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Old 22-07-2014, 16:17   #1
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220A Power Bastard Alternator??

Has anyone tried one of these alternators. 220AMP Alternator for Boat and Marine Applications - Fitzall-220-Marine | PowerBastards.com

I have a 50 amp on my Volvo 2003 at the moment with a Sterling power external regulator and total of 210 amp hour life line agm. It takes about 3hrs to bring it back from 60% state of charge.

Any in site would be great .
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Old 22-07-2014, 16:37   #2
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Re: 220A Power Bastard Alternator??

Well, off the top of my head, there is no way you are going to run a 220A alternator off a 3/8" belt - which is the pulley this comes with. I mean no way at all. You will need a serpentine belt and that will cost twice as much as the alternator does.

Additionally, this is going to be a huge load on your relatively small engine - both in horsepower and, more importantly, in bearing side load and wear.

Lastly, a 220A alternator is not going to cut down your charging time of a 210Ahr battery bank significantly. For almost the whole time it is operating, it will not be putting out much more than your current externally-regulated 50A alternator because the batteries will not be able to accept more than that.

Edit: just saw that this is a single wire internally regulated at 14.6V. That is a disaster waiting to happen. If you get one, open it up and modify it for your Sterling external regulator.

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Old 22-07-2014, 17:17   #3
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Re: 220A Power Bastard Alternator??

Hey colemj,

Thanks for the comments. I was planning to run my external regulator. What is the fastest I should expect to recharge my bank? I just thought that a 50 A unit might be a bit slow. This company and another www.mechman.com caught my eye because of the price difference to balmar. Mechman seem to have a nice product.
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Old 22-07-2014, 17:44   #4
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Re: 220A Power Bastard Alternator??

Frankly, I don't think you will get much faster charging than 3hrs. The larger alternator will only help shorten the first stage of bulk charging, but with your smallish battery bank, this won't be much savings at all. After that initial bulk charge, the battery acceptance rate will probably be below 50A, and that is where the majority of the time is spent.

It is quite possible your Sterling and 50A alternator is doing as good a job as can be expected. If you go with a new alternator and do not want to change the belt system ($$), then don't go above 100A.

The long and short of it is that a high output alternator is not the solution when your battery bank is the size it is.

Those Mechman alternators are going in the wrong direction for you. If you want to save money over a Balmar in your specific application, you might look at Delco 12SI or CS-130 alternators. Save you a bundle. Get one 100A or less and make sure it has the same mounting feet (they come in different ones) and the same pulley size (they have different ones). Rewire it to take your Sterling regulator. You will be all-in for <$150.

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Old 22-07-2014, 17:59   #5
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Re: 220A Power Bastard Alternator??

cat, you might want to check with the battery maker about maximum and optimum charging rates. While some folks say to stuff in all the amperage that you can, the data sheets from battery makers tend to suggest AGMs in general should be charged at no more than a 25%C rate. So, if you had 210AH in the bank and were 60% discharged, your maximum charging rate would be 210 x 25% = 52.5A charging rate and you would simply let that run until they were charged, about 2-1/2 hours, closer to three figuring charging losses.

Whether you could actually get that amperage out of your alternator for any continuous duty is a whole other question. A 90-100A alternator, which is about the maximum suggested for any single v-belt, probably would be a reliable way to go.

Checking the alternator pulley size ratio, to ensure it is running at full output through the desired engine rpm range, can also be a huge help.

Mark-
It wouldn't need a serpentine belt (which makes "S" curves and needs an idler pulley) but simply a ribbed belt, same belt profile but run in a simple loop. But either way, a 200A alternator should cook those batteries.
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Old 22-07-2014, 18:02   #6
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Re: 220A Power Bastard Alternator??

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Mark-
It wouldn't need a serpentine belt (which makes "S" curves and needs an idler pulley) but simply a ribbed belt, same belt profile but run in a simple loop. But either way, a 200A alternator should cook those batteries.
Yes, I continually get caught saying "serpentine", when I mean a ribbed belt like you say.

However, the practical matter is that to put a ribbed belt on will cost several hundred dollars in modifications.

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Old 22-07-2014, 18:26   #7
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Re: 220A Power Bastard Alternator??

My original thought was the 50 amp I have right now is not putting out 50 amps consistently. Then I got into bigger is better mentality for alternator output. I will have a look for the Delco 100 amp units.
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Old 23-07-2014, 08:43   #8
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Re: 220A Power Bastard Alternator??

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My original thought was the 50 amp I have right now is not putting out 50 amps consistently. Then I got into bigger is better mentality for alternator output. I will have a look for the Delco 100 amp units.
But why change it if its working. A 3/8 pulley is over the limit with 100amps, if thats what you have. I would have thought that long belt life with 3/8 would be around 70 amps, only slightly more than what you have now.

It does not seem worth it to change as what you have now seems ok to me.
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Old 23-07-2014, 08:49   #9
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Re: 220A Power Bastard Alternator??

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But why change it if its working. A 3/8 pulley is over the limit with 100amps, if thats what you have. I would have thought that long belt life with 3/8 would be around 70 amps, only slightly more than what you have now.

