Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 22-06-2009, 11:48   #1
Registered User
crazyhorse's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Auckland (for the moment) New Zealand
Boat: Van de Stadt "YM Seahorse" 10m
Posts: 28
Images: 2
Alternator Regulation

Since most alternators are "automotive" types (full charge for a few minutes then trickle), is there any circuit diagrams out there to make your own external regulator?

crazyhorse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2009, 12:10   #2
Senior Cruiser
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 17,165
The basic Ample power unit is good. Control panels allowing dialed amperage and a meter used to be sold but they were discontinued, (one version had the option of a high output regulator built in with a switch for manual or regulated operation.). (Cruising Equipt Company?) Basically, you can regulate it with a large rheostat or poteniometer if you want, but be aware, you can fry batteries or your alternator pretty easy. I found a huge difference in output between the Ample Power reg and the Balmar (ARS version II) in the same boat with the same alternator. The ample power allowed the 100 amp alternator to put out 75-80 amps for maybe 20 minutes or so, the Balmar backed off a lot earlier and only asked for 70 amps or so. Something cool might be a rheostat with a temperature sensitive relay that connects to your Alternator, kicking it out at a given temperature. It's just hard to beat a good 3 step unit that does it all for you....

Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-06-2009, 02:02   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Australia, Central Coast.
Boat: Boden 36 Triple chine long keel steel, named Nekeyah
Posts: 689
There is a way of making your own. Find the internal wire between the alternator and the regulator , cut it and solder some lengths of insulated wire onto the cut ends. lead these outside the alternator to a convenient place.
Get three reasonably robust diodes (from an old alternator maybe) wire them in series between the two wires that you led out of the alternator.
Each diode has a voltage drop of 0.6 of a volt, so the three in series equal 1.8 volts.
This voltage drop tricks the regulator into thinking the battery is 1.8volts lower than it really is, and it puts the charge in at a high rate.
You want to regulate the charge, so wire three switches, one across each diode.
With all the switches turned on, the system workes as normal, but as you open each switch you introduce an added voltage drop and the charge increases.
You will need heatsinks for the diodes.
I made one of these systems with a Bosch alternator some years ago and it worked well.
Make sure your batteries can accept the extra charge. I disconnected it when we got gel batteries.
Regards, Richard.
boden36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-06-2009, 15:04   #4
Senior Cruiser
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,043
Images: 12
I think your basic idea can be implemented simpler. Couldn't you just put the diode switch bank in line with the field sense lead to the alternator and leave the internal regulator alone? If you do it that way, you can use cheap, light zener diodes instead.

colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-06-2009, 18:46   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Australia, Central Coast.
Boat: Boden 36 Triple chine long keel steel, named Nekeyah
Posts: 689
Thanks Mark, that's what I did, but I guess my explanation was not too clear. Regards, Richard
boden36 is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ALTERNATOR//DID YOU KNOW........ KIWI Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 6 26-02-2009 21:27
alternator nelsonsmoody Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 14 30-08-2008 08:29
simple batt. regulation?? bamboo Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 4 02-06-2008 10:05
Alternator chad.lawie Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 1 24-08-2007 15:01
Alternator/Welder Wukong Construction, Maintenance & Refit 0 27-09-2005 21:01

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:06.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.