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Old 22-05-2019, 07:33   #1
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Charging batteries when on anchor

Occasionally I have to run the engine for charge at anchor. Normally I run the engine @ 1900 RPM and get about 150A.

I do run the engine quite hard afterwards in order to burn out carbon deposits.

Iím looking at a new alternator as the old one have over 2000 hours.

Would it be a significant improvement (less carbon build up) I could manage the charge at lower RBM. Letís say 1300-1500 RPM?
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Old 22-05-2019, 08:06   #2
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Re: Charging batteries when on anchor

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Occasionally I have to run the engine for charge at anchor. Normally I run the engine @ 1900 RPM and get about 150A.

I do run the engine quite hard afterwards in order to burn out carbon deposits.

Iím looking at a new alternator as the old one have over 2000 hours.

Would it be a significant improvement (less carbon build up) I could manage the charge at lower RBM. Letís say 1300-1500 RPM?
If concerned about running motor at anchor with no load put motor in reverse and you can charge while getting a better set.
But be prepared to retrive anchor buried half way to china in some cases.
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Old 22-05-2019, 08:38   #3
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Re: Charging batteries when on anchor

Before I chose the Beta Marine engine for our boat, I looked closely at the Yanmar, going so far as to read the ownerís manual from cover to cover. In the Yanmar manual, it recommended that prior to shutdown, the operator should increase the RPM to Wide Open Throttle (in neutral) and quickly back to low idle five times. This makes sense to me, especially if the engine is equipped with a turbocharger.

However, I feel that operating a modern Diesel engine at low loads/RPM has little effect on its durability or length of service between overhauls. If you corner a licensed Diesel engineer, he or she will likely say that modern Diesel engines are designed to deliver reliable power at a wide range of operating conditions and speeds. Look at construction equipment, especially cranes, whose engines often idle for days at a time - those engines donít have any special designs nor do they have a significantly shorter lifespan. I used to make my living as a heavy equipment mechanic (primarily agricultural and earth-moving equipment, but I also did a hell of a lot of work on over-the-road truck-tractors) and I also served time as a service manager for a busy truck-tractor dealership in western Missouri. Even though this was many years ago, the percentage of work orders that involved internal engine failure or problems was very low, despite the fact that many of the engines were often used hard or sometimes had a very light-duty application.

My suggestion is to run your engine at whatever speed makes you comfortable and as long as you have regular maintenance, adequate oil pressure and coolant temperatures within specifications, it should give you many hours of trouble-free operation.

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Old 22-05-2019, 08:43   #4
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Re: Charging batteries when on anchor

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However, I feel that operating a modern Diesel engine at low loads/RPM has little effect on its durability or length of service between overhauls. .
Look-up "Cylinder Bore Glazing".
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Old 22-05-2019, 15:05   #5
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Charging batteries when on anchor

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I do run the engine quite hard afterwards in order to burn out carbon deposits.

If you do this, then there is no harm, truckís for example used to idle overnight, but because they hit the road again in the morning, it never did any harm.
What may do harm, and there is still considerable debate on this, is repeated cycles without the engine being put under a decent load, US Army commissioned a study years ago as that is exactly what every Army unit does every week to all of their vehicles, they do a PMCS weekly and start and run everything for a short interval, and almost never put it under a load, until the either go to the field or deploy.
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Old 22-05-2019, 15:10   #6
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Re: Charging batteries when on anchor

Found it.
https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a151273.pdf
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Old 22-05-2019, 20:09   #7
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Re: Charging batteries when on anchor

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It's so great to see real data instead of repetition of what everybody "knows!"
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Old 22-05-2019, 22:54   #8
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Re: Charging batteries when on anchor

Heavy equipment, large trucks and bigger marine engines are heavy duty and typically have heavier components and more expensive metal alloys than the usual yacht engine. I know from rebuilding smaller generator engines that cylinder glazing is common from running at high speed and low loads. It doesn't seem to bother larger 50kw+ generator engines. But they run at 1200 rpm.

Whether that would happen in a yacht main engine that would get normal use between charge cycles, I have no idea.



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Old 23-05-2019, 03:57   #9
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Re: Charging batteries when on anchor

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Thank you so much.

Awesome information. Very refreshing to actually get an answer on the question asked.
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Old 23-05-2019, 04:57   #10
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Re: Charging batteries when on anchor

Note that AGM batteries prefer lots of recharge current, Lifeline batteries specifies recharge at up to 5C, 500A for a 100Ah battery, so running a generator that powers a huge AC/DC battery charger would permit operation of equipment under normal conditions for a minimal time to properly recharge the batteries.


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Old 23-05-2019, 05:21   #11
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Re: Charging batteries when on anchor

Lead batts take 6+ hours to recharge, no matter the current available.

5C as a maximum spec is useless for planning / design purposes, IRL 0.6-.8C is plenty and will only be accepted for a very short time at the beiginning.

Once past 80% Full, amps acceptance will go so low would be crazy wasteful to run ICE for charging alone, still 5+ hours to go, that's what solar is for,

assuming you're striving to get to Full a few cycles per week for lingevity.
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Old 23-05-2019, 05:24   #12
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Charging batteries when on anchor

A little Honda 2000 is $1000 and can run a Charger at 100 amps continuously, the 2200 Iím sure ought to be able to run one at 120 amps continuously.

That $1000 will save a whole lot of hours on your main engine, that isnít a $1000.
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Old 23-05-2019, 05:45   #13
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Re: Charging batteries when on anchor

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Note that AGM batteries prefer lots of recharge current, Lifeline batteries specifies recharge at up to 5C, 500A for a 100Ah battery, so running a generator that powers a huge AC/DC battery charger would permit operation of equipment under normal conditions for a minimal time to properly recharge the batteries.
Like John said, doesn't work like that unfortunately...

https://marinehowto.com/how-fast-can...ry-be-charged/
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Old 23-05-2019, 07:08   #14
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Re: Charging batteries when on anchor

Unless you go to LFP, accepts a high rate right up to Full. But really .5C is a practical upper limit for longevity, .3C even better for when fastest possible charging isn't required.

Going to a bigger bank might mean a longer run, but less frequent is a good thing for many setups.
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Old 23-05-2019, 08:10   #15
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Re: Charging batteries when on anchor

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Occasionally I have to run the engine for charge at anchor. Normally I run the engine @ 1900 RPM and get about 150A.

I do run the engine quite hard afterwards in order to burn out carbon deposits.

Iím looking at a new alternator as the old one have over 2000 hours.

Would it be a significant improvement (less carbon build up) I could manage the charge at lower RBM. Letís say 1300-1500 RPM?
It would be a better investment i think to look into some solar panels. They are the only real practical way to get batteries fully charged with away from shore power
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