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Camdenboss battery balancer for improved performance and extended life

CamdenBoss’s CEQ12A battery balancer is designed to balance the voltage of pairs of batteries during charging to help improve performance and extend battery life. Here, we examine how it works.

CamdenBoss’s CEQ12A battery balancer

Many electrically powered vehicles, such as golf buggies, mobility scooters and go-karts, use two or more batteries connected in series and it is important to charge the batteries equally for optimum performance and extended life.

Using the CEQ12A prevents the normal mismatched voltages at which batteries stabilise when charged in series. Without a CEQ12A, one battery will be undercharged while the other is overcharged. The CEQ12A ensures that each battery in a pair receives the same voltage by measuring the total charging voltage, calculating its middle value and adjusting the voltage to each battery to be equal within 0.1V.

In our example, an electric go-kart has five batteries connected in series to supply 60V nominal for the motor. This system is charged by a 72V supply (14.4V x 5).

Charging without balancer
When charging the batteries as normal with a 72V/20A charger the final voltages on each battery were checked. The five final voltages were: 13.9 + 14.5 + 14.3 + 14.8 + 14.5 = 72V. There are clear differences in the charged voltages meaning that there will also be differences in the state of charge of each battery. The overall capacity of the system is determined by the capacity of the battery with the lowest charge. If one of the batteries becomes fully discharged, there will be a significant drop in voltage and the system will operate poorly.

When charged without balancers, our test go-kart ran at full speed for six minutes.

Charging with balancer
Using the same charger with CEQ12A battery balancers resulted in the following final voltages:
14.3 + 14.4 + 14.4 + 14.5 + 14.4 = 72V. As a result, the go-kart ran for 10.5 minutes at full speed.

What happened?
It is a fact that, in a typical situation, two or more batteries connected in series can never charge equally. One will always accept a lower terminal voltage than the other(s). As a consequence, both/all batteries will have shorter lives with undercharged batteries suffering from build up of sulphate (sulphating) while the electrolyte will tend to dry up in overcharged batteries. Both conditions reduce the lifetime of the batteries.

Operating principle
The CEQ12A balancer measures the total charging voltage for a pair of batteries, calculates its middle value and adjusts the voltage to each of the two batteries to be equal within 0.1V. This ensures even charging. The maximum current that will flow is approx. 1A. This results in increased starting current due to the balance of charging and extended battery life.

Figure 1 shows voltage at battery terminals for a pair of batteries serially connected (battery A at low charge, battery B at high charge).

Camden’s CEQ12A can be used with all types of 12V battery such as AGM, Gel, flooded, deep cycle, marine etc. It is a suitable charging accessory for all batteries used in pairs, e.g. mobility scooters, trucks, buses, floor cleaning machines and anywhere that 12V batteries are connected in series. For more than two batteries, multiple CEQ12A balancers can be used. For example, to charge four batteries, three CEQ12As are needed (n-1 where n is number of batteries).

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