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Building a Festival Ready 12V Rechargeable Power System Part 1: Introduction

Dave Ives
I currently look after production at AB Open. I have a background in the arts, environmental conservation and IT support. In my spare time I do a bit of DJing and I like making things.


November 16, 2018 11:20

Well the simplest way off the top of my little brain is if the use any battery powered power tools that use 18v packs just use as them in parallel to get you capacity and regulate the voltage to 12v. Many are 4 Amp hr packs and recharge quickly. Can always rebuild the packs with better 18650 cells. Or build your own custom pack and use a TI, Maximum or other multi cell battery charging / monitor IC hooked up to solar panel or other power supply. Quick and easy with few parts. Just a thought

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November 8, 2018 12:57

I am ex designer of SMPS, I would have gone for a 24 volt system which would be more efficient and easier to design and keeping the currents lower in the primary side of the SMPS, if your amplifier needs plenty of power.

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November 6, 2018 08:09

Well said Fluffy! - I was going to suggest exactly the same thing!
I would also recommend considering a LiFePO4 battery pack.
Lithium batteries generally weigh between 1/3 and 1/2 for the same usable capacity and can last up to 10 times as long when used as a deep-cycle battery. If you compare cost vs benefit for both chemistries - LiFePO4 is the winner by far!
As Fluffy 1 reported - a lead-acid battery should never be discharged beyond 50% depth of discharge, but LiFePO4 cells can be happily discarged to 80% so if you aim for a 10 Ah pack then you need at least a 20 Ah lead-acid or a 12 Ah Lithium!

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November 5, 2018 14:55

If I may be so bold. You need to look at your power calculations again.

Lead Acid batteries cant be called upon to produce their full AH capacity. In other words you cant use 100% of the available energy.

Only 20% of the energy is the norm, pushing it to 50% occasionally. I suggest you double the size of the battery and the Solar Panel.

Also instant current readings are notoriously unreliable, especially for something like an audio system. Meter response and specifically the meters internal A/D sampling rate can miss a significant, if not nearly all the current spikes. A better method would be to measure total consumption over a long period like an hour, even better 5 hours if that is what your target it.


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