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Old 11-23-2016, 06:41 PM   #1
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Alt to charge AGM batts?

Hi all,
I've always run wet cells as my house bank.
My new boat has AGM's as the house bank. I'd like to set up my Neese Leville 180 amp alternator to the main engine to charge this AGM house bank.
Can I do this without some special regulator? I know the AGM's are finicky when it comes to charging them.
The Neese Leville has an internal regulator.
Thanks for your help!

Steve
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:48 PM   #2
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With an internal regulator, you don't have any choice about the charging parameters. They are what they are.

But AGMs are similar enough to flooded cell batteries (that the L/N internal regulator was probably based on) that it won't make much difference. Gel Cells, yes.

So, go ahead and charge your AGM house bank with the L/N internally regulated alternator.

David
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:19 PM   #3
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I am not sure which Leece Neville alternator that you have, but on many LN alternators it is possible to remove the regulator and replace it with Leece Neville part # A038100265S COVER & FIELD TERMINAL and then use a remote regulator like a Balmar.
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Old 11-23-2016, 08:54 PM   #4
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I am not sure which Leece Neville alternator that you have, but on many LN alternators it is possible to remove the regulator and replace it with Leece Neville part # A038100265S COVER & FIELD TERMINAL and then use a remote regulator like a Balmar.
Have one of those plates on my 220 amp second alternator. The external regulator is a Sterling model that is 4 stage and programmable for battery type. Very happy with the combination.

Ted
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:05 PM   #5
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I personally think about alternators as a blunt instrument, external reg or not. On your ME's I would guess most of the time you can't usually commit to the full cycle (say, 4hrs), and if you're really just thinking bulk phase its about amps not the tenth or two of a volt difference between AGM and flooded. (or gel!) Just my $0.02.
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Old 11-24-2016, 08:11 AM   #6
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I personally think about alternators as a blunt instrument, external reg or not. On your ME's I would guess most of the time you can't usually commit to the full cycle (say, 4hrs), and if you're really just thinking bulk phase its about amps not the tenth or two of a volt difference between AGM and flooded. (or gel!) Just my $0.02.
That's why the external regulator makes such a difference. Alternators aren't designed to charge batteries, there designed to supply power to accessories and supply a small percentage of power to charge the battery. If you have a battery monitoring guage that shows amps in and out, you will see that the standard regulator only recharges the battery at about 1/3 of the alternator's capacity. The external smart regulator raises the charging voltage to compare with a shore power smart charger. I get a 200 amp charge rate out of my 220 alternator in the bulk stage and usually reach the float stage of charging after a couple of hours. If I'm motoring every day, a 3 hour run will 100% recharge the batteries and handle all my average power needs.

Ted
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