Mounting the Temperature Sensor

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Mounting the Temperature Sensor

Postby tomhigh on Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:46 pm

I've just received the Temp Sensor for my FlexMax 60. All it has for mounting is a Stick-Pad on the back. No instructions came with it, although the Flexmax book mentions how to plug it into the controller.

I assume it needs to be stuck to the battery, but I have a problem with that plan. The stick pad will be good for one use only and I would expect the sensor to last much longer then a battery. So I will eventually need to stick it to a replacement battery.

I've seen sensors that have a metal tab with a hole that would be put on a battery terminal with the other connection (the negative terminal would seem the safest). Then I could move it to a replacement battery when necessary. This assumes the battery has threaded terminals which are quite common.

The Question: Would it be acceptable to make a terminal tab out of a piece of aluminum, stick the Temp Sensor to it then clamp it on a negative terminal with the negative connection?

Thanks for any advice.

Tom
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Re: Mounting the Temperature Sensor

Postby tjdadj on Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:49 am

All you have to do when you replace batteries, is replace the sticky foam pad!!
The double-sided tape is easily available and considerable less effort than making a metal mount...I see no problem with making a metal sensor holder, other than the fact that you really shouldn't have any more metal around batteries than absolutely necessary..

Remember you need to mount the sensor about half way down the side of the battery, preferably in the coolest spot in the bank..
If you mount it on top, you will NOT get an accurate temperature reading, which will give inaccurate info to the charger..
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Re: Mounting the Temperature Sensor

Postby DennisM on Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:11 am

My AGM battery bank is, 4 batteries per row, and 4 levels high, racked. I mounted my sensor on the third level up, second battery in (mid-way in the bank as I could get). At the suggestion of someone in the group, I set my sensor on top & took a 1" thick piece of styrofoam, carved out an area for it in the styrofoam, and simply set it on top of the battery. I also have a sensor from a Taylor 1441 dual sensor thermometer, in the same styrofoam pocket. The Taylor has a rolling 7 day history for high & low for both sensors. The 2nd sensor I use to record "room temp". With the Taylor, I can easily see the temperature and don't have to go through C* to F* conversion to get the temperature reading that I'm comfortable with. Oh yea, I put a lead weight on top of the styrofoam to hold it down flat to the battery. I used the top center of the battery, thinking that this would be the hottest location possible.

Dennis
Last edited by DennisM on Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
FW1000 2-FX3648's 2-FM80's FNDC Hub10 Mate2 RTS X240 48v-900Ah Rolls Surrette S600 battery bank 2 arrays of 3X3 Sharp 216's (3888W stc) 10kW Isuzu genset Separate water system Gundfos 6SQF-2, IO101, CU200 control, powered by 2 Sanyo HIT200's in series
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Re: Mounting the Temperature Sensor

Postby tjdadj on Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:49 am

DennisM

I have an easier battery pack to monitor as it's an flat array of 8x2 with the sensor at the 4x2 junction. I use Trojan T105's, which have the plastic case, and have seen a 20F degree differential between the top of the battery and the side mounted outback sensor, during heavy charge periods or hot days..

Also, I was under the impression that it was better to monitor the lowest pack temperature, not the highest.. Maybe it depends on the environmental conditions, but does top mounting accurately tell you what the plates are doing during heavy charge periods? Those plastic cases are tough, but have lousy thermal transfer characteristics, especially the top with that last 3/4" of air as an insulator..

Hopefully, someone with more insite will set the record straight..
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Re: Mounting the Temperature Sensor

Postby tomhigh on Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:39 pm

Thanks for the replies. Given the lack of instructions with the sensor, I'm glad to hear how and where other folks have attached theirs.
It's interesting that that you would target the coolest part of the battery bank, then shrowd the sensor with styrofoam, which would retain radiant heat around the sensor.

If I was to stick the sensor directly to the battery, I would agree that the side would be a better heat representation then the top, because of the air gap at the top. That may not be as true with the sealed AGMs, but definitely true with a wet cell. On the other hand, I think the best inside-to-outside thermal transfer would be the metal terminals.

