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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 August 2017
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Home   |  Helios Service Department   |  Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Q) Why is Helios Power Solutions No-Break ™ DC charger recommended by consultants for critical applications? 
 
A) Our No-Break ™ DC chargers have been designed for industrial use and have over twenty years of proven reliable operations.  In addition, the chargers have many outstanding features such as fault alarms, LED fault alarm codes, battery detection, low voltage disconnect circuitry, automatic battery condition testing, communication options and can be connected to the battery permanently due to the precise temperature compensated voltage control.
 
Q) Can switch mode power supplies be connected without an earth?
A) No, the metal case of the power supply should be connected to a secure earth as this ensures compliance with safety and EMC standards.  The DC output may be left floating depending on the system requirements.

Q) Why do some power supplies have plug-in screw type terminal connectors and some have stud connectors on the output?
A) It depends on the current rating of the power supply.  Stud connectors provide a more secure connection for higher currents and are generally used when the rating exceeds 20A per screw terminal on Helios Power Solutions power supplies.

Q) Why should we use a No-Break ™ as opposed to a normal float charger?
A) The No-Break ™ DC UPS has many features which a normal float charger does not, these including:

  • precise alarm indication for mains or DC faults
  • overcurrent protection on the battery circuit
  • battery presence checking
  • temperature compensated charging
  • low voltage disconnect circuitry to prevent deep discharge of the battery
  • independent charge current limit
  • automatic battery condition testing

Q) Why don’t you use a boost charge on the No-Break ™ unit?
A) Normally it is not necessary to have a boost on the No-Break ™ unit, as the power is on the system continuously and it is not that critical to restore 100% of charge rapidly, as in the case of cyclic applications.  A boost charge voltage may damage the equipment which is permanently connected to a standby system.

Q) When does the No-Break ™ system disconnect to protect deep discharge of the battery?
A) At approximately 1.67 volts per 2V (nominal) cell, so for a 12V system the disconnect voltage is set at 10V.

Q) Why is the battery negative separate from the load negative in the No-Break ™ DC UPS?
A) This is done to implement two of the features of the No-Break ™ UPS/charger.  There is an “electronic circuit breaker” fitted between the battery negative and load negative terminals to provide the battery overcurrent protection.  The separate battery circuit also allows for independent control of the charging current when required.

Q) Why do you need cooling fans in some units?
A) All electrical equipment produces waste heat during operation due to internal losses.  This heat must be removed or the equipment will overheat and subsequently fail.  With low power equipment heat sinking and normal convection are adequate to dissipate this heat but with higher power equipment the most cost effective method for removing heat is by using a fan.

Q) Can I connect the battery directly to the load terminals when using No-Break ™ DC UPS?
A) No, it  would nullify all the features of using the No-Break ™DC design and provide false alarm signals from the relays.  If you wanted to do this, then it is advisable to use a standard two terminal float charger, with or without alarms.

Q) Can I use the No-Break ™ DC UPS without a battery?
A) No, the No-Break ™DC UPS is designed to operate with a battery connected and instability may result if there is no battery connected.  If you wanted to do this then it is advisable to use a standard two terminal DC power supply.

Q) What is the difference between switchmode and linear technology?
A) Switchmode power supplies is much lighter and more compact, whilst Linear technology has been designed around using a 50Hz transformer and a regulation system, based on wasting energy in order to maintain output voltage regulation.  The SMPS is very efficient and wastes very little energy.
 
Q) Will there be much interference with my radios when using switchmode power supplies?
A) There will be no problem with VHF and UHF radios. Switchmode is not recommended for HF radios (20 – 30MHz, old citizen Band).

Q) How does the Smartcharger (boost charger) determine when a battery is fully charged?
A) The Helios Power Solutions Smartchargers senses the charging current into the battery and when it reaches a pre-determined level it enters the “float” mode.  Low cost chargers usually remain in boost mode for a preset time so a fully charged battery may be overcharged if connected to one of this type.

