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Battery Equalization
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Art Marquardt



Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Posts: 99
Location: 625 N25th st Sheboygan,Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 4:37 pm    Post subject: Battery Equalization Reply with quote

Tom Hudson

I have bought the bullet and sprung for 18 powr-cheq units, big bucks. The idea being that the batteries I have will last longer. There are variations in voltage of the batteries in the vehicle due to batch age and use. The power cheq units should shunt current from the higher voltage batts to the lower voltage ones during charge, idle and discharge. I believe Tom that you have such a set up. Would you care to comment on how you set yours up I'm thinking of doing a remote unit outside the bat boxes with long extension wires? However I'm not sure of size wire and routing or the best location for the remote unit?
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ThomasHudson
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Joined: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 130
Location: Port Washington WI

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for the delay, Art. Had an emergency trip to Kansas City earlier this week that hosed my whole normal routine so I didn't see your message until Jeff told me about it.

My setup is really elaborate and I did a lot of wire routing. I have a wire running to the most-negative terminal of each string of batteries, and a wire running to each positive terminal in the pack. For my truck, this is two sets of 13 wires. Each wire is soldered to a 5/16" ring terminal and has an in-line fuse mounted right next to the ring terminal so that if the wire is shorted anywhere past that, the fuse will blow and protect everything. The ring terminals are simply connected to the 5/16" battery termninal bolts.

On my truck, I routed the bundles of 13 wires into the cab of the truck under the seat inside flexible plastic conduit and bulkhead connectors. It's all watertight.

My PowerCheqs are mounted in a 12x12-inch plastic box, one set for each battery string (there's a picture of it at http://portev.org/solectria/ho/e10.htm). As you can see in the photo, the boxes have 15-pin AMP connectors to allow me to disconnect them as needed.

Your setup doesn't have to be as complex. In fact, when I bought the PowerCheqs, they were designed to attach right to the top of the battery with velcro. The terminals they supplied were too small and the wires too short. You'll probably need to alter that part of them if you want to mount them like that. I kind of like having them in the cab (I have the boxes behind the seat) so I can look at them periodically and make sure none have faulted (red light). This hasn't ever happened but if it does, I can see it right away. If they were mounted in the battery compartments, it would be harder to inspect them.

If you mount them on the batteries, you probably don't need to worry about connecting inline fuses -- I only did that because I was routing wires a fair distance and wanted a safety net in case one of the wires got pinched or accidentally cut.

I used 14 gauge ANCOR wire from West Marine. It is plenty heavy and rated for wet/oily applications. When I bought it, you could get it in all 10 standard resistor colors (black, brown, red...) so I used that color coding to keep the wires sorted out. The extra 3 wires were repeats of the other colors that I painted a stripe on. Having the fuses in there was a good thing while I put the system together -- I simply built it with the fuses out so that if I shorted anything while I was doing the assembly I wouldn't waste a fuse -- When everything was done I just installed all the fuses and connected the box with the PowerCheqs.

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Art Marquardt



Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Posts: 99
Location: 625 N25th st Sheboygan,Wisconsin

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:05 am    Post subject: wiring power cheqs Reply with quote

Tom:

Thanks for your reply. Saw your web site, nice work. I am putting them behind the seat also seems like the only good place with space. My origional thought was to run three wires per battery as it shows in the diagram sent with the power-cheqs. At first I was confused by your use of only 13 wires per string however, now I see that you commoned connections in the box. I am hoping to incorporate test points into the box so the batteries can be measured remotely.

Am I correct in assuming you used 3/4" flexible non-metallic watertight
conduit with metallic connectors on the ends?

What size inline fuse did you use would the miniature ones work?

Where did you get a 12 by 12 box?

Art
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ThomasHudson
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Joined: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 130
Location: Port Washington WI

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used 3/4" Carlon flexible nonmetallic conduit -- You can get nonmetallic (plastic) watertight connectors for it, they work great. I used that system on my rooftop solar panels as well.

Any fuse will work. I think I used 5A fuses because the PowerCheqs route up to something like 3A, but check your specs to be sure.

I got the big boxes from Mouser Electronics, I think. I'll measure them up and see if I can find you a part number.

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Tom Hudson
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MajorWilson



Joined: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 236
Location: Peoria, AZ

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom, forgive me, but I was following you on your installation of the powercheq's up until you said you only ran 13 wires, 1 from the last Neg and 12 from the Pos on each battery.

Are the PowerCheq modules able to all use the same negative connection and a positive from each of the batteries in series? I would think that each module would be reading the voltage between 1 and 12 (144 vdc) then 2 and 12 (132vdc) then 3 and 12 (120 vdc) and so on. How then would it differentiate between each battery?

