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Old 17-12-2017, 15:49   #46
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Re: Next Gen Alternator Regulator

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Hi all, great thread!! ... I'd love to see an alternator that gives me its Max output with the engine idling (ie: when at anchor) and then not fry itself when using the motors underway.

Ability to charge reliabily and safely LiFePO4s is a must as well.
Spiv, it's the alternator that can't provide the current at idle, not the regulator. The regulator is pushing as much current as it can into the field, but at low speeds, there's not enough magnetic flux in the alternator windings to produce full current. One option for you is to use a smaller pulley on your alternator, or a larger one on your engine. This will get the alternator spinning faster for a given engine speed, but it will also put more strain on your fan-belts.

There's a lot of discussion about LiFePO4 charging. Having now switched to LiFePO4 myself, I'm deep into it. It seems that the electric vehicle charging regimen is designed to get the most distance out of the batteries, but isn't as concerned with battery life. There's evolving thought that a slightly lower Acceptance voltage might improve the number of cycles you'll get from your LiFePO4s, at only a small increase in charging times. But this is thread drift, so probably shouldn't be discussed further here. PM me if you want more.
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Old 17-12-2017, 21:53   #47
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Re: Next Gen Alternator Regulator

Here's my LFP care summary, can continue in that thread if any Qs on that topic.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/....php?p=2522639
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Old 17-12-2017, 22:03   #48
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Re: Next Gen Alternator Regulator

Nothing else on the market puts out power at low rpm and high temps compared to an Eco-Tech.

http://www.ecotechalternators.com/wp...t-14V.pdf_.pdf

They cannot work with any other VR, but they can completely customize the charge profile for you for an extra $50, e.g. just charge LFP to 13.8V and stop, no float.
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Old 18-12-2017, 05:57   #49
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Re: Next Gen Alternator Regulator

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Nothing else on the market puts out power at low rpm and high temps compared to an Eco-Tech.

http://www.ecotechalternators.com/wp...t-14V.pdf_.pdf

They cannot work with any other VR, but they can completely customize the charge profile for you for an extra $50, e.g. just charge LFP to 13.8V and stop, no float.
Interesting, tanks for posting!
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Old 18-12-2017, 15:45   #50
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Re: Next Gen Alternator Regulator

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Many authoritative posters have stated these are a complete waste of money.

The designer is famous for inventing problems that do not exist and scaremongering people into spending money on his "solutions".

Not saying doesn't do the job, yes great build quality, but no real advantage over any other much simpler ACR.
Sorry for the late reply, but this just sticks in my claw and I need to respond. My post was a response to @roland stockham, who wanted something that would specifically solve the problem of overcharging the start battery with simple combiners or diodes. The ProIsoCharge is intended to solve that exact problem, so should be of interest to Roland. In this regard it is a "real advantage" over simpler devices. If, unlike many experts for decades, you don't think this is a problem then you are welcome to your opinion, but I for one would like to know who your "authoritative posters" are - aside from yourself (?).

I "get" that some people have an attitude about ProMariner; my experiences have been quite good. But attitude is not fact, it is gossip.

IMHO charging both the house bank and a much smaller starting battery, with a smart regulator that is regulating to the house battery voltage, will inevitably overcharge the starting battery. With liquid flooded LA batteries that will result in more gassing and loss of water from the starting battery - not lethal but at least a nuisance to more closely monitor and replace the water. With sealed LA batteries it risks venting and permanent damage. I use gels, so consider that a "real" problem. YMMV

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Old 18-12-2017, 16:02   #51
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Re: Next Gen Alternator Regulator

For us, the Echo-Charger has solved the start battery charging issue simply, reliably and fairly inexpensively. I don't see a need for anything more sophisticated.

Jim
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Old 18-12-2017, 16:33   #52
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Re: Next Gen Alternator Regulator

Yes and that is my point.

Both of the companies involved make very fine products.

Just in this case, I and many others believe that specific product design is over-engineered relative to the (not a problem, at most a) slight inconvenience.

Putting all the charge sources directly to House is what needs doing anyway, and there are then many simple inexpensive ways to keep Starter topped up.

Anyone can disregard this and do what they like with their gear.

If the Starter is an expensive bank with very different charging needs from House, then I would want to know why and suggest a batt2batt DC-DC charger if that context is to remain.
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Old 18-12-2017, 18:45   #53
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Re: Next Gen Alternator Regulator

Using the engine alternator to charge batteries is hugely expensive unless you are motoring all the time. When its necessary, what is needed is a means to allow the batts to be charged at the highest possible safe rate ( terminal volts of 14.8, 14.4, 14.2 or whatever is appropriate for your batteries) and so minimise the time spent noisily running the donc.
A crude but effective way of doing this is bypass the alternator's regulator and use some fixed resistances to supply an appropriate small current to the feed, but it would be better to have a regulator which can be switched in to monitor the batts' appropriate maximum terminal voltage and open up the alternator charge rate to reach and hold, but not exceed, that voltage.
If you are motoring all day then switch this device out so you have a standard float charge.
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Old 18-12-2017, 18:54   #54
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Re: Next Gen Alternator Regulator

No one is talking about running a propulsion engine just to charge batteries.

