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  Using Voltage Sensitive Relays

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Author Topic:   Using Voltage Sensitive Relays
jimh posted 10-31-2008 12:36 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
Voltage sensitive relays (VSR's) (which operate when the voltage being monitor by them reaches a certain range) are typically used to provide an automatic charging function by which a secondary battery can be connected to the vessel charging system whenever there is excess charging current available. It occurs to me that this same function might be useful for controlling the automatic connection of another device which would also consume some of the excess charging current when available. One such device might be a cooler with a Peltier Effect cooling system. When there was excess charging current available, a voltage sensitive relay could operate and connect the cooler. In this way the cooler would only consume current when there was excess current available. This would be a useful way to prolong cold storage in the cooler when the cooler ice was expected to last several days between replenishment, such as when cruising.

From an electrical point of view, a Peltier Effect cooler should not look much different than a storage battery with a low terminal voltage, that is, it is just a load that consumes current. By only connecting the cooler load when there is excess charging current available, the cooler would not discharge the primary battery. A Peltier Effect cooler might consume less than 10-amperes of current, so a small VSR would be sufficient for most coolers.

Has this idea been tried? Details of any practical experience with using a VSR to power devices other than a storage battery are welcomed.

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