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TECHNICAL BACKGROUND

n

Self-discharging

The decrease in the capacity

of a battery that occurs when

no load is connected. A flooded battery

loses 1% per day, an AGM battery and

Gel battery 2 % per month and a Lithium

Ion battery less than 3 % per month.

The higher the ambient temperature,

the more self-discharging will occur.

Current leakage due to intense pollution

or humidity between the poles can also

cause a higher level of self-discharging, so

you should always keep the top of your

batteries clean and dry.

n

Semi-traction battery

A semi-traction battery has fewer but

thicker plates in each cell, compared to

starter batteries. Semi-traction batteries

supply a relatively lower starter current,

but can be discharged more often and to

a greater extent (200 to 500 full cycles).

This kind of battery is highly appropriate

for the combined function of starter/

service battery.

n

Series connection

A series connection (the positive pole of

each battery is connected to the negative

pole of the next) increases the voltage of

the total battery set. For example, when

two 12-volt batteries with a capacity of 55

Ah each are connected in series, the total

voltage of the set will be 12 + 12 = 24 volt,

while total capacity remains 55 Ah.

n

Sine wave

The alternation of voltage can be

graphically indicated by a sine wave.

This consists of a line that follows a wave

pattern around a horizontal axis, which

represents the passage of time and also

the points at which voltage is zero. Once

the line has traced one entire wave above

the time axis and one entire wave below,

a whole sine wave has been outlined.

n

Square millimetre (mm²)

Unit in which cable diameters are

measured. With a direct current system

of 12 or 24 volt, three amps should

correspond to one mm² of cable

thickness. For 230 volt systems allow

6 amps for each mm². Both apply for a

maximum length of 3 metres.

n

Soft start

Device used to reduce the inrush

current of transformers and motors.

n

Standby mode

In this mode the inverter emits a

small pulse instead of the usual

230 volt output. It detects when an

appliance is switched on and then

automatically switches on, supplying

230 volt until the output current falls

below a pre-set value. When there

is little or no output current, this

means that no load is connected and

the inverter switches back to stand-

by. This system saves a great deal of

energy.

n

Starter battery

Mainly used to start engines.

Although these batteries can deliver

a high current, they should not

be excessively or too frequently

discharged and are therefore not

appropriate for lighting purposes.

AGM batteries are ideal to serve as

starter battery and limited cyclic use.

n

Temperature

correction

If the battery tempe­

rature is lower than 25 ºC, the

charge voltage should be adjusted

upwards. When higher, the charge

voltage needs to be reduced. This

temperature correction is 30 mV per

ºC for a 12 Volt battery and 60 mV

per ºC for a 24-volt one. While this

may seem insignificant, it is essential

to ensure a long battery life.

n

Temperature sensor

A temperature sensor should be

attached to the battery so that

the charger can optimise charge

voltage with respect to the battery

temperature. The charge voltage

depends on the battery temperature

(see also Temperature correction).

T

n

Traction batteries

Used for propulsion, powering

equipment and inverters, etc. They can

be discharged often and completely, and

in a Gel version are highly suitable for

onboard use. Flooded cell batteries are

only appropriate for forklifts, etc.

n

Transfer system

A (frequently automatic) system used to

switch between multiple power sources,

such as grid, generator and inverter.

n

UL approval

An American certification

provided by Underwriters

Laboratories that is similar to the

European CE-

mark and mainly

focused on safety

issues.

n

Volt (V)

Unit in which electric potential

(voltage) is measured.

n

3-Step+ charging

A modern charging technology that

has been extended with an extra

step in Mastervolt equipment,

the Plus phase.

The three steps are:

n

Bulk, where the charger supplies

maximum power.

n

Absorption, during which the

charger delivers maximum charge

voltage and the battery is charged

from around 80 % to 100 %.

n

Float, used for battery

maintenance and delivering power

to connected equipment.

The ‘plus’ phase is an automatic

one-hour bulk phase once every

12 days when the battery is not

being used.

V

U

S

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