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Old 29-09-2017, 12:49   #46
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Re: How to shutdown the alternator ?

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Originally Posted by rom View Post
at last someone gets it ! thank you
You've already gotten good advice on how to deal with that. External regulator of the type which allows you to turn down or shut off charging. These are beneficial in many other ways too. Balmar, or perhaps one of those lovely Sterling alternator - to- battery chargers - which can be fully controlled like a mains charger. Then you will have total control of the charging process and you can fiddle to your heart's content.

https://sterling-power.com/collectio...ers-up-to-130a
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Old 29-09-2017, 23:13   #47
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Re: How to shutdown the alternator ?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
You've already gotten good advice on how to deal with that. External regulator of the type which allows you to turn down or shut off charging. These are beneficial in many other ways too. Balmar, or perhaps one of those lovely Sterling alternator - to- battery chargers - which can be fully controlled like a mains charger. Then you will have total control of the charging process and you can fiddle to your heart's content.

https://sterling-power.com/collectio...ers-up-to-130a
Thank you Dockhead, this Sterling makes an interesting job at fooling the alternator with a low voltage. But I would be looking at the exact opposite feature.

What's your take on simply disconnecting the alt from the batteries with a switch ?

It is true that I got some good advices, and I now think I can live without the tach if I can find a simple way to shutdown the alt. Thank again everyone for sharing your thoughts.
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Old 30-09-2017, 01:54   #48
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Re: How to shutdown the alternator ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rom View Post
Thank you Dockhead, this Sterling makes an interesting job at fooling the alternator with a low voltage. But I would be looking at the exact opposite feature.

What's your take on simply disconnecting the alt from the batteries with a switch ?

It is true that I got some good advices, and I now think I can live without the tach if I can find a simple way to shutdown the alt. Thank again everyone for sharing your thoughts.
I don't understand the objection to the way the Sterling device works. This is the perfect approach in my opinion. It simply disassociates entirely the alternator output voltage from the battery charging voltage. It keeps the alternator ready to give full output at all times, and then manipulates the voltage in the charger, not in the alternator. So you have complete control and can do a four stage cycle like a mains charger -- you can even equalize. Switch the alternator on or off as you like. Besides doing what you are trying to do, a device like this will greatly improve charging performance.

Concerning disconnecting alternator from batteries --

You also got advice about this already. You can do it, but if you ever flip the switch while the engine is running, you'll blow the diodes and put the alternator out of commission. Also, it will take a heavy switch capable of carrying the full output of the alternator. I would never do such a thing myself. Much better to switch the field wire on or off.
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Old 30-09-2017, 02:21   #49
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Re: How to shutdown the alternator ?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I don't understand the objection to the way the Sterling device works. This is the perfect approach in my opinion. It simply disassociates entirely the alternator output voltage from the battery charging voltage. It keeps the alternator ready to give full output at all times, and then manipulates the voltage in the charger, not in the alternator. So you have complete control and can do a four stage cycle like a mains charger -- you can even equalize. Switch the alternator on or off as you like. Besides doing what you are trying to do, a device like this will greatly improve charging performance.
From Sterling manual:
"The alternator-to-battery charger can be switched on and off manually by pressing the on/off key ( assumming the alternato is working. Even when the charger has been switched off, it will remain on standby mode.Also, the batteries will still be charged, but
without the boost on the domestic battery side."

As for charging the batteries when I need it, it would not help much in my case since it seems my Hitachi alternators are temp compensated and will refuse to work hard for more than a few minutes anyways.
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Old 30-09-2017, 03:17   #50
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Re: How to shutdown the alternator ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rom View Post
From Sterling manual:
"The alternator-to-battery charger can be switched on and off manually by pressing the on/off key ( assumming the alternato is working. Even when the charger has been switched off, it will remain on standby mode.Also, the batteries will still be charged, but
without the boost on the domestic battery side."

