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Old 04-04-2016, 15:35   #46
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Re: Buying an Electromaax alternator? I suggest not.

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
No, you were questioning why would anyone need more DC generating power than you have.
No, but if it makes you feel better - sure.

BTW - I wouldn't consider being to run an air conditioner while motoring as a "need". Especially since I know you have a generator.
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Old 04-04-2016, 15:42   #47
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Re: Buying an Electromaax alternator? I suggest not.

I don't have the room, I could I suppose "Engineer" something to work, and may one day do so, until then I'll live with what I have. it works, but would be nice if I could run everything when motoring without having to crank the generator.
I have always been suspicious of how these little things could make that kind of power. If you have looked under the hood of a Military Humvee and seen how huge these alternators are, you get doubly suspicious.

But what I am still suspicious of is, do you really get all that much more continuous power output from the larger say above 160 amp alternators, than say one rated at 100?

Continuous loads, I don't care what it can make for a few minutes, I want to know what can it sustain, like my Little Yanmar, 44 HP for one hour, 40 continuous.

I think a test run at continuous load under say 60C atmosphere would be interesting, or heck even if it was 25C, I think a test to see what the alternator stabilized temp at X load is, one 100 amp alternator and one much larger, just to see if there is any large difference in continuous output.


Darn it, I wanted a free lunch


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Old 04-04-2016, 15:49   #48
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Re: Buying an Electromaax alternator? I suggest not.

Needs, wants, desires are one hopes almost inseparable.
Truth is, I have no need for a boat, beyond basic food and shelter, some Medical care, it's all wants. I'm not going off on this cruising thing if I can help it bare bones. I desire some luxuries, and she who must be obeyed, requires them.
She has not said that, but this is my dream, not hers and I believe if I can keep her comfortable, I'll be a lot happier

You bought a 4 K generator too, which one?

Neither of us need a generator, but they are nice to have


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Old 04-04-2016, 16:03   #49
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Re: Buying an Electromaax alternator? I suggest not.

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It's asking a lot of a small frame alternator, no matter how its regulated, to produce the kind of bulk power we need.

I realize not everyone can fit it in, but a large frame heavy duty alternator is much better suited to this purpose -- because they are designed to dissipate all the heat produced at their maximum rated power, without overheating. Because they are specifically made for bulk power production, rather than the kind of duty they get as a car alternator.

Such alternators are not even that expensive. But the brackets and new pulleys to fit them might be.
===

You make a couple of good points. There are Leece-Neville large frame alternators designed to put out hundreds of amps continuously for fire trucks, ambulances, etc. They can be purchased on EBAY for fairly reasonable prices but I ended up spending close to $500 to have a machine shop custom fabricate a J-180 type mount and a heavy duty adjustment arm. To make things worse, I managed to burn one out in fairly short order by letting it run full out while charging a 1,000 amp-hour battery bank. I ended up installing a current limiter between the alternator and inverter batteries which has solved the problem. I'm driving it with three heavy duty belts but a serpentine would probably work also. It takes a lot of power at full output, enough to make a 300 hp diesel make an audible grunt when the house batteries are first switched on.
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Old 04-04-2016, 16:58   #50
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Re: Buying an Electromaax alternator? I suggest not.

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===

You make a couple of good points. There are Leece-Neville large frame alternators designed to put out hundreds of amps continuously for fire trucks, ambulances, etc. They can be purchased on EBAY for fairly reasonable prices but I ended up spending close to $500 to have a machine shop custom fabricate a J-180 type mount and a heavy duty adjustment arm. To make things worse, I managed to burn one out in fairly short order by letting it run full out while charging a 1,000 amp-hour battery bank. I ended up installing a current limiter between the alternator and inverter batteries which has solved the problem. I'm driving it with three heavy duty belts but a serpentine would probably work also. It takes a lot of power at full output, enough to make a 300 hp diesel make an audible grunt when the house batteries are first switched on.
Yes, mine is also a Leece-Neville school bus alternator. It will put out its full rated capacity for hours on end without breaking a sweat. I've never seen more than 90C of case temp in my 30C engine room, and rarely that. It can produce more than a kilowatt of power and not exceed 50C.

HOWEVER, they can be overloaded and burned out, as I discovered last summer. That's if you overload them at low speeds (bow thruster, windlass, and immersion heater all at the same time, and at idle -- yes, I'm an idiot). This happened after 12 years of faithful service.

What kind of current limiting device do you have? I've never heard of such a thing.
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Old 04-04-2016, 17:51   #51
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Re: Buying an Electromaax alternator? I suggest not.

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What kind of current limiting device do you have? I've never heard of such a thing.
===

Here in Southwestern Florida we call it red neck engineering. I calculated that I needed a resistance of .07 ohms between the alternator and the inverter bank. Since such a resistor is not readily available from the usual suppliers, I fabricated one using 10 feet (3 meters) of #4 cable. Simple solution but it works well. The tricky part was running it in such a way that it doesn't look out of place. As the batteries charge up, their current acceptance rate decreases which reduces the voltage drop across the resistance, thus letting the charging voltage eventually approach the alternator voltage.
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Old 01-07-2017, 13:02   #52
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Re: Buying an Electromaax alternator? I suggest not.

I also had the same problem. Installed it myself, made it from Marathon to Great Harbor Bahamas and I started having electrical failures and the alternator was no longer charging. It was the plug and play version. Just install. When I sent an email to Mr Stevens, about wanting a refund, he let me know that couldn't be done because it had been installed. Fair enough. However he let me know that any failure was due to incorrect installation. It should have been done by a certified electrician. It's plug and play. It's not rocket science. His reaction makes me think he has had a lot of issues with this system as he seemed a bit defensive. Do not purchase this alternator system. An expensive lesson learned.
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