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Old 16-02-2010, 18:18   #1
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Equalizing Batteries with Alternator Only (No Battery Charger)

I'm on cruise in the Bahamas, and would like to 'equalize' my 450 AH battery bank (4ea. 6 volt flooded cell batteries - series/parallel for 12 V) without using my battery charger (True Charge with equalization feature). I have a Balmar 80 amp alternator regulated by a ARS-5 Balmar 'smart' regulator (ramp-up; bulk and float modes, but no equalization mode).

I talked (via email) with Balmar support, and I quote:
"The ARS-5 does not have a dedicated equalization program. The MC-612, which was recently discontinued, did have an equalization program. The new MC-614 regulator will no longer have the equalization program as a result of our frustration with customers that do not understand the danger and deleterious effect of equalizing on board their vessels. Most people will not run the engine at the rpm for the time required, while monitoring the output, to properly and safely equalize the batteries.
The ARS-5 allows you to increase the voltage up to 16.8 volts by accessing the advanced programming mode but it does not have a timer function. "

After reading the ARS-5 manual, I've been unable to determine how to program the regulator to a higher voltage in the neighborhood of 15 V to achieve equalization. Has anyone have experience setting up an equilization voltage using the ARS-5 regulator??

I know and realize the risks involved (I didn't just fall off the 'turnip truck') in equalizing flooded cell batteries.

Thanks,

Tom aboard the S/V SHEARWATER in Eastern Harbour, Man O War Cay, Abaco, Bahamas
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Old 16-02-2010, 19:50   #2
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Simply wire the field terminal of the alternator to the positive terminal. Adjust RPM to achieve the desired voltage as measured by a proper meter.
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Old 17-02-2010, 09:45   #3
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Daddle has it nailed exactly.
As long as you monitor the voltage, you're golden.
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Old 17-02-2010, 10:40   #4
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I do this

On my 70 amp Hitachi alternator, with built in regulator, I simply move one of the field wires. That way I can get up to 16 volts output. Just watch the voltage, and time to your own desire. Very simple as long as you pay attention.
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Old 16-11-2010, 06:01   #5
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where do you move the field wire to?
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Old 16-11-2010, 20:15   #6
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Bat +
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