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post #1 of 7 Old 07-24-2015 Thread Starter
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Alternator for Charging Batteries

I will be motoring quite a bit in the not too distant future. Currently, there is an internal voltage regulator on the alternator. When primarily motoring, will this alternator/voltage regulator combination over charge the batteries and cause shortened life? Should the internal voltage regulator be replaced with and external regulator like a Balmar?

Thanks for the help in advance.
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-24-2015
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Re: Alternator for Charging Batteries

It shouldn't if the Voltage regulator is working properly.

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post #3 of 7 Old 07-24-2015
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Re: Alternator for Charging Batteries

While Tempest is correct, the type of batteries that you yous has some bearing on this.

Assuming that you have flooded lead acid batteries, the charge profile from a "dumb" regulator should be fine... Upgrading to an external regulator could help you maximize the state of charge that you can bring the batteries to with a shorter period of time spent running the motor. This seems to be the opposite of your situation.

However, if you have upgraded to AGM, Gell, or Lithium, then you will want to upgrade the regulator.
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Re: Alternator for Charging Batteries

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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
While Tempest is correct, the type of batteries that you yous has some bearing on this.

Assuming that you have flooded lead acid batteries, the charge profile from a "dumb" regulator should be fine... Upgrading to an external regulator could help you maximize the state of charge that you can bring the batteries to with a shorter period of time spent running the motor. This seems to be the opposite of your situation.

However, if you have upgraded to AGM, Gell, or Lithium, then you will want to upgrade the regulator.
Thanks, this is very useful. I have lead acid batteries. So, guess I'll be good then.
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Re: Alternator for Charging Batteries

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Originally Posted by gbgreen59 View Post
Thanks, this is very useful. I have lead acid batteries. So, guess I'll be good then.
All batteries AGM, GEL and flooded are "lead acid"..


What brand of battery?
What model battery?
What brand alternator?
What is the voltage set point of your internal regulator?
How many hours at a time will you run before discharging again?

Generally speaking you should be fine but this will depend upon your internal regulator and battery bank and how long the runs are.

Some internal regulators are set for 15.0V and some for 13.8V and some batteries charge at 14.1V and some can charge regularly as high as 14.8V.....

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Re: Alternator for Charging Batteries

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
All batteries AGM, GEL and flooded are "lead acid"..


What brand of battery?
What model battery?
What brand alternator?
What is the voltage set point of your internal regulator?
How many hours at a time will you run before discharging again?

Generally speaking you should be fine but this will depend upon your internal regulator and battery bank and how long the runs are.

Some internal regulators are set for 15.0V and some for 13.8V and some batteries charge at 14.1V and some can charge regularly as high as 14.8V.....
Thanks for stepping in on this topic. I'll get the information on the batteries and alternator. The batteries are 85Ah. We'll be motoring all day for many days without sailing. Will be anchored at night.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-25-2015
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Re: Alternator for Charging Batteries

Overcharging with Combiners or ACRs The MYTH:
Overcharging Batteries with a Combiner or ACR

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