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Old 17-01-2023, 17:09   #1
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Integrel - alternative to diesel gen set?

HI All,

We have an old Northern Lights gen set on board - works well but the day when it must be replaced is approaching... When googling alternatives, I stumbled upon Integrel "high performance alternator" system. Copy-paste job below.

"The Integrel system is based on the use of a high-performance alternator, coupled to the boat's propulsion motor using a belt. The "steroid" alternator, as the manufacturer calls it, contains permanent magnets on the rotor for greater efficiency and power. It allows to generate up to 9kW without affecting the propulsion performance.
The device charges a 10 kWh 48V lead acid battery set. The electricity is then converted to 12V, 24V or 36V by a 600W battery charger developed by Triskel."

Anyone out there with first hand experience how this works?
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Old 17-01-2023, 17:57   #2
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Re: Integrel - alternative to diesel gen set?

No first hand knowledge, but this link discusses the systems and reveals past installations problems.

https://sailing-blog.nauticed.org/na...tegrel-system/
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Old 17-01-2023, 18:17   #3
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Re: Integrel - alternative to diesel gen set?

There are a few threads that might be of interest, some with actual installs (been tracking it myself).

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post3213446

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post2723882

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post3207081
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Old 17-01-2023, 21:01   #4
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Re: Integrel - alternative to diesel gen set?

looks like Integrel systems got another Dame award last year - that could mean the problems have been overcome?
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Old 18-01-2023, 03:39   #5
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Re: Integrel - alternative to diesel gen set?

We are having dual Integrels installed on the catamaran we are building. I’ve personally discussed the pros and cons with 6 owners who have them installed and received nothing but glowing reviews, each stating don’t hesitate just donut. A few years ago in early installments they had a mounting bracket that broke and needed reengineering, which they’ve done. Other than that they’ve performed flawlessly.
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Old 18-01-2023, 03:54   #6
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Re: Integrel - alternative to diesel gen set?

Great to hear that! Thank you very much. I will definitely keep Integrel on my list of alternatives.
Out of curiosity - what size of battery bank (48 V) you are planning to install? And a dual system - why did you decided to go down that way? Is that due to huge power requirements or pure convenience?
We have a cat (Crowther 54) and plenty space for batteries, when the time comes. Watermaker, AC, washing machine and, in future, a dishwasher (other than me, a proper one)

cheers
A
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Old 18-01-2023, 04:31   #7
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Re: Integrel - alternative to diesel gen set?

Currently the battery bank is planned for 29kWh at 48V, with dual Integrels and 3,200w of solar. Mostly for redundancy and complete autonomy. Plus with one on each engine we won’t have to consider hours racking up on the one with the charging system.Their will be no propane onboard, all induction kitchen & grill outside.

We just helped a friend with an 1,100 mile passage who had them and it was amazing how well the system worked. I was and am sold it’s the way to go.
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Old 18-01-2023, 05:53   #8
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Re: Integrel - alternative to diesel gen set?

The integral system is clever and is a worthwhile option to consider, but it has been plagued with teething problems. There are also some concerns that the 10kw potential is just too much force on bearings that were never designed to take this type of side load. I think only time will tell if this is an issue in the real world.

A much simpler and cheaper option is to install a large frame second alternator. This is well proven and inexpensive technology that is feasible using standard (non marine) alternators commonly used on truck or busses. This option is limited to around 2kw (with a 12v house system) or 4kw (with a 24v house system). These outputs can be extended slightly by selecting more exotic options such as brushless alternators with remote diode packs, and while this increases the cost it is nothing like the cost of the integral system. More commonly these outputs are derated to around 1.5kw (12v) 2-3kw (24v) to improve reliability and avoid undue stress on the engine bearings.

These outputs are significantly less than the Integral system can offer, especially at lower engine revolutions when the engine is not required for propulsion, but there are advantages of a KISS approach and battery acceptance limitations (even for lithium) mean that a high output cannot always be utilised.

It is very worthwhile exploring the option of ditching the hassle associated with a marine generator, but I doubt the Integral system would prove any more reliable or trouble free. Most boats that are pulling out their generator are switching to a solar system sometimes supplemented with a high output alternator, but this does not suit all vessels and cruising plans.
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Old 18-01-2023, 07:10   #9
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Re: Integrel - alternative to diesel gen set?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
The integral system is clever and is a worthwhile option to consider, but it has been plagued with teething problems. There are also some concerns that the 10kw potential is just too much force on bearings that were never designed to take this type of side load. I think only time will tell if this is an issue in the real world.
Just for a frame of reference, the first person who installed them has had them for 4 years, he did have the issue upon initial installation of the bracket failure. Since that, they have operated flawlessly for 3 1/2 years. Two others who have them have seen them operate for 2-3 years without issue from day one. And another two friends have had them between 1-2 years again without issue. I'll ask again, but everybody has said don't hesitate, just do it as it is a game changer.

