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Ultracapacitor Charge Balancing

Balancer
Balancer

I have finally  got round to designing the balancing circuitry for my ultracapacitor banks, which have a total voltage of 15v when fully charged. The 2600F capacitors have a max working voltage of 2.5v each, so to ensure reliable operation, balancing is required to make sure that each capacitor is charged fully.

The circuit above is a simple shunt regulator, which uses a 2.2v zener diode to regulate the voltage across the capacitor.

A 10W 1Ω resistor is connected to the BALLAST header, while the capacitor is connected across the INPUT. Once the voltage on the capacitor reaches 2.6v, the MOSFET begins to conduct, the 1Ω resistor limiting current to ~2.6A.

Each capacitor in the series string requires one of these connected across it.

PCB
PCB

Below is a link to the Eagle project archive for this. Includes schematic, board & gerber files.

[download id=”5555″]

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PSi 150 Power Inverter

Front
Front

This is a small 120W power inverter, intended for small loads such as lights, fans, small TVs & laptop computers.

End Cover
End Cover

End cover of the unit, 12v DC input cord at the top, power switch & indicator LEDs at the bottom.

Mains Output
Mains Output

Opposite end of the unit, with the standard 240v AC 50Hz Mains output socket.

Cover Removed
Cover Removed

Cover removed from the top of the unit. Main power transformer is visible in the centre here, MOSFET bank is under the steel clamp on the left, the aluminium case forms the heatsink.

PWM Controllers
PWM Controllers

On the right is a KA3525 switchmode PWM controller & on the left is a LM324N quad Op-Amp IC. The buzzer on the far left is for the low battery warning.

PCB Removed
PCB Removed

PCB removed from the casing, with the MOSFET bank on the right hand side. Two potentiometers in the centre of the board tweak the frequency of the switcher & the output voltage.