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Old 23-11-2009, 16:18   #1
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Voltages from a Three-Step Regulator

How many volts would you expect a 3 stage regulator to put out in the first 5 mins of charging....?
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Old 23-11-2009, 16:32   #2
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Doesn't this vary between brands with adjustability for:

A. Ramp-up time
B Summer/Winter setting
C. Battery type
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Old 23-11-2009, 16:37   #3
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Depends on the unit. The Hehr aqualine we had put out nothing for about a minute, then slowly ramped up to 14.8 over the next minute and a half. Soft start, very nice feature, easy on the cold engine and belt. At the end of that phase it would start socking the amps to the batteries and tapered off the amps as the batteries charged. It did that until it sensed the correct battery properties to go into float.
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Old 23-11-2009, 16:41   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
How many volts would you expect a 3 stage regulator to put out in the first 5 mins of charging....?
What's the state of charge? How many amp hours of bank and how big is the alt?
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Old 23-11-2009, 17:15   #5
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If the batteries were full, I would expect something on the order of 14-14.4 volts(acceptance stage). If the batteries were down, I would expect some voltage higher than before you started charging, gradually increasing to the 14v level (bulk stage).
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Old 23-11-2009, 17:24   #6
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Well it depends mostly on two things:

(1) How far down are the batteries compared to the size of your alternator. If they are way far down and the alternator is small (relatively) then it will be pumping away at max amps but not (yet) able to bring the voltage up to the 'bulk charge' voltage. But if the batteries are not so low and the alternator is big, the voltage should come up to the bulk charge voltage setting quite quickly.
(2) What the bulk charge voltage setting is should depend on your battery chemistry. Perhaps somewhere between 14.4-14.8 for deep cycle wet cells and 14.2 for gel cells.
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Old 23-11-2009, 18:26   #7
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Most I have seem do something around 14.5 +- Times they maintain that rate very as well but most I have seem are at least a couple of hours.

Wayne Canning, AMS
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Old 23-11-2009, 19:14   #8
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So what is this...20 questions??? Multiple-choice, maybe???

If so, I vote for "C" (all of the above)!
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Old 24-11-2009, 05:18   #9
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- - The better regulators have a adjustment system to allow you to set the voltages and sometimes time on the 3 stages of charging. What you set is dependent upon the type of battery you have: AGM; Gel; or liquid acid-lead. They all have different requirements on voltages for each step.
- - Also the better regulators has a thin "voltage sensing wire" that is run to the positive terminal (with an in-line fuse to protect the sense wire) terminal of your primary battery. This sensing wire will change the actual voltage output the alternator to compensate for any line losses enroute to the battery. So you need to measure the various stage voltages at the battery positive terminal when setting up the regulator.
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Old 24-11-2009, 08:23   #10
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Sounds like it is in line. The batteries were about 12.4 volts. It's an older Ample Power SAR V2. It soft starts and then ramps to about 14.5-14.6 volts initially.... seemed high to me but I couldnt remember as it's been a while since I used it. 100 amp alternator I bought to replace the Delco Remy on the Perkins.
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Old 24-11-2009, 09:24   #11
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Yep, assuming you don't have gelled batteries, that's OK.

If you'd given this info on the initial post, we wouldn't have had to play 20 questions :-)

Cheers,

Bill
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Old 24-11-2009, 09:30   #12
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then what?

yea.... but then what would you do to keep busy? I figured most reg's will do that initial voltage for the first 5 minutes regardless of state of charge, but maybe not.... I just couldnt remember how high the voltage usually starts out....
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