I'm in the Phoenix area, so extreme heat will exist. I assume that the sticky pad that comes on the sensor is meant for high temperature use, and the pad material may even be made specifically for heat transfer, but I still worry about it coming un-stuck at the highest temps, when it is needed the most. With it mounted on a metal tab, I could use a zip-tie or shrink-sleeving to help it stay attached. I''m also leading towards a copper tab that's solder coated to avoid corrosion. I suppose I should make it as thick as possible to improve the heat transfer.

Has anyone here had a sensor come un-stuck?
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Re: Mounting the Temperature Sensor

Postby tjdadj on Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:09 pm

tomhigh

Funny enough, I just realized that I never even used the adhesive on my sensor.. I just put it at the junction of the center 4 batteries.
I fact, with the T105's, the sensor fits tight in the corner where all the batteries come together.. No need to fasten it to anything..

You can see the green sensor lead going down into the junction
Image

Don't worry, this photo was taken during the assembly process, that other bank has been hooked up and is working fine, thank you.. lol
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(3) 220Ah battery banks, [(2) are stationary, (1) is in my 48V EZGO Golf Cart]

Re: Mounting the Temperature Sensor

Postby tomhigh on Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:49 pm

Actually, my first reaction to your bank was to drool. I wish I had the space for a bank that big on my small houseboat. This winter I'm re-working my entire rear deck so I can have 6 Group 27s. Anymore and I'm afrain I'll pull the bow out of the water.

I can see how you wouldn't need any special mounting.
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Re: Mounting the Temperature Sensor

Postby tjdadj on Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:10 pm

tomhigh

I wouldn't be so worried about size, (it's only 2ft x 6ft x 1ft.)in a houseboat, I'd be worried about the weight (1/2 ton). lol
Your group 27 batteries are deep cycle, aren't they?? :?:

Of course, you could add a sail, center mount the batteries for keel ballast, put an electric motor on, and sail for days.. \:D/
Good luck..
Terry In Oregon
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My RE system: FW500 Gridtie w/ [2]GVFX3648, MX60, 2400W PV [12-Sharp ND-200W (3x4)]
(3) 220Ah battery banks, [(2) are stationary, (1) is in my 48V EZGO Golf Cart]

Re: Mounting the Temperature Sensor

Postby tomhigh on Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:24 pm

Yes, they're Deep-Cycles, GR27 Lifelines.
My old Solar Controller went belly up and screwed them up after 4 years. I currently have 3 Group 100 interstate wet cells to hold me over till I rework the system. I've got the FlexMAX 60 installed now with Bluesky ACRs to connect my starting batteries in when the house bank is full.
My rework of the rear deck will eliminate a 20 Gallon Generator gas tank thats adjacent to my electrical box. The generator will end up drawing from one of my two 55 Gallon tanks that feed the engines. A transfer pump will be installed to balance the load on the two tanks. I never cruise far with the boat and right now and I only fill the tanks every couple of years. This will give me a much bigger generator gas supply and help me use the engine gas faster, so it doesn't sit for so long. Even with stabilizer, a couple of years is way too long.
The extra space will allow me to have 6 GR27 Lifelines with space left over for a good Inverter-Charger, saving gas in the long run. I've also got room to bump the solar array from 300 to 600W.
I have the boat in a nearby lake, but it doesn't have water or electric service, so the solar system is really a necessity if I want to avoid excessive generator use.

The solar also runs a water purification system that draws from the lake.
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Re: Mounting the Temperature Sensor

Postby blackswan555 on Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:00 am

Someone shoot the spamer :smile: But on the subject of BTS placement, I put mine around half way down on the battery that I think is going to get the hottest, But here in Spain high temp is the issue, I would do the opposite in a cold climate, But on reading a battery manual the other day , I noticed they recommended the positive battery pole, As it is the best indication of internal temp, I will have a look round with a laser thermometer next time I have 5 mins, But any comments ?

Have a good one
Tim
My comments are based on my experience and research, They are not endorsed or checked by Outback.I am an independent British electrician living in Spain, So please take this into account when reading /acting on my post`s.
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Re: Mounting the Temperature Sensor

Postby gasmandave on Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:17 am

I placed my temp sensor halfway down between the center batteries. I didn't remove the tape cover on my sensor. Instead, I used a small piece of foam (about 2 inches long) that I had left over, the type used to cover 1/2" copper water lines, as a wedge to hold it against the side of the battery. It works great.
My 2 cents.

Dave
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