Q) On a DC converter with a three terminal output  eg. ±12V,  can you connect it to get 24V?
A) Yes, it is not necessary to use the centre terminal.

Q) Why should I buy your power supply when an equivalent cost so much less?
A) Many Helios Power Solutions power supplies do not actually have equivalents due to their custom design. Many of the cheaper alternatives can not be serviced or repaired and most must simply be replaced by another low cost device and the failed unit disposed of, which is to the detriment of the planet.
 
Q) Can I get an extended warranty?
A) Yes, for more information please call the sales team on +64 9 835 0700.
 
Q) Will conformal coating mean my PSU is protected from water?
A) Conformal coating will offer some degree of protection from moisture.  Direct contact with water or other fluids should always be avoided.
 
Q) What is a Phoenix Connector (normally coloured green)?
A) It is a type of plug-in connector with screw terminals, made by Phoenix and other manufacturers.  We use the one rated at 20A per terminal on our SR range, except where higher currents dictate the use of stud connectors.
 
Q) Why do I need temperature compensation?
A) Temperature compensated charging ensures that batteries are charged to maximum capacity in cool environments and  protected from overcharging in warm environments.  Temperature compensation should always be used when the batteries are going to be exposed to cold, hot or fluctuating temperatures.
 
Q) What mounting arrangements do your power supplies have?
A) The SR range (except SR100) comes complete with removable mounting feet, which allow for a variety of mounting positions.  All our products may be fitted into our optional 19" (euro) sub-racks.
 
Q) What information is required to quote a power supply/charger for my customers?
A) As much information as possible about the application, however the most important information that we need is:
  • Input Voltage
  • Output Voltage
  • Standing Load Size (watts or current)
  • Input Voltage
  • Size of Peak Load
  • Are these batteries to be charged?
  • Required Mounting Arrangement
  • If alarms and or communications port is required?  

Q) What is the procedure for opening up an account with Helios Power Solutions?
A)  We have a line of credit application form available on our website.  Our terms and conditions require payment in full by the 20th of the month and also include a cash on delivery account (full payment prior to delivery). 
 
Q) What’s your accounts department contact details?
A)  Kalpana Mistry - Accountant
      Ph:      +64 9 835 0705
      Fax:     +64 9 837 3446

      Email: kalpana@heliosps.co.nz

Q) Can we make payments by eftpos, direct credit or cash?
A) All of the above methods of payment are accepted, with the exception of some credit cards (eg. American Express)  
 
Q) Do you have an account application form online?
A) Yes, for domestic customers click here. For international customers click here and navigate to the bottom of the page.
 
Q) Do you have a repairs & service centre?
A) Yes, our service manager will be happy to inspect the unit and get back to you with the possible fault, estimate charge and whether it is best to repair the unit.
 
Q) How do I go about returning a unit for repair?
A) Please call +64 9 835 0700 for a Return Materials Authorisation number.   Send the unit to us noting this number on the package and on any other documentation you may have.   We have a returns form posted on the website 'RMA form' which can be completed and returned with the product.   Please include all your company and contact details so that we are able to contact you if needed.

Q)
Why does the IE digital V/I meter not show zero when there is no current flowing in the circuit?
A) We manufacture two designs of meters;  one using a  ‘Hall effect’ current transformer to convert the current to a voltage signal, and one which utilises a current shunt.  The ‘Hall effect’ transducers have an inherent problem in that they tend to retain some residual magnetism after a large current has passed through them.   It is this residual magnetism which causes the false readings. The shunt versions have a much reduced zero point offset.

Q) 
Why is the current reading on the digital LCD meter differ from the reading which is obtained via SNMP or the monitoring and control web page?
A)  The two readings are obtained via different transducers and microprocessors.   The SNMP reading is obtained from an internal shunt , transducer and A/D converter in the power supply while the LCD meter has its own transducer, etc.   Each one of these components has a margin of error and sometimes the cumulative errors are at the opposite variance to each other. 
 

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