Alternator output - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 02:37:PM Thread Starter
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Alternator output

Has anyone measured the actual output of the alternator voltage? I want to look at the possibility of using the alternator to provide a partial bulk charge to a lithium battery. Volts must stay below 14.5V.



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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 04:18:PM
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Mine shows 14.7 at times on the built in voltmeter accessed through the OBDII port via the Torque app.

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 04:19:PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I pulled a Duh! on that one. I also have the Torque app and it didn't occur to me to have a look.

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 04:34:PM Thread Starter
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Well now I am more confused. I went out and checked using Torque and found there are 2 Volts listed, Control Module and OBD2. Highest on CM was 14.3V but highest on OBD2 is 14.9V.

Does anyone have any idea why they are so different? I wish Torque displayed battery voltage but that option is greyed out. I may need to put a recording meter on the battery and drive around.

Are the CCP terminal a valid way to check battery voltage? They are much easier to get to than the battery.

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 05:06:PM
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Just measure where you are connecting the aux device. It doesn't matter elsewhere.

Put your meter on hold for highest reading and drive around or rev the engine. It will tell you exactly how much you're outputting.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 06:38:PM Thread Starter
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I intent is to connect at the CCP. Where is a good ground near the CCP or can I just use the chassis?

My intent is to use the available 180 amps available at the CCP as a backup charging method for my lithium batteries. The CCP connection will go through a BlueSea 2146 ML-ACR. This will always be in the manual disconnect mode unless for some reason (bad weather) the solar cannot keep the batteries charged. In that case I will open the ACR connection and use the engine to bulk charge the batteries to 80+ %.

Sound reasonable?

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Last edited by rene12341; 12-14-2016 at 06:45:PM.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 06:54:PM
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Theres a ground between the 2 seats on the floor..
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-15-2016, 04:33:AM
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Sounds like a good idea.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-15-2016, 04:39:PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rene12341 View Post
Well now I am more confused. I went out and checked using Torque and found there are 2 Volts listed, Control Module and OBD2. Highest on CM was 14.3V but highest on OBD2 is 14.9V.

Does anyone have any idea why they are so different? I wish Torque displayed battery voltage but that option is greyed out. I may need to put a recording meter on the battery and drive around.

Are the CCP terminal a valid way to check battery voltage? They are much easier to get to than the battery.
I figure the highest one is closest to actual alternator voltage- the CM one probably has some wiring losses.
BTW the voltage varies according to intake air temperature also, the PCM controls it- colder= higher voltage.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 06:00:AM
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Just starting on my Transit but a couple of comments from charging lithium in a Sprinter.
Lithium batteries could easily draw 2 to 3 times the battery size in current. So a 100AH battery could safely use 200 to 300A. Clearly something that would not happen in a Transit or Sprinter. The sprinter alternator cables are only AWG 2 so as the current goes up there is more voltage loss in the wire. At high currents the voltage out of the alternator also goes down. The max I have seen, in a sprinter with a 220A alternator, was 80A. (I use 00 cable to connect to the transfer switch.)
I would expect the same from the Transit. It has a 180A alternator but would only deliver less than 100A due to voltage loss in the wire and the alternator voltage going down to protect itself.
But, when near full charge with the charge current going down the charge voltage goes up. I see 14.2V on a Sprinter. The Transit should be close since this is about the correct voltage for a standard battery. In my system (solar and alternator) I used a switch to disconnect the alternator once near full charge, to keep from overcharging the lithium. My Transit build will automate that function.
In my experience there seems to be very little gain in capacity by charging lithium (Voltronix) past 14V.
The 14.9V, mentioned earlier in this string, should / would never be applied to the battery unless there was some sort of a failure.
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