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Discussion Starter #1
Interested how these are connected and monitored by the Transit electrical system.
Can I disconnect the second one and use it solely for charging a house battery?
Will the electrical system freak if I do that?
It’s one of the factors which will help me choose between the 3.5 engines as you can only get duals on the ecoboost this year.
 

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Were the dual alternators a late availability item? There is no mention of that option in the latest edition of the 2020 Body and Equipment Mounting Manual.
 

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I ordered the dual alternator (order code 63c). Our 2020 van is being shipped to the dealership this week. I intend to explore the idea of isolating the 2nd alternator to the house batteries.
First, congrats on the new van! Second, please report back on the OEM implementation of the dual alternators and dual batteries. We also ordered a 2020 with this option, but our order is currently on hold for the power sliding door. I haven't been able to find/buy the OEM wiring diagram/manual. Helm has it listed but out of stock. To help our build go as quickly as possible once our van arrives, I really want to design the electrical system ahead of time. Any information that you can offer would be extremely helpful. Thanks!!!
 

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I did not order dual alternators as it seemed excessive for my power requirements. However, in planning my charger install I have been reading the 2020 BEMM and there is some significant stuff in there and much of it is new for 2020. I am still digesting what I have read but there are some significant changes to the customer power connections (CP1 = 60A, CP2 = 175A) and there is a lot of power management and battery management going on that is part a and parcel with the "auto start/stop". The default mode of operation attempts to abstract the alternator(s) from the customer power points and even allow the batteries to supply all the power to the vehicle when it can. The on board battery manager keeps the batteries at sufficient change and health while delivering required loads. It reads like "smart alternator on steroids". The interesting thing buried in there is that much of this can be disabled so that it performs as if it were not a smart alternator system and it also disables the auto start/stop. This is accomplished by grounding one magic lead near the driver's seat. They require that this be a "non permanent" or switched connection. So it looks like it will be possible to install a switch that turns off all the power management stuff and will let the voltages go up to 14.1 and give you a "dumb" alternator connection to coach power through the customer power connections.

I think all of this means it may be more complicated to isolate the second alternator but it may also mean there is no need to do so depending on your use case. Seems the smarts are going to look after your battery no matter what while making huge amounts of power available on demand. It may also mean that old school battery isolators may not work and/or may not be needed since the smarts are taking care of the battery and managing any load on the customer power connection.

Link to BEMM for convenience: Publications | Body Builder Advisory Service
 

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Thank you for your insights and the link to the current BEMM. One interesting element of my Van build is that I ordered the Ambulance Package, not just for the dual alternator but because "auto stop-start" is permanently disabled at the factory. When combined with the Upfitter package with the dual batteries, modified wiring sys, and aux fuse panel, I should be able to build out and integrate my house system.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow I didn’t see that the ambulance pkg disabled stop/start. Thanks.
Here’s something else I just found looking at the links provided. The ecoboost in AWD is de-rated.
132405

Sorry, just looked again and it was this source.
132406
 

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The second alternator should be purely mechanical, right? Should be just another bracket and thus an easy retrofit?

I wonder how difficult it would be to source a 24v alternator that would fit, then skip the boost/buck converters needed to run at 24v.
 

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Does it say anywhere if the Ambulance pkg also turns off the 30 minute auto shutoff idle run time?
Also, do you think a dual alternator setup will run on one alternator if the other grenades?
Assuming the belt is OK and moves freely.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks. Looking forward to it.
I saw the 30 minute time in the BEMM or such. I think it’s something that’s been creeping in to modern cars to ward off the family getting offed by CO poisoning when the car gets left running in the garage.
 

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I don't understand the need for a second alternator, except maybe on an ambulance and I would be shocked to see anyone putting an ambulance body on a Transit. Most ambulance services around here are still using E-Series chassis and the Fire crews have gone to Medium Duty chassis.
 

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If I were building a my own Class B or even Class C RV on a Transit, I would skip the second alternator and purchase a DC-DC charger. These guarantee the proper voltage is delivered to the "house" battery bank even when the Smart Charging System has cut back the voltage. Also, most DC-DC chargers have multiple charging profiles that include AGM and LiFePO4.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I don't understand the need for a second alternator, except maybe on an ambulance and I would be shocked to see anyone putting an ambulance body on a Transit. Most ambulance services around here are still using E-Series chassis and the Fire crews have gone to Medium Duty chassis.
I see lots of Transit ambulances in Seattle.
 

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A van with dual, heavy duty alternators can be used to power an RV type air conditioner. (with the correct rest of the system of course). Exhaust fans are interesting, but not when it is 100 F outside.

With the right setup, it can eliminate the need for a generator in an RV type application.

Going a bit further, it can also be a back up generator for critical appliances in your home during a natural disaster. (example home refrigerator and light cooking )

Eliminating 2 generators alone saves $$$ and is extremely portable with a large fuel tank. Imagine any other method of trying to transport 20 gallons of fuel home to your back up generator.

The minimalistic needs of running lights and a fridge in a van mean that you have to have "something", so why not make it worth while?

IMHO, that makes dual heavy duty alternators a "why wouldn't you" kind of an option.

Yes - I know that this is a completely different way to think about a van electrical system vs the minimalist concept.
 

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The two issues that drive my choice to spec the dual alternator are the reduced load on a single alternator to provide the higher current needed to keep both vehicle batteries and house batteries charged. I am going with the power sliding door, so dual AGM's, and for the house batteries I am going to try to avoid using any solar. Getting all of my charging from a single alternator will mean that the alternator will have to be putting out a larger percentage of its capacity and that means more wear and earlier failure.

The second reason I see for a dual alternator is the same as for any redundant system, to provide a backup source in case one of the alternators still chooses to quit. It also provides the capacity for expansion of the house battery system in the future if I so choose.
 

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Does it say anywhere if the Ambulance pkg also turns off the 30 minute auto shutoff idle run time?
Also, do you think a dual alternator setup will run on one alternator if the other grenades?
Assuming the belt is OK and moves freely.
It appears that the automatic shutoff is set at 75mins with the dual AGM batteries included in the Ambulance package.
 
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