Saturday, March 22, 2014

Voltage Only deployments as a default condition?

One of the major goals of this regulator is the ability to measure Amps and use that information to better determine the actual battery state of charge.  However, there are some people who may wish to avoid the hassle of installing an Amp Shunt, and just use the regulator in plain old Voltage Only mode.  Maybe they have a 48v system and just need a regulator.

It is possible to configure the regulator to behave using only volts and time values via the (CPE (Charge Profile Entry) tables, setting the EXIT_AMPS values = 0.  In doing so, only the EXIT_TIME criteria will be looked at. 

But in the default configuration, all the EXIT_AMPS criteria have values - it is after all a core goal of the design!  The user can change these using the ASCII strings (ala, $CPA:7 xx,xx,xx.xx) to modify a default CPE entry - removing the Amps criteria.  But that takes work.

But I can add a feature.  If the measured Amps NEVER exceed 1A,  I can ASSUME the Amp Shunt is not connected, and in that situation will ignore the AMP exit criteria as well - just rely on the time values.

As a safety check, if the user has not defined a timeout value, will not do this - to prevent a miss-configuration from boiling the batteries dry.  But even so, this would introduce a down side: For deployments where the Amp measurement is set up, it is fails currently the alternator will quickly go into Float.  However, if I do make this change, such a failure in the Amp Shunt would cause the regulator to start time-outs for each phase. . . . Before I make the code change, need to ask:  would this be OK?





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