low voltage cutout module

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 20:04
ThreadID: 67769 Views:3245 Replies:10 FollowUps:21
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Hi all,

Is there such a beast as a simple to instal low voltage cutout module to protect battery systems?

We currently use some expensive 12v portable lighting systems for rescue purposes, though at the moment there is no protection of the sealed batteries (AGM i believe) from operators leaving the lights on and running the battery down below an acceptable value (3 guesses on how we found this out :-)). With their charging systems being somewhat proprietory fittings, and strangely enough not being to handle charging from such a low voltage, we need to protect the batteries from excessive discharge.

Any simple ideas or add-ins to protect the batteries.....we can gain access to the the battery compartments and have room for small components if needed.

I hope you understand where we are heading. ;-)

Andrew
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Reply By: Ray - Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 20:15

Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 20:15
Hi. I have a low voltage cut out on the batteries of my caravan. I bought it from Derek Besser who advertises on this site. It cuts power when the voltage drops to 11.5 volts (I believe) abr.com.au
AnswerID: 359229

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 20:38

Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 20:38
Didn't think of him, thanks. Might check out the sidewinder website instead. ;-)

Andrew
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Reply By: austastar - Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 20:18

Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 20:18
"Ta Daaarrrr!"

That should do it.

cheers
AnswerID: 359231

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 20:49

Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 20:49
After a search around to find the right product on that link (not going to pay $140 x 6 units for something that big) , the VS12 voltage sensor might be the go though the size needs to be investigated for this portable system.

Thanks so far.

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 20:51

Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 20:51
Though i do see that the shop is shut that your link points to.

Andrew
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Reply By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 20:20

Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 20:20
common and available from many places such as Ray stated from Derek at ABR...also RedArc make one, Arrid etc..

If you are not totally confident with them and wiring them up etc (different models have different cut out levels and different load capabilities etc) suggest you contact ABR..advertiser and member on this site and tell him exactly the use ...he is always helpful and with good gear

chers
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AnswerID: 359232

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 20:40

Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 20:40
Thanks for the quick response. I'll check out those leads.

Wiring them up is no issue, just need to head in the right direction with modern controllers.

Andrew
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Reply By: ABR - SIDEWINDER - Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 21:00

Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 21:00
Hi Andrew

You can always use our battery-protector to drive a relay that can handle higher amps if needed.

Regards

Derek from ABR

AnswerID: 359236

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 21:19

Saturday, Apr 11, 2009 at 21:19
Thanks Derek, i saw that protector when mentioned above, however it may be slightly too big. We want to place it within the battery compartment which has very little space spare. It may fit, however the LED feature would be wasted. :-(

We really need something installed in a small space, handling less than 10A i suggest (the system lasts 4 hours on high/17 hours on low), with around a 40-55Ahr AGM battery i would guess).

Anything else come to mind?

Andrew
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Follow Up By: ABR - SIDEWINDER - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 08:29

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 08:29
No problem, I don't think you will get much smaller. These are smaller than your computer mouse. 60x45x35 Approx. You could mount it on the outside of the box. If you look at the picture below and compare the housing to the cigar socket size you may get a better idea.



Regards

Derek from ABR

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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ [wa] - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 08:44

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 08:44
Yes,
Derek it's the exact same size as the Jaycar battery protector I listed yesterday, same design so probably from the same factory in China too
Image Could Not Be FoundMainey . . .
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 17:31

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 17:31
Thanks once again for the dimensions Derek. It may indeed be the smallest option we can get yet, so will keep this product as an option.

Andrew
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Reply By: Maîneÿ [wa] - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 00:08

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 00:08
Andrew, you suggest a 10 Amp supply

check out this link: Site Link

Battery Protector disconnects battery @ 11.2 volts
Automatically suspend power to any connected 12 volt accessory, with 10 amp fuse protection

Has LED indicators to advise if power has been suspended or if battery is in good condition.
Simply change the connections to suit your circumstances.

Just ..... $23.95

Mainey . . .
AnswerID: 359259

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 07:43

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 07:43
see followup above...

Andrew
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 07:22

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 07:22
It all depends on how many amps your "12v portable lighting systems for rescue purposes" will draw. I expect it would be substantial - and certainly more than the 10amps that most low voltage cutout devices can handle.
AnswerID: 359272

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 07:42

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 07:42
Hi Phil,

Remember it is a "portable" system, not fixed to vehicle, hence the less than 10 amp draw of these systems.

I don't want to sound elitist with this system, it was the easiest way to explain what the system does and is used for. :-)

I have finally found a link to the product we use, they are not cheap (whether they are of good value for normal use is debatable), though the quality could be improved slightly. Link ==> Starlite_12.pdf



We do have the 38Ahr version, and i see they are only SLA batteries.

i hope this helps explain what we are trying to achieve now.

