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Old 03-02-2015, 22:33   #1
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Balmar MC-614-H Alternator Regulator question

Hi guys,

I'm in the process of drawing a wiring diagram for a lithium powered battery bank. At present I'm looking at the Balmar alternator charger, and how to cut power in the event of full SOC and HVC.

As far as the event of SOC goes, I have read that the Balmar can taper off the charging to the house bank, no trouble there. As for HVC, I have read that I should be cutting the field wire to the alternator via a relay. Is this correct? As my application is for a 4WD, this would disable the charging of the starter battery also. Could I not cut the power to the Balmar instead?

Any information in this area of thought most appreciated.
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Old 03-02-2015, 23:00   #2
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Re: Balmar MC-614-H Alternator Regulator question

cutting power to the balmar, or cutting the field. both would stop the alt from working. and would stop all battery charging.




if you feed your alternator to an battery isolator, you could then cut the alt feed between isolator and aux bank, and allow the alt to still charge the start bank.


you'd be cutting the main alt feed instead with a bigger solenoid. the start battery and alt might not be too happy for a sec when it cut out. but not nearly as bad as cutting the only alt feed out of the alt, which destroys it.
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Old 03-02-2015, 23:13   #3
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Re: Balmar MC-614-H Alternator Regulator question

I have Balmar alternator (70amp), MC-614, and Duo Charge installed.

Check out the Duo Charge. For what you're talking about (dual banks, stopping charge to one bank while still charging the other), it might do the trick. You can install a relay/switch on the Duo Charge to do this manually.

http://www.balmar.net/pdf/duo%20charge%20manual.pdf
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Old 03-02-2015, 23:26   #4
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Re: Balmar MC-614-H Alternator Regulator question

that doesn't work (unless he has a 30a alt...) as with that device he'll want the alt feeding the aux battery first, duo charger feeding start battery. the duo charger is too small to feed aux battery from start battery, with alt to start battery.
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Old 03-02-2015, 23:31   #5
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Re: Balmar MC-614-H Alternator Regulator question

Thanks guys,

Smac that sounds like a solution, but I'm not sure if I'm game to try it

Perhaps I'll just rely on the HVC audible alarm from the House Power BMS. This would be set above the Balmar Voltage and below the House Power BMS hard cut HVC.
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Old 04-02-2015, 06:41   #6
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Re: Balmar MC-614-H Alternator Regulator question

How much charging do you expect your starting battery will need?

Put a voltage sensitive relay between your house and start batteries, have your charging source go to the house bank, have the HVC cut out the regulator field wire when HV is reached.

Your start batteries will be charged only until HV is reached, but again - how discharged do you expect them to get?

Cutting out the regulator power supply will leave you without tach, and isn't the most rugged way to treat it.

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Old 04-02-2015, 14:40   #7
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Re: Balmar MC-614-H Alternator Regulator question

Colemj thanks for the reply. In my setup cutting the alternator will be a failsafe only. The Balmar would be the first cutoff. Then an audible alarm (HPBMS) and finally HVC of the field wire. If the tacho was to stop functioning that's a good thing as it will be another alarm effectively.

Perhaps I still don't understand though. Is the alternator field wire and power supply two different things?
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Old 04-02-2015, 14:50   #8
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Re: Balmar MC-614-H Alternator Regulator question

You are over thinking the problem. Just cut out the alternator with the field cut out. With a LiFePo4 battery bank you really don't even need a separate start battery but if you really really want one just use the charge relay and charge only as long as the alternator is cut out. Your start battery will most likely be fully charged long before the house bank is.
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Old 04-02-2015, 14:50   #9
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Re: Balmar MC-614-H Alternator Regulator question

Quote:
Originally Posted by qwerty_steve View Post
Hi guys,

I'm in the process of drawing a wiring diagram for a lithium powered battery bank. At present I'm looking at the Balmar alternator charger, and how to cut power in the event of full SOC and HVC.