And there is no need for any kludgey workarounds when you have a sophisticated external VR designed and built for exactly that purpose.
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Old 18-12-2017, 19:54   #55
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Re: Next Gen Alternator Regulator

It seems to me that the whole point of a smart regulator is to reduce the running time when having to use the propulsion engine for charging, while not allowing damage when running longer for propulsion.

As for "kludgey workarounds", I have not seen anything in the smart regulators available that deal with the disparate needs of a large house battery and a smaller starting battery.

This idea of using a selection of resistors for setting different voltage set points is a giant step backwards (about 40-50 years if memory serves). This is what we had before smart regulators. The reason for smart regulators is to accomplish an efficient and safe (for batteries) charge regimen without manual intervention. I have no desire to have to manually manage charging...

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Old 18-12-2017, 20:22   #56
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Re: Next Gen Alternator Regulator

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I have not seen anything in the smart regulators available that deal with the disparate needs of a large house battery and a smaller starting battery.
There is no shore charger that I know of does so either.

IMO again this is a non issue.

Your charge sources should be directly attached to House and adjusted to give exactly what that bank needs.

Starter is really a non issue, just use relatively cheap and very robust and forgiving FLA. Why would you use some expensive exotic or fussy chemistry there?
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Old 18-12-2017, 21:56   #57
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Re: Next Gen Alternator Regulator

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There is no shore charger that I know of does so either.

IMO again this is a non issue.

Your charge sources should be directly attached to House and adjusted to give exactly what that bank needs.
And once more, an Echo Charger will deal with the start battery whether the house bank is being charged with engine, shore or solar/wind sources... I know it works because we've been happy users for several years now, and we have all of the above charging sources in use.

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Old 18-12-2017, 22:33   #58
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Re: Next Gen Alternator Regulator

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And once more, an Echo Charger will deal with the start battery
Yes I absolutely know that, I fully agree. So will many dozens of other products with similar functionality. I am making points not related to those facts:

1 Charge sources should be directly connected to House.

2 No charge source needs to account for House vs Starter's "different needs".

3 And there is very rarely any need for an isolator / combiner / ACR / VSR to do so either.

EC's strengths are low price, it's simple and very robust, 15A limit allows for light gauge wiring. It's weakness is that low ampacity doesn't allow for self jump-starting.

For that benefit, or where high-amp charge sources may be connected to Starter rather than House (bad idea) then this is IMO the best combiner:

https://www.bluesea.com/products/762..._-_12V_DC_500A


But none of this is relevant to the functionality of an external VR.

Which is the big-picture main point I'm trying to get across.
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Old 18-12-2017, 23:45   #59
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Re: Next Gen Alternator Regulator

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2 No charge source needs to account for House vs Starter's "different needs".
Your opinion. But your solution is to use FLA for the starting battery. If instead it is a gel battery, like the house bank, I have my doubts.

Quote:
3 And there is very rarely any need for an isolator / combiner / ACR / VSR to do so either.
Yes, I suppose I could just use a battery selector switch. But back when that was most common I heard too many sailors say that they forgot to switch to "Both" and after a day of motoring they still had one dead battery. Or worse, they left it on "Both" after charging and discovered too late that both banks were low. Automation is nice to have. That said, during all of my cruising I used diode isolators for each of the alternator, wind generator, and solar sources to good effect, in spite of others' warnings of inefficiency. They also removed the possibility that a short in the alternator/wind gen/solar systems could pull a large current out of the battery banks - today I have fuses instead. And no switching needed, ever.

Greg
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Old 19-12-2017, 00:06   #60
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Re: Next Gen Alternator Regulator

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But your solution is to use FLA for the starting battery. If instead it is a gel battery, like the house bank, I have my doubts.
No as I clearly stated above, if you choose a GEL or other expensive fussy chemistry for Starter then you should use a DC-DC charger.

But I cannot imagine the reasoning behind that decision.

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Yes, I suppose I could just use a battery selector switch.
I did not in any way mean these devices are not excellent; in fact I think it's a very rare design that should not include one.

I am saying the fact that they are voltage-following, is not a problem in a normal Starter context.

That neither an Alt/VR nor any charge source nor any combiner deals with, nor needs to deal with this "problem".

That when this **is** a problem, the solution is a DCDC charger.
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