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Old 12-06-2016, 19:47   #31
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
They are actually called that in the trade:

http://www.prestolite.com/literature...nators_web.pdf


And they're even used in actual school buses!

But also in ambulances, emergency vehicles, etc.


The thing about them is that they are designed for a completely different purpose from a normal alternator.

A normal "car type" alternator is not designed or intended to produce power in bulk. These are made to run on-board systems like lighting and instruments on a car. Car start batteries only need a tiny bit of charging. And so if you ask them to charge a large bank of deep cycle batteries -- they are not made for this. They will reduce voltage (and therefore output) to save themselves (or burn out), and like that you don't get a fast or a good charge.

Whereas school bus alternators are made to produce their full rated output 24/7/365 even at high ambient temperatures. You can generate 2kW-3kW of power with some of them. And they are cheap to buy and cheap and easy to repair. The only downside as someone said is that they are large and heavy, and not everyone can find a place. They weigh 40 pounds or more and have much larger cases. You cannot generally fit them in the place the original alternator goes -- you need a special bracket to put them on the other side of the engine with their own belts (double or serpentine).

But it's worth it. Nearly as much useful output as a small diesel generator. If you have one of these PLUS a diesel generator, then you have really reliable redundant power sources for a boat with a lot of electrical gear.
Just curious, since a normal alternator lowers it's output due to heat, how do these larger units deal with heat?

Do they have a larger fan on them?

Do they start out at a higher output and lower it slightly as the temp. climbs?
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Old 12-06-2016, 22:36   #32
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

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Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
Just curious, since a normal alternator lowers it's output due to heat, how do these larger units deal with heat?

Do they have a larger fan on them?

Do they start out at a higher output and lower it slightly as the temp. climbs?
I don't really know, but I would guess that the whole system is simply designed for continuous full output -- cooling system with enough capacity, and everything else inside made to withstand high temperatures. The sheer massiveness of them shows the difference. I had to have my Leece Neville overhauled after 12 years of good hard service (cost all of about $150 for a complete overhaul), and to get it out, I had to make a Spanish windlass. I think it weighs about 50 pounds.

I don't think there's any temperature protection -- mine puts out 110 amps @ 24v (about 2.5kW) from not far above idle, and will crank it out 24/7 -- I have an ammeter connected to it. The case generally doesn't exceed 55C so it seems to run cool, although the core reaches 120C.
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Old 14-06-2016, 16:04   #33
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

I just read this thread about Electromaax and felt I had to respond.
We have a 165 amp Electromaax alternator and smart regulator from Electromaax and could't be happier with the product. I installed the alternator prior to leaving the SF Bay Area to cruise in Mexico - that was September of 2010. We also installed the serpentine pulley kit. This alternator has performed flawlessly since the day it was it was installed and I've never even had to adjust the belt in six years of cruising. And yes we are still cruising not sitting in a marina writing stories in fact we are currently anchored at Isla Coronados just north of Loreto.As far as working with John Stevens he has always answered any questions I have had and any technical stuff has been answered with Rob who in my opinion is an electrical genius. I have also referred over 30 cruisers to Elextromaax through my cruising time in Mexico and have NEVER had any negative feedback about their products EVER . As far as I am concerned and a lot of boating friends of mine the product is rock solid and yes innovative and also on the cutting edge . Just wanted to give my two cents . S/V Hotel California currently and still cruising in Mexico
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Old 15-06-2016, 04:08   #34
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

(Belated) Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, reraft.
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Old 11-07-2016, 05:20   #35
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Re: Electromaax - just don't do it...

reraft...good to know your electromaax alternator has worked well. Others (like myself) were not so lucky. I've said it before, and will say it again, electromaxx DOES NOT stand behind their product.
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