“Do I need a battery pack to go with my ReGenerator?” is a commonly asked question. Well the answer depends upon what you’re trying to achieve. The ReGen battery allows the AG1500S to continue to provide power in the event of a mains power outage. In some circumstances this is essential and in others not so. First you need to understand how a ReGenerator operates.
Under The Hood
The essence of the AG1500S is based on the very latest in Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) technology. More exactly it is based on what is termed online double conversion or VFI technology.
The incoming AC power feeds a charger which charges and keeps the batteries maintained (if they are fitted). It also generates the DC Bus via an AC Boost Circuit. In between the AC Boost Circuit and the source is a “Backfeed Relay”. We’ll learn more about this later.
The DC bus is a high voltage positive and negative internal power supply rail that the inverter uses to create the AC output power waveform.
The microprocessor controls everything (including the inverter but this isn’t shown for clarity). It constantly monitors the incoming AC power waveform and should it find the power to go out of tolerance it will instantly transfer power from the AC Boost, to the DC Boost and open the back feed relay. Power is then drawn from the battery via the DC Boost circuit. The net result is that the inverter sees no change of any note in the DC Bus and continues to provide power as normal. There is no break, or change as far as the output power is concerned.
In the event of an out of tolerance input power (note out of tolerance means too high, too low, or non-existent voltage, or frequency) the ReGen will switch over from AC source to DC source (the battery). It will do this extremely quickly and will not revert back to AC Power until several seconds after the source is back in tolerance.
If no battery is connected, then the ReGen will detect a low battery condition and simply switch off. Since low battery is classed as an alarm, you may hear the ReGen emit a “dying” tone.
There are power problems which are known as a micro-outages or voltage sags. These are very momentary dips or breaks in power that may not be overly noticeable, but the AG1500S will detect them and transfer to battery to prevent any loss of power. Since the unit will not revert back to AC power until several seconds after the AC power source is restored, the unit will detect low battery and switch off. In such instances it looks like the ReGen has simply switched off for no reason. But there is a reason, and that reason is that there is a power anomaly that the ReGen is designed to prevent getting through to your load. It won’t allow any break or variance from the pure waveform it is intended to deliver.
When the ReGen Battery is fitted, the unit will seamlessly transfer from AC power to the DC power and continue to power your load without any interruption at all. If it isn’t fitted, then the ReGen will switch off when the power is out of tolerance, regardless of how short that power anomaly may be.
You might wonder why I wanted to mention the backfeed relay. This component is in the circuit primarily for safety. What is does is physically disconnect the input power conductors from the unit. This is to prevent the possibility of the output power appearing on the pins of a mains plug should you pull it from the socket – ouch!
In normal operation the relay is closed, connecting Live and Neutral to the ReGen circuits. Should the AC power fail the unit opens the relay contacts from both the live and neutral conductors. This isolates the output from the input.
Some say, this is great for audio applications! But, sorry there is a but, it requires running the unit for prolonged period on battery. There are two issues regarding this. Firstly, if the power consumption is quite high, the length of time the batteries would last is quite reduced. For example if you had a fairly low powered system of say, 50W , you could run this for over 6 hours! However a 500W system would last just over half an hour. Perhaps not long enough!
Secondly, if you were planning on doing this regularly, then you should note that lead acid batteries as used in the ReGen Battery only have a finite number of charge and discharge cycles of 200-300, which means you could be replacing the battery pack each year. If the batteries are not fully discharged, then you will get a lot longer – typically between 3 and 5 years.
The AG1500S will work without the ReGen Battery pack. It will provide a pure stable output power waveform at all times. However, if the power should fail even momentarily the AG1500 switches off.
So if you need the in-built UPS capability of the AG1500S, or want to run your system truly isolated from the “real world”, then you should consider the ReGen Battery. Available on our online store.