The circuit described here can be used to ensure that a 12 V sealed lead acid (SLA) gel battery isn’t discharged too deeply. The principal part of the circuit is a bistable relay, which is driven by the output of an op-amp. The battery voltage is first reduced via D1, R1, P1, and R2, and then continuously compared with a reference voltage set up by diode D2. When the battery discharges too much and its terminal voltage drops below the level set by P1, the output of the opamp becomes High, which causes the relay to toggle. This in turn isolates the load from the battery. The battery can be reconnected via S1 once the battery has been replaced or recharged.
The relay used in the prototype is a 5 V bistable type made by Omron (G6AK-234PST- US 5 VDC). The two windings of the relay each have a resistance of 139 Ω (for the RAL-D 5 W-K made by Fujitsu this is 167 Ω). When the battery voltage starts to become too low and the relay is being reset the current consumption of the circuit is about 45 mA. Shortly after the load has been disconnected, when the battery voltage rises above the reference voltage again, the reset coil will no longer be powered and the current consumption drops back to about 2.5 mA.
The range of P1 has intentionally been kept small. With a reference voltage of 5.6 V (D2) and a voltage drop of 0.64 V across D1, the circuit reacts within a voltage span of 11.5 V and 11.8 V. This range is obviously dependent on the Zener diode used and the tolerance. For a greater span, you can use a larger value for P1 without any problems. With the potentiometer at its mid setting the circuit switches at about 11.6 V.
Guidelines for Storing A Sealed Lead-Acid Battery:
- Store the battery after fully charging it
- Store it at room temperature or lower
- Remove the battery from the equipment
- Charge it every 6 months, or as recommended by the manual
- Avoid deep discharge
- Choose proper float voltages to avoid sulfation and corrosion