Voltage regulator power/sense - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 2 Old 09-15-2014 Thread Starter
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Voltage regulator power/sense

I moved the power/sense red wire and the ground black wire for my Balmar voltage regulator from the alternator/engine to directly to the battery bank the other day. It made a big difference in the actual voltage that the battery was getting, which also increased the charge current going to the battery.

Might be something others should consider doing.

Don't blow air up my rear, be useful and blow it at the sails!
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post #2 of 2 Old 09-15-2014
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Re: Voltage regulator power/sense

Yes exactly. I have been talking about this for years but few listen or pay attention......

No installation of a Balmar regulator is correct until you have properly wired the system. Properly wiring of an external regulator includes proper volt sense wiring.

Improper volt sense wiring is perhaps the number one blunder I correct for in both "pro" and DIY alternator installations. The others include poor or no regulator set up, improper wire gauge for the output, regulator located in engine bay, no temp sensors, improper alignment, alternator not fed directly to house bank, no hot load testing of the system, volt sense at wrong bank etc. etc...

Proper voltage sensing is part of the puzzle that helps get you the charging performance you paid for. Even a 3% voltage drop in your alternator output wiring results in just 13.96V at the bank vs. the 14.4V you had hoped to see. Proper volt sensing can compensate for some wiring blunders....

On the ARS-4, 5 and Xantrex XAR the RED power wire & BLACK neg wire of the regulator go directly to the bank being fed the charge current. This should be the house bank.

On the MC-612 & 614 the RED volt sense & BLACK neg wire of the regulator go directly to the bank being fed the charge current. This should be the house bank.


If your alternator is not DIRECTLY fed to the bank you are sensing voltage at then you WILL eventually have battery frying issues.

Alt Output Pos & Neg > House Bank
Reg V-Sense Red & Black > House Bank
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