Hello smart guys,
I just replaced my house bank. Now 4x 3K T-105 golf car batteries
, 6V 225Ah each, wired in series and parallel to produce a single
450Ah house bank. 90A Balmar alternator
, with Balmar
ARS-4 smart regulator
At 80% charge (~12.35V), running my Yanmar
at ~2,500 RPM
, the smart regulator
is limiting the charge going into the batteries
to ~20 amps (16 amps observed, corrected for 4 amps of load), and the measured voltage on the batteries (and the alternator) is between 12.8V and 13.0V, well short of the 14.4V or so I would expect to see in bulk cycle. Further, the batteries do not seem to be charging
at all when the engine
is idling, and only build up to this weak charging current
when higher revs.
ARS-4 automatically goes into bulk cycle when engine is started, and stays there for at least 36 minutes (longer if the minimum voltage has not been met yet). The default minimum voltage is 14.1V, and I have increased this to 14.6V (and then to 15.0V) using their silly magnet-driven procedure. No impact. The lights on the ARS-4 indicate that it thinks it is in bulk cycle, so these voltage configuration steps should be irrelevant.
Volts on the power, ignition, and field wires going into the smart regulator were 12.88V, 12.80V, and 3.55V, respectively when I measured with the batteries at ~95% (12.66V with the engine off).
When I short the field wire to the power wire (manually raising it from 3.55V to 12.8V), the alternator
kicks into high gear
and charges at ~40-50 amps. Voltage tops out around 14V (on the batteries, not on the alternator). To me, this indicates the alternator is ok and the problem lies with the smart regulator. I believe this also confirms that the cable from the alternator to the batteries is adequate?
1) In bulk cycle, with batteries at 80% charge, and the 3GM30F at 2,500 RPM
, and the smart regulator indicating bulk cycle to boot, shouldn't we be seeing more than 20 amps coming through (when the full continuous output of the 90A alternator is surely closer to 40-50 amps)? I thought the idea behind bulk cycle was to allow something closer to the full output through to the batteries.
2) Once bulk cycle is selected based on battery
voltage, what other factors are considered such that the ARS-4 could arrive at a field wire voltage of 3.55V (on a scale of 3 to 11)? What else might I look at - tachometer?
3) Should we be charging our new batteries full speed ahead until they reach 14.4V before continuing to absorption and float cycles? If so, should we continue to do this even after our Mastervolt Battery Monitor
reads that we've replaced all of the amp hours that we used (counting down and back up from the 450Ah total capacity).
4) When I short the field wire (and alternator output increases to 40-50 amps), I can smell something like burning rubber. I assume this is due to added stress on the V belt (which is new), but have not looked into it further, as I have only done this bypass a couple times for less than a minute. Should I be concerned about this smell? Any obvious issues if I were to jury-rig a switch to allow me to manually bypass the smart regulator, and plan to turn this on until batteries reach 14.4V while charging?
New sailor and first post so apologies in advance for my inevitable blunders. Any ideas? Would any additional information be helpful?