charger?
I mean, is it possible to work like mobile phone works - without turning off during charge process.
(Of course it is possible to mix a charging external +5V and battery output from this charger through two Shottke diodes, but is it really nessesary?)

TrackerJ (author)thesk2015-08-21

It is possible but "not recommended" as it looks like it will not finish gracefuly the last stageof the charging process when load present (means battery will be not fully 100% charged) .
They are actually a lot of debates about.
If you want to use the option "better safe than sorry" then off course you can use anytime the Shottky diodes connection.

thesk (author)2015-08-21

TheGreatResistor (author)2015-07-21


im using the same lithium ion 18560 3.7 around 2000 - 3000 maH the
thing is charging since i removed them out of the laptop battery i have a
problem charging some could i charge these lithium of a 5v @ 1a charger
or is there a problem

Noob here so please help

TrackerJ (author)2015-06-03

If you look a liitle bit deeply on the related articles you will find out that after the battery pack module is a 3.3V voltage regulator...

It's even posted below, on 19.Apr...

mplatteeuw (author)2015-04-15

Hello there,

I will be using this charging station in my folowing project of a bluetooth speaker.

I have a question, can you help me with it:) ?

I am looking for some high capacity battery, to buy online (lets say ebay or something). With all those fake batterys on the market (ultrafire).

has anyone experience with good batterys from online sources?

Thank you for your time :)!

mplatteeuw (author)mplatteeuw2015-04-30

Hi, sorry for the late reply.
Thanks for the tip, I will not be falling for the fake Ultrafire batteries on ebay. I think of buying 2 panasonic 18650, costing around 7,50 € each.
those are quality batteries, used in e-cigarettes :)

TrackerJ (author)mplatteeuw2015-04-16

What kind of "high capacity" are you expecting to use? 6x18650 cells are running a laptop for 6-8 hours.
I haven't bought the batteries online so cannot help you in that direction. I think you should avoid Ebay ones and try to find a more trustable source. Preferable a local distributor, a good thing for warranty.

On the forum below you can find a lot of batteries specialists that maybe can help you:

Mjtrinihobby (author)2015-04-15

very nice.

vinz3nt (author)2015-04-12

where did you buy this charger board?

TrackerJ (author)vinz3nt2015-04-12

I bought them from Internet, You can find them all over the place, Ebay included.

Quality might vary

scooby1189 (author)2015-04-12

The battery you used, LG DB3 is an 18650 not 318650 and can handle 26000mA draw not 2600mA. Those are common batteries used in vaporizers.

TrackerJ (author)scooby11892015-04-12

LGDB318650 is a 2600mAh Li-ion Cell. The one used above are salvaged from a HP Service center as been HP Laptop battery cells. I really want to see a conventional battery in 18.6 x 65.2 mm shape at 26Ah!

marcoboers (author)TrackerJ2015-04-12

You misstated mA in your instructable instead of mAh ;) don't mess those two up.

TrackerJ (author)marcoboers2015-04-12

Typing error. Corrected.

To make it even more clear: Battery energy charge is measured in Ampere-hours (Ah).

An ampere-hour or amp-hour is a unit of electric charge, equal to the charge transferred by a steady current of one ampere flowing for one hour or in other words, it describes the energy charge that a battery will hold and how long a device will run before the battery needs recharging.

A milliampere-hour (mAh or mAh) is one-thousandth of an ampere-hour.

Stan1y (author)2015-04-11

bound to come in handy and no doubt cheaper than trying to build it yourself. even if that is more educational.

About This Instructable




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