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Author Topic: Diversion Load Controllers  (Read 3363 times)
Karlrs
Guest
« on: June 29, 2006, 12:49:53 PM »

I am new to this sort of thing and am interested to hear what a Diversion Load Controller does, could anyone help please?

Thanks

Karl
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Ian
installers
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Posts: 317


« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2006, 10:19:26 AM »

This is much more complicated to explain than I thought when I started to reply. I have started and erased 3 or 4 times already.... However, once the concept is undestood, the device is quite simple!

A diversion load controller is a device that controls the maximum power that can be delivered to a device (or load). A load could be a battery bank or immersion heater, or an inverter, etc.

The idea is that you only want a certain amount of power to get to a device. The power is controlled by voltage.

So if you were charging (or dumping power to) a 12v battery then it is very likely that you would not want to overcharge that battery (because if you did it would overheat and boil). So you want to stop this from happening. As a battery is a big load, even if your generator is capable of delivering, say 24v at 10 amps - when the generator output is connected to the battery (assuming it is not fully charged), the voltage will be around 12 v. As the battery becomes close to fully charged, the voltage rises. You know that if the battery voltage were to rise above, say 14.8v then it is fully charged and any more energy flowing in will mostly be wasted as heat.

But your generator has the ability to deliver more than 14.8v and it will do so, even if the battery is fully charged. So we want a device that will stop the battery being charged any more. The diversion load controller. In this case, the voltage point would be set to about 14.8 volts.

The diversion load controller usually has at least one and sometimes many "voltage points" that can either be set by the user or hardwired in. When the voltage hits a certain predefined value, the controller connects another circuit (in our case, a dump load to absorb all the extra power that the battery cannot take when the voltage rises to 14.8v) to the primary power source (the generator).

Basic "load controllers" just limit the power that can get through to the device and these can be found in, for example, PV panel systems charging batteries. These are pretty much just throttles and only allow a fixed voltage to be attained at the output. In the case of a PV panel there is no damage from disconnecting it from its load. So a "load controller" is all that is needed.

But if you have, say a wind generator spinning without a load, it will overspeed causing mechanical damage and generating potentially high voltages - so a simple throttle type "load controller" cannot be used here. In this case a "DIVERSION load controller" is required. The power is diverted away from the primary load and into something else - to make sure that the generator is always loaded.

Something to note : When the diversion load controller diverts excess power to a dump circuit, it still keeps the primary circuit connected, it is not dicsonnected - so power is still available to the primary load (the battery).

I am sure a technical author could do a much better job at explaining this!

Does this make any kind of sense ?

I hope this helps (a little).

Regards,
Ian
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