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Old 01-02-2018, 15:51   #1
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Sterling Pro Alt C Alternator to Battery Charger 12V 130A

Does anyone have any tips or suggestions for installing a Sterling Pro Alt C Alternator to Battery Charger 12V 130A? I've searched the forum and some say the installation instructions are incomplete

Am I right that it basically combines the functions of an external charging regulator like Balmar's, and a house battery charger and an isolator that allows one to select which batteries are charged first?
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Old 01-02-2018, 17:28   #2
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Re: Sterling Pro Alt C Alternator to Battery Charger 12V 130A

For a start, the line's been discontinued. There are modern Euro-style high-mpg cars they won't work with.

Personally I like the BB series "batt2batt" style, works with genny/mains, solar etc not just the alt.

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Am I right that it basically combines the functions of an external charging regulator like Balmar's, and a house battery charger and an isolator that allows one to select which batteries are charged first?
It does pass through voltage from the alt to the Starter batt, but gives House a multi-staged cycle, no need for isolator, combiner VSR ACR etc.

I don't think it allows for user-defined profiles like MC-614 or B2B, so no good for LFP.
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Old 01-02-2018, 18:07   #3
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Re: Sterling Pro Alt C Alternator to Battery Charger 12V 130A

Discontinued? huh?

Not having to install all the other tuff or mess with engine alarms etc really got me interested in this
'
I dont need it for LiFePo since I'm kinda hoping drawing a better charge will be sufficient with higher end AGMs.

Thanks didnt know about batt2batt used on alts too
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Old 01-02-2018, 20:09   #4
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Re: Sterling Pro Alt C Alternator to Battery Charger 12V 130A

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Discontinued?
Actually got my wires crossed, different line, those are still current, sorry.

Yes, what I like about the B2B concept is that can be the **only** charge source that touches the expensive, maybe fussy House bank, e.g. GEL or LFP, the user-defined charge profile allowing complete tweaking as per mfg specs.

Once that's in place, any old charger, mains, alt, solar, wind whatever can be attached to a "sacrificial" or Starter batt and act as "primary" source feeding the B2B.

No need to spend big money on quality regulation for every source type. Can even treat it as attached to the bank as if a large "powerpack" in a portable context. In my case moving from boat to camper, to off-grid cabin, rented truck, whatever. Yes, portability is more practical with LFP than lead, at 1/5th the weight.

Charles Sterling has stated a 180A version of the B2B charger should become available "RSN".
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Old 02-02-2018, 11:29   #5
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Re: Sterling Pro Alt C Alternator to Battery Charger 12V 130A

Oh well someone has my under-$400 for the ProAltC now and I only will have 2 batteries plus maybe a starter battery, maybe not.

So how would this work with solar power? Do you connect the output from the solar charger to the battery bank directly?

For solar, I'm now using a portable lithium battery bank that has a built-in charger and outlets. Once charged at dockside with 11o AC, it has enough capacity to run what I need for 2 days with no noticable voltage dropoff, and can be charged with solar panels that plug right into it too. I suppose it can be charged off the alt but I haven't tried that yet

For future reference for anyone reading this, there's an article on the Sterling Pro Alt C Alternator to Battery Charger at Sailing Magazine
https://www.sailmagazine.com/diy/har...arge-batteries
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Old 02-02-2018, 12:25   #6
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Re: Sterling Pro Alt C Alternator to Battery Charger 12V 130A

You could just keep that solar for the lithium powerpack.

When sun is insufficient, use Anderson connectors to charge it when the alt is running, as if from a car's ciggie port.

Same if you want to regularly charge your lead bank from solar, you may need to do so separately from the lithium one, or get a B2B.

You first need more detail on the powerpack's chemistry, port options etc.
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Old 02-02-2018, 14:00   #7
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Re: Sterling Pro Alt C Alternator to Battery Charger 12V 130A

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You could just keep that solar for the lithium powerpack.
The solar panels just connect to the lithium powerpack now, and keep it powered quite nicely though I actually don't have much use for it & keep it as a backup (My internal lights are all solar-rechargeable string lights. $9! Can't beat that.)

Having the option of keeping house charged via solar is my goal. I'm just not sure if the Sterling Alt-Battery charge controller plays nice with the solar MPPT which will be hooked up to the battery bank too. If the solar is attached to the battery after the Sterling, and both solar and alt are providing juice to the battery at the same time, the solar voltage would read as additional battery voltage and throw off the charge controller?
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