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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Gas > Atomic 4
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  #11  
Old 06-10-2010
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Originally Posted by fixxxer0 View Post
230Ah golf cart batteries. I want to use a 3 stage regulator on them to keep them charged properly.


I am thinking the limit, power and belt wise is going to be 65 amps for my A4, at cruising speed it will prolly be more like around 30 amp output.
considering the vast majority of cruisers rarely if ever make it into float voltage stage your stock regulator will be doing just about the same for you as a three stage will and will likely be good money wasted.
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  #12  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
considering the vast majority of cruisers rarely if ever make it into float voltage stage your stock regulator will be doing just about the same for you as a three stage will and will likely be good money wasted.
Yea i was wondering about that as well...

Maybe I will just go with a solar panel charger to float them. I have one now but its only 16watts.
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Old 06-10-2010
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Yea i was wondering about that as well...

Maybe I will just go with a solar panel charger to float them. I have one now but its only 16watts.
That is a lot more simple of an approach. Unless you have AGM or gel cell batts that require specific voltage parameters a "dumb" regulator set to about 14.2 can and will work just fine on wet cell batteries. The new regulators from Leece-Neville on their Motorola style alternators have adjustable voltage output but are still a single stage regulator. They work very well with wet cell bats and also allow for slight voltage drop considerations/adjustment..

On the bottom of the regulator you can see a white adjustment screw which allows the output voltage to be adjusted. These regulators can be bought for older Motorola style alts that have a set point of 13.8 which makes it tough to get a full charge. I have a couple of these regulators sitting in a box...

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 06-10-2010 at 11:40 AM.
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  #14  
Old 06-10-2010
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Quote:
considering the vast majority of cruisers rarely if ever make it into float voltage stage your stock regulator will be doing just about the same for you as a three stage will and will likely be good money wasted.
I've come to the opposite conclusion, that a smart regulator will give you the most bang for your buck. The wanted feature for a regulator on deep cell batteries is not the float charge, but the bulk and acceptance charge. Dumb regulators aren't set up to do that. When we went from an internally regulated "automotive" type regulator to a smart regulator, there were noticeably more amps going in for a longer period of time.
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i am trying to be realistic with my boat use (mostly weekends, every so often during the week) but no real cruise more than a weekend.

i dont think i run the engine close to enough to properly charge the batteries whether it had a 3 stage or a single stage.


My alternator replacement I have lined up is a 65amp with a single stage regulator which supposedly puts out 14.8v (kinda high I thought). maybe with the voltage drop to the batteries themselves it wont be too bad.
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Old 06-11-2010
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If you start with a Delco CS130D alternator, rated for 100+ Amp service, you may find that you can get "100%" output at idle as well as cruising speed. You don't need to spin it up all the way, or use the full output. But these alternators were designed to provide full output by about 2000 shaft rpm while the bearings are so robust they can run at 15,000-18,000 rpm in continuous duty.

Bottom line, is that you can use a pulley large enough to get high output at idle speed, and still not harm the alternator at "battle speed". Even if you never let it develop the full output.

I'm sure there are others that have a wide rpm range, I just know this particular one has an exceptionally wide range.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
If you start with a Delco CS130D alternator, rated for 100+ Amp service, you may find that you can get "100%" output ...
You don't get something for nothing. The power to supply that kind of charging current comes from engine load. Now I wouldn't swear to it, but I think I read (here, probably) where somebody had put a big ol' honkin' alternator on an A4 and found, when the batteries were heavily depleted, he didn't have enough reserve HP to drive the boat against certain wind and current conditions?

Jim
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Certainly true, Jim. That's why, with or without the restrictor plate that many A4's originally shipped with to beat hp tariffs, I mention that you might not want to run a 100A alternator at full rating on that engine. If I've got the math right, 100A at 14.4V would be 1440W which would be about two horsepower, maybe 2.5hp including losses, which the engine should be able to spare most of the time.

IIRC the A4 was derated to something like 15hp with the restrictor plate, and if someone had an old one in a bigger boat, with low compression and whatnot...

The point being, all alternators are not the same and picking one that can be mated up for your whole engine speed range SHOULD be possible.
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Old 06-15-2010
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Are extenral regs really necessary . . .

I'm busy rebuilding a genset that had a proprietary alt on it and I have removed that for a range of reasons and am replacing it with two ordinary alts.

Without wanting to go in a long description or explanation, the only alts that I could find with a reasonable output that would fit into the available space were Bosch units that have a continuous rating of 125amps per unit and I will be running two of them.

They have internal regulators that will have the old problem of tapering the charge off long before the batteries reach float and I was contemplating having them modified for an external reg and then using a NextStep or similar.

I have more recently been wondering if, given the fact that the genset can run for longer without being a noise nuisance and using significantly less diesel, I shouldn't just leave the regulators the way they are and charge for an hour longer. It's all about money at the end of it all.

What do the experts think?
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Are external regs really necessary . . .

for all applications?

I'm busy rebuilding a genset that had a proprietary alt on it and I have removed that for a range of reasons and am replacing it with two ordinary alts.

Without wanting to go in a long description or explanation, the only alts that I could find with a reasonable output that would fit into the available space were Bosch units that have a continuous rating of 125amps per unit and I will be running two of them.

They have internal regulators that will have the old problem of tapering the charge off long before the batteries reach float and I was contemplating having them modified for an external reg and then using a Next Step or similar.

I have more recently been wondering if, given the fact that the genset can run for longer without being a noise nuisance and using significantly less diesel, I shouldn't just leave the regulators the way they are and charge for an hour longer. It's all about money at the end of it all.

What do the experts think?
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