lead acid battery regulator for

Posted on Feb 7, 2014

The design of solar panel systems with a (lead-acid) buffer battery is normally such that the battery is charged even when there is not much sunshine. This means, however, that when there is plenty of sunshine, a regulator is needed to prevent the battery from being overcharged. Such controls usually arrange for the superfluous energy to be dissip

lead acid battery regulator for
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ated in a shunt resistance or simply for the solar panels to be short-circuited. It is, of course, an unsatisfactory situation when the energy derived from a very expensive system can, after all, not be used to the full. The circuit presented diverts the energy from the solar panel when the battery is fully charged to another user, for instance, a 12V ice box with Peltier elements, a pump for drawing water from a rain butt, or a 12V ventilator. It is, of course, also possible to arrange for a second battery to be charged by the super-fluous energy. In this case, however, care must be taken to ensure that when the second battery is also fully charged, there is also a control to divert the superfluous energy. The shunt resistance needed to dissipate the superfluous energy must be capable of absorbing the total power of the panel, that is, in case of a 100W panel, its rating must be also 100 W. This means a current of some 6 8 A when the operating voltage is 12 V. When the voltage drops below the maximum charging voltage of 14. 4V growing to reduced sunshine, the shunt resistance is disconnected by an n-channel power field effect transistor (FET), T1. The disconnect point is not affected by large temperature fluctuations because of a reference voltage provided by IC1. The necessary comparator is IC2, which owing to R9 has a small hysteresis voltage of 0. 5V. Capacitor C5 ensures a relatively slow switching process, although...

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