Tube type charge controller

dsljimdsljim Registered Users Posts: 5
This old battery charger knows if you have one or fifteen. 6 volt battery's hooked in series.
Anyone have or used one of these? It's a Trojan,Electron Tube Rectifier,made in Lancaster new York,black crinkle finish, 80 years old? It works like a champ.
There is one transformer, two vacuum tubes and 4 rheostats.
The tubes look like they screw into a normal light socket
Anyone?

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,358 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Tube type charge controller

    Wow. It sounds like a keeper.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,006 admin
    Re: Tube type charge controller

    Be careful with this unit. It sounds like regulates current which is fine. However, you are looking at near 120 volt output, which, these days much higher than 40 to 60 volts which is considered relatively safe to touch.

    Also, may not be isolated from 120 vac mains, so charging a connected battery (such as a car) could energize the car's body.

    It is amazing our parents, grandparents, and their kids have survived the old equipment.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Tube type charge controller

    i remember that type as i got jolted once from touching the body of a car while it was charging. not fun unless you're into that type of fun.:roll:

    bb is right that it will most likely regulate the current leaving it free to continue past the point it should go into absorb.
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 995 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Tube type charge controller

    Would LOVE to see a picture of this !!
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,006 admin
    Re: Tube type charge controller

    Down near the bottom of this forum is a post with pictures of a vacuum tube diode and charger.

    I remember in the early 1960's, my friend's Dad has a vacuum tube charger and would connect a couple car batteries to make an arc welder... Later he used some sort of arc lamp ballast instead... Even then, that was pushing "old school".

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Tube type charge controller

    Awesome BB! Here's a video of such a charger, roughly 100 years old, restored and actually fired up, in operation.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQNKfBNib8I&feature=related
  • dsljimdsljim Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: Tube type charge controller

    Thanks,just watched and read both. This Trojan has 2 tubes rated 6 amps each,output is -90 volts DC,says it will charge 3-38 cells. The interesting thing to me is I've hooked it to one 6Volt battery, and 4-12 volts in series and it puts in the right voltage. My old Exide charger has a probe you stick in the cell so you don't hurt the battery,that seems like a good idea too. My snapon is lite and on wheels, but on high its putting close to 17 volts into 12 volt battery. The flashy decal on it says 200 amp boost,when it's cold and I want something to start I have a 75 amp 25-SI brushless delco run with a Lister Petter engine, on a cool day I have stalled it starting my 955 Cat. 75 Amp × 12 volts. =900 Watts × 1.25 = 1.125 horsepower. I think delco rates their products like TLG.
    Now battery life? Related to clean DC input, the old Guy that repaired forklift battery's his whole life could probably help here, the Guy selling you batteries, or the newest ,fastest,highest tech,highest profit margin (commission ) charger, probably not!
    My Dad always said don't send a boy out to do a mans job! The stuff in the flashy ads today is kinda like a todler full of steroids high on cocaine. It might pull my plow for 50 feet,but I got 30 acres and it's gonna need plowing every spring.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,006 admin
    Re: Tube type charge controller

    Big difference between 6-12 amps into a 100 AH battery vs 200 amps...

    In general, a flooded cell battery should be subjected to long term charging currents of 5% to 13% ( C/20 to C/8 ) rate of charge--And you can get upwards of 25% for short term charging (C/4).

    With your 200 amps, that is a C*2 rate of charge. You are dumping way more current into the battery bank than it can really manage. And it will be damaged if left charging for a period of time (5 minutes, 15 minutes, 60 minutes?--I really don't know).

    Some AGM type batteies can take C*4 charging rates--But that is a different animal (much lower internal resistance/chemical reaction "impedance").

    It is not that the old charger is good and the new charge is old--They are really different devices with much differing capabilities.

    For the tube charger--it is the limited current/battery chemistry that is setting the charging voltage. And, I would presume, the tube charger will over charge the attached batteries if left connected continuously (unless it used the battery cell probe).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Tube type charge controller
    BB. wrote: »

    For the tube charger--it is the limited current/battery chemistry that is setting the charging voltage. And, I would presume, the tube charger will over charge the attached batteries if left connected continuously (unless it used the batter cell probe).

    -Bill

    Exactly! Because of the relatively low charging current, the battery itself dictates it's own voltage. It comes up to 12 volts, or whatever it's voltage may be, and then absorbs all the current the charger can put out, so the charger cannot drive the voltage any higher. Once the battery is fully charger however, things change, and the voltage can continue to climb to a damaging (for the battery) level.
    A very inefficient charger, (watts in/watts out) compared to modern chargers, but still amazing technology in it's day.
  • dsljimdsljim Registered Users Posts: 5
    Re: Tube type charge controller

    Found this in an old book today,3 types of battery chargers
    constant current: good for badly sulfates batteries, hook in series,good rule of thumb 1amp /positive plate,if mixed sizes go with 5 amps ,turn it down and leave on overnite. A Guy at the forklift battery shop told me about killing them overnight wiith a dead short and then bringing them back for 24 hours and then checking the gravity,then you pull out the bad jar and fix the bad one.When he worked there most batteries were 30 and some made it to 50 years old not bad for 6 + 7 day work weeks, he also told about giving the old ones a little shot of acid to buy a couple years for the Guy who couldn't afford a new one just then.
    Constant Potential : like you get from a car alternator. Charges hard at first,greatest tendancy to overheat and ruin your battery!
    High Rate Charger:= good for getting your car started.
    Now it's all starting to make sense, when I was little we had a 3 amp battery charger,you'd have to leave that thing on all day,but it seemed to bring old lazy batteries back to life,which was good because I could take a junk battery, charge it up and go for a ride back to the woods on my dune buggy.
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