It does not seem worth it to change as what you have now seems ok to me.
We are running a 120A alternator derated to 95A with a 3/8" belt. We need to use good quality Gates belts to run it, but it runs fine. The belts on that one last longer than the belts on our OEM 60A. I don't think one can go higher than this on a 3/8" belt, though.

I agree that it wouldn't be worth changing from what he has now unless he decides to get a larger battery bank in the future.

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Old 25-07-2014, 15:44   #10
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Re: 220A Power Bastard Alternator??

Mark is 100% correct - your charging times will not reduce significantly. So don't waste your money.

Rule of thumb for charge source sizing is 25% of capacity. So 50/210 is as good as it gets.

There is a Plan B.. You can go crazy and buy a 200AH Lithium battery and your charge times will certainly reduce by half with the 220A alternator. But then as Mark correctly states, you will need dual 1/2" belts and in the end your lithiums will probably burn up the new alternator.

Probably cheaper and easier to just add as much solar as you can fit on. This will minimize your engine run times plus it will allow you to float your AGM at 100% SOC which is good for its health an longevity.
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Old 26-07-2014, 14:54   #11
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Re: 220A Power Bastard Alternator??

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Well, off the top of my head, there is no way you are going to run a 220A alternator off a 3/8" belt - which is the pulley this comes with. I mean no way at all. You will need a serpentine belt and that will cost twice as much as the alternator does.

Additionally, this is going to be a huge load on your relatively small engine - both in horsepower and, more importantly, in bearing side load and wear.

Lastly, a 220A alternator is not going to cut down your charging time of a 210Ahr battery bank significantly. For almost the whole time it is operating, it will not be putting out much more than your current externally-regulated 50A alternator because the batteries will not be able to accept more than that.

Edit: just saw that this is a single wire internally regulated at 14.6V. That is a disaster waiting to happen. If you get one, open it up and modify it for your Sterling external regulator.

Mark
All good advice. You can't charge faster than your bank can accept and there's limits to V-belt efficiency and what your engine will enjoy. I was present at the installation of a 120 amp alt with serpentine pulley refit last week and the reduction in vibration is significant with the greater belt surface area.
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Old 26-07-2014, 15:00   #12
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Re: 220A Power Bastard Alternator??

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
We are running a 120A alternator derated to 95A with a 3/8" belt. We need to use good quality Gates belts to run it, but it runs fine. The belts on that one last longer than the belts on our OEM 60A. I don't think one can go higher than this on a 3/8" belt, though.

I agree that it wouldn't be worth changing from what he has now unless he decides to get a larger battery bank in the future.

Mark
I also concur that 75-90 amps is topping out the V-belt solution; I had a 75 amp alt on my old Westerbeke W-52 that shredded a standard 3/8" V-belt and I too went to a Gates for this reason. Now I have a Beta 60 with dual six-groove serpentine PTOs and am debating over a pair of 100 amps or a pair of 120 amps. I can only do so because I'm installing L16s x 6 (about 1100 Ah) of battery and a watermaker in addition to panels and a windgennie. Basically, I can have more electrical "water pressure" because I have a bigger bathtub (batteries) in which to keep it.

By the same token, it's useless on my other boat powered by an Atomic 4 to go higher than the stock 35 amp Motorola alternator, because I charge just two Group 27 deepcycles. People who bother to refit with a 55 amp usually have a third battery, often a Group 24, as a start battery on a Echo Charger or similar relay. Don't bother making more amps than you can use is the short form.
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Old 26-07-2014, 15:05   #13
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Re: 220A Power Bastard Alternator??

Hypothetically.. And I am not for one moment suggesting it should be done.

A question for the gurus:

In this particular scenario of a single 210AH battery being fed by a 220A alternator is it theoretically possible to run the alternator with a single 3/8 in belt?

I'm thinking that unless its discharged to some crazy low SOC its highly unlikely that the battery will accept more than 80-100 or so amps and then only for a short time before it drops down to 40-50A.
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Old 26-07-2014, 18:13   #14
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Re: 220A Power Bastard Alternator??

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Hypothetically.. And I am not for one moment suggesting it should be done.

A question for the gurus:

In this particular scenario of a single 210AH battery being fed by a 220A alternator is it theoretically possible to run the alternator with a single 3/8 in belt?

I'm thinking that unless its discharged to some crazy low SOC its highly unlikely that the battery will accept more than 80-100 or so amps and then only for a short time before it drops down to 40-50A.
Yes, it is just how you think. But then why have the 220A alternator?

If you do happen to have a low SOC and fire it up, you will have piles of belt dust everywhere and no charging within a short time.

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Old 26-07-2014, 18:22   #15
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Re: 220A Power Bastard Alternator??

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Yes, it is just how you think. But then why have the 220A alternator?

If you do happen to have a low SOC and fire it up, you will have piles of belt dust everywhere and no charging within a short time.

Mark
Not to mention that at really low SOC the battery will likely take a high current, initially.

Then it will heat up rather quickly, pressurize internally, blow the safety valve and out gas like a mutha. Likely causing significant permanent damage to the battery.
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