Author Topic: Replacing alternator for larger output  (Read 3577 times)

blue-max

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Replacing alternator for larger output
« on: August 10 2016, 08:28 »
I have a TMD22P-C  78 hp standard alternator only 60amps which  is insufficient for my battery bank. Would like to upgrade to something larger 90/110 amps with smart charger but space is very limited so would want an alternator with a compact design. I've got a Mastervolt 90 amp alternator with smart charger but its too big to fit in the space of the old one. Looks like I would also have to go for a double belt as well - not aware of any flat belt mods around.   

landes_h

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Re: replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #1 on: August 10 2016, 09:10 »
What do you mean by a smart charger?

I would not change the alternator, but install the A2B Charger from Sterling Power. It is easily installed by just removing the diode splitter and put the A2B Charger instead. It provides a separate, electronically controlled, output for the starter battery and the output for the main battery bank. The good thing is that you don't need to fiddle with the alternator or change any wiring.
Think about it.
Greetings
Horst
Bavaria 38 / 2003 berth Portoroz, Slowenia

blue-max

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Re: replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #2 on: August 10 2016, 12:07 »
The issue is the size of the alternator output is not enough for the battery bank given the usual engine running time. the present set up gives priority to engine start battery.

Yngmar

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Re: replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #3 on: August 10 2016, 12:26 »
You probably mean smart regulator (as in, alternator regulator). PO upgraded my MD22 (non-turbo) with a Balmar 100A alternator that fits in the same space and on the same belt as the original Valeo one (ok, it fit better going one belt length up). With that came a Max Charge multi-stage "smart" regulator. The combination works very well indeed and does not take up any extra space. I believe Nigel has a similar setup based on his alternator tensioner (elsewhere on these forums), which if you're doing this is something you should consider, as tensioning it without that is a bit of a nuisance.
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jonrarit

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Re: replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #4 on: August 10 2016, 13:52 »
+1 on Landes suggestion of a sterling alternator to battery charger. My understanding (and i am prepared to be corrected) is charging is restricted by what the amps the batteries can accept, not by the output of the alternator. All fitting a larger alternator will do is make it easier on the alternator....not increase the rate of charge.

As the batteries become charged, the voltage increases. The regulator senses this and reduces the alternator output hence it is very difficult to get more than 80-85% charge unless you run the engine for hours and hours.

The Sterling AB charger "tricks" the alternator into working at full output (for a limited time) It then takes this charge and controls the flow rate into the batteries on a multi stage "curve". It also senses if either the batteries or alternator become too hot & reduces the load accordingly.

I fitted one to our UK boat last year it has solved all our charging issues recovering 400ah bank from 50% discharge to float in about 60-90 minutes of engine running from a 60 amp alternator.

I've just taken delivery of another unit to fit to our Bavaria when I go out in a couple of weeks.

In my opinion It's a no brainer compared to a bigger alternator

jonathan

ps - not a good idea fit it in the engine bay as it needs somewhere cool

landes_h

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Re: replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #5 on: August 10 2016, 15:19 »
Jonathan,
I'm fully with you. The A2B charger also gives priority to the starter battery for a short while, just to refresh what was used during start cycle. After that it gives all the alternator's power to the service batterie(s). I have 3x140 Ah and they are up to trickle charge in about 1 1/2 hours of motor running. However I never get that low because any motor run (leaving the marina or other harbour) will all charge to the alternator's highest rate.
I did install the Sterling unit in the motor room, no problem. The unit has all kinds of safety mechanisms and will reduce charge if it gets to hot. I measured the case (which is the unit's heat sink) it is below 60°C. My engine compartment has lots of room because we only have the 29 HP engine, there's room for the 55 HP 4 cyl. engine.
At about 1500 rpm my battery monitor shows 60 Amps of charging current, in case the batteries are rather low. This is about all the original alternator can do, but is enough to charge the batteries without start cooking.
It is not good to charge with a too high current, even your wiring might not be suitable for that !!! heat !!! fire !!
Greetings
Horst
Bavaria 38 / 2003 berth Portoroz, Slowenia

Nigel

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Re: Replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #6 on: August 10 2016, 16:10 »
... upgraded my MD22 (non-turbo) with a Balmar 100A alternator ...  With that came a Max Charge multi-stage "smart" regulator... I believe Nigel has a similar setup based on his alternator tensioner (elsewhere on these forums)...
Quite so, Balmar 60-150-SR-IG Alternator and Balmar MaxCharge MC-612.

