Sunday, July 27, 2014

Thinking about Float - A new approch??

The purpose of Float mode is really two:
  1. Provide makeup energy to compensate the battery for any self discharge
  2. Cover house power demands using the Alternator.
In reality, makeup energy is more of a shore-power topic, while an underway Alternator Regulator would do just fine focusing only on covering house loads.  The traditional approach for managing these two goals is to select a voltage just slightly above the At-rest voltage of the battery and holding it here.  Making adjustments for battery temperature along the way.

But it occurred to me this approach really is back in the world of voltage-only centric thinking, and is in fact an indirect way to achieve the real goal.  After all, what we REALLY want to do is provide some energy to the battery for point #1, and make sure current flow out of the battery is as close to 0A as possible for point #2.

Rather then try to develop a precise voltage to hold in achieving these goals, why not just manage to the goals them self??  Perhaps rather then holding a FLA battery at 13.4v, we instead manage to 1% of its Ah capacity (ala, 1A flowing into the battery).  And for batteries where we don't want to give any self discharge makeup energy, we hold battery amps to 0A.

When I return to the boat I may look at these ideas;  to me it makes more sense to manage towards to real goal then try to walk a thin indirect line hoping we got it right type of goal..

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