Andrew
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Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 07:56

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 07:56
Andrew, one important thing is that so many of them including the Redarc take 0.6 amphour just to keep them open. Multiply that by 24 and all of a sudden a lot of your power can be wasted.

If you have any folk around who cna build up a kit, Oatley Electronics make up a kit that will do all the monitoring you need that doesn't have the overheads like the systems discussed above. I have one of those to build up, with an 80 amp latching relay in it. It only uses milliamps.
Cheers,
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John

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 08:14

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 08:14
I take it you are talking about the version utilising the MOSFET? It sounds like a project worthy of persuing further, thanks for the idea.

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 09:08

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 09:08
Andrew, this is the one Biilled as a Dual Battery controller but has another function with a change in resistors as a battery protector. $29 packed and posted.
Cheers,
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John

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 17:43

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 17:43
nice kit there...looks like a good project to test. I might try it out for myself and if it works as explained, it might be the go. i like the 80A latching relay even though we don't need it :-)

Andrew
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Follow Up By: AdrianLR (VIC) - Wednesday, Apr 15, 2009 at 11:51

Wednesday, Apr 15, 2009 at 11:51
Andrew (and John)

I've been using the kit in dual battery mode for a couple of years now. Absolutley reliable, great price and customisable. The miniscule standby current draw can be reduced even further by not connecting the status LED.

Regards,

Adrian
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Reply By: Maîneÿ [wa] - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 08:29

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 08:29
Andrew, why can't the "battery saver" be connected in-line and attached to the handle or even the battery box lid ?Image Could Not Be FoundMainey . . .
AnswerID: 359278

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 17:51

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 17:51
These setups are kits (the leads disconnect form the battery etc) and it would make more sense, and save on installation costs, if they were installed on/in the battery compartments.

As they are portable and used by several different Emergency Services in some cases (ie the police or firies etc may grab them) we need the external box to be robust. Anything installed on the box will be damaged by one of our operational members, Mr Murphy.

BTW ours are the tripod version with 3 x 36w fluoros (equivalent to around 750w halogen with much better coverage)


I hope that helps.

Andrew
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Reply By: RV Powerstream P/L - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 09:12

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 09:12
Andrew
I have an American Made quality cut off unit that can switch up to 20A and carry up to 30A and the shut down voltage can be programmed to 11.8,12.1,12.7 and 13.5Volts using two dip switches.and it has a shut down delay that can be set to one of four preprogrammable times (0,5,10 and 20 Minutes).
The weight is 164G and the size is 121mmx84MMx34MM and is fitted with Anderson Power poles for easy fitting.
If you would like further info please email me at info@powerstream.com.au
Ian
AnswerID: 359283

Follow Up By: RV Powerstream P/L - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 09:37

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 09:37
I might add the unit is robust and ABS fire retardent ABS plastic and water resistant and can be mounted externally on the box with only the cables inside or left outside and they are a lot cheaper than the Redarc as displayed in the thread.
Ian
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Follow Up By: RV Powerstream P/L - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 09:38

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 09:38
I might add the unit is robust and ABS fire retardent ABS plastic and water resistant and can be mounted externally on the box with only the cables inside or left outside and they are a lot cheaper than the Redarc as displayed in the thread.
Ian
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 18:02

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 18:02
sounds like a good product, able to be changed as required, though the price might be our concern. unfortunately we don't want to spend a fortune on the setup and some of the other concepts may be the go given their price range.

I won't rule it out when talking to our bean counters, thanks for the suggestion Ian.

Andrew
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Reply By: Boobook2 - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 10:56

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 10:56
Just another thought FWIW.

A low voltage cut off will suddenly switch the lights off with no notice. Since the application is emergency lighting for rescue purposes, that may, or may not be desirable.

Derak ABR also has a product caled a Volt minder. It makes an audable beep when the voltage gets to a preset level ( say 1l.3V). That would allow you to shut the lights down when you are ready and not ( say ) in the middle of using an angle grinder or worse.

The only issue is that it may not be loud enough, but that would be solvable.






AnswerID: 359291

Follow Up By: Maîneÿ [wa] - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 11:22

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 11:22
Somehow think they would have more than one light operating at a time.
When these very important lights are most possibly needed for longer periods of time they should have a method of recharging the batteries or replacing drained batteries in the very least.

Mainey . . .
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FollowupID: 627263

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 17:58

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 17:58
Interesting thought BB2,

Depending on the situation they may be used by themselves or in clusters eg traffic control at vehicle accident (singular setup), scene lighting for Scenes of Crime Officers (police), storm damage operations etc.

They are modular and can be recharged whilst running, and changing packs takes 20 seconds if needbe.

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Boobook2 - Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 18:40

Sunday, Apr 12, 2009 at 18:40
Since it is not such a silly thought ;-) there are a few kits out there that could switch a relay ( and therefor a loud buzzer)

This one could suit if you can find someone who can make it.

http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=KC5377&CATID=25&form=CAT&SUBCATID=347



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