While renewable energy has recently become mainstream, solar panels and rechargeable batteries have provided energy for a large number of remote weather stations for years. Many of our measurement and control systems are powered by rechargeable batteries charged from solar panels.

To further help in this area, we are introducing two new smart battery-charge controllers, the PS200 and CH200, for recharging 12-Vdc, valve-regulated, lead-acid (VRLA) batteries. The PS200 includes a 12-Vdc, 7-Ahr rechargeable battery, whereas the CH200 is for applications where the user provides the battery, such as our BP12 or BP24.

These new charge controllers provide a new, powerful solution for battery charge control. Solar panel charging is enhanced by the 3.6-A typical current limit, two-step constant-voltage charging algorithm and maximum power point tracking.

Several safety and protection features make the PS200 and CH200 valuable and rugged additions to a rechargeable battery system. Onboard measurements, along with a serial communication interface, provide users with charge input voltage, battery voltage, onboard temperature, battery current, and load current measurements. These measured parameters can be used to compute net charging currents, battery health, and power budgets for improved site management.

The PS200 and CH200 are compatible with the A100 and A105 adapters. The A100 Null Modem Adapter is used to connect and power two peripherals via two CS I/O, 9-pin connectors configured as a null modem. This is useful in linking different communication technologies at sites that do not have a datalogger. The A105 12-Vdc Terminal Expansion Adapter may be used to provide extra 12-Vdc and ground terminals where the power supply is used to power several devices.