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Old 11-22-2013
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Question Sterling Regulator vs Alternator to Battery Charger

I have been looking at the Sterling website, as I ponder an upgrade to my charging system. I noticed that the product line has been greatly expanded over the past few years.

One thing that I just can't get my head around is the practical difference between their "Advanced Alternator Regulators," for example the ProReg-B (approx $130), and their "ProAlt-C" Alternator to Battery Charger, for example the 12 Volt to 130 AMP Charger (approx $400). These both have 4 stage charging profiles for several different battery types. I understand that the regulator does not factor in multiple battery banks, but you can do this quickly, and easily, with an echo-charger.

My question is this; If using an "Advanced Alternator Regulator: with an "Echo Charge," to provide charging to multiple banks, haven't you accomplished the same thing as the Alternator to Battery Charger?

To put this in context - on my boat I currently have two 105AH (20 hour rate) batteries, as separate banks, connected via a Xantrex Echo Charge. Motor charging is from a Leece-Neville 90 Amp alternator, with the included 8RG2043 C (14.4V) regulator. Dock charging is from an IOTA DLS30/IQ4. I am considering combining the two 105AH batteries into one house bank, and adding a third (smaller) start battery.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-22-2013
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Re: Sterling Regulator vs Alternator to Battery Charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
I have been looking at the Sterling website, as I ponder an upgrade to my charging system. I noticed that the product line has been greatly expanded over the past few years.

One thing that I just can't get my head around is the practical difference between their "Advanced Alternator Regulators," for example the ProReg-B (approx $130), and their "ProAlt-C" Alternator to Battery Charger, for example the 12 Volt to 130 AMP Charger (approx $400). These both have 4 stage charging profiles for several different battery types. I understand that the regulator does not factor in multiple battery banks, but you can do this quickly, and easily, with an echo-charger.

My question is this; If using an "Advanced Alternator Regulator: with an "Echo Charge," to provide charging to multiple banks, haven't you accomplished the same thing as the Alternator to Battery Charger?

To put this in context - on my boat I currently have two 105AH (20 hour rate) batteries, as separate banks, connected via a Xantrex Echo Charge. Motor charging is from a Leece-Neville 90 Amp alternator, with the included 8RG2043 C (14.4V) regulator. Dock charging is from an IOTA DLS30/IQ4. I am considering combining the two 105AH batteries into one house bank, and adding a third (smaller) start battery.

Thanks in advance!
The ProAlt C is a device that does not require tapping into the alts brushes for a field connection. The down side is expense and the lowest possible voltage is the internal regulators set point. I much prefer to fit a proper external regulator. If you want an external the Balmar is worth every penny.. I have installed a few of the ProReg D and they are an okay very bare bones reg but they lack LOTS of features the Balmar offers as standard, like full customization and current limiting...
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eherlihy (11-22-2013)
  #3  
Old 11-22-2013
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Re: Sterling Regulator vs Alternator to Battery Charger

Thank you Maine Sail!

The Sterling-USA website currently has a bunch of inaccurate info (ProReg- S and U?http://www.shop.sterling-power.com/acatalog/proreg.pdf)... I found the Sterling European catalog PDF after I posted, and studied it for a while. Here is how I net the differences out:
The ProReg;
  • requires wiring/interface to the field windings of the alternator, which is considered more complex than adding a battery charger, and may void the warranty of some alternators
  • works in parallel with the OEM regulator, and will cut itself out if a fault is detected
  • is unaware of multiple battery banks.
The ProAlt-C
  • does not require any wiring to the alternator, other than the positive and negative leads, thereby minimizing the wiring, and possibly preserving the warranty of your alternator.
  • also works in conjunction with the OEM regulator, but tricks the OEM regulator out by presenting a low voltage to the alternator / regulator, thus causing the alternator to work harder to provide higher voltage and amperage, which the charger manages, and presents to the batteries connected to the ProAlt-C's "domestic" (a.k.a. "house") output post.
  • is designed to work with multiple battery banks.
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