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Old 08-03-2016, 12:49   #1
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How to Properly Program Balmar 614 and High Output Alt

Hi,

The Balmar manual is pretty specific on the mechanics of programming and updating the 614 voltage regulator. However, there are a lot of settings and its my understanding that the default settings are not optimal and I am looking for different processes and strategies for doing so.

For example, are the optimal settings different based on how much you motor vs. how much you sail? What about taking alt size into account? How to determine if your engine is suffering because you alt is too large? And so on.

So, what is the process of optimizing the 614 so we are optimally charging the batteries? I know you need to take into account battery type, battery bank size voltage drop, alt size, etc...

I'm particularly interested in deregulating the alternator to extend its life (we have the balmar 150 amp).

Guidance would be appreciated.

- z
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Old 08-03-2016, 22:12   #2
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Re: How to Properly Program Balmar 614 and High Output Alt

change to battery type. it comes set to a universal one. change to AGM or flooded.


if you belts can't handle the 150a alt. then you need to derate it. you'd need dual belts or a serpentine for that.
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Old 09-03-2016, 21:03   #3
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Re: How to Properly Program Balmar 614 and High Output Alt

Quote:
Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
change to battery type. it comes set to a universal one. change to AGM or flooded.


if you belts can't handle the 150a alt. then you need to derate it. you'd need dual belts or a serpentine for that.
I've done that... there HAS to be more than that because already out of the gate, its not deregulating the alt. The purpose of deregulating the alt is to extend its life... I don't need 150 amps out of the alt at startup.

Also, I already have a serpentine belt.
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Old 09-03-2016, 21:12   #4
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Re: How to Properly Program Balmar 614 and High Output Alt

For "permanent" de-rating you want the "belt load manager", bEL on the display. There are 10 steps from b-0 (no de-rating) to b-9 (45% de-rate). You'll have to see exactly where you end up, the field changes are "approximately" 5 to 7 percent per step (at 7%/step would end up at 63% de-rate at b-9).
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Old 11-03-2016, 07:06   #5
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Re: How to Properly Program Balmar 614 and High Output Alt

zBoss - you may be interested in my experience with the 614. I wanted the belt manager feature to lower output on a 140 amp alternater. The highest setting would only reduce by about 20%. Small boat mode, which is a different feature but is supposed to be a 50% reduction, resulted in only about 22%. I sent the regulator back to Balmar for testing, and they responded that the unit was within normal specs and that it is expected results will vary for different alternators. Not quite the answer--and performance--that I had anticipated and hoped for.

I'm now working out issues using an analog method--a rheostat on the field wire. The setup is easily capable of a 100% reduction, or anything in between, but needs attention and manual adjustment during operation.

Good luck to you.
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Old 11-03-2016, 09:28   #6
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Re: How to Properly Program Balmar 614 and High Output Alt

Here are the two options:

Small Engine Mode - discussion with link to the picture of the toggle switch: Alternator heat, Regulator Controls, Small Engine Mode

Small Engine Mode - the picture of the toggle switch Alternator Output Management with External Regulators [Small Engine Mode]

If you already have a serpentine belt, and you say you have a 150 A alternator, the missing link is how big your battery bank is and what your energy budget is. What SOC do you start your engine? Are you sitting at anchor for as long as you can until you're at 50% SOC or do you move every day? Do you have solar?

We need more info, 'cuz all we CAN tell you now is how to "work" the regulator.

All the rest, i.e., amperage, is up to those other factors you haven't yet shared with us.

BTW, the "standard" settings include only two things: voltages and time. Both are adjustable.

The basic concept is to use the regulator to get as much charge as possible in as short a time, while avoiding overheating the alternator or the house bank.
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Old 01-05-2018, 14:07   #7
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Re: How to Properly Program Balmar 614 and High Output Alt

I am about to install new firefly carbon foam batteries in a Sabre 426mkII equipped with a Balmar 614 and a 140 amp Balmar 60-150-J-10 alternator equipped with a serpentine pulley. There will be one starter battery and four house batteries. I know how to change setting on the regulator but am very unsure if I should set the bulk charge time b1C to multiple hours e.g. 5-6 hours instead of the default of 18 minutes or if I should use a short time and rely upon other settings e.g. FbA presumably at a lower level than the default. If I use Fba with a short Bulk charge time where should I set that value before assessing how it performs. I would need to make similar decisions for the Absorption voltage duration and therefore the FFL value. I have alternator temperature and battery temperature sensing installed. The vessel spends most of its time on a dock with its battery charger but I plan much more cruising this year.
Advice would be very welcome.
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Old 01-05-2018, 19:03   #8
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Re: How to Properly Program Balmar 614 and High Output Alt

Attached is a pdf with our generally recommended Balmar settings for both Lithionics & Firefly. If charging from a deep or long discharge you could up the absorption time, however not really necessary for Firely.
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File Type: pdf Balmar Settings for OPE-Li3_F.Fly.pdf (104.1 KB, 35 views)
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