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Old 04-01-2014, 06:51   #31
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

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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.
well no, thats not what it does, DC to DC convertors in essence present different load impedances, so the alternator is simply driving into a greater load, hence it outputs rises. The resulting voltage is merely ohms law.

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Old 04-01-2014, 06:52   #32
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

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Originally Posted by ullar View Post
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.
Other then sterlings , I not seen any other "alternator to battery charger" system.

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Old 04-01-2014, 06:53   #33
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
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.

dave
The net effect on battery should be the same -- they are chargers. And pretty good ones with lot of possibilities actually.
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:54   #34
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
well no, thats not what it does, DC to DC convertors in essence present different load impedances, so the alternator is simply driving into a greater load, hence it outputs rises. The resulting voltage is merely ohms law.

dave
Well, Dave, it's just another way to say it (in layman's terms).
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:01   #35
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Other then sterlings , I not seen any other "alternator to battery charger" system.

dave
You may be right here. Perhaps a niche product. The main idea is that installing it is very simple -- no need to mess with your alternator innards, just connect and enjoy. The minus side is that they are more complicated than alternator regulators and therefore also more expensive and fault prone.
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Old 24-03-2015, 21:52   #36
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

Hi gents

Looking at installing one of these sterling alt to battery charger on my catamaran shortly.

Main advantage over extranal regulator i can see is that the unit allows the combination of 2 alternators to charge the house batts without getting into the multiple charging sources problem (ie second alt sensing the charging volts and not the batt volts and in effect not being used).

This on paper makes them a good option in a cat since currently i get 45 amps to the house batts from one engine but only 50 amps total from 2. (60 amp hitachi alternators)

Dave from NZ you said you had installed one on your lagoon but had problems connecting to the second alternator - what was the problem with that?
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Old 26-03-2016, 03:20   #37
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

I have 900w solar through a Outback 80 MPPT and 11kva Onan generator
The engines are 2014 4JH5E with Valeo made in France 125A Alternators
The main reason for this purchase is to protect the AGMs although if more efficient utilisation of these alternators was possible without damage so much the better.


My question is mainly directed to NZ Dave and Barra however all advice is good.
Barra- did you go ahead with the purchase and if so have you been happy with the results and or any problems?
NZ Dave-I also have the same boat as yourself so would be interested
- if you managed to get both alternators working through the charger
-what model did you buy ?
- did you buy the optional remote control?
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Old 26-03-2016, 03:38   #38
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

I don't honestly know what the problem was trying to get the port alternator charging as well as the starboard. The marine electrician and I spend a lot of time checking and rechecking the wiring and think we did it right but no luck. We even ran a temperature sensor to the port alternator. I had to give up in the end and the next project was the solar.

If anyone got it working on a catamaran and especially a Lagoon I would love to hear about it? dave


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Old 26-03-2016, 04:59   #39
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

Dave,
Do you still have the original batteries if not what did you replace them with?
Having the solar (what size) with the alternator to battery charger did you have to run your Generator( if so how long/often ) to keep batteries fully charged?
With Alternator temp sensor has that protected the alternator from an early death?
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Old 26-03-2016, 15:35   #40
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

Yes, original batteries 720ah.

520W solar but I have only seen a maximum of 20A charging. I use the generator for about 2 hours each day mostly to run the water maker. However the L450 uses a lot of power, say 30A when underway.

Alternator OK. I would tend to not bother with the Sterling and instead put more time and money into the best solar system you want to fit. Cheers.
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Old 28-03-2016, 12:29   #41
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

Dave thank you for taking the time to reply to my questions at this stage I think i will go ahead with the Sterling A to B charger.
For me the ultimate answer may be LifePo4 Batteries and so no problems with partial charge but it seems a lot of other issues to be resolved and a much larger financial cost?
Maybe next time I replace batteries
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Old 28-03-2016, 22:59   #42
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

We got a Sterling in Grenada when we were having charging problems with our 150amp alternator and had it fitted and it did not work. Went to Bequia and got an electrician there to try to get it to work - no go - went to Martinique and got the Jeanneau electrician there who twice tried to get it to work - it would overcharge the batteries at over 15v - once after it looked like it would work and I left only to have to come back and he retried but could not get it to work. put on an 80amp regulator with internal regulator -
sailed across the atlantic and tried to get it to work in Italy - it would not work and this winter gave the whole thing to an electrician in Turkey and he tried and tried but still a no go -- it way over charges and the electrician in Turkey said it was faulty period
So I got this expensive regulator and spent a ton of money on electrician trying to get the Sterling to work and nothing

so I wrote Sterling and said I can send it in to fix - sure they said but in Turkey the return import fees would we a killer so I asked if I could return it to the local dealer - sure but it is out of warrently but we will sell you a new one at a discount
nonsense I want no part of Sterling - I am carrying my big alternator and currently using the 80 amp with 500w of solar
if and when I get to the USA I will get a good alternator that works
Just my experience with a Sterling product and others probably have different experiences.
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Old 28-03-2016, 23:22   #43
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

Sorry for your disappointing experience .

So was your purchase a Sterling alternator, an external regulator or an alternator to battery charger?

No excuse for bad service of course, whichever equipment it was.


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Old 29-03-2016, 14:37   #44
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

I sold several hundred Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger since they came out. Less than 1% failure rate throughout the warranty period. 99 + % of the problems my customers experienced were caused by faulty installations.
Overcharging may happen if the unit is set to the "reserved for factory, do not use" setting, if I'm not mistaken.

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Old 29-03-2016, 15:08   #45
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Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger

Sterling makes the small units (regulators) and the big units (much bigger, red or silver box). The big units are alt to batt chargers, not just external alt regulators.

I have used the big red box unit (I believe that was either 60 or 80A rated) and it delivered aces. I think maybe it converts voltage prior to creating the charge curve (as far as I remember a 4 stage one). The alt was 140A rated.

I would buy one for my boat (other than we are 100% full with our solar kit) if my only alternative were the engine. I did notice faster charging vs. plain vanilla automotive regulator.

When a genset is present batts can be charged with plain shore power charger as present on most boats that already carry a genset!

Hence the Sterling toy is a welcome upgrade and a backup but not necessarily a must if genset is present. IMHO

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