Details of adjuster here

I'm a little concerned about advice to modify an existing alternator to get more amps out of it. An alternator will have a regulator which ensures the maximum current is not exceeded, trying to increase this current is asking for trouble.
Nigel Mercier: Forum Administrator

blue-max

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Re: Replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #7 on: August 10 2016, 16:41 »
thanks for the replies - plenty to think about. diode splitter is blue metallic gizmo with 3 terminals wired to alternator?

tiger79

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Re: Replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #8 on: August 10 2016, 18:39 »


I'm a little concerned about advice to modify an existing alternator to get more amps out of it. An alternator will have a regulator which ensures the maximum current is not exceeded, trying to increase this current is asking for trouble.

Just to clarify, "smart" regulators and alternator-to-battery chargers can't get more amps out of an alternator than it was designed to give. But what they do is to increase the output voltage of the alternator, which encourages the batteries to accept as much charge as they can, obviously within the limitations of the alternator's max current.

patprice

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Re: replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #9 on: August 11 2016, 06:13 »
What do you mean by a smart charger?

I would not change the alternator, but install the A2B Charger from Sterling Power. It is easily installed by just removing the diode splitter and put the A2B Charger instead. It provides a separate, electronically controlled, output for the starter battery and the output for the main battery bank. The good thing is that you don't need to fiddle with the alternator or change any wiring.
Think about it.

Is this the unit from Sterling Power that would be suitable for my year 2000 Bavaria MD22L with Valeo alternator.

"Universal Advanced Digital Regulator Pro Reg BW (waterproof) AR12W"

Thanks

Lyra

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Re: Replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #10 on: August 11 2016, 09:59 »
Quote
Is this the unit from Sterling Power that would be suitable for my year 2000 Bavaria MD22L with Valeo alternator.

"Universal Advanced Digital Regulator Pro Reg BW (waterproof) AR12W"

No - I beleive he was refering to this:
http://sterling-power.com/collections/alternator-to-battery-chargers
S/Y Lyra
B36 / 2004

jonrarit

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Re: Replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #11 on: August 11 2016, 10:13 »
diode splitter is blue metallic gizmo with 3 terminals wired to alternator?

Yes correct

JR

jonrarit

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Re: Replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #12 on: August 11 2016, 10:16 »
I beleive he was refering to this:
http://sterling-power.com/collections/alternator-to-battery-chargers

Yes that units that I bought. About £280 but sometimes you see them from ebay vendors around £250

jonathan

landes_h

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Re: Replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #13 on: August 11 2016, 10:54 »
Attached are pictures of the installation of my A2B Charger.
For your all information, this unit is a so called DC/DC converter. It takes the voltage/current from the alternator, which is controlled by the (still installed) regulator there and causes that regulator to charge at very high current. Then the A2B charger recreates a DC voltage perfect to charge the batteries. It charges the starter battery for a short while at lower current and then no more. All required energy will then go to the service battery output. The A2B unit has a temperature sensor for the alternator and the batteries (and itself inside) so that so that overheating is avoided.
The alternator's regulator will avoid that the alternator is overloaded, there is no danger to it.
generally one only needs the smaller A2B charger, still can handle 130 Amps, more then all our alternators will supply. Important is that the belt is tight because the load to the alternator can cause the belt to squeak.

The charge booster Sterling offers is an alternative I installed on my older boat. You do need to have some knowledge and skills about electro technique. The alternator has to be dismantled and some (temperature proof) wire leads have to be sold to the field coil inside and led to the outside of the alternator. After re installation one has to make some measurement to find the right wire which has to be connected to the charge booster. Too much hustle. The A2B charger is a perfect solution and a very robust unit.  :tbu
Greetings
Horst
Bavaria 38 / 2003 berth Portoroz, Slowenia

patprice

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Re: Replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #14 on: December 01 2016, 21:56 »
OK seems the A2B is the way to go to fit to my B42 in Greece.

I read above that it is simple to fit, just replace the splitter. That being the case, how does the A2B monitor battery and alternator temperature? Are there additional leads for this?

landes_h

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Re: Replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #15 on: December 12 2016, 13:11 »
It comes with temperature sensors for alternator and battery. I only installed the alternator sensor which also gives a picture of the temp. in the engine compartment. It looks like a wire with a round terminal. Just fix it to one of the alternator's screws. The connection at the A2B unit is clearly marked.
Greetings
Horst
Bavaria 38 / 2003 berth Portoroz, Slowenia

patprice

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Re: Replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #16 on: December 12 2016, 21:16 »
landes_h thanks that clarifies things.

IslandAlchemy

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Re: Replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #17 on: December 13 2016, 10:02 »
I have the same engine and 60A alternator, and had the same charging problem (675Ah house bank).  I fitted a Sterling A2B and it works like a charm.

blue-max

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Re: Replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #18 on: January 15 2017, 18:06 »
which size/model  of a to b regulator did you fit?

