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Old 19-10-2020, 10:52   #1
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Balmar Alternator Temperate Protection Settings

The other day while motoring i noted the alternator temp reading on my ARS5 regulator was 92C. Apparently the default in the programming is 108C. Is this 108 setting really ok far as protecting the alternator? I have been goggle searching and don't find any lower, or really any, recommendations for the temp
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Old 20-10-2020, 04:59   #2
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Re: Balmar Alternator Temperate Protection Settings

The maximum temperature of the engine room should never exceed 60 degrees C (140 F) within 20mm (3/4") of any electrical equipment (ie: Alternator), and 450 C (113 F) at the air intake.
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Old 20-10-2020, 05:08   #3
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Re: Balmar Alternator Temperate Protection Settings

Decimal point, Gord.
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Old 20-10-2020, 05:14   #4
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Re: Balmar Alternator Temperate Protection Settings

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
The maximum temperature of the engine room should never exceed 60 degrees C (140 F) within 20mm (3/4") of any electrical equipment (ie: Alternator), and 450 C (113 F) at the air intake.
not the question, but thanks

the question is the alternator temperature spec/limit
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Old 20-10-2020, 08:53   #5
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Re: Balmar Alternator Temperate Protection Settings

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
The other day while motoring i noted the alternator temp reading on my ARS5 regulator was 92C. Apparently the default in the programming is 108C. Is this 108 setting really ok far as protecting the alternator? I have been goggle searching and don't find any lower, or really any, recommendations for the temp
Call Balmar tech support (360-435-6100). I have called them a number of times and always gotten excellent service.

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Old 20-10-2020, 09:04   #6
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Re: Balmar Alternator Temperate Protection Settings

Short answer is no thats not ok. The Balmar alternators are marketed by output amperage. You will be hard pressed to find anywhere in their promotional specifications what that rating means.
It definitely does not mean continuous duty. If you do not derate the output thru the 614 contoller and your battery bank is large enough to take the output for more than a few minutes the alternator will over heat and melt down. If you are lucky it wont be on fire requiring a good fire extinguisher.
Went through over a couple of years one vey scary fire and a couple of meltdowns. Never was able to get a straight answer from Balmar Techs including a some impressive whoppers " never heard of this happening before" which a little Google work will put the lie to.
Last time mine was repaired I sealed it up and put it in the on board spares bin.
If you need to use it set it to work at around 60% of the advertised output. You must have a temp sensor on the alternator. I keep mine set to lower the output when the temp reaches 100 degrees c.
Good luck
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Old 20-10-2020, 09:11   #7
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Re: Balmar Alternator Temperate Protection Settings

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
not the question, but thanks

the question is the alternator temperature spec/limit
This is a judgement call. When I complained to Balmar about my alternator cutting back due to high temperatures the techs there advised me to increase the limit up to as much as 112C.

Now, however, because they cost so damn much and I don't like replacing them, I run my alternators at 100C.

It is funny that the newer dual internal fan series 60 Balmar runs hotter than my old, often rebuilt, 1996 vintage series 90 with one external fan.

Whatever maximin safe temperature spec these alternators might have had when originally designed and produced no longer applies when the companies like Balmar rebuild them for higher output.

If it safe at 100C will it burn out at 110C? Maybe not but probably its life will be reduced.

You need to find a balance between longevity and the output you can live with. Unfortunately nobody produces a graph plotting temp vs longevity.
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Old 20-10-2020, 09:12   #8
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Re: Balmar Alternator Temperate Protection Settings

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ge-228245.html


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Re: Alternator Temp; what is normal range?
Normal Operating Temperature: 180 F / 82 C
Max Operating Temperature: 225 F / 108 C


From Balmar 100 amp small case


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From my automotive training 200*F sounds about right for small frames. 210*F max for large frames.
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Old 20-10-2020, 10:47   #9
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Re: Balmar Alternator Temperate Protection Settings

Guess i will just continue to go with the default temp setting. I have run that alternator at a B1 belt setting for years on my FLA batteries with no alternator temp sensor and it putting out 80+ amps and it hasn't burned up. So now i have it on a B3 setting for my FireFly batteries and it is putting out less amps and have the temp sensor.

