DC Supply! Monthly Electrical Ezine

CBC Design (tm) - March 2002 Issue. ISSN 1475-3464
Email: cbc_design@btconnect.com

"...Maintaining a reliable DC supply."



- Editorial
Battery Manufacturers. (Article)
Battery Installation. (Article)
- Competition - Win FREE battery pack!.
- Readers Questions
- Subscriber Ads



Welcome to our March edition of DC Supply.
We have had several new subscribers this month and would like to welcome
each and every one of you to our subscriber list. We hope you find our
content beneficial and look forward to helping you with your supplies.
You can obtain copies of back issues of this publication from our website or
by sending an email to us with BACK ISSUE in the subject line. Please
remember to tell us which month or months publications you are interested in.
This month we look at battery manufacturers and battery installation.
There are quite a few battery manufacturers in the world, some of whom
are probably familiar to you whilst others are not. In this issue, we introduce
both well known manufacturers and the less well known too.
Batteries must be installed properly if you want to get the best performance
from them. Connect them inappropriately and problems will occur. Article
2 looks at series and parallel configurations as well as mounting security.
We show you how to increase voltage or capacity by connecting the cells
together in a variety of combinations.
Please remember that we are always happy to answer any questions you
may have regarding your DC supplies and battery installations. Just drop
us a line and we will do our best to help you.
As always, we welcome any comments you may have and hope you enjoy
this months 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 has designed charging equipment and battery monitors for some of the world largest companies.

ARTICLE: Battery Manufacturers. Author: Alan Fidler.
Most of us are familiar with some of the worlds well known battery manufacturers
such as Sanyo, Panasonic, Yuasa, Chloride etc but there are some other less
well known manufacturers, to the general public at least, who produce a variety
of quality batteries too.
Yuasa batteries manufacture sealed lead acid batteries in a wide variety of
sizes and ratings. The popular NP series is widely used in industrial and
automotive applications. Long life cells are also available for critical applications.
Chloride are well known for their outstanding powersafe range, an industrial
battery with a long life which is the preferred battery in some industrial
installations. They have an extensive range for any application.
Sonnenschein are a German company with a proven track record. They have
been manufacturing quality lithium thionyl chloride batteries since 1983 and
can produce custom cells if required to suit most applications.
Hoppecke was founded in 1927 by Carl Zoellner and have been manufacturing
high quality industrial batteries ever since. They have recently opened subsidiary
companies in the USA and China.
Sanyo are well known manufacturers of Nicad batteries in popular domestic
sizes from AAA to Super F. They also manufacture lithium ion and ni-MH
Panasonic manufacture alkaline cells, sealed lead acid batteries, lithium
cells, Nicad cells and Nickel Metal Hydride types too. They cater for domestic
and industrial customers worldwide.
We are all familiar with Duracell. They manufacture long life batteries that
outlast comparable manufacturers products in most applications. Duracell
have an excellent reputation worldwide.
Ever ready are one of the oldest and most respected companies in their field.
The energiser, a brand familiar to many of us has a history that dates back
to 1886 when W.H. Lawrence formed the National Carbon Company (NCC).
Ever ready continue to manufacture quality batteries throughout the world.
Vision batteries are manufactured by Shenzhen Center Power Tech co based
in China. They have been developing lead acid batteries since 1985 and have
been a leading manufacturer for the Vision range in China ever since.
DC Supply does not recommend one manufacturer above another. All of the
above have reputations of manufacturing high quality dependable batteries of one
type or another and you must decide for your selves which best suits your


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ARTICLE: Battery Installation. Author: Alan Fidler. 
One of the advantages of batteries is that they can be installed in a variety
of configurations to provide almost any voltage at any given current level.
To increase capacity, batteries of equal ratings can be connected in parallel,
+ to + and - to -. To increase the voltage, the cells can be connected in series,
+ of one battery to - of the next battery in the chain. By using cells in a series
parallel configuration, both the voltage and the capacity can be increased
To increase the voltage we can series connect as many cells as we require to
obtain our required DC voltage level. If a the negative terminal of a 12V battery
is connected to the positive terminal of a second 12V battery, the total voltage
across the cells will be 24VDC with the positive connection on battery one and
the negative connection on battery 2.
The capacity is increased by connecting the batteries in parallel. If the positive
terminal of one battery is connected to the positive terminal of a second battery,
and the same connections are made using the negative terminals, we have
doubled the capacity of the configuration.
To those of you who are familiar with battery installations, these are both reasonably
simple concepts to understand however there are limitations that must be understood
before batteries can be interconnected in either manner described.
Batteries connected in series or parallel must have similar characteristics.
You can connect a 6V 100A battery in series with a 12V 100A battery of the
same type but not in parallel. You cannot connect a 6V and 12V battery in parallel
but you can series connect two 6V 100A batteries and connect them in parallel with
a 12V 100A battery of the same type.
You must never tap cells connected in series. This is bad practice and causes
imbalance in one or more of the batteries. If you have two identical 12v batteries
connected in series to provide 24VDC, you cannot use one battery as a 12V
source and both as a 24V source. You must use a dropper to reduce 24VDC
to 12V if you want to generate a separate 12 and 24V supply. In other words,
the whole pack must be used as the power source rather than individual segments
of it.
Never parallel batteries in differing states of charge. Even though they have
identical ratings, they have different characteristics where they are in this
condition and connecting them together could be very dangerous.
finally, make sure the batteries are fixed into position using straps or some
other appropriate method where they are installed into vehicles or other
moving objects. Many lead acid batteries use a liquid electrolyte that damages
paintwork and wiring if spilt. Fixing the battery securely will prevent this.
Whichever configuration you decide to use, make sure you contact the battery
manufacturer if you are in the slightest doubt about your installation. Remember
that batteries can be dangerous if used inappropriately so why chance it?
Here are some numbers to help you calculate the number of cells your require
for a given supply voltage:
Fully Charged Potentials.
Lead acid batteries: 2.25V per cell. A 12V battery is 6 cells in series.
Nicad Batteries: 1.41V per cell.
Discharged Potentials.
Lead acid batteries: 1.75V per cell (Leisure) 1.55V per cell (Traction)
Nicad Batteries: Approx 0.8V per cell depending upon application.
Remember: Look after your batteries and your batteries will look after you!


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Subscribe to our ezine and you will be automatically entered into our competition where you can win a FREE Nicad "AA" battery pack.

Simply send your email address (No free email) to cbc_design@btconnect.com with the words
"SUBSCRIBE" in the subject line.



Questions from Kevin Jones
Question 1.
Can a sealed lead-acid battery be used upside down?
Sealed lead-acid batteries can be used in any orientation
subject to particular conditions. Contact your battery manufacturer
for more information. 

Question 2.
Can batteries of dissimilar ratings be connected in parallel or series?.
Absolutely Not. You can only series or parallel batteries of equal capacity.
Under no circumstances must you attempt to combine batteries of different
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