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Wheelchairs (powered Wheel Chairs) on the move inside a vehicle. And
Charge ANY 24v powerchair or Scooter
DIRECTLY from your car FAST!
FAST at home or while out and about...
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Charging On The Move:
Charging a power wheelchair in or from a vehicle on the
face of it looks pretty simple. But unfortunately its not so
simple. It can be done though because after a huge
fight I now do this regularly. As we know on a big day out
power chair or scooter batteries die all too often! All
those hills or grass soon kills the batteries. And when
you least want them to die.
several ways to do this. You cant just arrange
a connection to the vehicles battery and let the car or vans
alternator charge your batteries though. Because
whilst a wheelchairs batteries are 12 volt lead acid, the
same as your car, they are already connected in series.
Connected together to make a "string" of batteries called a
series connection and this string is 24 volt.
So your wheelchair needs a special 24 volt charger. See I
told you it wasn't easy... For answers scroll down.
wheelchair chargers are a bit more complex than just
supply and charge at various different rates (amps) and voltages
during the charge cycle, although fortunately we don't
really need to know anything about that for now!
your stock wheelchair charger into a cheap common inverter?
This is a simple device that you
can plug into your cigarette lighter socket in the dashboard and it
gives you a 110/120v ac or 240v ac normal power outlet in your car. But
its MUCH better to connect it straight to the battery. Or have an extension
cable connected to the battery that leads into the interior of your vehicle with
an Anderson connector
on the end. I use these on vans, chargers wheelchairs and everything else!
The first cheapest
and least efficient way
to do this is to use an "inverter". Opposite.
This one is 300 watts. That's the largest size you can use by
plugging into a cigarette lighter socket. Actually its too big! A maximum
current that these sockets are supposed to supply is 10 amps. A 300 watt
inverter will try to take double that if you actually USE all of its 300 watts
and will blow a fuse in your car after a short time.. So a 3 or 4 amp wheelchair charger would be
about the biggest sensible practical size to plug into it. Any bigger and you must
wire the inverter directly to the car or vans battery. Its not only useful for
charging your powerchair though but also for anything else that needs mains
power. 12v in and mains voltage but low power power out (about 150 watts
maximum is sensible from a cigar lighter socket)
But many modern chargers are "switch
mode" devices. (these are lighter and more efficient) but they
will not work unless your new inverter is a "pure sine wave"
device. And whilst available they are very expensive and not
inverters are not "pure sine wave" so most modern
powerchair chargers wont work
like this. This one doesn't work from an inverter. It has no
heavy transformer and is small, light and "switch mode"... If
yours is one of these then you are stuck.
next blue and white charger
is an older type, "heavy" charger and it uses a heavy built in
transformer. It works fine with the inverter that plugs into the car or vans power socket.
Although its very borderline as it tries to draw the absolute maximum from your
cars cigarette lighter socket. OK occasionally but I wouldn't keep doing it.
Something will melt or burn out eventually unless your inverter is wired
directly to the battery..
A problem with these inverters
is that if you buy a typical cheap small one it
may or may not have enough power to run your charger. Most larger 7 amp
wheelchair chargers take about 300 watts. That's too much unless connected to
the battery (not plugged into the dashboard). Look at the tag on your
charger it will tell you. If you need a bigger one then it will mean
you either need a smaller wattage wheelchair charger (swap your 7 amp one for a
4 amp one) or a bigger
inverter. Mines 290 watts shown here. A bigger
inverter can be used but it will need wiring directly to your cars
battery. Better to get a cheap small 3 amp charger from EBay. So
this is the untidy and often problematic way to charge your
powerchair or scooter on the move as you drive.
is a BETTER way. All in one inverter / wheelchair
IN CAR charger.
thing is designed specifically to charge a pair of 12v batteries in
series (just like our wheelchair or scooter battery system) from a
12v supply Connect it to your cars battery and charge your wheelchair..
better still buy
one of these instead... Does
everything and is more efficient and much MORE controllable!!!
Perfect simple solution on the face of it. Although
expensive, and the company refused to refund the carriage (shipping) when I
returned the first one dead on arrival across the Atlantic. And charged me a
second time to send a replacement even though they advertise worldwide shipping.
Link removed since their bad service does not deserve one!
You will need to copy and paste it into your browser. Personally I would
buy one of these instead now here Much
more efficient, smaller, more flexible and thousands of functions!
Anyway this thing charges at 5 amps and is a
multistage pulse charger that works great. It gets stupidly hot
though so I fitted a bigger fan in the bottom of the case. It takes
about 15 amps from your accessory socket which is actually too much. So make sure you use
GOOD cables and
fittings or hard wire it to your cars battery properly. My original chairs
charger an 8 amp charger so this takes a little longer to
complete but puts the bulk back while you drive! Don't use it
without the engine running for long because it will flatten the
battery quickly. This thing can be a life saver! I keep in in
my van most of the time. It does try to melt the plug where it plugs in
the dashboard though...
