ACTIA’s equalizer is more than just a basic voltage converter or equalizer. It acts as an electronic regulator that can withstand current spikes up to 60 amperes. It rebalances the effective battery charge and integrates diagnostics capabilities to anticipate roadside breakdowns. ACTIA has designed an innovative equalizer that helps preserve battery life since they are costly to replace. By integrating this technology, manufacturers can offer their customers the guarantee of optimal and lasting use of the battery pack.
The equalizer preserves battery life
The equalizer rebalances batteries in series
In the world of commercial, industrial and off-road vehicles, equipment for digital services, comfort features and safety devices multiply the electrical needs on the vehicle network. Demand placed on the battery fluctuates during the various phases of vehicle operation.
The battery equalizer is a smart power converter. Smart, because it manages the battery’s spikes in electric power. It is intended for combustion vehicles operating with two 12-volt batteries in series, for a total of 24 volts. The equalizer is used to maintain the charge and discharge balance between the two batteries connected in series which make up the battery pack. It can provide a reliable 12V regulated power supply for dual-voltage electrical network architectures. It acts as a load distributor, to ensure the battery pack is discharged uniformly, which helps preserve battery life.
The equalizer addresses increasing on-board power requirements
Regardless of the type of vehicle, there is a growing amount of on-board equipment designed to provide both drivers and passengers with the best possible experience: comfort, safety, driving assistance and more. Most of this equipment is energy-intensive and draws down the battery pack irregularly.
The example of HGVs is especially relevant, since the battery is used during driving, of course, but also when stopped, as the vehicle serves as a living area of sorts for the driver. In HGVs, demand for 12V DC power is increasing, as equipment is introduced on the electrical architecture, in addition to the many comfort features connected to the 12V sockets. Depending on the model, the cab may feature equipment requiring power such as: a TV screen, a coffee maker, a mini fridge, a microwave, a computer, ergonomically optimized control elements, and many other functions that enhance comfort in the driver’s seat and in the area used for breaks. Such a wide variety of loads on the 12V network can cause energy needs to spike momentarily.
It triples the nominal current value: from 20A to 60A
In addition to a conventional 24 volt to 12 volt DC/DC converter function, the equalizer tolerates consumption spikes up to three times its nominal value of 20 amperes. This means that it can withstand voltage spikes up to 60 amperes. It draws energy from one of the batteries in the pack during the momentary spike and rebalances the effective voltage between the two batteries once the spike has passed, this to prevent abnormal wear on the battery system.
In a single unit, the equalizer can manage the battery pack, which contains two batteries installed in series. Its “wake-up” function helps prevent the battery from discharging when the vehicle is stopped for an extended period of time with minimal consumption.
The equalizer integrates ACTIA’s long-standing expertise
The ACTIA equalizer integrates monitoring and diagnostic capabilities. Diagnostics information is available on the CAN J1939 interface that makes it easier to detect and process faults in the equalizer or its environment. These features facilitate predictive battery maintenance. The equalizer constantly monitors the components and tracks weak signals (troubleshooting) on the vehicle’s diagnostics network. These features help anticipate battery faults.
The diagnostics function of the equalizer provides information about:
- – the operating mode status;
- – the internal temperature;
- – the battery voltage.
It can be used to produce a fault report.
ACTIA relies on over 30 years of expertise in designing complex architectures for demanding commercial, industrial and off-road vehicle environments. In addition, ACTIA is also a diagnostics partner for automobile manufacturers of both industrial and commercial vehicles.
In on-board electronics for harsh environments
The direct physical proximity of the equalizer to the battery pack requires a design with a high level of safety.
The IP 6K9K-rated ACTIA equalizer is specially designed for extreme conditions. It is suitable in tough situations where temperature, temperatures variation, vibration, dust & water requirements are highly demanding in terms of device and components. The equipment has an operating temperature of -40/+95°C! It performs in harsh environment and is also applicable to off-road. This ensure the quality, reliability, long-life and sturdiness of ACTIA equalizer.
This design requires highly specific means for integrating electronic components, notably a dual-component seal specially developed by ACTIA.
Its compact format makes it easy to integrate on the vehicle. ACTIA also offers means for securing the cable bundles attached to it.
Finally, its ready-to-use electronic design does not require any specific development to interface with the manufacturer’s battery pack.
In power conversion
ACTIA’s experience in power electronics has made it possible to develop generic solutions dedicated to energy conversion. Power electronics units are manufactured in large volumes for commercial and industrial vehicles. Over the past 20 years, ACTIA has produced nearly one and a half million step-down transformers for truck, bus, and special machinery manufacturers. This year, production of the equalizer has reached an average rate of 90,000 units per year!
ACTIA is also able to produce in smaller quantities due to an efficient industrial organization; the group has modular industrial capabilities. For example, the ACTIA Colomiers site in the south of France has flexible means of production: small, medium and large production runs, in a highly-certified industrial environment to meet the quality requirements of all markets.