Urgent assistance needed for electrical alternator info

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by moopups, Sep 2, 2004.

  1. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    With a hurricane nipping at my back side, I need a 12 volt battery charging system immediantly. Have a GM alternator from an old Buick and a 5 horse horizonal 1 cylinder engine. I'll put the two together, you tell me how to run the wireing, this is needed before tomorrow evening. I have 5 12 volt batteries to charge daily to keep my mini electrical system underway. Details as exact as possible please, I do not mind read (except women in bars!). :eek:
     
  2. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    (Well, maybe messages are working now. Didn't the _first_ 5 times I tried this - so I sent this to you direct...)

    That info is available on the web, you just have to find it. I would suggest searching Google, such as:

    charge battery alternator GM alternator


    You will need to determine if you have a 1 wire or 3 wire alternator, and you really almost have to have the regulator also, I hope you do.

    Could be a long process for us to step you through this, I think you'll have better luck searching for others that have been in your shoes.

    I'll bet searching the 'groups' in Google will also give you very good tips.

    I was sitting with my face over the battery of the Ford 960 tractor when I hit the starter button & it blew up. Lost all hearing for 5 seconds, battery acid everywhere. Take heed of the warnings on shorted battries & them exploding - it does happen.

    --->Paul
     

  3. Yankee1

    Yankee1 Well-Known Member

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    You will need a voltage regulator if is not built into your alternator. You dont want to overgharge and fry those batteries.
     
  4. oldhoot

    oldhoot In Remembrance

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    Mitch! Countryside Magazine published an article I writ on how to do just what you want. I can't remember exzctly [?] but think it was the Nov 99 issue.

    Usin a GM alternator from a little Pontiac-they have regulators already installed and are self exciting. Battery wire from alternator to the Battery and terminal "L" I believe, on the alternator thru a switch and then to the + of the battery. Ground wire from the alternator case to the Neg of the battery post.
    Start the engine and then turn on the little switch. When the engine is shut down be sure and turn off the switch or it will run down those batteries.

    If you can't find the CS article let me know and I'll dig up the original papers and email'm to you. oldhoot.
     
  5. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Car alternators with built in regulators will never charge a deeply discharged battery fully and efficiently.Not unless you run it for many many hours.I really dont remember the full story on it,but you need a special regulator that gives a big bulk charge,then after 90% or so charged shifts down to a trickle type charge to finish it off.A car regulator really doesnt function that way,it dips down to a lesser charge way too soon.BUT,there are regulators available for just this function,do a google search,boat part suppliers are a good source for them.
    BooBoo
     
  6. oldhoot

    oldhoot In Remembrance

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    Hey Boo! Don't know nuthin about'm not chargin fully but they'll charge the same as they do on a vehicle. No need to run the motor very fast either. An alternator will charge as much at about 800 rpm as they will at 1500 rpm. I got my information to build mine from a friend who is an alternator/starter rebuilder. Smart cookie, he is. oldhoot.
     
  7. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Hoot.Did you modify your regulator to increase its output or charging curve?
    A car alternator /regulator is made to replenish a lightly discharged battery quickly(as you know),not a deeply discharged battery.For battery charging a deep cycle use battery,you need a 3 or 4 step regulator to do it efficiently. Its about being able to maintain a large bulk charge,until the battery gets 90% or so charged,then cutting down to a smaller charge to top off the batteries.Car 40 amp car alternator/regulator will not hold,lets say 30 amps until the battery is 90% charged,it starts to ramp down the output pretty quickly.This is common knowledge in the the RV and offgrid crowd.Yes,you can do it with a car setup,but at high cost and poor battery performance.
    Now i have some solar books by a fellow in Australia,but wife packed em up,so I cant tell you his name.I did however correspond with him frequently while setting up my RV setup.He claims a car alt/reg will not much charge a deeply discharged battery past 75% before the alt output drops to just a few amps?(not sure how low,dont have the book in front of me,but it was LOW),certainly not maintaining a bulk charge.Seeing as a battery will fail quickly at discharges below 50%,you are only going to get a 25% battery capacity of useful power.However,a bulk charger will go straight to 90% charge pretty fast,giving you a 40% usable battery capacity,and you can also put in full charges and equalizing charges,again greatly extending battery life.The gentleman writes the National Electrical Codes for Australia,lives 100% offgrid,so is a very knowledgable source,(Has been winner of the Top Technical Writer in Australia)Its Colin Something,if you doubt my veracity I will dig out the book and get his full name.

