Circuit tripper / breaker..?

Can't think of the right name to label this... but I have a question about a project in mind. This may not even be something suitable for Arduino but I just wanted to see what you guys thought.

So I work in the Forklift Battery/Charger industry and there's a certain charger out there that when a component goes bad in it it blows the A/C fuses. Now the bad part about this is that there are 3 of these components in each charger, and the A/C fuses do not blow in any kind of pattern to indicate which of the 3 are bad. So in order to diagnose you have to remove all 3 from circuit, put in new fuses and plug one in at a time until it pops the fuses and you know that it's bad now.

So my goal is to be able to create some kind of box that I could put in between this circuit to where it trips / catches that feedback to stop it from blowing the fuses and tell me we have a short.

The reason I don't know if this can be done in Arduino is that we are talking about 600v 30Amp midget style fuses.

Let me know what you guys think, thanks!

Well as long as you can think of a way to detect failure in that unspecified component of the unspecified charger (maybe by detecting when the current goes over a limit?) you could have the Arduino switch a relay, breaking the circuit, hopefully faster than that your fuse blows.

Otherwise you could get resettable fuses.

Hi,

Now the bad part about this is that there are 3 of these components in each charger,

Rectifier Diode?
Capacitor?
Varistor?
IGBT?

Is it an Automatic Charger, make /model?

Knowing the type of component that causes ALL three fuses to blow will help with any answers.

A picture of the part will help.

Tom... :slight_smile:

We just use a test lamp. Dull ok, bright, short. Other than that there are fuses with indicators.

Back in the old days, such devices would have a NE2 neon bulb in series with a 100k resistor across the fuse. When fuse opens, the neon light will glow.

Paul

bluejets:
We just use a test lamp. Dull ok, bright, short. Other than that there are fuses with indicators.

We called it a leak light. I used it to tell if power amplifiers had a short in the output section. 100 Watt bulb probably the bulb you want.

Old brain, I believe the bulb was wired in series. You only use it to check for the short. I wired mine in a gang box with an outlet for the bulb, an outlet for the DUT and a switch to turn the circuit on.

If any of this is confusing, I can draw a diagram later and post it.

Another great example of the xyproblem.info

Blowing new fuses to find out what component is shorted is ridiculous. Buy a decent Fluke DMM and learn how to use the ohms range and probably the diode test feature.

A better approach is find out why the charger is failing and fix that .

avr_fred:
Another great example of the xyproblem.info

Blowing new fuses to find out what component is shorted is ridiculous. Buy a decent Fluke DMM and learn how to use the ohms range and probably the diode test feature.

hammy:
A better approach is find out why the charger is failing and fix that .

Please refrain from making idiotic assumptions. The component is enclosed in a metal case with only communication output pins and power input pins exposed. Without spending a good hour, hour and a half worth of labor to pull apart the charger to test (Which their under warranty so we can’t bill them for the entirety of it anyways) it is not in the best interest of the company nor the customer.

TomGeorge:
Hi,Rectifier Diode?
Capacitor?
Varistor?
IGBT?

Is it an Automatic Charger, make /model?

Knowing the type of component that causes ALL three fuses to blow will help with any answers.

A picture of the part will help.

Tom… :slight_smile:

The component is called an HPE. Inside the metal casing has just about anything you’d think of as far as electronics go. Has 6 mini transformers and a circuit board that consists of diodes, capacitors, resistors ect. ect.

Like I stated above it’s not something we can really test. Half the time it’ll short out and we can do a continuity test on the 3 phase A/C lines going into the charger and it’ll ring out if its got a short and we can just remove the AC input connector going to 1 of the 3 HPE’s until it no longer rings out and we know which one is bad. But alas, this is a 50/50 thing, it does not always short in this fashion. Hence why our only other options is to put new fuses in and plug one in at a time until it pops the fuses.

The charger in question is this:

Advanced Charging Technologies
MN: STS-320E

It’s a Opportunity Charge modular charger.

Please refrain from making idiotic assumptions.

Uh, assumptions is all we had to work with. You stated you work in the forklift battery/charger industry and then you go on to wind this tale of how you change fuses to troubleshoot a circuit. You got valid responses based on on the information you posted.

In post #8 you give us a model number, state its complexity and admonish those trying help that we don’t understand how difficult the unit is to work on. Why wasn’t the model number in post #1?

The quality of the answers you receive depend solely upon the quality of the information you provide.

Hi,

Description;

320A Performance HF Fast Charger

Input current480VAC/φ

Input21.9A

Output24 ~ 48VDC Nominal

Efficiency91%

Power Factor (Full load, leading)>0.97

Maximum Charging Current320A

TechnologyTrue High Frequency MOSFET Technology

Dimensions16"x20"x36"

Weight175 lbs

This charger is a high performance switchmode type

So it probably has a microcontroller.

So in order to diagnose you have to remove all 3 from circuit, put in new fuses and plug one in at a time until it pops the fuses and you know that it's bad now.

Remoive all 3 what?
Do they have a part number on them, I'm thinking they are the MOSFETS and you can test them with a DMM if they are causing a short.

Tom... :slight_smile: