Join Date: Jun 2002
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Electrical Power Recharging Options for Extended Cruise
To completely charge a battery off an alternator can take a long time, provided it is properly regulated, which yours is (and should be). I am having success with letting my alternator bulk charge and supplimenting the rest of the process with solar panels. My hundred amp alternator can really put a load on my engine, but after the output drops below 30 amps, there isn''t that much of a draw, and I don''t like to run the engine with a light load. Besides, I don''t motor that much, so my alternator rarely completes the charge process, which isn''t good.
So, unless you are planning on motoring hours a day, your regulated alternator, while essential, won''t completely charge your batteries on its own.
I like to diversify, so I am going with multiple technologies (regulated alternator, ac inverter/charger, solar panels, and possibly wind in the distant future). One of those little Honda generators seems to be an excellent and inexpensive solution that I am considering myself. Small enought to stow, yet big enough to tickle my battery charger.