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What is the max DC current (amps) that 2022 Transit HD350 alternator can produce continuously without overheat?

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Can someone please let me know the max DC current (amps) that 2022 Transit HD350 alternator can produce continuously without overheat?

I need this data to decide how to use chassis alternator to charge lithium battery that usually draws more current than non-lithium battery during charging.

Thanks & regards,
Lee
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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
You have a lot of missing fuses or breakers in that diagram, I guess you know that.

You should use a breaker between the vehicle battery and the DC2DC charger rather than a fuse so you can maintaing the system more easily. In other words you can flip the breaker like a switch to allow you to work on the downstream side of it. I don't know what the purpose of the ISO relay is in your diagram. This is not required by some of the DC2DC chargers, although it might be required by some.

The DC to DC charger does not typically take output from a generator, but it could if your generator puts out 12V. Often generators put out 110V. In that case you will need to put a battery charger in between the generator and the coach battery.
Thanks for the info. You are right. The diagram doesn't show converter between house generator and house battery. The diagram below does show that converter.
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Like @ArgonautVans, I have a Victron thermocouple sensor hooked up to a bolt on my primary alternator, which does most of the work. I have a current sensor on the secondary alternator just to see if/when it kicks on. High temp seems to be around 185F. See temperature and charging charts below from a trip to Florida this summer. Started out charging at around 145A with temps 150-160F. Spiked up to 185F right after I took a break. Ambient temp was probably in the high 90s.

View attachment 182008
I would not have anticipated there being a primary and a secondary alternator. I would have expected that they would work in tandem. What have you learned regarding how they behave relative to one another?
 

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I would not have anticipated there being a primary and a secondary alternator. I would have expected that they would work in tandem. What have you learned regarding how they behave relative to one another?
I would have expected the same, but that's not how they work. My observation confirms what is written in the Ford service manual below. The primary (upper) alternator does all the work unless it gets saturated, at which point the secondary one kicks in. I regularly charge at around 150A and when I'm traveling at highway speed (with sufficient cooling), I've never noticed the secondary alternator kick in. The only time I've seen it kick in is when I've been charging at that rate at idle. And even then I've only noticed the secondary contribute around 25A-45A. Which makes sense since the alternator chart in the BEMM shows a single can produce somewhere around 110A at idle.

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I would have expected the same, but that's not how they work. My observation confirms what is written in the Ford service manual below. The primary (upper) alternator does all the work unless it gets saturated, at which point the secondary one kicks in.
The question is:
What happens if the primary alternator fails? Will the system fail-over to the secondary one, or are you stuck on the side of the road?
 

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The question is:
What happens if the primary alternator fails? Will the system fail-over to the secondary one, or are you stuck on the side of the road?
I think so, but have not had the cajones to disconnect and see what happens. Hopefully some brave soul will test this, either intentionally or unintentionally. and report their findings.
 

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Back in the day before computers you could drive without a alternator on a fully charged battery for over 100 miles. These would have been mostly stock vehicles because there was a time when people did not order many options.
 

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I think so, but have not had the cajones to disconnect and see what happens. Hopefully some brave soul will test this, either intentionally or unintentionally. and report their findings.
I sure won't be the one doing that... seems like there are too many things that require some fancy factory reset function after being disconnected... :rolleyes:

Pretty sure there was another thread here that discussed the primary-secondary alternator thing - and how the secondary is likely only used in idling situations.
 

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H6 AGM battery Reserve Capacity 130min, I measure about 25 amp draw with everything off, maybe can drive 2 hours with no alternator? dual battery 4 hour runtime?
 

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Got any links you can aim me toward for the ESPhome / hall sensor / HASS.IO how-to?
There are several choices.

1) Cheap and simple for DC amps:
Get some of these:
They are just analog output, so you feed them into any ADC pin of an ESP32 and do some math. There is no explicit ESPHome support for the ACS712--you just use the generic ADC support. The problem is that they are 5V devices, and so will exceed the range of the ESP's ADC. You can:
a) live with the limited current range
b) build a voltage divider with a couple of resistors, or
c) feed its output into an external ADC with i2C output, such as the ADS1115:
ESPhome has direct support for the ADS1115, and it has much better precision than the built-in ADCs.

Cheap and simple for AC amps:
Get a CT-clamp current sensor, such as this:
ESPhome support:
You can connect these to an ESP32 ADC pin (with some resistors), but they work MUCH better if you feed them into an ads1115 as per above.

Probably better for DC amps:
There are current sensors that talk I2C directly. Example:
Directly supported by ESPhome:

I haven't tried these, but I suspect that they are the correct choice.

