to issue 15 of our industrial ezine "DC Supply". I hope you all
holiday and a peaceful new year.
you would have noticed that our December issue did not
may be wondering why this was so. In truth, we simply did not have
produce our December issue and even contemplated stopping the
altogether. It takes a great deal of work
to produce each issue and we have found it
and more difficult to produce articles on
subjects that we have not covered elsewhere.
that many of you find the publication useful and for this reason,
you may be
to hear that we have decided to continue publishing the ezine after
though be a number of changes which should keep the contents
Supply will now be published every two months and will be numbered
issues per year rather than 12, it will be less time consuming to
difficult trying to find something interesting to
you are not disappointed by our decision and will continue to
publication. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You
submit articles too if you wish, as long as they are related to
dc supplies, batteries
charging systems in general.
you enjoy reading this issue!
Editor: Alan Fidler.
Alan is the owner and manager of
CBC Design, a leading battery management company
based in the UK. He has worked in the industry for
over Eighteen years and
charging equipment and battery monitors for some of the world
Solutions for Christmas!
(Revisited). Author: Alan Fidler.
With a matter of
weeks since the holiday
period, it is a good
thinking about all those battery powered toys your kids Aunts,
Grand Parents purchased and how to keep your running costs down to a
Batteries are rarely included with the
toys themselves and where they are it is
usually because the toy can be tried in the shop which invariably
means the batteries
are flat by the time
Christmas has come and
our relatives forget about batteries altogether and this can be very
kids opened their presents
only to discover that they could
not play with their new
because nobody thought about purchasing a suitable set of
simplest solution is to purchase a charger that can recharge a
variety of cells and
number of Nicad cells that can be inter-changed from one toy to
significantly reduces the number of cells
required and over a number of years can save
amount of money.
the larger toys manufactured by companies such as Matel or Fisher
batteries such as "C" or "D" types which are widely used in torches
systems so one or two sets of each type will suit a number of
"A" cells are popular sizes in portable CD players and smaller toys
so one or
of each of these may be quite useful too.
look round your own home and list all the battery powered
appliances that you
including toys, torches and any portable equipment such as CD
players or radios.
note of the batteries used in each appliance on your list so you can
cells are the most popular.
Now try and decide which goods on
your list are the most widely used and
enable you to decide upon an appropriate number of a given cell
type. The initial
seem high compared to non-rechargeable cells but, properly
will last for years so over
time you will save money
and more importantly, you will always
have a reliable set of batteries whenever you need them
purchase a charger with inter-changeable battery holders rather than
There is not much point purchasing a unit that can only charge one
"D" cell if
to charge 4-8 of them at the same time.
function chargers are available from all good charger suppliers
either in the
street or on-line. Some even build to order giving the customer the
specify their own personal recharging
Recently, a friend asked me to look at a
fibre optic lamp they purchased for their
daughter over the Christmas period. A very
basic unit that runs on two "AA" cells
connected in series, the batteries lasted
less than a day and they wanted a better
solution. 2 weeks later, they
purchased 4 "AA" cells and a suitable charger.
a fully charged set of batteries available at all times and have
recouped the money the
If you use
lots of batteries, think about using
AUTOMATIC NICAD CONDITIONER
latest Nicad charger automatically conditions Nicad batteries by
cells to a specified potential before
applying a 3 stage charging cycle to
cells safely and completely.
Automatic discharge as required before
charging cycle commences!
charging, Constant Current (Boost) Float Charge and Trickle
indications for Battery Connected, Discharging, Charging and Battery
Available with 110/120 or 220/230 Mains
Designed for fixed recharge
for Switch Tripping applications!
Can be used to recharge Lithium Ion
Go to http://www.cbcdesign.co.uk/
and click the "New Products!"
link for more information.
Ever heard of gas powered
first heard about them a some years ago. The theory was that a
gas could be stored
a small container and converted into electricity. The up side was
that gas took up
less space watt for watt than a battery of
the same amp size and could operate
for much longer
periods between top-ups.
Imagine a mobile phone running
end with a gas battery in a container no bigger
than an existing
easy to assume that gas batteries or fuel cells as they are more
relatively recent phenomenon but in reality they have been around,
on paper at
for over 150 years. It is only within the last few years
that real progress has been
small domestic sized cells though.
cells work in a similar manner to a battery however they do not run
down or require
recharging in the same way an ordinary cell
does. As long as fuel is available, the cell
continue to deliver electrical power. Of course one could argue that
a form of recharge, albeit a more efficient and less time consuming
cell consists of two electrodes around an electrolyte.
Oxygen passes over one of
electrodes whilst hydrogen passes over the second one and the
electricity, water and heat. What is actually happening is that
over the anode split into protons (+) and electrons (-). The
proton pass through
electrolyte to the cathode electrode whilst the electrons flow
back to Anode through the
load. The gas is being converted into
electrical energy by chemical reaction.
big advantage with fuel cells is that they can use virtually any
fuel that is
available, including natural gas and
gasoline. Using a device called a fuel reformer,
can be utilised from any hydrocarbon fuel source and because no
occurring, harmful emissions are considerably reduced. With many
countries in the
dependant upon the sale of oil for their very survival, one
wonders if electric
could operate from gas powered cells. On the one hand the
healthier, on the other, the oil industry has a viable future. Who
One thing is certain, fuel cells
will begin to make an appearance in mobile
laptop computers within the next few years. Keep an eye out for
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Questions from Drew
What is the difference between "Boost" and
Boost is a raised charging voltage that
causes the battery to draw extra charging
current. This results in mild gassing but a
quicker recharge time.
Equalise is also a raised charging voltage
set slightly higher than boost and is
designed to equalise the voltage between
series connected cells.
2. What does EQ
is an abbreviated term for Equalise.
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