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Old 01-19-2015, 10:10 AM   #21
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Thanks for the advice

In case somebody doesn't know our situation, here's the condensed version: We're photographers so will not want to leave an anchorage for many days (weeks) if we find a great spot. When we do leave, the next 'great spot' may only be an hour away. Fast charging times are the goal, without a generator if at all possible. PO put in an additional 40 gallon fuel tank, so we have 140 gallons diesel tankage...even so, fueling stations are scarce around here. Looking at solar, wind, and maybe even fuel cells for topping up batteries when conditions allow.

I have read that when considering a larger alternator, one could go as high as 30% of the house battery banks amp hour capacity...is that right? If that's the case...couldn't I go as high as 135?

Looks like this might squeak in there; PK-4JH2-UTE Yanmar Marine 4JH2-UTE Serpentine Pulley Kit

There's a remote oil filter in the way of a second alternator (if I end up going that route) but that could get shuffled to another spot.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:45 AM   #22
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Starboard view;
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:51 AM   #23
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You definitely won't be driving a second alternator off that one belt. Most higher output alternators (130+ amps) use a heavier single belt, 2 belts, or a serpentine belt. Charging limitations vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Trojan recommends a maximum of 13% of battery capacity. Would check with the manufacturer of your batteries before assuming 30%. Clearly you can push the limit somewhat provided the batteries are able to dissipate the increased heat from charging. This will likely shorten overall battery life. What amp alternator are you running now?

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Old 01-19-2015, 12:03 PM   #24
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I'd just go with the largest alt that fits in the original alt spot. Rig an external regulator so output can be adjusted to right below where belt starts to squeal. Should be able to get around 100a if you rev engine to 1800 or so.

Just seen too much mechanical misery by added second alts.

Optimize the single alt arrangement you have and it will get you close to where you want to be.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:33 PM   #25
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Sorry RT, but the engine's the Dover, FL SP135 not the 120. No mods were made other than adding the other alternator/bracket. The main pulley was on the boat when we bought her.
Me too, well almost.

I got the bracket from American Diesel. I wanted faster charging times. After only one night on anchor, I would be -400 amp-hours, which would then take the 120 amp Balmar Alt 8 hours to replace.

But was running out of time in Florida to get it done. Kept reading about positives and negatives of dual alternators.

Ran out of time in Florida to get it done. But did get the solar pane;s installed and changed my 120v fridge and freezer.

On the way north, I noticed with the solar panels putting about 40+ amps back in every day and the new Vitrifrigos only taking 150 amps/24 hours at absolute most. My worst nighttime deficit was not more than 100 amps, which then got put back with only a few hours of running.

Decided i did't need no stinkin second alternator.

But I did get a spare before i left RI
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:34 PM   #26
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I'd just go with the largest alt that fits in the original alt spot. Rig an external regulator so output can be adjusted to right below where belt starts to squeal. Should be able to get around 100a if you rev engine to 1800 or so.

Just seen too much mechanical misery by added second alts.

Optimize the single alt arrangement you have and it will get you close to where you want to be.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:36 PM   #27
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I'd just go with the largest alt that fits in the original alt spot. Rig an external regulator so output can be adjusted to right below where belt starts to squeal. Should be able to get around 100a if you rev engine to 1800 or so.

Just seen too much mechanical misery by added second alts.

Optimize the single alt arrangement you have and it will get you close to where you want to be.
+1, and stay within the engine manufacturer's specifications for accessory power required and side loading on the crankshaft.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:43 PM   #28
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I'd just go with the largest alt that fits in the original alt spot. Rig an external regulator so output can be adjusted to right below where belt starts to squeal. Should be able to get around 100a if you rev engine to 1800 or so.

Just seen too much mechanical misery by added second alts.

Optimize the single alt arrangement you have and it will get you close to where you want to be.
That's my advice as well. He already has an 80 amp alternator. I have twice the battery bank that he has and only once have I ever seen it charging above 80 amps. If he can adapt a 3 stage regulator to his existing alternator that would be the simplest and most cost effective way to increase his charging while at anchor. You could throw a lot of money at this and not gain much more as far as charging ability. Increasing the size of the battery bank would also be helpful if he has room.
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Old 01-19-2015, 03:29 PM   #29
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That's my advice as well. He already has an 80 amp alternator. I have twice the battery bank that he has and only once have I ever seen it charging above 80 amps. If he can adapt a 3 stage regulator to his existing alternator that would be the simplest and most cost effective way to increase his charging while at anchor. You could throw a lot of money at this and not gain much more as far as charging ability. Increasing the size of the battery bank would also be helpful if he has room.
Home for lunch, so not much time, just wanted to say thanks for everybodies input. Since I'm at the bottom of the learning curve all this wandering around checking out different possibilities has hardly been a waste of time...so much to learn!

Will commit to finding out how to squeeze as much as I can out of one alternator (probably with the serpentine belt kit linked above) after checking Yanmar for side loading on shafts and Exide's charging recommendations, while keeping in mind pulley sizes and engine rpm.
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:13 PM   #30
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This is my set up . It was installed by the PO . Electrical is not my strong point so I can't tell you much about it.
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:38 PM   #31
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Pack Mule,
The bracketry looks skookum. There is a fly though and that is the fact that the alternator bracket is mounted to the boat meaning the engine wiggles around and the alternator does not. It may not be a problem though but normally the alternator should be mounted to the engine so the two vibrate as a unit. I have seen them mounted opposite sided to the original, mounted on the engine mount but still so they can vibrate WITH the engine.

