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Old 03-01-2014, 12:59   #16
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
So how does one follow a "proper charge profile" with a product designed to use an OEM internally regulated alternator without causing a high temperature due to the continued high current output that product forces on that small OEM alternator?

I'm not arguing that one should not pay attention to their alternator design and limits. I'm arguing that these Sterling products will drive those smaller OEM alternators past their limits (and providing a real example of that).

Sterling markets these products straight into the small OEM alternator market as solutions to get more out of the OEM internally regulated alternators, so this is a real thing to be aware of.

Having said that, these Sterling products do just as they are advertised and work very well. The caveat is one must understand what they do and how they do it and be willing to adapt to the tradeoffs - which is why we own one. Just slapping one on will either burn out your alternator or leave you without charging much of the time while your alternator cools down.

Mark
I did read the manuals of his latest products and he does seem to now drive then very hard from software, basically using the temp sensor as a guide.

What I meant by charge profile, was that the external regulator can properly do a bulk, absorption, foot three stage charge profile , that an automative regulator is not set up to do.

Dave
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Old 03-01-2014, 13:06   #17
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I did read the manuals of his latest products and he does seem to now drive then very hard from software, basically using the temp sensor as a guide.

What I meant by charge profile, was that the external regulator can properly do a bulk, absorption, foot three stage charge profile , that an automative regulator is not set up to do.

Dave
Yes, I understand a charge profile. I just don't understand how you expect that to be done using a small, internally regulated OEM alternator. Just getting through bulk will drive that thing hot.

It would be one thing if Sterling used the temp sensor as a guide for rolling back the current, but it is used as a ON/OFF switch instead. So the alt roars out full charge for 20min until it is cherry red, then is switched off for 45min to cool down, then is switched back on again, etc.

At least that is how ours operates.

Mark
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Old 04-01-2014, 00:30   #18
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

+1 With Colemj, ..did the same observation with ours and guess it is exactly the same fact with all kind of booster hooked to OEM alternator.

Theo.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:00   #19
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

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Originally Posted by Seighlor View Post
. . . By the way, I do have a 115 amp alternator with an external regulator on my engine. It's just that when sailing, particularly if racing, I would prefer not to use the engine... even to boost the batteries. . .
Mac
It sounds from the great discussion so far, that the Sterling would try to extend the "bulk" charging phase of the OP's external alternator regulator to force more into the batteries before switching to absorption phase. That seems to be counter productive since on some good external alternator regulators you can set the bulk cycle or at least it is already set to do a good job and keep within the limits of the alternator's ability to pump out current.

So for the OP's situation the Sterling does not seem to be a viable solution. However, we don't know if the OP has a battery monitor (amp-hour monitor) so he would know how much has been taken out of the battery bank and knows how much he needs to put back in via the alternator or genset / battery charger. It does sound like he is guessing and running the genset longer than actually needed.

So the previous stated suggestion that he should size the battery bank to his needs and have a properly sized charging system for that size battery bank is a very good one to which I would only add that the OP should also install a good battery monitoring system so he can know how much is being used and how much is/has been put back in by the charging systems.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:46   #20
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

Using an alternator to battery charger is an EASY solution. You get away with using your existing alternator(s) without any modifications to them. Of course, the PROPER solution would be to decide about your engine charging needs and to buy a corresponding heavy duty alternator with multistage external regulator. With engine to battery regulator like the Sterling's one you actually buy some time to figure out what you really need. The size of alternator is dependent on your charging needs (battery bank size) not on type of your regulator.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:52   #21
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post

It would be one thing if Sterling used the temp sensor as a guide for rolling back the current, but it is used as a ON/OFF switch instead. So the alt roars out full charge for 20min until it is cherry red, then is switched off for 45min to cool down, then is switched back on again, etc.

At least that is how ours operates.

Mark
In laymans terms, what is the main operating difference between the Sterling and the Adverc Battery Management System.
I fitted an Adverc a couple of years ago.
According to the manual, this regulates alternator output so that the voltage output is held at 14.4V for 15 mins, then drops to 14V for about 5mins. Repeats this cycle four times, then sits at 14V for 40 mins before repeating the whole cycle again.
This all depends on whether the alternators internal regulator can achieve 14.4 volts in the first place
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:02   #22
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

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I fitted an Adverc a couple of years ago.
According to the manual, this regulates alternator output so that the voltage output is held at 14.4V for 15 mins, then drops to 14V for about 5mins. Repeats this cycle four times, then sits at 14V for 40 mins before repeating the whole cycle again.
This all depends on whether the alternators internal regulator can achieve 14.4 volts in the first place
How has the Adverc BMS worked for you? What size and type of batteries do you have?
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:15   #23
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I've had a Sterling dc to dc regulator for three years on my Yanmar with 80 amp alternator and 225 amp hours fla batteries. It runs to 14.8v in bulk for about 45mins and sometimes reduces when alternator his 90c then cuts back in at 80c after 5mins.

