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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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Diesel This is a new forum dedicated to diesel engines and their applicable accessories.


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  #31  
Old 12-05-2012
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Re: Charging batteries with engine while sailing

Every brand of alternator has a different charging curve vs rpm so there is no steadfast rule here. One of the reasons when I upgraded my system I went with Electromaxx ( per Mainesails recommendation) over Balmar was the charging curve of the Electromaxx in the lower RPM curve as well as the cooling properties of the Electromaxx due to their being hand wound vs Balmar machine wound..

http://www.electromaax.com/wp-conten...s-brochure.pdf

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...Myy2P2UpTG5o8A
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  #32  
Old 12-05-2012
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Re: Charging batteries with engine while sailing

Brian-
" Yanmar requires that if sailing with the engine OFF (not running) the transmission shifter must be in the neutral position or internal damage to the gear or sail-drive will result. "
This is one of those memos that has to be kept in context, because Yanmar's statement is extremely limited in what it addresses. They are ONLY discussing what to do if you are sailing with the engine off. Their statement makes no comment on what you should do if you are sailing with the engine on for charging (not propulsion) purposes. The concept of sailing with the engine on but not in gear may seem odd--but that's normal for racers who are allowed to charge their batteries but not use the engine for propulsion.

I was going to ask why folks are referring to the gear position on Yanmar's as if they all used the same Yanmar transmission, but as you brought up, there ARE different transmissions and IIRC the Hurth lives in a world of it's own wrt fluids and use. I'm sure the instructions for what is proper have to vary with the different transmissions Yanmar must have used over the years.

Ditto with alternators, every installation will be different and the only thing I'd bet on is that most "stock" installations are not as efficient as the ones where folks have paid a professional to install something better. Some time ago we had to (had to) replace an oddball alternator that apparently wasn't stock but had been installed when the PO had to put in someplace for a replacement and that was what someone had on hand. After looking at the options we went with a modern (ha, 1970's design, but newer than the oddball Motorola with a Marchal regulator) Delcotron and a custom alternator pulley, sized to match up the rpm ranges. Literally cut the charging time in half, simply because that alternator had a much wider rpm range and that allowed for a much better pulley match. Offhand, I think we sized it up for 80-90% output at idle speed and still only hit about 2/3 of the maximum continuous speed rating under wide open throttle.

But just to look at it, without numbers and specs and models? There's no telling wtf is going on in the engine room.

Of course the big trick today is asking ANY vendor for technical information, and getting them to respond ON POINT instead of with some boilerplate about liability and authorized persons only. No doubt Yanmar will fire the distributor who leaked that memo. (sigh)
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Re: Charging batteries with engine while sailing

This is why I love this site, there is no limit on how much you can learn about any subject. Great posts. Very informative, great tips. Here is my question at this point, it may be remedial, but before I can maintain the batteries I need to grasp some fundamentals. How do you know when your battery has 0% charge, is that when it is totally dead or is that at some other point? So, when % charge is discussed what is the starting point? Also, when you know the Amp Hour of the battery and the Amp charge capacity of your alternator how do you calculate how much charge you are getting per hour.
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Re: Charging batteries with engine while sailing

"Also, when you know the Amp Hour of the battery and the Amp charge capacity of your alternator how do you calculate how much charge you are getting per hour. "
You can calculate what you MIGHT be getting but you need an ammeter or battery monitor system to actually MEASURE what you are getting.
The difference between teh two will be based on the battery's acceptance rate, which will vary based on the condition of the battery, temperature, etc. as well as how much power the alternator is putting out, and typically they may cut back by 1/4-1/3 of capacity once they have been running really hot. Then there's what the regulator is programmed to do.
So while you can estimate the charge rate you might be getting, you need an ammeter to actually measure it to be sure. (Which also will tell you if there are problems, like battery sulphating, that you haven't been aware of.)
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Re: Charging batteries with engine while sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"Also, when you know the Amp Hour of the battery and the Amp charge capacity of your alternator how do you calculate how much charge you are getting per hour. "
You can calculate what you MIGHT be getting but you need an ammeter or battery monitor system to actually MEASURE what you are getting.
The difference between teh two will be based on the battery's acceptance rate, which will vary based on the condition of the battery, temperature, etc. as well as how much power the alternator is putting out, and typically they may cut back by 1/4-1/3 of capacity once they have been running really hot. Then there's what the regulator is programmed to do.
So while you can estimate the charge rate you might be getting, you need an ammeter to actually measure it to be sure. (Which also will tell you if there are problems, like battery sulphating, that you haven't been aware of.)
I do have an amp meter as part of the Inverter/charging system which displays the charge rate when on shore power or generator. That is part of what I am trying to get a better understanding of. I know there a lot of variables but is ther a way to simplify this stuf. Or, as I am not doing much sailing at this time being in the NE region, I wouldent even mind a complicated formula.
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Re: Charging batteries with engine while sailing

Simplify? Sure, buy a battery management system that tracks and records the number of amphours or watthours that go in or out of the batteries.

Or use your ammeter, note the amperage that is going into the batteries 9assuming they're charging) every 5 minutes over the course of any hour. Then average it out. The charging rate should tail off as the alternator heats up, the batteries heat up, the charge comes up closer to full.
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Old 12-06-2012
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Re: Charging batteries with engine while sailing

73Mmorgan,

One of the most important tools is a good battery, charge meter whoich will give you the info you are talking about. The Victron meter is a rwaosnably priced starter here.

BMV-600S and BMV-602S - Victron Energy
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