My team was wondering if it was within FRC rules to have the battery placed horizontally. In that manual it says “The ROBOT battery must be secured such that it will not dislodge should the ROBOT be turned
over or placed in any arbitrary orientation” but does not say anything about being placed horizontally.
Would anyone be able to confirm whether the battery can be placed horizontally or not?
It should be relatively easy to secure it. All you need to do is buy (or 3d print) one of these and then bolt some straps to the plate you’re mounting to. If you already have some Velcro around, you can put together a quick one by bolting down a loop side face up and a hook side face down on opposite ends of the battery. Keep the backing on.
Also, place it so both the terminals cannot ever touch a piece of metal at the same time. That would cause a short circuit across the battery terminals, which will be a very dangerous event (as in “Flash” “Bang” “Send for Help”)
I even suggest if possible try not to put it so both terminals are near the same piece of metal. On our practice chassis last year, there was an aluminum cross support that the battery sat next to (read:was strapped onto). While switching batteries once, the electrical tape around the terminals came loose and as soon as we started driving the battery arced through the cross support. It made a big blue light and a pop sound and the next second the battery had practically no charge. Luckily no one was touching the robot or someone really could have gotten hurt. After that, we made sure all of our terminals were taped up really well.
Also let this be the first reminder of the year (that I’ve seen) to tape your battery terminals thoroughly to avoid arcs. Last year this was an inspection point. Not sure if it is again this year, but make sure you will pass for your own safety even if it’s not.
Most of the manufacturers on the “allowed” list will specify that their batteries can be used in any orientation. I for one, recommend that batteries be charged only in the upright position to allow the cell gas valves to operate correctly during charge.
Double down on the suggestion that **battery terminals be insulated at all times. **
If you don’t secure your battery properly you will run into complications like 5547 at about 2:30 you’ll see the RED team robot attempt to clear the defensive obstacle and it literally “poops” out the battery. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_MJpGp38qM