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Alternator upgrade

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cafemino View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cafemino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Alternator upgrade
    Posted: 25 June 2020 at 12:56
Hi Everyone,

Has anyone upgraded the 60 Amp alternator on their 320 or/ and installed an external regulator? 
I also heard good reviews on Sterlings Alternator to Battery charger which is simpler to install, has anyone maybe followed this route?

Many thanks!
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SailCS33 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote SailCS33 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 June 2020 at 14:05
i have not but have looked into it and faced couple of challanges which at the time I didnt care to resolve.
A) 60 amp alternator barely fits in its own space. 120amp or similar may not have enough room to tention the belt.
B) Every battery I ever looked at (AMG or LiFePo) has manufacturing recommended charge rating considerably below 60amp. Higher charge rates will reduce life span of the battery. Now, I realize that 120amp alt will only put out maybe 40amps at engine idle but what about when I am motoring at 3k rpm? Will I be killing my battery everytime? I dont fully know the answer to those questions. Clearly companies like Balmar made good business selling these big output alternators but it seems it goes against what battery makers say.

Happy to learn more on this
H320, #085, 2008
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Wayne's World View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Wayne's World Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 June 2020 at 19:47
SailCS33,

 The recommended max charging rates are per battery. Our 150Ah Victron Smart Battery spec states "maximum charge current = 300amps  but a recommended max of 75 amps" So for a bank of 4 batteries we could charge at up to 300 amps being 4 x 75 amps. The Battery Management System (BMS) which is a 12/200 will allow up to 200 amps whilst monitoring the temperatures of each cell. Our engine alternator is a 150 amp Volvo Penta found on the D3 but the BMS reduces this to a max of about 100 amps to protect the alternator. Victrons comment is that the alternators are not designed to run max output for very long. Whilst the Lithiums will happily soak up the full 150 amps for as long as it takes to get to the programmed voltage to go from Bulk to ABS to Float. So the BMS reduces the alternator charging. We have 2 x 12V/3000W/120Amp Inverter/chargers running to charge the lithiums when on generator (or shorepower). 
Wayne W
Cruising, currently in the Caribbean and will head across the Pacific early 2023
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Martin&Rene View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Martin&Rene Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 June 2020 at 13:58
I did install a Sterling Regulator unit on my 341 in 2014.  Though in theory the installation is fairly easy, I didhave a few issues mainly caused by the fact that the wiring diagrams and alternator information that I had were either or poor or actually incorrect.  On the basis that "forewarned is forearmed" I did a write up to help others and so you should find it on this link.  


Giving very detailed instructions sometimes makes a job look harder than it actually is.

Looking at the notes (I think I understood them) I know that I did make the change described in Sect 5.6 so that the ignition feed is from the run position on the key and that did solve the starting problems.  Having a good crimping tool would have made the job much easier.

Since then I have not had a low voltage problem, though I have also made changes to the fridge installation, cooling of the fridge compressor and replaced the batteries so the Sterling regulator cannot take all the credit.
Martin&Rene Hanse 341 Dipper Wheel steering, 3 cabin layout & shallow keel, normally based in Scotland
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Martin&Rene View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Martin&Rene Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 June 2020 at 14:37
You can download a manual from Sterling here

Martin&Rene Hanse 341 Dipper Wheel steering, 3 cabin layout & shallow keel, normally based in Scotland
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cafemino View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cafemino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2020 at 11:30
Many thanks for all the comments. The main issue is where to place the A2B unit. The only possible locations seems to under the chart table by the battery isolation switches or inside the battery compartment under the settee.
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Martin&Rene View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Martin&Rene Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 July 2020 at 21:44
I have never put my hand on the Sterling unit when it is working hard to find its temperature, but the manual does say it needs to in a well ventilated place.  The other caution, the manual says it should not be in a compartment with batteriesas a spark from it could could a gas explosion.  Interestingly, just last week an owner at our Marina described how he had had an explosion on his yacht when a spark from his bow thruster wiring caused its dedicated battery to blow up, thankfully with no subsequent fire or other damage. 

If you mount the unit in a locker, then you could ventilate it in a similar manner that I did for the fridge compressor.

https://www.myhanse.com/fridge-comprressor-cooling&KW=isotherm_topic7850_post61459.html#61459

The 2 yachts I have seen shown on the forum with Sterling units have just mounted them on the wall of the rear cabin.
Martin&Rene Hanse 341 Dipper Wheel steering, 3 cabin layout & shallow keel, normally based in Scotland
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