Alternator output? - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-13-2016, 06:35:PM Thread Starter
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Alternator output?

I have seen the graphs for alternator output but I only can find amps vs. rpm. Does anyone know the output in volts?

Is the output always the same voltage or does it change with rpm or battery charge condition.

I am asking because I am trying to figure out the simplest way to charge Lithium Ion batteries.

I plan on having at least 300 watts of solar so I know that with the proper controller I can charge the Li-ion battery but I want to know if there is a way to also use the alternator for quicker charging.

I was thinking of a dual battery system like this - http://www.equipt1.com/item/dual-bat...unt-controller
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-13-2016, 08:13:PM
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Alternator voltage is set by the start battery charge condition. Li-ion batteries are not suitable for connecting directly to the lead acid start battery without some form of electronic regulation in between. Look at http://www.sterling-power-usa.com/BB...r12vto12v.aspx. Also be sure your Lithium batteries have cell balancing electronics included. It is easy to get Lithium batteries out of balance such that one of the cells gets over stressed.

Lithium battery failures are always expensive and can be spectacular. Think white hot burning metal that can not be extinguished with a fire extinguisher. Get professional help with your system design. If you make a mistake it is not just the cost of the cells that you will loose. Also do not try to do lithium on the cheap. They are an expensive, premium form of energy storage and cutting corners can leave you with no van. Boeing used teams of engineers working for years with thousands of hours of testing to put lithium on the 777 and still got it wrong.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 02:49:PM
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Originally Posted by rene12341 View Post
I have seen the graphs for alternator output but I only can find amps vs. rpm. Does anyone know the output in volts?

Is the output always the same voltage or does it change with rpm or battery charge condition.

I am asking because I am trying to figure out the simplest way to charge Lithium Ion batteries.

I plan on having at least 300 watts of solar so I know that with the proper controller I can charge the Li-ion battery but I want to know if there is a way to also use the alternator for quicker charging.

I was thinking of a dual battery system like this - http://www.equipt1.com/item/dual-bat...unt-controller
I have a volt and ammeter connected to my setup. I installed the Sterling 60A charger upstream of my house batteries. Before the Sterling, the alternator would only put out something like 14v at around 15A peak, usually settling down to 4-5A while driving. This wasn't enough so I put in the charger.

After the charger my alternator now puts out 50 A or so when charging, still around 14V but way more current.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 04:51:PM
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the altenator only puts out as many amps as you ask it to put out! if its a nice day, 70 degrees, no heat or air conditioning, the windows down, the altenator will only put out just a few amps to run the ignition and perhaps the stereo. now you have hooked that sterling battery charger to it which asks for more amps from the altenator. (the voltage regulator in the altenator keeps the volts at a constant value regardless of the anperage output!)
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 07:50:PM
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...now you have hooked that sterling battery charger to it which asks for more amps from the altenator. (the voltage regulator in the altenator keeps the volts at a constant value regardless of the anperage output!)
Though the output of the Sterling battery to battery charger can be set to whatever voltage profile you want. It can be set for flooded, AGM, lithium, etc. Here's a link to MORE INFO.

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Nova Scotia, Canada

Last edited by tthrsn; 08-23-2016 at 08:24:PM.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 07:52:PM Thread Starter
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I think I am going to use one of these for charging my my battery packs.

http://sterling-power.com/products/a...ers-up-to-400a
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 08:13:PM
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I think I am going to use one of these for charging my my battery packs.

http://sterling-power.com/products/a...ers-up-to-400a
Most people have been using the Sterling battery to battery chargers. It will be interesting to see if the Sterling alternator to battery charger can work on the Transit van. BAY MARINE SUPPLY suggests that it will work but there have been no reports about any installs.

You can get a good price ($379.99) at DEFENDER.

Terry
Nova Scotia, Canada
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 09:12:PM
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An alternate to the Sterling is to buy a 1000 watt pure sine inverter powered by the vehicle. The 120 volt AC output can be "shore power" with engine running. This approach works well if you already have a 3 stage real shore power charger. The 1000 watt pure sine inverter costs about $200.

In my case the vehicle powered inverter is my backup method of charging. The primary charging method is the 300 watt panel and the MPPT solar controller.

Just spent a week in Monterey where the weather was overcast without a clear sky most of the day. Still got to 100% SOC before noon each day. Results obviously depends on how much power you use. In my case it was mostly a 85 liter refrigerator plus a couple of two minute microwave uses and LED lighting.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 12:42:AM
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Though the output of the Sterling battery to battery charger can be set to whatever voltage profile you want. It can be set for flooded, AGM, lithium, etc. Here's a link to MORE INFO.
thanks, i already have the 60 amp model, a magnum ms2012 inverter with a 100 amp charger and a 45 amp morningstar solar controller feeding a 660 amp hour trojan agm battery bank that gets a full charge on shore power at least once a week (night time air conditioner)
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 12:47:PM
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You need to looked at lithium-ion batteries that built in charge balancing and other protection circuits. This is an example. This way the charging mechanism is not important. The example is LiFePO4 and is very safe.
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