Let me know if you need more specifics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
I think Ford answered the question by putting a 60A fuse on CCP1. Whether you can get more out of the alternator continuously depends on the conditions. At factory-set stock idle on a hot day with the air conditioner running you can probably count on having 70A available continuously for the van's use from CCP2 without ever getting load shedding. If you set a higher idle, you can get a bit more. If you are just doing stop & start driving, but no extended idle, some people are getting 120A without burning anything out.
Based on whay I found from web, aside from current, voltage is another thing we have to consider when charging lithium battery. Lithium battery usually needs ~14.5V to get it fully charged. My understanding is 2022 Transit uses a single 250A "smart" alternator. Its output voltage is usually < 13.7-13.8 Volts. With this 13.7-13.8 volts, how can we fully charge lithium battery? Thx.
 

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My van’s alternator is usually around 14.5-14.6v right now, but it can vary a lot.

putting the van into “third party high power mode” allows conventional alternator charging instead of the normal smart alternator function, which helps keep Voltages high. Search on the forum for this info.

finally, a good DC-DC charger will boost your supplied voltage form the van up to 14.5v for lithium if the alternator voltage is lower than that.
 

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Based on whay I found from web, aside from current, voltage is another thing we have to consider when charging lithium battery. Lithium battery usually needs ~14.5V to get it fully charged. My understanding is 2022 Transit uses a single 250A "smart" alternator. Its output voltage is usually < 13.7-13.8 Volts. With this 13.7-13.8 volts, how can we fully charge lithium battery? Thx.
Correct. In short, it is very difficult - near impossible - to get a solid 100% SOC charge from the system directly to a typical lithium house battery bank. Exceptions would be if it were a low-voltage pack with lower requirements (some of the all-in-one units seem to be this way). Generally, a "charger" unit is used, which does a buck/boost (up- or down-voltage as required) to deliver the appropriate voltage to charge the lithium batteries optimally.

DC-DC charger units can get pretty expensive for high amperage and they each have a different persnickety profile for how they work best with our weird smart-alternators (Sterling / Renogy / Victron / Noco / etc). The highest amp DC-DC discussed here has been the Sterling 120A units. The old version was said (by the Sterling guy) to run too hot for a van. The new units claim to be good now.

There are at least two folks on here who have stated they bought the new 120A units and are now returning or selling them to get the latest 200A units. These new units are also bidirectional, which addresses the power drain inherent in Transits.

Alternatively, there's one person here who put FIVE Victron 30A units in parallel...

... or those of us who have a sizeable inverter-charger unit for our house system and use a lower-cost inverter to charge ~150A or more from the alternator(s) to the house system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Correct. In short, it is very difficult - near impossible - to get a solid 100% SOC charge from the system directly to a typical lithium house battery bank. Exceptions would be if it were a low-voltage pack with lower requirements (some of the all-in-one units seem to be this way). Generally, a "charger" unit is used, which does a buck/boost (up- or down-voltage as required) to deliver the appropriate voltage to charge the lithium batteries optimally.

DC-DC charger units can get pretty expensive for high amperage and they each have a different persnickety profile for how they work best with our weird smart-alternators (Sterling / Renogy / Victron / Noco / etc). The highest amp DC-DC discussed here has been the Sterling 120A units. The old version was said (by the Sterling guy) to run too hot for a van. The new units claim to be good now.

There are at least two folks on here who have stated they bought the new 120A units and are now returning or selling them to get the latest 200A units. These new units are also bidirectional, which addresses the power drain inherent in Transits.

Alternatively, there's one person here who put FIVE Victron 30A units in parallel...

... or those of us who have a sizeable inverter-charger unit for our house system and use a lower-cost inverter to charge ~150A or more from the alternator(s) to the house system.
Very helpful informaiton. Thanks for sharing!
 

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The new 200A Sterling looks pretty nice. 60A is a lot for the starter batteries.

The victron Multiplus many people have can trickle charge the starter batteries with a 5A charge rate. More than enough, that’s my plan since I already have two 120A Sterling B2Bs
 

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As a reference I have a 2015 Transit with three 60 amp posts on driver seat base. Alternator is the optional 220 amp instead of the standard 150-amp alternator.

Have a Samlex 1000-watt pure sine inverter powered from the three terminals with a 150 amp fuse between the terminals and the inverter.

The inverter can be turned on manually or it can be set to turn on/off automatically. The Samlex remote has a terminal that starts/stops the inverter when 12 volts is applied to the terminal or stops when 12 volts is removed. I used one of the optional "user defined" switches to power the Samlex remote terminal. User defined switch # 1 when on will start the inverter after a time delay. and stop inverter when engine is turned off. I only power the inverter with engine running.

The user defined switch has power in key accessory position and when engine is running. Did not want the inverter using power while engine was trying to start so added a time delay relay. Originally tried a solid-state time delay but that did not work. Time delay needs to have mechanical contacts. A solid-state relay leaks enough power to actuate the remote terminal, so delay does not occur.

I limit the inverter connected load to 750 watts, so inverter probably draws about 880 watts. Alternator voltage is 14.5 volts with engine idling. 880/14.5 = 61 amps.
 
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