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Old 27-07-2013, 19:29   #1
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Balmar charging at 16.9 volts!

Hi everyone

Like to share this problem experienced by a boat owner who had a problem of batteries not charging as he says the battery charging light comes on.

Conclusion: There is no earth/negative for ARS-5. The cable from alternator to end connectors for ARS-5 for negative is open. Somewhere along the line, there is a break.

Full story.

The engine is yanmar 4JH4-HTE with Balmar 100 amp with ARS-5 installed in Singapore - 5 years old.

The battery is Sonnensein connected a Heart Interface Freedom 25 for shore power charging.

At 800 rpm, B+ from alternator is about 10 amps. Field is about 3.1 amps.
Voltage at battery is 13.9 v.

At 1,500 rpm, B+ reads 69 volts with Field current reading 3.5 amps. Battery voltage is 16.9 volts!!!

Engine off. B+ at alternator reads 13.4 volts. There is earth between alternator and engine.

The cable connector strip to ARS-5 - red wire for B+ reads 13.4 and. The red and black (negative) wire no voltage. Black and alternator no continuity. This means the ARS-5 is not getting earth/negative for the regulator to work so it pumps out full power.

For a temporary test, a short length of wire with a crocodile clip from engine body to the black wire is made. Reconnect the strip back to ARS-5.

Start engine. At 800 rpm 13.80 volt. At 1,500 rpm - 13.90 volts. Problem solved! No earth for ARS-5.

I left the boat with the owner to get another person to either trace the break in the original black wire or he has to add a new wire to his set up for earth.

Hope this information is helpful.

Eric
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Old 27-07-2013, 20:25   #2
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Re: Balmar charging at 16.9 volts!

is only one of the blacks disconnected? (that one has 2 grounds, the newer ones only have one) I don't see how the reg would do anything at all with no ground. as the unit powers up.

was the led screen on the balmar on?
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Old 27-07-2013, 20:30   #3
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Re: Balmar charging at 16.9 volts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericoh88 View Post
At 800 rpm, B+ from alternator is about 10 amps. Field is about 3.1 amps.
Voltage at battery is 13.9 v.

At 1,500 rpm, B+ reads 69 volts with Field current reading 3.5 amps. Battery voltage is 16.9 volts!!!

Eric

also I'm thinking you ment 69 amps not volts?
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Old 30-07-2013, 09:04   #4
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Re: Balmar charging at 16.9 volts!

Hi smac99

Yes . my mistake 69 amps. As for ground, it the black wire on a cable strip connectors to ARS-5. According to the manual, it says it is the negative.

You are right about negative. It still power up. I am only guessing that insufficient ground is giving these symptoms.
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Old 30-07-2013, 10:40   #5
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Re: Balmar charging at 16.9 volts!

Sounds like the alternator is at full output. This is caused by a faulty battery voltage sense signal. Somewhere a wore goes to monitor the charging voltage. This controls the output of the alternator. Balmer recommends that there be a fuse in the sense wire. Is the fuse blown?

The alternate is that the ARS is bad (or as you noted has no ground and thus is not working).

Regards
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Old 30-07-2013, 19:25   #6
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Re: Balmar charging at 16.9 volts!

Hi evm1024


Thanks for the comment.

I tried to look for the fuse. Only the cable strip going straight to the Balmar alternator. The cable runs under the heat exchanger and I can only feel the wrapper on the cable. Can't tell if there is a fuse until the owner takes out the alternator.

Anyway the boat is a 5 year old 49' and I don't to go further than using the clamp on meter.

Regards
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Old 30-07-2013, 20:29   #7
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Re: Balmar charging at 16.9 volts!

As a quick test you could put a jumper wire in from the regulator sense terminal to the battery plus post. Might as well make sure that the regulator is grounded to by jumpering from the regulator ground terminal to the battery negative.

If that brings the voltage in line then you know you have a bad wire....

Regards

Manuals for the ars-5 are of course online I'm sure that you know
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Old 30-07-2013, 22:23   #8
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I had the exact same behavior from a broken ground wire. It just went to full field. Harder to diagnose than to fix
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