As for charging the batteries when I need it, it would not help much in my case since it seems my Hitachi alternators are temp compensated and will refuse to work hard for more than a few minutes anyways.
But on the contrary, a good external regulator will use more efficiently, what your alternator will produce.

I don't know about the Sterling (haven't read the manual), but the Balmar external regulator allows you to derate the alternator so you don't run up against the temperature compensation.

In any case, the stock Hitachi alternators on Yanmar engines are not really that good, for producing bulk power. They are made for topping off starter batteries, and are not designed to produce full output continuously. For bulk power production, it's better to use an alternator designed for the purpose -- a large-frame school bus alternator if it will fit; otherwise there are heavy duty small-frame alternators.

But if your budget is limited and you're getting nearly all your power from solar anyway, the Hitachis will be ok with good external regulation.

If you Google up and read MaineSail's site, he has a wealth of really excellent information on alternators and regulation.
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Old 30-09-2017, 10:26   #51
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Re: How to shutdown the alternator ?

OK let's say I will choose the external regulator option.

Off topic, I will need to modify the hitachi alt. While I am at it should I (can I?) totally remove the rectifier/regulator assembly and install a remote rectifier like M.Grasser or quicktifier ? Would the Hitachi alt then be able to handle full rated ouput (80A) for a few hours ?
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Old 30-09-2017, 10:45   #52
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Re: How to shutdown the alternator ?

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simply disconnecting the alt from the batteries with a switch ?
No, never, unless you specifically add a load dump.

Why not disconnect the field power? Absolutely normal standard switch to have at the helm.

Regarding relocating diodes, getting the external reg, if you're spending that much money, would be better to just get a decent large-frame alt designed to output rated amps all day long.

Rebuilt Leece Neville go for under $200.

That is if you've got room, converting to serpentine, the right pulley ratio it's true that stuff adds up.

Is the alt power really that major a power source for you overall?
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Old 30-09-2017, 10:50   #53
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Re: How to shutdown the alternator ?

If I were to invest in Sterling DC-DC charger, I'd go with Batt-to-Batt style.

Let any and all charge sources do what they like with a cheap Starter.

My expensive House bank (maybe LFP) only gets serviced by the one device, one completely user-defined charging profile.

Can easily move from boat to boat to RV to off-grid home.
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Old 30-09-2017, 11:16   #54
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Re: How to shutdown the alternator ?

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No, never, unless you specifically add a load dump.
Ca you elaborate ? I cannot find a consensus on that matter. Of course we are talking about switching the alt off before starting the engine. Also note that the hitachi alt is self-exciting.

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Is the alt power really that major a power source for you overall?
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Old 30-09-2017, 11:44   #55
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Re: How to shutdown the alternator ?

OK, went back and read through the thread.

I am very skeptical that you actually need this, that using it will actually save you any money.

But the solution has been given a dozen times: have a bog-standard **field current** switch wired. Any decent marine or even auto electrician will be able to do this for you.

Now, increasing your power output from an alt is another topic, and seems to be opposed to your original premise, so I'll just let stand the above.
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Old 30-09-2017, 12:28   #56
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Re: How to shutdown the alternator ?

ROM,

I did some quick math, and with your alt. putting out float voltage/amps (14.3 v- 1A), it only takes about 200th of a HP (0.018 horsepower) to drive it. I don’t see this effecting fuel consumption in a way you will be able measure.

To me it seems like the main reason you want to kill the alt’s, is to prevent gassing due to over charging. No harm in trying to solve this.

It also seems you want to do this the most inexpensive way possible.

If I was in your shoes, I’d leave the start batt/s and alt/s wired the way they came. With each alt charging it’s own start battery. They are made to do this and will last for many thousands of hours.

What I would do is acquire a BtoB (Battery to Battery) charger, or two, and put it/them between the start battery/s and house batteries.
This way, when needed, the house bank can be charged through the BtoB charger off of the start battery when the engine is running. And when full charge is neared, the BtoB charger can simply be turned off.

