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Old 25-09-2013, 13:46   #76
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Re: Lithium or Solar?

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Let is know what sterling say. Also if you have not already done so look at the lithium threads on CF. There is a lot of great discussion on suitable charging voltages. Comments like this might put you off some of the products you are recommending for lithium:



The sterling alternator regulators are easy to fit most alternators, but for the Hitachi alternators it is much more difficult.

This incidentally is why there are so many available cheap on ebay. Most Yanmar owners replace the alternator rather than attempt the modification although the alternator to battery chargers work differently and provide an alternative that works easily with the hitachi alternator.
Even if you open up the Hitachi and tap into the field, due to the internal reg a real PITA on this alt, these are about the last alts you'd want for charging Li.

If I had to shoot from the hip, based on past experience, I'd guess an 80A Hitachi might be able to run continuously at 35-40A without cooking itself. Pretty pathetic.. This is why the factory reg has built in temp compensation to protect the alternator from cooking itself.

Even high output alts need to be limited in order to run at a max consistent output into a Li load. Our 160A HO, hand wound, dual fan, 14GA winding, alt is currently set up for running at about 115A... Without that limit on output the temps easily push well beyond 225F and this is a dual fan purpose built high output alt not a glorified lightly built & poorly cooled car alternator.
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Old 25-09-2013, 14:39   #77
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Re: Lithium or Solar?

Noelex,
I tried to make it clear to Riley and then you that I was not recommending them but that I did like the features promised by the Sterling.
I must recheck the other LI threads where this warning was posted, I try to catch them all and this thread is the first I've heard of these problems with Sterling.
I've think I've read every post on both threads and followed them since their inception, please refer to my first 4 posts here wherein I referred Riley to the house bank thread and thanked some of the major contributors.
I do appreciate all who have put so much effort into them.
As for the products I'm 'recommending' for lithium, what would they be exactly?
The Balmar 614 I recommended, the V3 and the now revealed to be problematic Sterling? I did direct you to that Sterling site so you could see what I was seeing and said this when you kindly reponded:
"If 'many feel' there's a cloud over the Sterling then it would be better to wait until the ability to charge at the desired rate is clarified.
Forgive me but I will not be waiting for any consensus, though it's a noble idea, just clarification from Sterling will do
."
Well the detailed 'clarification' from Maine will do me but I will report whatever the Sterling manual claims. I had thought them to be a reputable company until now.
Is the V3 also totally unsuitable?
Yes, I did suggest a source of lithium cells by providing a link to a retailer near where his boat is located but this is hardly an endorsement.
Mate, I still can't see why Hitachi alternators are so problematic but in all the years I've been a constant reader of this forum, I've seen many 'things' sent to the shop while people waited at the dock and said to myself WHY?
Equally I've learned so many practical 'things' that have made the experience most enjoyable, fruitful and valuable.

Mainesail
I have followed your writings here and elsewhere, incl. your own site, for a number of years, I do trust your skill and professionalism and thank you for the detailed heads up on the Sterling. Especially where to get a known good Li regulator.
I had already deferred to Noelex's warning, see my answers to him above and in post #43 had already nominated the Balmar 614 for use.
I do not have one and my opinion was informed by your use and commendation of it, even with non Balmar, eg. Electromaxx, alternators.
Cheers to you both,
Mac
PS LOL MaineSail posted the answer to Hitachi thing as I was typing.
Thanks Maine
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Old 25-09-2013, 18:21   #78
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Re: Lithium or Solar?

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Even if you open up the Hitachi and tap into the field, due to the internal reg a real PITA on this alt, these are about the last alts you'd want for charging Li.

If I had to shoot from the hip, based on past experience, I'd guess an 80A Hitachi might be able to run continuously at 35-40A without cooking itself. Pretty pathetic.. This is why the factory reg has built in temp compensation to protect the alternator from cooking itself.

Even high output alts need to be limited in order to run at a max consistent output into a Li load. Our 160A HO, hand wound, dual fan, 14GA winding, alt is currently set up for running at about 115A... Without that limit on output the temps easily push well beyond 225F and this is a dual fan purpose built high output alt not a glorified lightly built & poorly cooled car alternator.
Great stuff MailSail, thumbs up, this is the stuff we are all looking for, someone who is using the gear and found the best settings to save the alternators skin.
Do you think the Balmar 98 series would be a good choice or are there better continuous high output alternators out there that can handle the heat? Seem to remember seeing a 3 fan one some where but I can't find the link now.

Riley,
If you are prepared to spend that sort of $$ on 200W of solar, consider the overall cost of the cheaper panels and replace them every 3 yrs at worst, if you are going to be removing them from time to time the sun effect will take much longer. Then think about the rapid development in the solid panel field and think how fast this new technology will develop and which way the prices will go, in 3 yrs or more time when replacement is needed, what will be available then?
As far a a solar regulator, you couldn't o past the Aust built Plasmatronics Dingo. Fully adjustable to suit what ever batteries you are using, I have used these regulator for a lot of Li fit ups and use 2 myself on my 2 systems, outstanding units for the price. There is the added benefit of adding a shunt and shunt adapter to make the Dingo into a battery monitor as well, complete with a long history and adapters to link it the a computer or the Ethernet so you can see what's happening from any where in the world, very useful if you leave the boat some where from time to time.
The questions about whether more battery would get you through was to determine capacity required for the replacement lithium batteries, I would be the last person to steer you in the direction of lead acid batteries :lol:

T1 Terry
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Old 25-09-2013, 19:02   #79
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Re: Lithium or Solar?

Quote:
Do you think the Balmar 98 series would be a good choice
I just Googled to find the price of these in Australia, :gasp: then there is the regulator and sensors to add to the price, so that one is off the list :lol:

T1 Terry
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Old 25-09-2013, 21:20   #80
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Re: Lithium or Solar?

Here is price local aust on the cheaper flexible panels, I'm sure you would find a better deal on Alibaba or similar 100W Flexible Solar Panel

T1 Terry
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Old 25-09-2013, 23:12   #81
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Re: Lithium or Solar?

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Originally Posted by T1 Terry View Post
I just Googled to find the price of these in Australia, :gasp: then there is the regulator and sensors to add to the price, so that one is off the list :lol:

T1 Terry
T1_Terry and Riley,
Here is a link to part of the site Maine Sail recommended, you guys may have missed it.
http://www.markgrasser.com/alts.htm
Cheers,
Mac
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Old 26-09-2013, 00:52   #82
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Re: Lithium or Solar?

Maine Sails's website has lots of information on alternators (and lots of other stuff as well):

Compass Marine "How To" Articles Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com
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Old 26-09-2013, 19:57   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Maine Sails's website has lots of information on alternators (and lots of other stuff as well): Compass Marine "How To" Articles Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com
o

Incredible site!
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