Install was simple and l can always revert back to the internal regulator.

Best value was the solar panel, now the alternator is not required as much.
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:19   #24
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

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Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
In laymans terms, what is the main operating difference between the Sterling and the Adverc Battery Management System.
It looks like Adverc is an alternator regulator (as opposed to alternator to battery charger). It replaces the original built in regulator in alternator. So, it's a bit more complicated to install as you have to get to the insides of an alternator to make all the connections (depending on make and construction of the alternator). An alternator to battery charger you just connect in between of the alternator output and your battery bank. No fiddling. Sterling, by the way, makes both types.
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:30   #25
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

I fitted the Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger to my catamaran. I have an 80amp alternator on each engine. Typically it would quickly settle into only charging at 40 amps and with the Sterling it is now closer to 80 amps most of the time.

One Sterling unit will boost the alternator on the two engines. However I have only succeeded to get one side to work so far.

I have also spent a lot of time trying to get my genset/shorepower chargers to work closer to their rated amps with not a lot of luck.

The star is solar panels. 480w and 20 amp charge. Love the solar!
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:39   #26
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

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One Sterling unit will boost the alternator on the two engines. However I have only succeeded to get one side to work so far.
What seems to be the problem?

Solar rocks Got only 2x65W on hard dodger right now. Will install more.
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:18   #27
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

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Originally Posted by ullar View Post
How has the Adverc BMS worked for you? What size and type of batteries do you have?
I think it has worked quite well, it does what it says it does, I can see the voltage cycling on the battery monitor.
However, I do not rely on the alternator for charging, I have 2 x 135W panels, (work really well in the UK winter ), plus a D400 wind geny.
Battery banks are 400 amp house, 125amp engine, and a hardly used 250amp bow thruster bank.
The alternator is standard supplied by Volvo Penta, 60amp output.
Fitting the Adverc was not all that difficult. I removed the alt to make access to the regulator easier, removed regulator and then solder a field wire to the field brush. In fact, I bought 3 replacement regulators prior to fitting and made them all ready for use with the Adverc.'
To date, I dont think I have been in a position where the alternator has had to work hard
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:38   #28
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

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Originally Posted by ullar View Post
Using an alternator to battery charger is an EASY solution. You get away with using your existing alternator(s) without any modifications to them. Of course, the PROPER solution would be to decide about your engine charging needs and to buy a corresponding heavy duty alternator with multistage external regulator. With engine to battery regulator like the Sterling's one you actually buy some time to figure out what you really need. The size of alternator is dependent on your charging needs (battery bank size) not on type of your regulator.
I see no difference in an alternator regulator and "an alternator to battery charger", if the regulator is designed to charge batteries , then whats the difference

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Old 04-01-2014, 06:41   #29
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

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An alternator to battery charger you just connect in between of the alternator output and your battery bank. No fiddling. Sterling, by the way, makes both types.

Again the net effect at the battery is exactly the same. sterlings new unit is in effect a DC to DC convertor so that it in essence "recreates" a new alternator from the old alternator , i.e. on sit can control to suit battery charging

The older Sterlings, which I am ,more familiar as alternator to battery charging regulators in that the output profile of the regulator suits battery charging as opposed to automative use , which is primarily to as a power supply.

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Old 04-01-2014, 06:48   #30
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I see no difference in an alternator regulator and "an alternator to battery charger", if the regulator is designed to charge batteries , then whats the difference

dave
As I said, alternator to battery charger connects to alternator output. Just two connections + and -. It shows a low "battery" voltage to the alternators internal regulator and tricks the alternator to work hard.

Alternator regulator needs to bypass alternators internal regulator and manipulates with field directly. Therefore you either need to modify your alternator to connect it to the alternator regulator or, you need an alternator that is designed to work with external regulator from the beginning.

That's the principal difference whatever you call these contraptions.
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