    Try this for an explanation,there are others,like the truecharge 40 site for explanations on 4 step charging.

    CruzPro Ltd.
    35 Keeling Road, #A4
    Henderson, Auckland 1008
    New Zealand
    Tel: 64-9-838-3331
    Fax: 64-9-838-3332
    Internet: http://www.cruzpro.com

    Performance Charging With Smart Alternator Regulators
    It's a known fact that rum and coke tastes better when you don't have to listen to your engine running at the same time. We show you how to minimize engine run-time by turbo-charging your alternator with a high performance multi-step Smart Alternator Regulator (SAR).

    Fixed voltage regulators are inexpensive to manufacture but are a poor trade-off between cost and performance for the boat owner. The initial savings are soon offset by the requirement to run the engine longer to achieve the same charge, battery life, noise, heat and smell generated by the engine. A fixed voltage regulator will also overcharge your batteries on longer runs - reducing their life and requiring more frequent top-ups of water.

    Today's SARs enable you to safely fast charge your boat batteries thereby greatly reducing engine run time. Obviously, fewer hours of engine running saves wear and tear, fuel, and leaves more undisturbed time to enjoy the many wonders offered by New Zealand cruising. Your neighbors will also appreciate the extra quiet time.

    The SAR is a multi-step charge controller that commands maximum safe output from your alternator while monitoring battery voltage and temperature. The SAR will deliver the bulk of the battery charge at maximum alternator output allowing battery voltage to rise until the "absorption voltage" has been reached. The SAR then lowers the alternator output to maintain a constant battery voltage at the absorption point. The absorption voltage is maintained for a period of time dependent upon several factors and then the SAR cuts back the battery voltage to a safe "float" voltage. Some SARs will also enable you to desulfate your battery plates by enabling an "equalization cycle". During equalization the SAR slowly raises battery voltage to an equalization level while limiting the charge current to about 4-6% of your battery's amp-hour capacity. This safely dissolves the sulfates that form on the battery plates during discharge and extends battery life.

    The correct absorption, float and equalization voltages are dependent upon temperature and battery chemistry. The higher the temperature the lower values of absorption, float and equalization voltages that must be used to optimize battery life. For this reason sensors are used by SARs to monitor battery temperature and adjust the voltages accordingly. SARs will also have some switches on them to tell them what type of battery you are using and further adjust the charging voltages accordingly. Your fixed voltage regulator knows nothing about battery temperature and will almost always be charging to the wrong value.

    During the bulk delivery phase the SAR will command the alternator to deliver maximum output continuously until the absorption voltage is reached. While many modern alternators can do so, some alternators are not rated to deliver full output continuously and can be damaged by excessive heat. For this reason the CruzPro SAR-20 can be told whether your alternator is "hot" rated or not and will automatically cut back the output of a non hot-rated alternator to a safe level after a while.

    With today's heavy loads being demanded by the electrical and electronic conveniences found on many boats it's becoming more common for a second alternator to be fitted to the engine. If you're shopping for a SAR, try to find one (like our SAR-20) that has enough grunt to drive a second alternator field winding. Most alternators require about 3-4 amps excitation to their field winding in order to deliver maximum output so look for a SAR that can deliver 6-8 amps or more.

    Another handy feature that some SARs offer is a trouble-shooting light that tells you what it's doing. The light will blink in various combinations to tell you what stage the SAR is in (bulk, absorption, float, equalization). SARs are available for both 12 and 24 volt alternators and some can be switched to handle either. Most (not all) SARs require that you have a P type alternator with an external regulator. If you have an N type alternator, or an alternator with a built-in voltage regulator it may need to be modified by a competent electrical installer to be compatible with a SAR.
     