Of course this means keeping the start batteries. Which you said you’d like to get rid of to regain some space. But how much space is one or two Group 24 or 27 batteries really taking up.
Also by placing the start batteries near each engine, you are shorting your battery cables and power lead off of your alt/s.

Another advantage is that your tach's still work.

Anyway, I think you are over complicating the solution.

Just my two cents.
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Old 30-09-2017, 12:34   #57
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Re: How to shutdown the alternator ?

I had a Hitachi 55A alternator on my Yanmar-It was not adequate , I wanted to up the output.
Bosch 115A alt from off a Porsche 944 ducted.... $50
Unregulated brush set with spade terminals---$15 (Beauty off Bosch is ext reg on brushset)
Mark Grasser Smart Charge one external regulator------$150
It now charges at approx. twice the rate.

Relevant to this discussion:
If you turn the key "OFF" whilst the motor is running the alt stops charging.
If you turn the key back "ON" it charges at float 13.6V/ <1.5A
IF you stop the motor at the end of the absorbtion phase (1Hr) it will start a new charging cycle with a one hr absorbtion at Vset.
If you can use a screw driver you can alter the Vset.

My tach is not driven via alt.

I now have:
Higher output
Temp compensation via SCOne on alt and battery.
Force to float.
Ducted air from outside.
Adjustable Vset
Ability at end of cycle to keep charging where it left off, to try ang get closer to appropriate tail amperage.
But, I am at max torque load for my single V-belt.
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Old 30-09-2017, 12:35   #58
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Re: How to shutdown the alternator ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rom View Post
OK let's say I will choose the external regulator option.

Off topic, I will need to modify the hitachi alt. While I am at it should I (can I?) totally remove the rectifier/regulator assembly and install a remote rectifier like M.Grasser or quicktifier ? Would the Hitachi alt then be able to handle full rated ouput (80A) for a few hours ?
Your Hitachi amp will not be able to give you full output for hours in any case-- it will get too hot and you will melt the windings, burn up the bearings, etc.. You shouldn't interfere with the thermal protection. External regulation will simply help you get the most power out of it which it can give, and it will charge your batteries better.

Still, it's not really an efficient way to use an alternator -- full output, cool off, full output, repeat. It's better with good regulation, but for best results, change the alternator to a proper heavy duty one which can be used at full output continuously.
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Old 30-09-2017, 13:31   #59
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Re: How to shutdown the alternator ?

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Originally Posted by missourisailor View Post
I did some quick math, and with your alt. putting out float voltage/amps (14.3 v- 1A), it only takes about 200th of a HP (0.018 horsepower) to drive it. I donít see this effecting fuel consumption in a way you will be able measure.
one more time: what would have increased fuel consumption is the original design where both the starter and house batteries were automatically charged by the alternators. I am now removing the starter batteries, will connect the alts to the house batt, and will therefore waist fuel if no way to shutdown the alt.

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Originally Posted by missourisailor View Post
Anyway, I think you are over complicating the solution.
On the contrary, and I am not yet settled on a solution. In order to redesign a poor yet complex electrical system to something that is simple, efficient, less cables, smaller cables, less switches, less weight, better use of space, better weight repartition etc... you have to evaluate all possible options. And I like that part of the job
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Old 30-09-2017, 13:45   #60
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Re: How to shutdown the alternator ?

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But the solution has been given a dozen times: have a bog-standard **field current** switch wired. Any decent marine or even auto electrician will be able to do this for you.
yes I did hear that and I do like the simplicity of this solution, thank you. (I am getting prepared to live without tach)

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct
Now, increasing your power output from an alt is another topic, and seems to be opposed to your original premise, so I'll just let stand the above.
not opposed actually: on the rare occasions I need the alternators to kick in, I would like it not to last for hours. Example (I came to realize I get better answers when I give examples): sailing south from europe to the carribean in good winds with the sails up I had to start the engines a few times. WTF! yes, the sun in front, the solar panels at the back, the sails in between.

Edit: still, I would like to understand why I cannot switch off the ouput of the alt, if someone really knows.
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