In this section we show some system examples which apply to vehicles with varying requirements from a simple battery powered system up to a full sized incident command centre vehicle with power failure back-up. The schematics show how the electrical power from the engine driven DC alternator of the vehicle can be stored in extra batteries and used by power inverters to create AC power from the DC power supplied by those batteries. Alternatively, for bigger installations, AC diesel generators can produce 230VAC directly or, together with advanced inverter/chargers, provide a seamless supply of power. Some vehicles with low power ‘drivetrain AC generators’ can also benefit from the advanced inverter/charger technology to boost their output when loads peak.
Ambulance or Paramedic Vehicle
When the engine is running, the vehicle alternator charges up the start battery. It can also charge up another battery via a splitter or voltage sensitive relay. The second battery can now be used to supply DC 'services' such as interior lights or medical fridges without fear of flattening the start battery if the engine is not running. Furthermore, the second battery can also be connected to a power inverter to supply pure sine wave 230VAC. The 230VAC can be used to provide power for laptops, 230V medical monitors, electrical tools or even a microwave to cook food. As equipment is used, it consumes the energy stored in the second battery but it does not deplete the start battery. If power is required for longer periods, then the engine can simply be started and left idling.
Service Support Vehicle
If the equipment on board the vehicle needs to be supplied with a lot of 230V power for a long time, or this vehicle is to be the source of power for other activities local to it, then the most appropriate way to do this is with a diesel generator specially designed for vehicles. These vehicles may also use mains power by plugging into a ground hook-up and so, a changeover switch is fitted to give the choice of switching between generator and ground hook-up.
Incident Command Centre
There are occasions when there needs to be a powerful supply of 230V with some level of seamless 'back-up'. Vehicles that need to meet mission critical levels of operational continuity like forward operating mobile communications centres or police incident command vehicles. In such cases we have developed solutions that involve the use of world leading inverter/chargers with high speed automatic transfer switches and programmable load shedding relays - all built in. The power of the generator assisted with this type of system, combined with AGM batteries and complimented if needs be by the engine driven DC alternator, offers the ultimate system. It provides permanent 230V supply which, when the generator is running is very powerful but, if the generator stops, significant levels of power are still available for lengthy periods of time to ensure critical systems remain up and running.