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Old 27-04-2021, 06:04   #1
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Alternator and Lipo

On my sailboat I have a yanmar 3ym20 with a 60A alternator located in a small engine room. Iíve also installed a victron Orion dcdc 12/30 wishing to switch my gel 140A battery to a lifepo4 100A, but when I was close to do it the doubt about the possibility that I could bring my alternator in overheating stopped me. Does anyone just done something similar on his system?
Ty
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Old 27-04-2021, 13:22   #2
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Alternator and Lipo

It can be done but there is some things to consider. Itís not a direct replacement with your gels. You need to think about:
1. Protect your alt from overheating (you already figured this out)
2. Protect your alt from a sudden disconnect from the load caused by the bms cutting the charge bus
3. Protect your new lifepo4 batteries from overcharging and to deep discharging

The above can be done in many ways depending on what stuff you already have (like your dcdc charger) and how you want things. With your setup I would consider to have the alt charging your starter battery, let the dcdc charger charge your lifepo4 from the starter and add a bms that either control the dcdc charger directly if possible or a relay that can cut the power. Then another relay to cut at low voltage. Tips of reading are marinehowto and you could look at the gwl power site to get some ideas and prices of stuff.
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Old 27-04-2021, 19:50   #3
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Re: Alternator and Lipo

Assuming the alternator is connected to the engine battery. And the 30a dc to dc goes to the lithuim then you are fine. It will limit the alternator to just over 30a. (30a to house and a bit to the engine battery).

Assuming you have the Orion smart. Which you want for programming the voltages. You can also limit the max current To less then 30a if want. 30a from a 60a alt is Likly fine.
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Old 29-04-2021, 15:11   #4
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Re: Alternator and Lipo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xlion View Post
doubt about the possibility that I could bring my alternator in overheating stopped me. Does anyone just done something similar on his system? Ty
Just doing this now. I have bought but not yet fitted a replacement 100A alternator in place of my Volvo 60A. Also plan to fit a alternator regulator which has temperature control if the alternator overheats.

You could fit something similar for your Yanmar without breaking the bank. A 90A alternator is available for £160. https://www.startermotor-alternator-...32-11188-p.asp

The Advanced regulator is £140 https://sterling-power.com/collectio...tor-regulators

This would allow you to add additional DC>DC chargers in the future or give a wider margin for anchor windlass or bow thruster.

The final thing to do is ensure any alternator has some cooling air.

Pete
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Old 04-05-2021, 12:22   #5
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Re: Alternator and Lipo

Thank you all for the answers. After reading your suggestions i've installed a temp sensor on my alternator discovering that it work around 72 celsius degrees working at 15 Amps yet, but at full working with a Lifepo4 battery and the other stuffs on i will need around 50Amps continuous (the Orion input/output current can't be trimmed), i discovered also that my basic alternator can't work over the 80 degrees, over this line on long term use it could be damaged cause the bearing's grease will flow out with all the connected issues. So now i am sure to need an high power alternator with a smart regulator that use a temp sensor. I took a look at the sterling systems, but seems they have just a dumb overheat protection that stop the alternator at 120 celsius degrees leaving it start again when temp go down and giving sometimes some pingpong issues. The best solution look like to install a balmar with a smart regulator improoved with temp sensor on the alternator, it will module the amps production calibrated on the fixed temperature. Seems just Ballmar made this kind of items and they are really expensive here in italy (alt plus regulator over 1800 euro), so at the moment i will use for one more year the AGM batteries slowly building the new system and waiting the Lifepo4 prices will go down a bit more. Ty again at all.
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