As far as the event of SOC goes, I have read that the Balmar can taper off the charging to the house bank, no trouble there. As for HVC, I have read that I should be cutting the field wire to the alternator via a relay. Is this correct? As my application is for a 4WD, this would disable the charging of the starter battery also. Could I not cut the power to the Balmar instead?

Any information in this area of thought most appreciated.
You cut the red B+ power wire to the MC-614. DO NOT cut the blue field wire or red volt sense wire. Cutting the blue field wire can damage the regulator. Use the NC side of a headlight relay (70A or so is fine) to break the MC-614 B+ via the HPBMS HVC port..... On HVC the HPBMS will power open the relay shutting off power to the MC-614 and thus killing the alt field...

Program your regulator for a max of 13.8V - 14.0V....
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Old 04-02-2015, 15:12   #10
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Re: Balmar MC-614-H Alternator Regulator question

DeepFrz I understand that I could use the Li as the starting battery. Good to know that I have that option which may be a lifesaver in remote locations.

Maine Sail thanks for the info, there's plenty of information out there on hard-cutting the field wire, glad I asked
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Old 04-02-2015, 15:28   #11
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Re: Balmar MC-614-H Alternator Regulator question

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Originally Posted by qwerty_steve View Post
DeepFrz I understand that I could use the Li as the starting battery. Good to know that I have that option which may be a lifesaver in remote locations.

Maine Sail thanks for the info, there's plenty of information out there on hard-cutting the field wire, glad I asked
As a Balmar dealer my info on the proper way to cut the regulator comes straight from the source.. When a lot of folks say to cut the field they don't necessarily mean to break or cut the field wire but rather cut power to it the reg which then cuts power to the field.. The proper method with Ample Power, Balmar and Xantrex XAR regulators is to cut the power to the regulator not to interrupt the field wire.
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Old 04-02-2015, 15:56   #12
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Re: Balmar MC-614-H Alternator Regulator question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
As a Balmar dealer my info on the proper way to cut the regulator comes straight from the source.. When a lot of folks say to cut the field they don't necessarily mean to break or cut the field wire but rather cut power to it the reg which then cuts power to the field.. The proper method with Ample Power, Balmar and Xantrex XAR regulators is to cut the power to the regulator not to interrupt the field wire.
This is good to know. Our Sterling regulator talks a lot about disrupting the field wire, and even encourages one to try it to see the effect!

Our Balmar 6-series alternator mentions that if one wants to use the internal regulator on it, to just disconnect the external regulator field wire and connect the internal field wire. It doesn't mention that this should not be done while powered up.

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Old 05-02-2015, 19:59   #13
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Re: Balmar MC-614-H Alternator Regulator question

In the Balmar installation manual it says:

The BLUE Field Wire (#4 in diagram at right) provides regulated current to control alternator output. The wire is included
in the wiring harness Ford-style plug and is pre-connected at the regulator. At the other end of the wire, youíll find either
a plug or a ring terminal, depending on the alternatorís field terminal connection. Attach the field wire to the alternatorís
field terminal.


Do I need to remove the original field wire from the alternator? If so where does it go?
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Old 05-02-2015, 22:33   #14
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Re: Balmar MC-614-H Alternator Regulator question

A few more questions have surfaced as I think about this more:

From what I have read it appears that the Balmar's output is adjusted via Belt Manager. If I install the optional temperature sensor I then get the additional benefit of the Balmar backing off further if temperature becomes a concern. Rather than use Belt Manager, can I limit the alternator's output by temperature only?

The alternator in my 4WD is rated at 80A. People charge auxillary batteries all the time so I know there's extra capacity built into the stock alt, though I may only be able to set the Balmar to a low percentage. Obviously with Li battery's low internal resistance one would need to be careful. Once installed how would I go about ascertaining how much I can safely extract from the stock alternator?
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Old 05-02-2015, 22:46   #15
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Re: Balmar MC-614-H Alternator Regulator question

You want to use belt manager so that the alternator doesn't overheat. The temp. sensor is a safety item so that if your alternator is to hot it will throttle the output. It shouldn't be used in lieu of the belt manager setting. I believe it says so in the Balmar literature.
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