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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > PD or Iota for my upgrade?

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DryCamper11

Hartford

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Posted: 07/17/12 12:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As long as people are talking about pendants and plugs, I'll stick this bit of info into the thread about the PD9200 series. The pendant sold is nothing more than a switch and an LED connected to the same connector used to connect a telephone handset to the telephone base. Three of the four wires are used - power for the LED, ground and a signal lead. I've installed two switches and two LEDs in my RV that simulate two pendants so I can see the status of the PD by the blinking LED and control the output mode from two locations.

One switch/LED pair is installed next to the batteries, for when I'm working on them and want to change output voltage/mode. The other pair is mounted near my TriMetric and voltage monitoring unit at the central RV control area.

To build a pendant is trivial. You connect an LED between the LED lead and ground. The switch is connected between the signal lead and ground. Pressing the momentary contact switch button shorts the signal lead to ground causing the PD to switch modes. Press for 3s you get normal mode and >6s gives float/trickle mode. You can put as many switches as you want in parallel to control it from anywhere.

The LEDs take more care. You can use just about any single LED, but if you want multiple, you need to limit current draw and make sure both LEDs are lit at the same voltage. I used some low power LEDs that were voltage matched and put them in parallel, but I wouldn't add more than two, or they'd get pretty dim and might draw excessive current (it's supplied directly from the microcontroller through a resistor).

If anyone wants the phone connector pinout, I'll look it up and post it. The same pendant is used for all 9200 series units.

I'll also comment that the PD9280, has the TCMS "Charge Wizard" built in, but it has a circuit board that would allow a remote unit to be connected (the connector isn't installed, but the board is marked for the four pins of that connector.

I'm not familiar with the PD units that do not have the integrated microcontroller, but the patents describe it as using three of four pins on connector H2, and that's how the circuit board is labeled. One is an input to the Charge Wizard (the converter output voltage), one is an output to the converter to control the output voltage and one is ground. Any PD that has a separate TCMS/Charge Wizard would be really easy to control remotely.

* This post was edited 07/17/12 01:02pm by DryCamper11 *


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renoman69

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Posted: 07/17/12 03:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Salvo wrote:

I have no link, but there is a plug that can be purchase (not from Iota) to raise the fixed voltage higher than 14.2V. Randy or Iota may know more about it. This plug looks just the 14.2V plug.

Sal


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Wayne Dohnal

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Posted: 07/22/12 11:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I ran a PD9160 charging test with the real battery:

I wish the converter-to-battery wiring was beefier to make for a tougher test. But for this test bed, the converter performed as one would expect it to. Once the current got down to 58 amps the converter voltage was over 14.3, and stayed there for 3-1/2 hours as the current tapered. There's no "falling off the cliff" as seen in Salvo's data on page 11. Fisherguy's data on page 11 is exactly what I'd expect if the AC voltage was more than a few volts under 120. KendallP's data on page 13 is pretty similar to mine, just a bit weaker, once again what I'd expect if the AC voltage was below 120. I see nothing in any of the examples, other that Salvo's, that the converter behaves differently with a battery vs. a resistive load. It would be interesting to see somebody else re-run the data with a verified 120 volt power source.

From the Vconv vs. Vbatt spread, the calculated wire resistance is about 16 mohm. Based on the wire size and length, it should be at least a few mohm less, including the circuit breaker and battery relay loss. It looks like further investigation is in order here.


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DryCamper11

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Posted: 07/23/12 09:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wayne Dohnal wrote:

I ran a PD9160 charging test with the real battery:

Thank you for the real data.

I was at the river again this weekend, so didn't do much, but I did run some brief tests when I got home. I wanted to know if the Onan 4.0 CCK Spec R generator in my RV (vintage 1972) would fully power my PD9280 in view of the reported low power factor (PF). This was one issue that concerned me about buying the PD and I hoped my particular gen would not suffer from any issue.

I also wanted to know if the PD9280 could put out near its 80A limit when the battery was near fully charged. IOW, whether I could only get 80A output when the state of charge was low.

At home, I was at 94% SOC as measured on the TriMetric on a 460AH battery bank connected to the PD9280 with 1/0 cables a bit shorter than 3' each.

With the PD running on 115VAC shore power, I saw 78 amps DC charging the batteries. On the 126 ACV gen I saw 82 DC amps. I went back and forth a few times and measured current with another meter (same results each time - slightly higher output on generator higher voltage than on shore power lower voltage).

This isn't conclusive, but it's what I hoped to see. Eventually, I'll do more formal tests, but this was just a quick look to see what happens with the new installation.

With the battery near fully charged (roughly 94%), the battery voltage was above 14 volts during charging, yet I was still able to supply full rated current (80A from the PD) from both AC sources.

In this brief testing period, I could detect no effect due to a low PF of the PD converter when powering the new PD converter with AC from my old generator. That generator has a heavy rotor and no voltage regulator. The speed of the rotor directly sets the output voltage. "Heavy" means that rotational speed doesn't change quickly, so inertia keeps it turning even if all the current is being pulled at the top of each AC pulse. The throttle opens to the average power required to keep the load supplied and the rotor turning.