If it is now many years old without any problem then you may have a good one.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:02 PM   #32
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Pack Mule,
The bracketry looks skookum. There is a fly though and that is the fact that the alternator bracket is mounted to the boat meaning the engine wiggles around and the alternator does not. It may not be a problem though but normally the alternator should be mounted to the engine so the two vibrate as a unit. I have seen them mounted opposite sided to the original, mounted on the engine mount but still so they can vibrate WITH the engine.

If it is now many years old without any problem then you may have a good one.
That type of mounting become less of an issue as the thinner belt become longer. Many alternators can be run in either direction. What's important in that application is to make sure the fan on the front is for the correct rotation.

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Old 01-19-2015, 10:25 PM   #33
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Another tangent/rabbit hole on my quest for fast and efficient battery charging times. This article is rather long, but compelling to say the least; Marine high output alternator and second alternator discussion

Thoughts? Experience?
Murray

How many amps are you wanting? I agree with others, maybe a single larger capacity unit would do fine and be easier and cheaper to install.
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:37 PM   #34
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If you can find a larger amp capacity replacement that can be controlled by an external 3 stage regulator that will fit then I think you will be better off.
Keep in mind that a larger replacement can be turned down by the regulator yet that turned down output will continue for far longer than the Hitachi resulting in a faster recharge. I mean so the new alt. turned down max is also 80A but because the new alt is better built it can run hotter and keep up that output whereas the Hitachi will fall off fast as soon as it starts to get hot.

The crank side loading should be about the same as the current alt. once the new alt is turned down.

Maybe if you can post the specific Hitachi model and amp output [80A?] it would help.
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Old 01-20-2015, 02:55 AM   #35
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Sorry about the lagard response time, but the day job keeps getting in the way of my life and there was a short lived house renovation emergency...carpenters should actually read blueprints

I don't have our specific model of alternator on hand (or the power curve) but it was the 80 amp upgrade offered by Yanmar for the 4JH2-UTE. The measurements I took last year were 5.25" for the crankshaft pulley and 3" for the water pump pulley, giving a pulley ratio of 1.75. I'm learning to really hate belt dust, so a serpentine belt kit is looking pretty good for that reason alone. The ones for our engine have a pulley ratio of 2:1.

The house bank is 450 Ah (four 6 volt golf cart batteries) and the general rule of thumb for wet cell batteries is to have an alternator 25% of Amp hour capacity (112-ish amps).

Using the example of a 124 amp Ample Power #4023 alternator Ample Power Alternators (found their power curves easily)

...at 1000 engine rpm the alternator would give 51 amps (cold) or 41 amps (hot)

120 Ah divided by 41 = 2.9 hours to bulk phase charge from 50% to 80%

...at our cruising speed of 2700 rpm the alt would give 121 amps (cold) or 102 amps (hot)

120 Ah divided by 102 = 80 minutes to bulk phase charge from 50% to 80%

I do have a Sterling Power 130 amp Alternator to Battery Charger which they claim speeds up charging times up to 5 times faster Sterling Power 12 volt, 130 amp Alternator to Battery Charger If their claims are to be believed that would mean 36 minutes at 1000 engine rpm. (I'd settle for an hour )

Again, the goal is to charge from around 50% to around 80% as fast as possible, and let wind or solar add to that while at anchor. Full charging would be on long traveling days or on shore power.

How much above low idle do you guys run your engines to charge your batteries? (We rarely have anyone at the same anchorages as us so we can't learn from watching others).

My head is starting to hurt...
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Old 01-20-2015, 05:48 AM   #36
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If i must charge batts, i use the Gen, as she uses less fuel and puts out more.
What more could one ask

AS mentioned about, what I like so much about the solar panels is that they provide that slow charge that as the batteries get above 80% becomes inefficient by either the engine or genny.
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:59 AM   #37
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With auto or non industrial based engines the first question should always be to the eng mfg to find out the HP that can be taken off the front of the crank.

All cars today have air cond and frequently good sized alts , so I would guess 15-20 HP , but checking is free.
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Old 01-20-2015, 10:06 AM   #38
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Don't forget to take into account the acceptance rate of the batteries particularly with wet cells. As the amps go back in, the batteries heat up and the acceptance voltage decreases. Ample Power and Sterling both can do a good job of monitoring/controlling battery temperature which will definitely keep your batteries healthy longer.
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Old 01-20-2015, 10:45 AM   #39
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Realizing the folly of gleaning scraps of info from here and there and the dire consequences of getting it wrong, I'll now retire to pour over Calder's book and have ordered these two books which should give me a good base from which to operate from Living on 12 Volts with Ample Power and Wiring 12 Volts for Ample Power
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:08 AM   #40
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How much above low idle do you guys run your engines to charge your batteries? (We rarely have anyone at the same anchorages as us so we can't learn from watching others).

My head is starting to hurt...
You can determine this while running engine and charging batts. Watch voltmeter for bank being charged. Slowly raise throttle and volts will rise as alt output increases with rpm. At some point further rpm increase will cause no further increase in volts. Regulator now is limiting output, not rpm. Raise rpm a touch beyond and you are good. Probably around 1000 to 1500 engine rpm.

Once charge state increases, you can throttle back engine. If you see volts start dropping, you throttled back too far.

Your original alternator can be modified with an external regulator with a control panel mounted at the helm. Adjust volts so you get a desired charge rate. It will charge much faster than the internal reg you have now. The internal one is really set up for just topping up a batt after a start, not the bulk charging you want.

Alternator in this set up will also make more heat than it used to, so you want to check on it and make sure it is not getting too hot. Higher engine rpms actually help in this case as the fans are more effective.
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