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Old 08-12-2013, 08:52   #1
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Alternator belt manager??

Allright, I give up, what the h*ll is an "alternator belt manager"??
I've work on boats for 30+ years and I've never heard this term before. I've read it in several posts recently and want to know what it is/does. Maybe it's something I haven't run across, or I know it under a different name. I work on power boats so most of my charging systems are pretty basic, usually start batteries only, no heavy house load batteries, we're either on shore pwr or gen, 24-7. I plan on buying a smaller personal use cruiser soon so need to get more involved in house load battery systems.
Thx
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:00   #2
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Belt manager is what Balmar calls their reduction in field current. Essentially dialing down maximum field current to reduce the output of the alternator so that it doesn't murder the drive belt.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:01   #3
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Re: Alternator belt manager??

In newer regulator, such as the Balmar, it can sense load on the belt, and reduce current output, and therefore belt load.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:07   #4
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Re: Alternator belt manager??

I could be wrong but I don't think there's any sensing or other smarts in the Balmar belt manager. You are just reducing the alternator output (e.g. 80% rather than 100%). This not only takes load off the belt but can greatly extend the life of your alternator.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:19   #5
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Re: Alternator belt manager??

Ahhh, so it's an internal electrical item. I was trying to picture some mechanical device, akin to a tensioner or something.
Thx
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:19   #6
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Re: Alternator belt manager??

There's no sensing going on here, just simple de-rating
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:14   #7
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Re: Alternator belt manager??

The belt does all the work in the system. The belt manager is an intrusion in the workflow that oversees the belt and makes sure its work output is lowered through unnecessary complication and incompetent meddling. The belt manager then takes all the credit for the lower output by describing it to the belt CEO as "better than the competition's". This results in the belt manager earning twice as much as the belt does. As time goes on, the belt wears out due to its unhealthy work environment and leaves the system. A new, often inferior and cheaper belt from a third world country is hired to take its place. The belt manager gets a raise for saving the system money, and the cycle then repeats.

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Old 08-12-2013, 10:35   #8
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Re: Alternator belt manager??

Quote:
Originally Posted by BerettaRacer View Post
Allright, I give up, what the h*ll is an "alternator belt manager"??
I've work on boats for 30+ years and I've never heard this term before. I've read it in several posts recently and want to know what it is/does. Maybe it's something I haven't run across, or I know it under a different name. I work on power boats so most of my charging systems are pretty basic, usually start batteries only, no heavy house load batteries, we're either on shore pwr or gen, 24-7. I plan on buying a smaller personal use cruiser soon so need to get more involved in house load battery systems.
Thx

Belt Manager is a proprietary feature of Balmar external regulators (the Xantrex XAR has it too because it is really a Balmar regulator). It reduces field output in 5% increments. So for a 5% reduction in max field you would use BM level 1. For a 20% reduction in max field you would use BM level 4...

It was previously called Amp Manager. Most people used it to limit the alt output, to protect the alternator belt, so they changed it to Belt Manager. It is the same thing and is simply a way of current limiting the alt. Well, technically not the "same thing" as Amp manager, because Amp Manager had more incremental steps that were smaller than 5% cuts.. Still the 5% increments works very well...

It is a very useful feature not only for belts but even on systems with serpentine or dual pulleys that have large banks and keep the alt in bulk for longer than they should. It essentially allows you to limit the current output of the alt which will;

A) Save belts

B) Let the alt run cooler and help it last longer.

C) Allow you to size the alt to exactly the bulk performance you want out of it. For example, if you want 100A in bulk a 100A alt won't do that but a 140A alt current limited can be dialed in to almost exactly 100A and will barely be breaking a sweat.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:42   #9
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Re: Alternator belt manager??

My wife is my belt manager. Especially around the holidays.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:52   #10
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Re: Alternator belt manager??

There is also another feature called Small Engine Mode:

Alternator heat, Regulator Controls, Small Engine Mode

Alternator heat, Regulator Controls, Small Engine Mode

Small Engine Mode - discussion with link to the picture of the toggle switch: Alternator heat, Regulator Controls, Small Engine Mode

You can download the Balmar regulator manuals at Welcome to Balmar and read the details.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:09   #11
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Re: Alternator belt manager??

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
The belt does all the work in the system. The belt manager is an intrusion in the workflow that oversees the belt and makes sure its work output is lowered through unnecessary complication and incompetent meddling. The belt manager then takes all the credit for the lower output by describing it to the belt CEO as "better than the competition's". This results in the belt manager earning twice as much as the belt does. As time goes on, the belt wears out due to its unhealthy work environment and leaves the system. A new, often inferior and cheaper belt from a third world country is hired to take its place. The belt manager gets a raise for saving the system money, and the cycle then repeats.

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Old 08-12-2013, 14:50   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BerettaRacer View Post
Ahhh, so it's an internal electrical item. I was trying to picture some mechanical device, akin to a tensioner or something.
Thx
Right. Its just a configuration parameter on the regulator. Set as a percentage. Just finished running a boat with two new Balmar regulators installed.
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