The absence of a VR means there's no interaction between a VR and the low PF load that might cause the output voltage to change quickly.

BFL13

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Posted: 07/23/12 09:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I do not understand how you got the bank to accept 80 amps at 94% SOC.

My recharges using either Vectors or the 100amp PowerMax (set to 14.6v) always have amps tapering below 80 by that high an SOC. Typical might be 60 amps at 80% SOC ( 15 amps per battery)

86% SOC is around 10 amps per battery at 14.4v and at 90%SOC it is approx 5 amps per battery. 3 amps per is approx 97%

Perhaps there was a big draw on the batteries at the time, so the converter was cranking out its full amps even though the bank was over 90% SOC???


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Wayne Dohnal

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Posted: 07/23/12 10:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 wrote:

I do not understand how you got the bank to accept 80 amps at 94% SOC.
Ditto this statement for me. When my 225 AH bank is at 94% I don't think it will pull even 10 amps at 14.4 volts for more than the first minute. I "love" my battery monitor but the more I cross-check it with other data, the more I think that determining SOC is closer to black magic than science. When I did the discharge for the recent test, the battery monitor said I was at 48% SOC, while the voltage/temperature readings said I was at 33%. When recharging, the battery monitor said I was at 100% while the battery was still pulling over 5 amps, so I know that's not right. I wish now I would have used the hydrometer on the discharged battery, which I assume would have given a 3rd different reading. The battery monitor supposedly corrects based on the discharge and charge rates. This must be a pretty inexact science.

BFL13

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Posted: 07/23/12 10:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I never did set the "three things" on my Trimetric because IMO bank capacity is so variable with temperature. I have a rough idea of what full AH is during particular camping sessions and just use the accumulated AH and that notion of capacity to figure my own percentage SOC.

I cross-check this with the "morning voltage" and can see if they match "within reason." The other cross-check is on recharging, I use the amps per battery as above against the AH reading and voltage to see if they match.

I really like having the Trimetric for seeing what amps are being used/put in and the accumulated AH. I use the voltage read-out too, but could get that with a simple voltmeter before and still can where I want to see it to two decimal places.

I find the several pages of detailed programming into the weeds that the Trimetric will do is just silly when you can't even get a good capacity of the bank to base it all on anyway. Weird.

DryCamper11

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Posted: 07/23/12 11:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 wrote:

I do not understand how you got the bank to accept 80 amps at 94% SOC.


I intentionally looked at only the first few minutes of charge. It was clearly dropping off as I watched and wouldn't have held for long at that rate. There were two things I wanted to know.

1) Was there a difference in the current/rate of charge between the generator and shore power. (None I could see)

2) With a voltage above about 14 volts, could the PD charger/converter provide 80 amps on both AC sources. (Yes.)

This was not a steady state test where it had reached 94% charge from a lower voltage, so you can't compare to any tests others have done.

There are lots of uncontrolled factors. Some are related to the converter design - the converter may have components that heat up and limit charge rate. Some are related to the battery - I was looking at the first few minutes of charging. I was interested only in the basic limits of the system. If there are converter limits, I may need to work around them. If there are battery limits, those should apply to all converters.

I wasn't trying to say that the PD can supply 80 amps steady at that high SOC continuously, and I don't expect to see that when I do real testing. (The only load was the battery however.) For that matter, the 94% number was a guesstimate based upon my recollection of numbers that had disappeared. It could have been lower.

I did some inverter testing at one point, and the TriMetric reset on me to 100% charged without any charging input. (I didn't run the gen or alternator and I have no solar) when I overloaded the inverter and it went into safety shutdown. I believe the voltage pulled down under a 100+ amp load, then when the inverter shut off, the voltage popped up above the "charged" limit causing the TriMetric to think it was fully charged. I didn't have the "time within limits" trigger option set to prevent that.

This is more like a single datapoint at the start of a charge test than a point in the middle.

Edit: Also note that the batteries are new, so the capacity is lower than after they've broken in. The true SOC was unknown.

* This post was last edited 07/24/12 02:04pm by DryCamper11 *   View edit history

DryCamper11

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Posted: 07/23/12 12:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 wrote:

I really like having the Trimetric for seeing what amps are being used/put in and the accumulated AH. I use the voltage read-out too, but could get that with a simple voltmeter before and still can where I want to see it to two decimal places.

I find the single decimal voltage of the TriMetric to be useless. For many years, I've included a rotary switch selectable two decimal voltmeter in my RV panel. I can check voltages at any one of three battery systems (coach, chassis and gen) and the voltage on the RV electrical system (which is independent and can be switched to any of the three other systems or the converter source).

Adding the TriMetric to the voltage monitor has been great. Like you, I care about amps in/out in real time and totalized over a period.

Salvo

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Posted: 07/23/12 04:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That is the first PD test where the converter voltage doesn't creep to 14.4V. Still, the current tapers from the start. It is not capable of holding constant current. Look at the Iota charge plot a few pages back. It outputs 55A for almost 2 hours. You are down to about 30A at that time.

As it's difficult to read the data, can you provide it in table format?

Sal

Wayne Dohnal wrote:

I ran a PD9160 charging test with the real battery:


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