There are also small 2.5 amp units
available from many places online like this one "In Car Mobile
I just ordered one to test it. I
will update this when I see how well it works. 2.5 amp is very slow
with a full sized powerchair, especially as I usually use an 8 amp
charger overnight and a 30 amp charger (below) for fast charging in
1 hour or so during the day. Tested. Works great. As long as you have
endless hours to wait... Typical powerchair will take 24 hours. Yawn. So almost
I think these are also available from Pride Mobility now as well. Probably
rebadged as a Pride product!
But putting any power back while you drive
helps maintain the lowest average daily depth of discharge and so
helps keep the batteries fit for use for longer! Contrary to what you may
hear elsewhere from other self proclaimed experts this does NOT harm batteries and is in fact very beneficial
FAST charge your wheelchair at home
or anywhere there is a power socket in around an hour.
Get yourself one of these. This 30 amp
multi stage charger is brilliant. Its 120 or 240v ac in
and 24v 30 amp 2 stage and float charging out.
Typical heavy user
scenario goes something like this: I have been up hours, been
shopping, up and down a few hills with the dog and then and my batteries are about 60
percent discharged by 1 pm in the afternoon. But I am going out
later... Happens often to me.
60 Percent is a
Any more and you wont break down or run out of power necessarily, but you are shortening your
batteries service life quite drastically. The average depth of
discharge is all important. A few really deep discharges ruins
otherwise brand new batteries and effectively shortens their life. Whereas many thousands of shallow
cycles doesn't. The idea is that you keep your average depth
of discharge as low as you can. In this way your batteries stay
healthy for longer. Much like your car battery which gives many thousands of
starts and gets a fast recharge and typically lasts 5 years.
Well this charger will charge my
large 70 amp
hour wheelchair batteries from pretty well completely discharged to 95 percent
fully charged in around 1
and a quarter hours. The last 5 percent occurs more slowly
when you charge overnight. And it does not damage the
batteries provided you are using decent quality AGM type batteries.
I use Both Hawker Odyssey as well as Optima batteries as both are
perfectly happy at this 30 amp recharge rate. Its a sophisticated logic controlled device.
OPTIMA batteries and the
manufacturers specify no maximum inrush current at all.
Absolutely no limit. So no problem with fast charging.
LOOK OPPOSITE -- This info is from the 55 ah OPTIMA
batteries technical information PDF file.
It shows that charging at 30 amps is not only harmless
but actually far less than they are capable of accepting. My
vans alternator for example charges them quite happily at 100 amps+ if
they are pretty well discharged and that too is also acceptable.
I post this because many self proclaimed powerchair
"experts" will tell you otherwise...
Many other Quality battery manufactures will tell you the
same as Optima do. >>>
I wont guarantee it wont hurt other
batteries so you better check with them first. Personally I
would also risk it on any decent quality Gel type Deep Cycle
batteries as well and do so regularly.
For example I just got off the phone with MK Batteries
and Paul Clayton who confirmed the same. (I
just ordered another set for this project) He says absolutely no worries
using a 30 amp 3 stage charger (or even a constant 14.4v supply with no current
limits) during the day to top up, as long as the battery gets its normal
overnight full standard slow charge too.
Although if possible it is best to see
the manufacturers data first! For e.g. the excellent Sonnenschein A500
Dryfit batteries as fitted by many manufacturers from new also
specify no inrush current limit either and they are also Gel batteries.
The Hawker Odyssey batteries also can be fast charged.
You do need to make sure they don't get above typically 50 degrees centigrade or
over about 14.4 volts.
(14.7 for AGM) But the charger watches this doesn't happen for you. Mine don't get
warm at all. Tested by shoving a probe in between them in the
battery box. Yours may be different. Check at least the first time you fast
charge them and then forget about it.
A cars alternator
will typically charge discharged batteries at 100 amps or so. - as long as
14.4v to 14.7v is not
exceeded. That's typical for many modern batteries.
typically 8 hours or overnight for a green light for your wheelchair or powerchair / scooter to get charged is ridiculous!
I have a life to live.
Especially when you wake up and remember you forgot to plug it in
as I often do...
The standard scooter/powerchair charge socket cant stand 30 amps though.
It would melt! As would the wiring loom. You
will need to
install a better plug and socket that can. This needs connecting
directly to the batteries and this took about 20 minutes and isn't
Remember that if you top your chair
up to 95 percent maybe at lunch for half an hour or in the
evening before you go out say, the average depth of discharge remains small. That means
your batteries should live many times longer.
This type of
opportunity charging does not mean that you don't still need to use
your standard slow overnight charger every night as well. Because
that charger fully charges the batteries and equalises the cells.