Not saying it is trouble or issue free, and of course I probably jinxed myself, but they have proven to be a robust solution to according the firsthand accounts I've been given from other liveaboard owners. Admittedly, with 3.2kW of rigid solar panels and dual Integrels we probably are a little overkill, but we have the ability to no longer have to think about energy consumption in the same way most cruisers do.
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Old 18-01-2023, 07:17   #10
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Re: Integrel - alternative to diesel gen set?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinkircating View Post
Just for a frame of reference, the first person who installed them has had them for 4 years, he did have the issue upon initial installation of the bracket failure. Since that, they have operated flawlessly for 3 1/2 years. Two others who have them have seen them operate for 2-3 years without issue from day one. And another two friends have had them between 1-2 years again without issue. I'll ask again, but everybody has said don't hesitate, just do it as it is a game changer.

Not saying it is trouble or issue free, and of course I probably jinxed myself, but they have proven to be a robust solution to according the firsthand accounts I've been given from other liveaboard owners. Admittedly, with 3.2kW of rigid solar panels and dual Integrels we probably are a little overkill, but we have the ability to no longer have to think about energy consumption in the same way most cruisers do.
Man that's going to be an awesome cat. What's the ETA for launch from Balance?
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Old 18-01-2023, 09:17   #11
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Re: Integrel - alternative to diesel gen set?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinkircating View Post
Just for a frame of reference, the first person who installed them has had them for 4 years, he did have the issue upon initial installation of the bracket failure. Since that, they have operated flawlessly for 3 1/2 years. Two others who have them have seen them operate for 2-3 years without issue from day one. And another two friends have had them between 1-2 years again without issue. I'll ask again, but everybody has said don't hesitate, just do it as it is a game changer.
It sound like they have sorted out the issues. Good luck with the new boat.
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Old 18-01-2023, 11:16   #12
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Re: Integrel - alternative to diesel gen set?

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Man that's going to be an awesome cat. What's the ETA for launch from Balance?
Hey there Matt, great to hear from you! We actually just got back from South Africa actually touring the boat and seeing that latest (3) Balance 526 MkII's that have splashed and meeting with the Nexus team at the factory in St. Francis. What an amazing country and awesome people, we cannot wait to go back and visit again as the boat is being built. Currently we are slated to splash October of 24, which we specifically moved our delivery window back 6 months to coincide with summer in South Africa when we will sail the boat the 7,000 (give or take) nautical miles back to the U.S.

By the way, you might be interested, our friends who just launched their 526 NORHI, is currently leading the Cape to Rio race with a couple days to go. Really excited for them and can't wait to hear how everything went. You can check it out here:

https://cape2riorace.com/

Also, your Max Cruise is coming along very nicely! We are following along with the videos/insta and are amazed by the great work you are doing! Hopefully we can share a nice anchorage somewhere in 2025
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Old 18-01-2023, 13:34   #13
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Re: Integrel - alternative to diesel gen set?

So it sounds similar to something I proposed a while ago.
Back in the day there were some boats with what was called a "Cruise gen"

As our vessel already has a victron 5000/120amp @ 24v inverter charger I have been thinking of a 6kva MeccAlte generator head with appropriate pulley matched to our usual 1150rpm cruise speed.

These heads are available for around $600



https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mecc-Alte-G...edirect=mobile

A light could be wired to the dash so when generating speed is matched, light comes on indicating power.

120 amps is now smashing into batteries with additional 240v available if required.
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Old 18-01-2023, 19:10   #14
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Re: Integrel - alternative to diesel gen set?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paws-on-Paws View Post
looks like Integrel systems got another Dame award last year - that could mean the problems have been overcome?


I would guess the the Dame awards have a low bar to clear to get the award. Haven’t looked into it.

Yanmar & Volvo indicate installing it will void engine warrantee.
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Old 18-01-2023, 19:24   #15
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Re: Integrel - alternative to diesel gen set?

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I would guess the the Dame awards have a low bar to clear to get the award. Haven’t looked into it.

Yanmar & Volvo indicate installing it will void engine warrantee.
Yep, as does installing any high output alternator that others have mentioned. The difference is Integrel backs up their installation with an insurance policy through that covers any costs associated with an engine manufacturer having voided their warranty claim.

Everyone should definitely do their own due diligence.
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