Join Date: Apr 2006
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Enrico, the only real danger to your alternator is heat. Regardless of the regulator, if it is called on to put out full power for long durations it may overheat and fail. You can prevent that by using an external regulator that is programmable (to less than full load) and has an optional temperature sensor (to monitor alternator temp) and by making sure there is adequate ventilation, i.e. dual fans on the alternator or even a blower or duct aimed at the alternator to ensure it gets good airflow.
An inexpensive infrared "non-contact" thermometer, $20-30, is a great way to actually check the temperature of the alternator and verify that it is working cool enough.
If your main alternator is internally regulated, actually an automobile design, then it probably cuts back very quickly, so it will protect itself but...auto designs often have just one fan and are intended to have gobs of cold air coming through the engine compartment. They also charge deep cycle batteries VERY slowly.