This 30 amp one is an additional charger for FAST opportunistic charging
during the day or as needed rather than a replacement charger. I keep one in
the van as well as by my computer desk. It was extremely useful at a
model aeroplane show recently as a day driving about on thick grass
finished off my batteries by about 2 pm. A quick trip to the nearest
bar and a pint + a wall power socket saw my chair 95 percent
fully charged and ready to go with a green light again. As such its completely
invaluable to me.
be not trading now due to recession) Sellers EBAY
Store. Unlike the US company that supplied the Green car
charger above this guy went out of his way to help me free of
charge. He sent me some extra parts that he ordered from his
supplier to convert it to a multi voltage charger. It will soon do
30 amps at 12v, 24v, and 25 amps at 36v, and 48v. I need this for
other non power wheelchair projects. Highly recommended seller!
graph showing percentage of battery charged
LED indicators to show charge stage and
Voltage is selectable for 110V ac or 230V ac
over a wide range so can run from generators.
unit uses switch mode technology to give a
classic 3 stage intelligent charge to the
batteries that is Bulk charge, Absorption and
Cooling system is by automatic Fan and Unit is
Short circuit protected, Reverse protected and
over temperature protected.
Specification: Input Voltage : 90 to 130v
ac or 200 to 240v ac, Input Frequency 50 or 60
Hz, Current without load less than 0.1 Amp,
Maximum input current under 15 Amps, Maximum
Efficiency on full power greater than 80%,
Maximum output 30 amps / 450W
Bulk charging voltage : 29.4V
Float charging voltage : 26.6V
I use this charger above (3) although there are plenty to choose from. Google and eBay
list of bigger faster chargers RECOMMENDED and sold by the hawker
Soneil multi stage switch mode chargers - find a dealer! All will work and be
safe with AGM or Gel batteries the 30 amp one is the most suitable for 70ah
batteries and maybe 20 amp for 40ah batteries. 12 amp for small 25 or 30ah
2424SR - 12 amp
2430SR - 15 amp
2440SR - 20 amp
2450SR - 25 amp
2460SR - 30 amp
http://www.soneil.com/24_volt_high.html All are on this page.
internet is full of
suitable chargers like this Gel and AGM safe one
for AGM only batteries
(slightly higher voltage for faster charge rate to suite AGM chemistry.
Personally I find eBay easier.
of the plug
I attached to the charger. a SIMILAR ONE (the other
half) is attached to the batteries and the socket itself is just
cable tied to a bar under the powerchairs seat.
These are Anderson plugs. See eBay! Strong and reliable.
These are actually the
same as the ones most powerchair or scooter manufacturers use to
connect the batteries under the seat. They are easy to get from
caravan or leisure dealers.
Using THIS plug (Anderson plugs and sockets) fitted to
my powerchair and connected directly to the battery terminals I fast charge my
power wheelchair most days.
Fast Charge Your Power
Wheelchair Read! I know its white! Didn't have a
black one left... Connects straight to the batteries with thick heavy cable. It
can handle much bigger currents than our 30 amp charger, Held securely with two
It also works in reverse of course and allows
big high powered inverters to be connected to your powerchair for mains "wall"
power when out and about!
another inverter that I find invaluable.
It gives me mains power directly
from my powerchair.
It is 300 watt 24Vdc
input and 240v ac (120v ac) output! Extremely useful
because if you fit a wheelchair charging plug in place of its normal
battery clips it can plug into your wheelchairs charging
socket. That means you can power small drills, mains
lighting, electric beds (don't ask - we had a power
cut!) and vehicle polishers, laptops, or almost any
small mains powered device directly from your wheel chair outside while out and
about. All powerchair and scooter users need one of these! Mine came from eBay. There are
loads of these available from all kinds of sources... Don't try to
run any bigger inverter from this charging socket. According to the
manufacturers of the control systems (Penny and Giles in this case) 12 amps is
the maximum allowable current here. A 300 watt inverter is RIGHT on this limit.
Bigger will damage your powerchair unless you fit a proper power socket like
If you want to use a bigger inverter to get say a 1000 watts of
power to Hoover the van out, or run a big power tool, then you need to fit an
Anderson socket as shown above for the 30 amp charger. This is a good idea
anyway as the normal charging sockets and connecting cables are a bit small even
for normal charging.
Fitting an Anderson
may also want to take a look at this charger if you are a little technically
It can charge your powerchair or scooter (12v, 24v, doesn't matter!) as well as
the other way around! You can charge your cars battery or in fact any
battery no matter what type or voltage directly from your powerchair or scooter!
Its very flexible so has its own page
Very flexible and useful Hyperion charger can charge
almost any battery. Including your wheelchair from your car or the other way
Powerchair and vehicle batteries
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Powerchairs and Scooters
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