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Old 28-01-2017, 17:46   #1
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Arduino based Alternator Regulator Project

For those of you who are interested in keeping your batteries properly charged while protecting your alternator and extending battery life (aren't we all), I'd like to call your attention to an interesting project which has been undertaken by a fellow cruiser named Al Thomasom. Al started this project a few years back because he was experiencing the same issues that many of us have also encountered: Under charged batteries, short battery life, and alternator failures. If any of that sounds familiar you should take a look at his blog site and get a feel for what he has accomplished. I have no financial interest in his efforts, just an interested spectator who has fought some of the same battles.

Arduino based Alternator Regulator
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Old 28-01-2017, 20:36   #2
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Re: Arduino based Alternator Regulator Project

Thanks so much! And knowing the world of FOSS there may well be other such projects, let's all post links w/ info as we collect them!
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Old 28-01-2017, 20:47   #3
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Re: Arduino based Alternator Regulator Project

Thanks for your post. Looks like a great unit.
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Old 18-12-2017, 04:57   #4
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Re: Arduino based Alternator Regulator Project

I'm wondering why there are not more posts in this thread? This looks like it is not only the cheapest external regulator at 80USD, it is also the most customizable. Looks very interesting to me. Does anyone have real-world experience?
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Old 18-12-2017, 07:15   #5
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Re: Arduino based Alternator Regulator Project

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Originally Posted by txg View Post
I'm wondering why there are not more posts in this thread? This looks like it is not only the cheapest external regulator at 80USD, it is also the most customizable. Looks very interesting to me. Does anyone have real-world experience?
Agree, the project seems alive and well with frequent updates. Is no-one here using one?
I love the idea of an open-source/open hardware solution that can be customized to suit specific requirements. I wonder if it has a LiFePO4 mode...?
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Old 18-12-2017, 09:55   #6
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Re: Arduino based Alternator Regulator Project

Because the project author is a trawler guy, that forum has historically hosted more discussions on it.

There is also earlier-stage work on a MPPT solar controller and a BMS project.

As with all FOSS it's a community effort, so even if you're just testing and reporting issues, you can help move things along.

They currently need help testing dual-alt coordination.
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Old 18-12-2017, 09:57   #7
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Re: Arduino based Alternator Regulator Project

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Agree, the project seems alive and well with frequent updates. Is no-one here using one?
I love the idea of an open-source/open hardware solution that can be customized to suit specific requirements. I wonder if it has a LiFePO4 mode...?
Here's a current thread.

Next steps for the Alternator Regulator effort

And yes you can customize the profile for whatever you think is right for LFP
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Old 18-12-2017, 10:12   #8
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Re: Arduino based Alternator Regulator Project

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Here's a current thread.

Next steps for the Alternator Regulator effort - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

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Old 09-06-2018, 23:39   #9
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Re: Arduino based Alternator Regulator Project

For the people that asking how this regulator is working, here my experience.

In short this regulator works really good, for wet, AGM and also LiFe batteries.

I was looking for more than 5 years for a regulator that can do Equalizing.
NON of the existing brands can do a proper equalizing. Some claim to do in the manual but what they do is only increasing the voltage to the equalizing voltage setting. With no limitation on the AMPS. I try with different regulators but the temperature from the batteries goes really, dangerous high, this because the Amps get to high. If you start question about this to the brands, they say you need to play with the engine throttle to limit the amps. I try this many times but this is extremely difficult. You need also to adjustment every 15 minutes or so and watch every minute. And on passage you can not make the speed that you like.

Because this regulator use your existing shunt in the system as a information input for controlling it, it can do a perfect equalizing. You can set the MAX amp value and voltage by your self. This really works good.

Because the AMPS and voltage are controlled the regulator can also do perfect charging off LiFe batteries.
After reaching 13.8 the regulator goes to 13.36 volt. Because the amps are monitored the regulator can go into a ""zero amp"" mode. This means NO amps flow in to the battery, so no extra charge to the batteries and no overcharging off the batterries. If you are using 15amps for example for light and navigation, this 15 amps comes from your alternator. BUT NO CHARGE goes to the batteries after reaching the 13.8Volt. This is what we prefer for LiFe This voltage levels are also programmable to you preferred voltage. If you like 13.6 as Max, just program the unit.

All existing brands goes to a float setting, and still amps goes to the battery.

If you charge LiFe batteries, the alternator can easily overheated. This regulator has a temperature sensor that you can mount on the alternator. If the sensor reaches the set temp (preset 90degreees) the regulator don't stopped but goes to a lower amp output to keep the alternator at this max temperature.

Off course there is also a battery temperature sensor for temperature compensation oof the voltage settings for wet and AGM batteries

For non technical people easy to install, you need same knowledge as for every other external regulator.
But for technical people that like special setting, almost everything is programmable.
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