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Jeff Wilson
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Plug in the cord... not the pump!
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ThomasHudson
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Location: Port Washington WI

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a drawing of how they are set up on my 144V truck. That's 12 batteries, requiring 11 PowerCheq modules. There are 13 wires coming off as shown on the drawing -- #1 comes off the most negative terminal, #13 comes off the most positive, and #2-12 are just tied to the positive terminals in between. This drawing shows them coming off the middle of the cable between batteries, but that isn't necessary -- You could either tie them to the positive terminal of one battery or the negative terminal of the next battery. It's the same electrically.

Then the PowerCheqs are connected as shown in the drawing, in an interleaved, ladder-like way. Each PowerCheq module bridges two batteries.



PowerCheq.gif
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Drawing showing arrangement of PowerCheq modules in a 144V setup.
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PowerCheq.gif



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Tom Hudson
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MajorWilson



Joined: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 236
Location: Peoria, AZ

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK. Now I get it. Since the Pos on each battery is actually a junction between the pos of one and the neg of the next, just bringing the positive lines into the cab actually is bringing the junction of them both and you don't need the negative.

A picture is worth a thousand words. When I ran the wires in my truck, I actually ran one from each of the pos and neg terminals from each battery. What a waisted effort! I should have figured that out myself in the first place. Like they say, couldn't see the trees for the forest. Wink

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Jeff Wilson
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Art Marquardt



Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Posts: 99
Location: 625 N25th st Sheboygan,Wisconsin

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 3:52 pm    Post subject: boxes Reply with quote

Tom:

I have been having trouble locating a box that is both reasonable in size and cost for the project. The boxes I have seen are usually rectangular in size those that have fit the size were at minimum about $70 a piece up to $276. Obviously I am not looking in the right place. Are you sure of the dimensions It seems one dimension must be approximately 12" the other could be smaller maybe.
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ThomasHudson
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Joined: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 130
Location: Port Washington WI

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoa. OK I went and measured mine and they aren't as big as I thought. They're 7.45X9.36X1.25. I went back and found my invoice email on it. Here's the link to the product at Mouser's website:

http://www.mouser.com/index.cfm?handler=displayproduct&lstdispproductid=411442&e_categoryid=70&e_pcodeid=61607

They're around $12 -- MUCH better price!

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Tom Hudson
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Art Marquardt



Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Posts: 99
Location: 625 N25th st Sheboygan,Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 7:42 pm    Post subject: boxesX2 Reply with quote

Tom:
Thanks for your efforts. The Power-cheq modules I have are larger than yours. The same layout with mine would equal 9.75x9.5 inches. This is in part because the wires come out of the end of the module and must be bent down towards the rear making that 1/4" larger. Effective size of each module is 2.375" W x 3.25" L x .875" D. I haven't found a box in this size, it seems it would have to be oversize.

Art
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Art Marquardt



Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Posts: 99
Location: 625 N25th st Sheboygan,Wisconsin

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:13 pm    Post subject: fuses Reply with quote

Tom:

Do you think it would be OK to use 32V fuses coming off of the batteries?
I will have to fabricate one.
art
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ThomasHudson
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:31 pm    Post subject: Re: fuses Reply with quote

Art Marquardt wrote:
Do you think it would be OK to use 32V fuses coming off of the batteries?
I will have to fabricate one.

I don't see why not, as long as the amperage is in the ballpark. All you really want to protect against is a dead short.

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terryjm1



Joined: 27 Sep 2005
Posts: 119
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you guys give an approximate cost to install the power cheque system?
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Terry Merrell
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Art Marquardt



Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Posts: 99
Location: 625 N25th st Sheboygan,Wisconsin

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 12:22 am    Post subject: cost Reply with quote

Terry:

I can't tell you for sure untill the bloody thing is installed there are still many doodads (technical term) to purchase. However that being said the cost is around 59 bucks a module. You need N-1 modules per string, E.G. my E-10 has 2 -10 battery strings so that would be 9+9 or 18. You can connect them direct to the batteries with ring terminals (extra). They can also be connected remotely which is what I'm trying to do albeit slowly. If you go this route you will need lots of fuse holders, fuses, wire, conduit, 2 boxes and maybe connectors. for me it is over a grand. I have no personal experience to back this up but my hope is they will keep the batteries going longer and better and should I need another set the power-cheqs will work for those too. They claim they will work on most 12volt batteries within a certain amp-hour capacity.
art
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Art Marquardt



Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Posts: 99
Location: 625 N25th st Sheboygan,Wisconsin

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 12:32 am    Post subject: Fusesx2 Reply with quote

Tom:

I was worried just a little about the fact that wires from batteries 1 and 10 would be in the same conduit and if they short that would be in my case 120VDC nominal across the fuse. The reason I wanted the 32V was the fuse holder is more to my liking. I'm guessing that even though rated for 32V, 120V will not bridge it.
art
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