Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-05-2016, 08:27 AM   #1
Guru
 
fryedaze's Avatar
 
City: Solomons Island Md
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Fryedaze
Vessel Model: MC 42 (Overseas Ltd) Monk 42
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,052
Smoked alternator

I was crossing the Okeechobee a few days ago on a friends Kadey Krogen. The boat has a 160 amp Balmar alternator and a Balmar MC 612 regulator. They have worked great for over 5 years. During the trip we had smoke coming from the alternator and it read over 300F moments after we shut it down. I noticed the previous day that the alternator wasn't recovering the batteries but may have been putting something out.
Is there anyway to ensure the regulator is OK. I would hate to put a new alternator on and have the regulator burnt it up?
__________________
Advertisement

__________________
Dave Frye
Fryedaze, MC 42 (Monk 42') 1989 Overseas Co
http://mvfryedaze.blogspot.com/
fryedaze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2016, 09:22 AM   #2
Guru
 
djmarchand's Avatar
 
City: East Greenwich, RI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bella
Vessel Model: Mainship Pilot 34
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,875
Well, there are several possible issues at work here.


1. Did some large, unexpected load due to a shorted wire or whatever cause the alternator to put out a lot of amps long term which fried it?
2. Did the regulator go into full field mode which let the alternator put out a lot of amps which fried it. Not likely if the batteries were not charging well.
3. Most likely the internal windings in the alternator shorted resulting in rapid overheating. This should not affect the regulator.


I guess I would put a new alternator in but monitor the charging current output to make sure that some short isn't loading it up.


David
__________________

djmarchand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2016, 09:28 AM   #3
Guru
 
Ski in NC's Avatar
 
City: Wilmington, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Louisa
Vessel Model: Custom Built 38
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,882
Take both the reg and alternator to an alternator shop, usually if alt smokes it is the stator, which is replaceable. Diodes can burn up but rarely smoke.

Reg if a problem can cause alt to over work, and that's what burns up stator. So it needs to be checked. If a pain to get it out, just fix alt and install it, then test it with engine running and reg in normal config, and monitor volts and alt stator temp.
Ski in NC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2016, 09:47 AM   #4
Guru
 
City: Carefree, Arizona
Country: usa
Vessel Name: sunchaser V
Vessel Model: DeFever 48
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,360
Does the alternator have a high temperature cutout? If not and you go with a new one something to consider. 5 years is not very long so a good systems check as Ski suggests is definitely in order.
sunchaser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2016, 10:25 AM   #5
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,515
Many of the Balmar products are std frame alts with a power package installed.

They will put out high amps but are limited in long periods of operation by their cooling.

The HOT rating is seldom high so pushing the output with a better marine V reg requires caution.

A new built truck 160A large frame alt will have a far better HOT rating ,and is probably half the cost, but can be a big PIA to install.

If you spend time cruising and on the hook, the hassle is worth it.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2016, 10:38 AM   #6
Guru
 
fryedaze's Avatar
 
City: Solomons Island Md
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Fryedaze
Vessel Model: MC 42 (Overseas Ltd) Monk 42
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,052
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
Well, there are several possible issues at work here.


1. Did some large, unexpected load due to a shorted wire or whatever cause the alternator to put out a lot of amps long term which fried it?
2. Did the regulator go into full field mode which let the alternator put out a lot of amps which fried it. Not likely if the batteries were not charging well.
3. Most likely the internal windings in the alternator shorted resulting in rapid overheating. This should not affect the regulator.


I guess I would put a new alternator in but monitor the charging current output to make sure that some short isn't loading it up.


David

The regulator indicated a setpoint of 13.8 and the output was 13.4. I assume it was in absorbtion mode.
The batteries are good. The genset brought them back up normally and they held.
__________________
Dave Frye
Fryedaze, MC 42 (Monk 42') 1989 Overseas Co
http://mvfryedaze.blogspot.com/
fryedaze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2016, 10:41 AM   #7
Guru
 
fryedaze's Avatar
 
City: Solomons Island Md
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Fryedaze
Vessel Model: MC 42 (Overseas Ltd) Monk 42
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,052
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
Does the alternator have a high temperature cutout? If not and you go with a new one something to consider. 5 years is not very long so a good systems check as Ski suggests is definitely in order.
No temp protection hooked up to battery or the alternator.
__________________
Dave Frye
Fryedaze, MC 42 (Monk 42') 1989 Overseas Co
http://mvfryedaze.blogspot.com/
fryedaze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2016, 10:46 AM   #8
Guru
 
fryedaze's Avatar
 
City: Solomons Island Md
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Fryedaze
Vessel Model: MC 42 (Overseas Ltd) Monk 42
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,052
Is it possible that a diode or two failed on day one and then on day two the other diodes failed and smoked when the batteries were being charged after the engine start. The alternator smoked about 30-45 minutes after the morning engine start. As I indicated before it looked to me like on the previous day the alternator was at reduce output.
__________________
Dave Frye
Fryedaze, MC 42 (Monk 42') 1989 Overseas Co
http://mvfryedaze.blogspot.com/
fryedaze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2016, 11:05 AM   #9
Guru
 
City: gulf coast
Country: pinellas
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,197
too much load for too long a time. I would recheck the batteries looking for a bad cell. using an hydrometer.
bayview is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2016, 11:15 AM   #10
Guru
 
Ski in NC's Avatar
 
City: Wilmington, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Louisa
Vessel Model: Custom Built 38
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,882
Diodes can fail then reg tries to boost output, then stator cooks. So definitely could have started with a diode failure. Balmar buys their alts from other vendors, so diodes and stator can be sourced from OEM vendor. Alt shops can look at it and ID it immediately. No need to go to Balmar.
Ski in NC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2016, 07:38 PM   #11
Guru
 
kchace's Avatar
 
City: Brookline, NH
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Blue Heaven
Vessel Model: Albin 43 classic double cabin, twin 135 Lehmans
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 757
A good alternator shop is worth it's weight in gold. They can repair and test your alternator and starter for a fraction of replacement cost and when done they're every bit as good as new.

Ken
kchace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2016, 06:18 AM   #12
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,515
"So definitely could have started with a diode failure"

This can sometimes be EZ to notice.

If at idle any lights seem to "bounce" in brightness , you may have lost one, or more.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2016, 04:45 PM   #13
Guru
 
fryedaze's Avatar
 
City: Solomons Island Md
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Fryedaze
Vessel Model: MC 42 (Overseas Ltd) Monk 42
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,052
Thanks for the input TF folks. I will follow up with the rest of the story after the trip to the alternator shop.
__________________

__________________
Dave Frye
Fryedaze, MC 42 (Monk 42') 1989 Overseas Co
http://mvfryedaze.blogspot.com/
fryedaze is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012