Understanding the basics of charging insulators.
The starter and traction batteries solve different problems. The first one starts the engine and the second one connects the equipment installed on the boat or car.
The engine generator produces current and supplies it to the batteries, from which the current flows through the wires to the consumers. Batteries are containers for storing electricity, so if a fully filled container (battery) is connected to an empty (discharged battery), the voltage of a charged battery will force current to flow into a discharged battery until the charge level between them is equalized. A discharged battery will always take power from a fully charged one, so no matter how many batteries are installed in a vehicle, equipment connected to one uses the capacity of the rest of the batteries in the circuit, and will eventually discharge the starter battery when you least expect it.
Charging isolators act as valves between batteries, preventing current from flowing between them. Due to the fact that the diodes pass current only in one direction, each battery becomes an independent source of energy and the traction batteries never discharge the starting. The same happens during the operation of the generator – the current moves only towards the batteries, and its value depends on the discharge level of the batteries and the settings of the generator voltage regulator.
What is the difference between charging insulators based on diodes and MOSFET transistors?
There are two types of battery separators – diode and MOSFET transistors.
1). Battery separators on diodes are cheaper, but the voltage drop across them is about 0.6 volts and to compensate for it, diode insulators are used in conjunction with external voltage regulators of the generator.
2). MOSFET battery isolators are electronic devices controlled by a microprocessor. The voltage drop across them on average is 0.1 volts for a high charge current.
Technologies for controlling the state of batteries using a microprocessor.
The capabilities described above are implemented in the Victron Argo FET and Mastervolt BATTERY MATE charging isolators. The devices monitor the state of the batteries using a microprocessor, which ensures that all batteries receive a charging current proportional to their state. High power is directed where it is needed at the moment. When the load on one of the batteries is high, the microprocessor prevents reverse current between the batteries, and if problems arise in the electrical system, isolates the generator or batteries.
Despite the large number of declared capabilities of these devices, the maximum voltage drop in the device does not exceed 0.1 V. This means that compared to standard diode charging isolators, Victron Argo FET and Mastervolt BATTERY MATE isolators reduce energy losses by 500 – 1000%.