Then again maybe will just watch it to see the normal temp and set it a little above that.
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Old 20-10-2020, 10:50   #10
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Re: Balmar Alternator Temperate Protection Settings

Btw before i started this thread i did find a Balmar sheet with all th3 different alternators. On it it gave 100C as the temp for every one of them.
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Old 20-10-2020, 11:12   #11
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Re: Balmar Alternator Temperate Protection Settings

Curious what drive belt setup you have? I have been told and experienced that a single conventional belt will slip above 75 amps.
When you move to a serpentine belt the alternator is limited by its electrical capacity rather than the belt drive. This plus bigger battery banks ( not to mention Lithium ) have made it possible for the delivery of more amps than the alternator can provide on a continuous basis and they fail.
Realize this not precisely on topic and only represents a non electrical engineers guess as to why so many seem disappointed in alternator performance
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Old 20-10-2020, 11:47   #12
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Re: Balmar Alternator Temperate Protection Settings

Just looked at Defender for the alt temp sensor and listed in the features it states:

"The Sensor adjusts voltage to help initiate efficient charging when the alternator is above the optimal working temperature (229 F)"

I'm curious what the temp should be for longer life, especially comparing output curves to temp to lifespan. I've got a 100amp but thinking I may bench this for a spare and install a 170 XT or 220 AT small case and derate it down to 50-60% to extend life.

Also in the balmar doc that i found balmar states:

"During operation, your alternator will become hot as a result of friction and the generation of inductive current. In
some instances, particularly during extended periods of heavy load, alternator case temperature can exceed 200
degrees (F). If your system is operating with a Balmar multi-stage voltage regulator with optional Alternator Temperature Sensor (MC-TS-A), the regulator will automatically reduce field output if temperatures exceed set safe
working limits."
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Old 20-10-2020, 12:25   #13
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Re: Balmar Alternator Temperate Protection Settings

My google research found that automotive alternators are built for hot engine bays thus around 120c. As an industrial electrician I tried to run electric motors at about 40c with the knowledge that every 10c would halve the life expectancy. At 40c you may get 40 years, at 50c 20 years, at 60c 10 years etc. This really can’t be right as motors/alternators are all different.
What I also read was there are things you can do to help your alternator run cooler and still produce the amps (power) you need.
1. Make sure your engine room exhaust fan is working. Many of these blowers are only bilge blowers that are designed to be used to ventilate the bilge before starting a petrol engine. Get one that has a continuous rating.
2. I installed an inline blower, no ducting, just points at the alternator to blow the hot air away from the alternator so it’s not sucked back in by the internal cooling fans.
3. As I had enough room I put a longer serpentine belt on so I could rotate the alternator on its pivot point further away from the exhaust manifold.
4. I used a hole saw to put some holes in the belt guard. I’m not prepared to run the engine without it. Many motors don’t have guards over rotating parts but this is dangerous cowboy behaviour.
I’m currently getting 104 amps out of my Valeo 125 amp alternator and it runs at about 87c. I have fitted a Balmar regulator. This gives me about 80 amps charge to my batteries continuously till they are charged or I stop motoring.
Further things I intend to do are.
Install a switch to turn the alternator off before I stop the motor so the alternator cools while it is still rotating.
The engine room exhaust fan is only drawing half its rated current which indictates to me that there it is blockage, maybe the duct is too long or too many bends.
I may also use an external rectifier to remove more heat from the alternator.
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Old 20-10-2020, 12:35   #14
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Re: Balmar Alternator Temperate Protection Settings

Quote:
Originally Posted by chowdan View Post

Also in the balmar doc that i found balmar states:

"During operation, your alternator will become hot as a result of friction and the generation of inductive current. In
some instances, particularly during extended periods of heavy load, alternator case temperature can exceed 200
degrees (F). If your system is operating with a Balmar multi-stage voltage regulator with optional Alternator Temperature Sensor (MC-TS-A), the regulator will automatically reduce field output if temperatures exceed set safe
working limits."
Yes, the whole is what temp should be set for than automatic adjustment of field current for good alternator life. Is the default value of the regulator a good setting as so many of the default settings in the regulators aren't really best.
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Old 20-10-2020, 12:52   #15
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Re: Balmar Alternator Temperate Protection Settings

We have a 125 amp valeo controlled by a Balmar 614 controller set to derate to 100 amps output and temp limited at 100 C. We have 1000 hours on our Yanmar since going to that configuration with no problems.
This feeds a 980 amp bank of T105 6 volt batteries. The limiter is alternator temp. After 10 to 15 minutes at@ 100 amps output the alternator temp will hit 100 C and drop back to maybe 60 amps output until it cools to 90 C ish then back up to 100 amps output until it hits 100 C and reduces output completing the cycle. Overtime the alternator output tapers with ecah cycle as the bank reaches full charge.
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