  8. oldhoot

    oldhoot In Remembrance

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    My alternator is from a 92 Pontiac sumbird. The only thing that's been done to it, by my friend, was to change the shiv from a serpentine belt shiv to a V shiv. 75 amp as orginal equipment. Belted to a 5 hp Briggs --it works the motor purty hard when chargin batteries.

    I'll see if I can find one of those 4 step'ns. It'd be an improvement over the original. oldhoot.
     
  9. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    I have an 8 Trojan battery L-16 setup,with a Heart 458 freedom inverter/ 3 stage charger/equalizer,as a backup power system at the house.It sure charges batteries nice,just wish it was a pure sine wave,but I bought it used as a system.I still like it alot though :worship:
    BooBoo
    BTW,the plan is to park the MH next to the power room,and plug the Solar system on MH into that system.We will be stylin' while we build the Earthship.Ive bought everything for the homestead,except the Homestead itself :haha:
    But its coming :D
     
  10. Critter

    Critter Guest

    Hi!

    first off if your "old" GM alternator is before 1973 then you do need an external votage regulator. The easiest (and cheapest) means is mount your alternator. then get a voltage regulator for a '68 Dodge. they are really simple and cheap! about $12.00 at the local "Auto Croak" or "Pimp Boys" store. ground the VR to neg. Run a wire from the FLD term on the VR to the F terminal on the alternator. then run a wire from the spade clip (IGN) on the VR and hook it to Bat. + either through a switch, or the ultimate cheap is with an aligator clip. Hey you do what you gotta do, y'know? The main bat stud on the alt goes directly to Bat. + and run it direct.

    from 74-86 10/12/27 SI Gm units. Hook bat + to the stud ont he back of the alternator where like above its hot full time. use a plug-in for the same unit, and run the wire from the the number 2 post directly to the back of the ALT as well, seeing it is also hot full time. then go fromt he #1 to a switch.

    from 87 to present date Go hot full time to the back stud, and go from the "F" or "L" terminal on the plug and hook it to the B+ though a switch, or make shift clip.

    Don't energize the units unless you've had the engine running., because yes, the units call pull up to and even over 5 hp. and stall your engine. Use the biggest pully you can on the alternator and a small one on your engine shaft. so it doesn't drag at a hard pull.
    The later CS 130 A alternators, even though small will pull 105 amp rating, and even at idle on most car applications will still put out 3545 amps. Which is usually enough to do the job.

    As far as having multi'stage volt regulators, well.... in this type of set up I haven't seen the necessity of it . No there are multi voltage DUVAC units by Leece-Neville which you find on real specialty applications, but for charging batteries thats a bit overKill from what I have experienced.

    Concerning Deep Cycle batteries. I had an '83 Buick with a typical 12si 78A alternator, that I ran a deep cycle battery in it (sears diehard) and it lasted for over 3 years of daily driving.


    good luck


    Critter
     
  11. Critter

    Critter Guest

    BTW, and FWIW,
    The average automotive charging system is 13.8-14.2v on the rule of thumb.

    That is, unless you are using the later CS series then its about 14.4.

    Good Luck


    Critter
     
  12. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    sorry Mitch, i knewi had the following page sacked away on one ofmy machines, and found it this morning looking for something else.

    http://theepicenter.com/tow02077.html

    It is about turning a lawn edger into a genset. amd has a good set of diagrams for the unedumacated to follow as well as those of us who can follow along by reading.

    Hope it helpos.

    William
     
  13. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    most parts stores carry a older model one wire internal regulator alternator(number 7127 i think) for about twenty bucks. If it goes bad you have a warranty. Keep an extra regulator and diode just incase you make a mistake while rigging. About eight bucks
     
  14. unregister

    unregister Guest

    Just curious, but how about an update?

    What did you wire up and did it work? Any advice for others that might need to improvise a battery charge system on the cheap?

    Thanks.