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Marine alternators vs automotive, worth the price

  • Jan Pieterse
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23 Feb 2024 13:51 #1 by Jan Pieterse

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  • Chris Rowling
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22 Feb 2024 23:03 #2 by Chris Rowling
Replied by Chris Rowling on topic Marine alternators vs automotive, worth the price
Hi Colin

KISS advocates need not apply....

Regards
Chris

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  • Colin Stone
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22 Feb 2024 22:14 #3 by Colin Stone
Replied by Colin Stone on topic Marine alternators vs automotive, worth the price

Colin Stone
It's not the destination, it's the glory of the ride.
Barge Register KEI

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  • Peter Cawson
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22 Feb 2024 14:59 #4 by Peter Cawson
Replied by Peter Cawson on topic Marine alternators vs automotive, worth the price

Chris Rowling wrote: Hi Peter
175 amps is pretty big, not many battery banks would soak up that much and would cover 2000 VA consumer items assuming 12V. Interesting solution.
Remind me how powerful is your engine?
cheers
Chris

Hi Chris

The big alternator was in fact 160 Amp, 12 V and it recharged the domestic batteries (6 x 110 Ah) and the engine start one - the remarkable 50 Ah Optima Red Top.  My engine was a Yanmar 4.2 litre, nominally 260 bhp that could run up to 3800 RPM or so, and the alternator pully system had to be designed for those high revs.  Of course for day-to-day use, revs were more like 1200 to 1800 so I doubt the alternator ever offered anything like its rated output.  I also used an Adverc, a strange box that boosted output when the engine was ticking over and constantly measured battery requirements and adjusted recharging accordingly.  

Peter



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  • Colin Stone
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22 Feb 2024 14:56 #5 by Colin Stone
Replied by Colin Stone on topic Marine alternators vs automotive, worth the price
 I have 2 Leece Neville 8LHA alternators totalling 205A at 24v. Alternator max rpm is 8000, so I changed the original overly   large diameter alternator pulleys with smaller ones to achieve that at just over max engine rpm   
The max current I see on engine start is around 150A, but as Balliol wrote, this drops quite quickly depending on state of battery charge. Whatever,  2-3 hours engine running gets back to 100%.
But alternators provide healthy current for when 3kw AC devices are running.  

Colin Stone
It's not the destination, it's the glory of the ride.
Barge Register KEI

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  • Balliol Fowden
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22 Feb 2024 14:04 #6 by Balliol Fowden
Replied by Balliol Fowden on topic Marine alternators vs automotive, worth the price
I doubt that a normal machine sensing alternator would shove out full amps for long if at all. The limiting factor is the resistance of the cabling, and most integral regulators tend to cut back very early in the charge cycle. Electronic chargers, e.g. Victron Multi, will tend to put a longer and more consistent heavy charge in.

My camper van has a 150 amp alternator (or it might even be 200 amp) for a 110 ah battery, as per Peugeot production line. Even charging the combined leisure and starter batteries (total 335ah) I have never seen more than 100 amps, and that only for a few minutes, and the cabling is pretty heavy.

Balliol.

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  • Chris Rowling
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22 Feb 2024 12:53 #7 by Chris Rowling
Replied by Chris Rowling on topic Marine alternators vs automotive, worth the price
Hi Peter
175 amps is pretty big, not many battery banks would soak up that much and would cover 2000 VA consumer items assuming 12V. Interesting solution.
Remind me how powerful is your engine?
cheers
Chris

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  • Peter Cawson
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22 Feb 2024 00:50 #8 by Peter Cawson
Replied by Peter Cawson on topic Marine alternators vs automotive, worth the price
Well spotted, Chris - it's a generator start battery!  

Peter



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  • Chris Rowling
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22 Feb 2024 00:00 #9 by Chris Rowling
Replied by Chris Rowling on topic Marine alternators vs automotive, worth the price
Hi all

According to some, modern marine alternators can work to maximum amp output specification for long periods without overheating. Can be an issue if you have a lithium or hybrid bank that can make it work for long periods at maximum output with cheaper units. 

Hi Peter: what is an alternator start battery?

Regards
Chris

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  • Peter Cawson
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21 Feb 2024 12:23 #10 by Peter Cawson
Replied by Peter Cawson on topic Marine alternators vs automotive, worth the price
I added a heavy-duty 160 Amp truck alternator to my engine as the supplied 75 Amp one struggled to recharge the numerous batteries on board.  The new alternator dealt with the domestic batteries and main engine start while the smaller one looked after the bow and stern thruster and alternator start batteries.  No problems with the reasonably priced truck alternator after 12 years of use.

Peter



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