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Old 19-10-2008, 17:17   #1
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Alternator Upgrade

Looking to use an ARCO alternator for my upgrade. Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 19-10-2008, 17:21   #2
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Upgrading from what to which ARCO? Purpose of the upgrade? What's the size of your battery bank(s)? What's the use of the boat?
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Old 19-10-2008, 21:55   #3
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well i have an arco alt on my 1gm and it works. with out more info i got nothing
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Old 20-10-2008, 05:12   #4
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My experience is that you need to keep your batts topped up with perhaps a small solar panel and your need a large capacity alternator fades.

Use large capacity batteries, limit your loads and don't get very discharged before charging.

I have had poor luck with large output alternators. Either they are not working, or the smart regulator is limiting their output, or batts are never discharged enough to demand lots of amps.

This may vary if you are live aboard and then your electrical needs may shoot up and you need a different strategy. Shiva has an engine drive refer so the engine is run when we are aboard at least an hour or so a day minimum to cool the refer. At the same time we create hot water and charge the batts. Our motor is running when we come and go from anchorages and always on for using the windlass and we will motor sail in light air, especially if we want to get someplace for some reason... like to walk the dogs or buy provisions.

Smart regulators probably extend battery life and a pair of 8Ds are expensive. Taking measures to extend their life with proper charging is key... and shoving oodles of amps in short bursts may not be the best approach to extending their service life. Bill T???? what say you?
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Old 20-10-2008, 06:00   #5
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One thing to consider, a friend of mine bought a huge balmar alternator that requires two belts and us currently unable to find a crankshaft pulley for a perkins 85 hp to accomodate the alternator. I have a large 8 golf cart battery house bank and get by with a 100 amp single wire automotive alternator that cost only $100. If you divide the 100 amps into the four 12v sets its only 25 amps for a large cap battery and that shouldnt shorten the life too much. The solar and wind is a much better plan for us as we cruise full time but spend a week at time at anchor when working on peoples boats, so the alternative energy is by far our main source.
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Old 20-10-2008, 09:54   #6
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I'd be interested to know why a boat located in the caribbean doesn't already have a couple of 100 watt solar panels installed???

Next, I'd be wondering why insulation around the refrig hasn't been increased to lower power requirements. It's the #1 power hog on a boat.
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Old 20-10-2008, 13:31   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryrezz View Post
Upgrading from what to which ARCO? Purpose of the upgrade? What's the size of your battery bank(s)? What's the use of the boat?
In truth, I am not sure how much capacity I have on the existing alternator. Unfortunately, all of the labeling is gone. I am assuming it is a 55 amp. It is a single pulley and appears to be internally regulated. (The engine is a YANMAR 3GMD.)

I am currently putting together cost estimates for an electrical system capable of maintaining 125 - 150 amp-hr daily load using a combination of wind, solar and engine. It is all just estimates for now, but I'm figuring -as a starting point - sizing the alternator about 100 amps.
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