IslandAlchemy

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Re: Replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #19 on: January 16 2017, 13:56 »
I have the small one (up to 80 Amps) but I believe that the smallest one now goes up to 130 amps.

This one:- http://www.cactusnav.com/sterling-alternator-battery-charger-p-20212.html

All you have to do is to remove the 3 wires from the diode splitter and put them on the A-B instead, then just run a earth cable into the negative side of the circuit.  Dead easy, take about an hour to fit.

I didn't bother with the temperature sensing wires and have found that it works just fine without.

Jeff Jones

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Re: Replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #20 on: February 19 2017, 17:14 »
I posted this below recently in "Bavaria Yacht Help! / Re: Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger" I thought my question is also relevant to this section too.
 

Hi all,  I've been following your posts with interest.

I am keen to get your thoughts and suggestions on upgrading my Bavaria 34 yacht (yom 2000) electrical power system.

Some background
I bought the boat 15months ago with a number of issues and since then have been chipping away at a long upgrade list.

This week she has had a new VP D1-30F engine and sail drive installed which replaced the original VP MD2030 - the boat is not back in the water till tomorrow. we have a swing mooring on Windermere where she stays all year.

I wanted to increase the house battery capacity for a number of reasons
1- reduce the % of charge we used between recharges and also reduce the engine running hours.
2- I have to replace the house battery anyway
3- found that the battery was dropping to 50% SOC more frequently
4- taking longer to recharge to +90% SOC from the alternator

I also plan is to replace the old house battery (2013 -140Ahr) and increase up to somewhere around 450Ahr, sized at 25% acceptance current for the batteries (with a 115A alternator) and based on our usage which is normally 2-3 days a week in summer and pretty much every other weekend in winter.

I have already removed the standard VP Split charging diode unit and installed a VSR to take care of the starting and house battery charge splitting.
Installed is also a NASA BM2 200amp battery monitor which I use as a general guide as to when and how much to recharge the batteries. its not totally accurate but as a guide its better than just a volt meter.

I also plan to install a solar panel maybe 80 - 100watts depending what size of flexible panel I can fit on the companion way slide cover (under the main boom) or on the spray hood to take care of the trickle charge..


The next step is where I would like to hear your feed back and experiences please.

ie. Using the standard VP 115A alternator (D1-30F)

1- is the inbuilt electronic regulator good enough to charge my house batteries correctly?
    ie. to return the batteries to full SOC - without excessive running of the engine

2- would you suggest an external regulator be better or smart charge A2B?
    ie with bulk charge, float and equalisation charging profiles

3- I haven't decided on which type of house batteries to install at yet - Wet cell, AGM or ?
    This very much depends on the above 1&2.

4- The spec for the VP 115A alternator is vague and says 14v, surly at 14v this will never fully recharge the battery or take extra engine running hours to return the battery back to somewhere near full charge.
    Until I get the boat back in the water I cant actual test what voltage the alternator pumps out.

Smart Chargers,
I understand the principals of how they work, but aren't they stressing the alternator or battery by forcing the higher charge rates to reduce charging times?


I am using some basic battery principals.

Don't drain below 50% SOC
Size battery bank so that you only use a small portion of the total installed Ahr  say somewhere around 30%
Battery acceptance charge is around 25% of the total installed Ahr (ie 100Ahr battery will only bulk charge @ 25amps max)


Having read lots of conflicting views on a few forums - its not clear which is the best way forward, all seem to have pros-cons.

I was also surprised that some of your house batteries setups seem quite large and the engine run times were a lot less than I would have expected.. were you not running the SOC down to anywhere near 50% SOC?

Finally, the theory of battery management is one thing - but I think real life experiences are a must better guide to which way forward ...

Thank you all

Salty

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Re: Replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #21 on: February 20 2017, 07:19 »
You should get an 80w panel to fit over the hatch garage, I fitted a 100w panel, but it was just slightly too big for the garage on my B36/2002 and so was mounted on a plywood panel of the right size to give the panel some support.

IslandAlchemy

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Re: Replacing alternator for larger output
« Reply #22 on: February 22 2017, 11:55 »
My house bank is 675Ah (3 pairs of Trojan 6v 225Ah).

We never run them down to below 12.2v. That takes a while though.

From 12.2v, they will take about 3-4 hours to get back to float charge (60A alternator and Sterling AtoB).

From 12.5v, they will take about 2 hours.

The Sterling does put a bit of extra load on the alternator (you can get black dust off the belt if it's working hard), but I won't think it damages it or the batteries (in fact, I think it's better for the batteries because of the way it rests every so often when bulk charging).