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Old 27-12-2010, 09:17   #1
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Alternator Battery Charging

Hi all,

I am new to this forum and am looking forward to learning lots from all of you.

I am considering the use of marine charging equipment in my Motor Home. I believe the RV industry needs to take a few lessons from the marine industry regarding alternator battery charging systems. The desire is to properly multi stage charge my house batteries from the alternator. The current system simply connects the house with the starting batteries when the key is on. The alternator 145amp then supplies a constant 14.6 volts. The two battery systems are different types, a traditional NAPA starting battery and deep cycle AGM batteries for the coach.

I am looking for your words of wisdom, opinions, concerns and suggestions on two options being considered. Or anything else that might do the job.

Sterling Power Alternator to battery chargers
Have you used them?
Do you like them?
My main concern is that the device is not water proof.

Balmar MC-614 Multistage regulator
Have you used it?
Does it do a good job?
Only concern is that it is a single battery system.

Looking forward to your words of wisdom

Ken
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Old 27-12-2010, 09:28   #2
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Ken.

Which Sterling Power unit are you considering?

http://www.sterling-power.com/products-altreg.htm

http://www.sterling-power.com/products-altbatt.htm
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Old 27-12-2010, 09:44   #3
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I was looking at the Sterling Power AB12130

I do not want to, but will, if needed replace the existing Delphi 145amp alternator. I understand the Balmar solution requires replacement of the existing alternator since they require an external voltage regulated "P" type alternator.

No need for remote controls since I have a Trimetric 2025 battery monitor w/ a 500amp shunt and a Morningstar Tristar MPPT-60 solar charge controller with remote. The onboard 4Kw generator and or shore power is connected to a smart multistage charger. Bottom line I am looking to take advantage of the engine power and properly charge while driving.
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Old 27-12-2010, 09:48   #4
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modifying an N alternator to a P type is pretty easy (cheap) for an alternator shop.
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Old 27-12-2010, 09:50   #5
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KJINTF, if you look way down at the bottom of this page you will find links to other threads on alternators, battery charging, etc. There are many threads on this forum that should help you in your research. Good luck, and welcome to CF.
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Old 27-12-2010, 09:59   #6
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Thanks guys

Will consider the modification if I go the Balmar route - only probelm is that their soltion is a single battery system. My desire is to isolate the charge at both battery systems

Yes thanks - I have been looking through the other links - lots of good info but nothing specific to my current needs. Thought I would start a new thread to see what happened.

Winnipeg - and I though it was cold here in Western Montana
Last time I was up there it was "-" 40 both F and C

Regards
Ken
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Old 27-12-2010, 10:30   #7
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I have a balmar external regulator (I'm not at the boat so I can't remember the details) and it charges both my start & house bank with a battery combiner. I bought one of Yandina's: Combiner 160 Sheet. They have a 100 amp & a 160 amp. Works fine.
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Old 27-12-2010, 10:49   #8
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gettinthere

Thanks for the suggestion

Looks like the "combiner" is a voltage controller relay, which connects both battery banks together thus exactly the same change characteristics for each battery bank. You have the advantage of multistage regulation from the Balmar other than that similar to what my Boost relay does currently. Are you running different types of batteries for starting and house? My thought is to have differnet charging parameters for the different types of batteries.
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Old 27-12-2010, 10:58   #9
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that would be a more complex issue. I have all the same battery chemistry. All wet cells.
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Old 27-12-2010, 11:07   #10
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Yes a bit more complex of an issue
Thus my earlier question

Sterling Power claims their stuff can do isolated charging from a single alternator

Wondering if others have implemented their solution and what issues they have run across
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Old 27-12-2010, 11:12   #11
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maybe the cheapest/easiest solution is to replace the starting battery to match the house bank?
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Old 27-12-2010, 11:54   #12
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Thanks - That's one possibility

However Deep Cycle Vs Starting batteries and different amp hrs rates all confuse the issue even more.
Right now I am NOT worried about a low cost solution aka cheap solution
No problem with $$ or time just want to get the job done correctly

Looking to hear from others that have installed the Sterling Power stuff or other vendors stuff that allows for dual battery banks of differnt types to be properly charged from a single alternator.

Ken
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Old 27-12-2010, 12:14   #13
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I had the Balmar MC 614 charging my 600 AH AGM house bank. It worked flawlessly.

I charged the single starting battery using a Balmar Digital Duo Charge. The alternator charged the house bank, and the house bank charged the starting battery, which requires very little in the way of amps for topping it up. It can be programmed for battery type, so you can have a different type from your house bank--no problem.
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Old 27-12-2010, 12:52   #14
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Thanks - I will check into that Digital Duo later today
Sounds as if Balmar is the way to go
I guess no one has used the Sterling Power stuff
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